3.04 Duperron 1741

Louis-Adrien Duperron de Castera, Histoire du Mont Vésuve […] traduit de l’Italien, Paris 1741

Be 4015-3370/b raro II

This volume, dedicated to the Louis, Dauphin of France, is the translation of the Istoria dell’incendio by the scientist Francesco Serao (Naples 1737). As reported in the Avis du traducteur, it constitutes the first treatise in French on the Vesuvian eruption. The description of the disaster, which respects the structure of the original, is preceded by a substantial Introduction in which the observations of the ‘Sçavans’ on Vesuvius are set out, along with a brief account of previous eruptions (including that of Monte Nuovo in 1538). Chapter I focuses on the description of the harbingers of the 1737 eruption, with references to that of 1631. Chapters II-III-IV are mono-thematic, and focus on the lavanges (the ‘rivers of lava’) of the volcano, whose mineral composition is described. Chapters V and VI focus on the winds that direct the Vesuvian clouds, and on the mofettas (compared to those of Agnano and Pozzuoli). The last chapter, VII, has a geological framework, and describes Vesuvius before and after the eruption, with attention to the size of its peaks. The volume closes with a prohibition to reproduce the work, followed by two intaglio plates offering a view of the Vesuvian landscape and a section of the double cone, based on those in the Italian text. The Bibliotheca Hertziana has another copy of the work (Be 4015-3370/a rare II), from which the plates have been removed. [AP]

This post is also available in: Deutsch Italiano