3.06 Torcia 1779

Michele Torcia, Relazione dell’ultima eruzione del Vesuvio accaduta nel mese di agosto di questo anno 1779; Rélation de la dernière éruption du Vésuve arrivée au mois d’août de cette année 1779, Naples 1779

Be 4015-3790 raro III

The Relazione dell’ultima eruzione del Vesuvio in 1779 by Michele Torcia (1736-1808), a philosopher and officer of Calabrian origin, is dedicated to the president of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg Sergey Domaschnev and is divided into several parts. The title page and the dedication, printed in Italian and in French, are followed by the report of the eruption, itself in a bilingual version (pp. 2-40). The latter was written on the basis of what the author was able to observe in person during three consecutive evenings from the coast near the Palazzo Reale in Naples. In particular, Torcia dwells on the spectacular nature of the volcanic eruption and on its emotional impact on the spectators. Inside this edition there is also a large section entitled Note (pp. 43-135), characterized by a treatise-like framework and by the presence of numerous references and quotations especially to what has been written by other authors on the same event, used by the author as a useful term of comparison and study. For example, a version of the Incendio trentesimo del Vesuvio by Father Giovanni Maria della Torre (pp. 43-58) is fully reproduced. The copy of the Relazione in the Bibliotheca Hertziana lacks the plate with the illustration of Vesuvius erupting. [AM]

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