4.03 Vetrani 1789

Antonio Vetrani, Il prodromo vesuviano, Naples 1780

Be 4015-3800 raro III

Antonio Vetrani (1744-1813) began studying at the Jesuit College in Naples at the age of 11 and was ordained a priest in 1767. His philosophical and scientific interests focused on the study and influence of Antiquity. In contact with intellectuals of his time such as Alessio Simmaco Mazzocchi, Antonio Genovesi and Della Torre, he came into conflict with Giacomo Martorelli, against whom his writing on the Sebeto River is directed. His work on Vesuvius is characterised by the reaffirmation of a creationist worldview against the positivist view of the scientific methods of the Enlightenment. In this sense, he questions the opinions of various authors; for example his considerations on the role of electricity during an eruption (pp. 153-157). Since, in his view, the efforts of physics are useless for understanding the properties and eruptions of Vesuvius, he turns to theology and interprets volcanoes as little mouths of hell (pp. 198-199). He then moves on to warnings and precautions to be taken during eruptions and concludes with a list of publications on the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631, which is twice as long (from 56 to 106 numbers) as the first list compiled by Vincenzo Bove in 1632 (pp. 223-238). [PH]

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