4.06 Gioeni 1790

Giuseppe Gioeni, Saggio di litologia vesuviana, Naples 1790

Zh 572-3900 raro IV

Born in Catania, Giuseppe Gioeni was a famous mineralogist and the owner of a well-known naturalistic collection in the eighteenth century. His Relazione dell’eruzione dell’Etna of 1787 (‘Account of the eruption of Etna’) is on display in this same exhibition. Three years later, his Saggio di litologia vesuviana (‘Essay on Vesuvian Lithology’), dedicated to the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina of Hapsburg-Lorraine, was published. In the introduction, the author laments the lack of rigorous approaches to the study of the Kingdom’s volcanoes, so important for mineralogical studies, despite the overabundance of publications on eruptions, while acknowledging the scientific importance of the works of Francesco Serao, the Duca della Torre, and William Hamilton. The subject matter is clearly laid out and the author addresses not only naturalists but also a wider educated public. The long introductory part on Vesuvius and its primordial stones, lavas, glass and pumice, lapilli, tuffs and breccias (pp. XXII-XCII), is followed by the real core of the work: a rich catalogue of lithology arranged with taxonomic rigour (pp. 1-198). The success and importance of the work are testified by an early reprint (Naples 1791) and its translation into German by Leopold von Fichtel (Vienna 1793). [ES]

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