4.12 Del Giudice 1823

Giovanni Nicola Del Giudice, Viaggio medico ad Ischia, a Pozzuoli, a Castellamare, ed altrove, all’oggetto di analizzare le acque minerali e le stufe, Naples 1823

Be 4018-4230 raro IV

The Neapolitan physician Giovanni Nicola del Giudice, who is known for two other publications on medical subjects, in the title emphasises the scientific nature of his journey undertaken with two of his students to analyse the properties of thermal springs and gaseous emanations, following Nicola Andria’s Trattato delle acque minerali (1783). The therapeutic qualities of the Pozzuoli baths had been known since ancient times, and the persistence of this use in the Middle Ages is attested by the treatise De balneis Putolensis et regulae sanitatis, attributed to Pietro da Eboli. Nicola Del Giudice belongs to the Age of Enlightenment and his interest is in exact investigation and in particular the mineral substances contained in water and gas. He describes the circumstances of observation or extraction, for example the difficulties in trying to capture the gas for analysis. From time to time he incorporates his extensive education by inserting literary quotations. Finally, he describes the applications of the various sources, and argues against the hypothesis of a counter-stimulus, which he does not even see proven in the vapours of the ‘Grotta del cane’. [PH]

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