6.01 Dolomieu 1783

Déodat de Dolomieu, Voyage aux Iles de Lipari, fait en 1781, ou Notices sur les Iles Aeoliennes, pour servir à l’histoire des volcans, Parigi 1783

Fa 170-3831 raro IV

The text is the first significant publication by Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), one of the most influential mineralogists, geologists and volcanologists of the late 18th century. The work was presented at the Académie des Sciences, for which the author worked as a correspondent, and dedicated to Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc, Grand Master of the Order of Malta, to which Dolomieu belonged. The work was written in the form of a scholarly travelogue, from which also sprang Dolomieu’s contributions to Abbé de Saint-Non’s five-volume Voyage pittoresque (1781-1786). The Voyage aux Iles de Lipari is an accurate description of the geo- and orography of the Lipari archipelago, the minerals and the numerous volcanic phenomena that characterise its islands. Although there are references to classical authors, the descriptions of the natural phenomena are mainly based on the author’s direct observations. Dolomieu also takes up the question of whether the volcanoes of the Aeolian Islands are connected to Etna and Vesuvius by underground cavities and confirms this theory on the basis of empirical studies (pp. 139-141). In addition, on pages 152-172, the author describes the volcanoes observed in Sicily in the area of Macalube and reports in Italian on an unusual eruption in 1777. [DC]

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