6.02 Dolomieu 1788

Déodat de Dolomieu, Mémoire sur les Iles Ponces, et catalogue raisonné des produits de l’Etna, pour servir à l’histoire des volcans, Paris 1788

Be 3215-3880 raro IV

This book by Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801) consists of two separate texts, published together: a memoir on the Pontine Islands (up to p. 143) and a Catalogue des laves de l’Etna (from p. 144), followed by some appendices on the same volcano. One of the most famous mineralogists and volcanologists of the late eighteenth century, the author presented the work to the Académie des Sciences as a sequel to Voyage aux Iles de Lipari (1783), shown here in this same section.
In the Mémoire and the Catalogue, little space is devoted to mythology or the mention of classical authors (“je ne parlerai point de ses antiquités, ni des illustres malheureux qui l’ont habité”, p. 54), with attention focused wholly on the analysis of the minerals observed there, in the conviction that volcanoes played an essential role in the shaping of the globe in the primordial stages of its history. The first paper is a description of the islands of Ponza, Ventotene, Palmarola, S. Stefano and Zannone, which Dolomieu had visited in 1787: the author shows an interest almost exclusively for the rocks and lavas found on these islands, then uninhabited or recently colonised and little explored by naturalists. In the second, he analytically and systematically examines the different types of lava emitted by Etna. In the appendix there is a description of the Etnean eruption of 1787 (p. 475). [DC]

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