6.03 Gioeni 1787

Giuseppe Gioeni, Relazione della eruzione dell’Etna, Catania 1787

Be 4620-3870 raro IV

This work by Giuseppe Gioeni (1743-1822), a naturalist and volcanologist from Catania, offers a careful study of the eruption of Etna that began at the beginning of June 1787. As mentioned in the text, at the time of the eruption, the author was living in a country house near Etna, from which he was able to observe the different phases of development of the volcanic activity at first hand. Gioeni’s reconstruction of the event includes numerous detailed descriptions of the eruptive phenomena, based on his direct experience and enriched by the inclusion of news and information from various places in the vicinity of the volcano. Of particular interest is the attention Gioeni paid to the use of analytical instruments such as the telescope, microscope, the atmospheric electrometer invented a few years earlier by the Swiss physicist Horace Bénédict de Saussure, along with other instruments. The Relazione is also accompanied by a series of notes, in which, in addition to the presence of further details on the analyses carried out by Gioeni himself, there are often references to recent acquisitions relating to natural history and quotations from classical and modern texts, which the author compares with the data collected. [AM]

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