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Watching Vesuvius – A History of Science and Culture in Early Modern Italy - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Watching Vesuvius: A History of Science and Culture in Early Modern Italy

Sean Cocco


Mount Vesuvius has been famous ever since its eruption in 79 CE, when it destroyed and buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. But less well known is the role it played in the science and culture of early modern Italy, as this study reveals. Humanists began to make pilgrimages to Vesuvius during the early Renaissance to experience its beauty and study its history, but a new tradition of observation emerged in 1631 with the first great eruption of the modern period. Seeking to understand the volcano’s place in the larger system of nature, Neapolitans flocked to Vesuvius to examine v ... More

Keywords: Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, herculaneum, early modern Italy, humanism, early Renaissance, volcano, Neapolitans, volcanic phenomena, mineral specimens

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226923710
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226923734.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sean Cocco, author