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Lazzaro Spallanzani

(1729 - 1799)

(Born: Scandiano (Reggio Emilia), Italy, 1729; Died: Pavia, Italy, 1799) Italian naturalist.

Started from the father on the studies lawyers, it attended the University of Bologna, showing however greater propensione for the naturalistic studies. Here it had between Low its teaching Laura. Clergyman, after to have taught to Reggio Emilia and to Modena, obtained in the 1769 Natural History chair to the University of Pavia, instruction that maintained until death. Its work remains tied to experiences and discoveries of exceptional importance, that they carried in the first place to deny the spontaneous generation in the infusorial ones. It discovered moreover the gastric juice, compì remarkable studies on the fecondazione and admitted for via experiences them the existence of the respiratory gaseous exchanges in the blood. It carried out numerous travels, between those celebrates to Costantinopoli (1785-86) and in Two Sicilie (1788), during which it realized also important observations in geologic within. Much remarkable also its studies on the respiration.

Biographical references: ABI: II 590, 30-33; II S 78, 346-363. Altieri Biagi & Basile, Scienziati del Settecento, 1983. Capparoni, Profili Bio-Bibliografici, 1928-32: 1, 113-6, portrait. Imperatori, Dizionario di Italiani all'Estero, 1956. Poggendorff: 2, col. 968. Principe, Volcanology in the 18th Century. 2000. WBI.

1. Italian, 1785 [Dissertations].
Dissertazioni due... [Saggio di osservazioni microscopiche concernenti il sistema della generazione; De lapidus ab aqua resilientibus]. Modena, Eredi di Bartolomeo Soliani Stamp. Ducali, 1765.

4°: [2] 87 [1], [4] 44 p., 2 folding engraved plates. Page size: 219 x 174 mm.

Very scarce. First Edition of Spallanzani's first important scientific work, a landmark in the history of biology. G-M 100 (first dissertation). In the first dissertation, entitled Saggio di osservazioni microscopiche concernenti il sistema della generazione de' Signori di Needham e Buffon, Spallanzani disproved Buffon and Needham's claim that the microorganisms found in various plant and animal infusions were spontaneously generated from decomposed organic matter. Spallanzani brilliantly employed the same experimental method that Pasteur would use a century later: "In hundreds of experiments he tested various rituals for rendering infusions permanently barren and finally found that they remained free of microorganisms when put into flasks that were hermetically sealed and the contents boiled for one hour. The entrance of air into the flask through a slight crack in its neck was followed by proliferating infusoria. His masterful essay, dedicated to the Bologna Academy of Sciences . . . reported no spontaneous generation in strongly heated infusions protected from aerial contamination" (DSB). Spallanzani was one of the first to dispute the spontaneous generation of microorganisms, but it took another hundred years-and the repetition of his experiments by Pasteur-before his conclusions were finally accepted. Spallanzani's second dissertation, entitled De lapidibus ab aqua resilientibus, gives a physico-mathematical explanation of the mechanism of stone-skipping on water. It is dedicated to his cousin Laura Bassi, professor of physics and mathematics at the University of Bologna, who had been Spallanzani's teacher.

Bibliographical references: Garrison & Morton: no. 100 [first dissertation].

2. French, 1769 [French transl.].
Nouvelles recherches sur les découvertes microscopiques, et la génération des corps organisés. Ouvrage traduit de l'Italien de M. l'Abbé Spalanzani ... par M. l'Abbé Regley ...; avec des notes, des recherches physiques & métaphysiques sur la nature & la religion, & une nouvelle théorie de la terre, par M. de Needham. London & Paris: Lacombe, 1769.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: [2], ii, liv, [2], 298 p. [Vol 2] 8°: [4], xvi, 293 p., 9 plates.

Very scarce. First edition in French of Spallanzani's Saggio di osservazioni microscopiche. The second part, by Needham, has its own title page: Nouvelles recherches physiques et métaphysiques sur la nature et la religion, avec une nouvelle théorie de la terre, et une mesure de la hauteur des Alpes, par M. de Needham. "His masterful essay .. Saggio di osservazioni microscopiche [concernenti il sistemma della generazione dei Signori di Needham e Buffon] (1765) reported no spontaneous generation in strongly heated infusions protected from aerial contamination. Further, the causes of Needham's misinterpretations were analyzed and Buffon's assertions about organic molecules refuted. The work first appeared jointly, under the title Dissertazioni due.." (D.S.B. 12: 555).

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 117*.

Viaggi Alle Due Sicilie

3. Italian, 1792-3 [First edition].
Viaggi | Alle Due Sicilie | E In Alcune Parti | Dell'Appennino | Dell' Abate | L. Spallanzani | [...10 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornate rule] | Tomo Primo. | [ornate rule] | In Pavia MDCCXCII. | [double rule] | Nella Stamperia De Baldassare Comini | Con approvazione.

6 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: lv, 292 p., 2 plates (numbered 1-2 showing Etna). [Vol 2] 8°: 351 p., 7 plates (numbered 3-9). [Vol 3] 8°: 364 p. [Vol 4] 8°: 256 (i.e., 356), 2 plates (numbered 10-11). [Vol 5] 8°: 371 p. [Vol 6] 8°: [4], 288 p.

Very scarce. Of considerable rarity this fascinating account of Spallanzani's journeys to southern Italy to investigate the recent intense volcanic and seismic activities. Spallanzani (1729-99), "was the first who applied experimental methods to the elucidation of volcanic rock-structure...His descriptions and observations of volcanic regions surpass in scientific accuracy and completeness all previous contributions of the kind, and have secured a permanent place in the literature of scientific travel." (Zittel)

In the six volumes of the Travels to the Two Sicilie and in some you leave of the Appennino, Lazzaro Spallanzani offers a contribution of great relief to the development of the volcanology. To surveyings carried out directly on active volcanos of southern Italy (in particular in the Aeolian Islands and on the Etna) it places side by side to the analyses chemistries in laboratory and the tests of fusion on the collected champions. This will allow it, between the other, to interpret with exactitude the process of formation of the pomici.

Edition originates them, dedicated to the conte of Wilzeck of this most important relation of the last great travels completed from the Spallanzani. In it the observations that it collected in its travels to the Vesuvio, to the Etna, the Lipari islands, to Stromboli and Messina, let alone to the Euganei Necks and on the modenese and reggiano Appennino are re-united all. The author demonstrates also to a being worth geologist and vulcanologo here. The sixth volume, printed in 1797 like appendix, s' intito it Pamphlets over various animals and contains eight monographys over species of rondini, the nocturnal bird called Strix Scops and over the eels of Comacchio. To notice beautiful and interesting the 11 tables outside text recorded in branch.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 565. Prandi, D., Bibliografia delle Opere di Lazzaro Spallanzani delle Traduzione e degli Scritti su di Lui. Firenze, Sansoni Antiquariato, 1951. 172 p., frontispiece. illus: pp. 52-3. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: pp. 98-99.

4. Italian, 1825.
Viaggi alle Due Sicilie e in alcune parti dell' Appennino ... Milano, Tip. Classici Italiani, 1825-26.

5 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: XXXI, 387, (2) p. [Vol 2] 8°: 464; 566, (3) p. [Vol 3] 8°: 446, (2) p. [Vol 4] 8°: 360, (2) p. [Vol 5] 8°: 590, (3) p., e complessive 15 belle tavole incise su rame. I volumi 5 e 6 riguardano "Memorie sulla respirazione" e "Opuscoli di fisica animale e vegetabile". Very scarce.

5. German, 1794-8 [German transl.].
Des Abtes Lazzaro Spallanzani Königl. Professors der Naturgeschichte auf der Universität Pavia und Oberaufsehers des dasigen offentl. Kaiserl. Naturalienkabinets ... Reisen in beyde Sicilien und in einige Gegenden der Appenninen. Aus dem Italienischen mit Anmerkungen. Leipzig, im Verlage der Dyckschen Buchhandlung, 1794-8.

5 vols. [Vol 1: 1795] 8°: XX S., [1] Bl., 320 S., 2 gef. Bl. : 2 Ill. (Kupferst.). [Vol 2: 1795] 8°: [2] Bl., 329, [1] S. [1] Bl., [7] gef. Bl. : 7 Ill. (Kupferst.). [Vol 3: 1795] 8°: [2] Bl., 338 S., [1] Bl. [Vol 4: 1796] 8°: 415 S, [1] S., [2] gef. Bl. : 2 Faltt. (Kupferst.). [Vol 5: 1797] 8°: X, 340 p.

Very scarce. Translation by J.L. Kreysig of Viaggi alle due Sicilie e in alcune parti dell'Apennino (??, ??).

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 566a.

6. French, 1795-7.
Voyages dans les Deux Siciles et dans quelques parties des Appennins, par l'abbé Lazare Spallanzani,... traduits de l'italien par J. Senebier avec des considérations générales sur les volcans, par le traducteur ... Berne, Chez Emanuel Haller, Libr., 1795-1797.

5 vols. [Vol 1: 1795] 8°: XLIV, 299, [4] p. [Vol 2: 1795] 8°: 273 p. [Vol 3: 1795] 8°: 281 p. [Vol 4: 1796] 8°: 124 p. [Vol 5: 1797] 8°:

Very scarce. First published with title: Viaggi alle due Sicile, it was translated by Jean Senebier [1742-1809].

Bibliographical references: LKG: XVI 567b.

Voyages dans les deux Siciles, 1796

7. French, 1799 [French transl.].
Voyages | Dans Les Deux Siciles | Et Dans | Quelques Parties Des Apennins, | Par Spallanzani, Professeur d'Histoire naturelle | dans l'université de Pavie. | Traduits e l'Italien par G. Toscan, Bibliothécaire | du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle de Paris, | avec des Notes du cit. Faujas-de-St.-Fond. | Tome Premier. [-Tome Sixième.] | [tapered rule] | A Paris, | Chez Maradan, Libraire, rue Pavée-André-des-Arcs, | n°. 16. | An VIII.

6 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: [i]-viij, [1]-311, [1] p., 2 folding plates (Mt. Ætna). [Vol 2] 8°: [4], [1]-280 p., plates 2-5 (folding.; Mt. Ætna). [Vol 3] 8°: [4], [1]-291, [1] p. [Vol 4] 8°: [4], [1]-272 p., plates 6-7. [Vol 5] 8°: [4], [1]-309, [1] p. [Vol 6] 8°: [4], [1]-215, [1] p. Page size: 190 x 118 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Half title page, verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-viij, "Avertissement | Du Traducteur."; [1]-301, Text.; [302], "Errata."; [303]-311, "Table."; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 2 plates.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-272, Text.; [273]-280, "Table Et Sommaires."; [At end], 3 plates.

[Vol 3] [2 pgs], Half title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-276, Text.; [277]-291, "Table Et Sommaires."; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 4] [2 pgs], Half title page, verso "Errata pour le Tome IV."; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-256, Text.; [257]-272, "Table Et Sommaires."; [At end], 2 plates.

[Vol 5] [2 pgs], Half title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-294, Text.; [295]-309, "Table Et Sommaires."; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 6] [2 pgs], Half title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-2, "Avis De L'Auteur."; [3]-206, Text.; [207]-215, "Table Et Sommaires."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. {avec des reflexions generales sur les Volcans par J. Senabier} French translation by G.Toscan and A. Duval, with additions by Faujas St. Fond. Paris: 1796.

8. English, 1798 [English transl.].
Travels in the Two Sicilies, and some parts of the Apennines translated from the original Italian of abbe Lazzaro Spallanzani .... London : G.G. and J. Robinson ..., 1798.

4 vols. 8°: [2, errata], 315, [1]; 389, [1]; 402; 394 p., 11 engraved folding plates. Includes bibliographical references.

Very scarce. This book is of particular interest in the field of vulcanology as it is primarily concerned with the volcanoes of Sicily. "Lazzaro Spallanzani, distinguished eighteenth-century scientist, b. at Scadiano in Modena, Italy, 10 January, 1729; d. at Pavia, 12 February, 1799. His early education was received at the Jesuit College of Reggio. His scientific career began at the University of Bologna under the inspiration of his cousin, Laura Bassi, the famous woman professor of natural philosophy and mathematics. He gave up the study of law and was ordained a priest; at twenty-five he became professor of logic, metaphysics, and Greek in the University of Reggio. His favourite authors were Homer, Demosthenes, and St. Basil, and his work attracted so much attention that he was offered chairs at Coimbra (Portugal), Parma, and Cesena (Italy). He preferred a chair at Modena (1760) and devoted all his spare time to natural science. His work here brought offers of professorships at other Italian universities and from the Academy of St. Petersburg. In 1768, at the personal solicitation of the Empress Maria Theresa, he accepted the chair of natural history in the University of Pavia which was then being reorganized. He greatly enriched the museum here by collections made in journeys in Switzerland and along the Mediterranean. After the death of Vallisneri, whose chair at Padua had been the centre of interest in the natural sciences, Spallanzani was invited to take it, but the Austrian authorities doubled his salary and gave him a long leave of absence for a scientific expedition to Turkey to retain him. His home-coming was an ovation. He continued to make scientific journeys and special studies of Vesuvius and the volcanoes of Sicily and of the Lipari Islands. His contributions to every phase of physical science are valuable, but it was in biology that his work counted for most; his studies in regeneration are still classic."

9. English, 1812.
Travels in the Two Sicilies and some Parts of the Apennines ... Philadelphia, Kimber and Conrad, 1812.

4°: [ii], 272 pp, 3 copper engraved plates. Page size: 26.5 x 22 cm

Very scarce. Originally published in Italian in 1788, this edition was extracted from Pinkerton's General Collection of Voyages and Travels and with the original Pinkerton title page bound in. This edition had been somewhat abridged from the original and with only three plates (of Mount Etna). Cox i, 169: 'The author was a scientist of note, greatly interested in volcanoes and their geology'.

10. German, 1789.
Angestellt physikalische Beobachtungen auf der Insel Cythera, heut zu Tage Cerigo genannt, an den Hrn. Cap. Lorgna. Aus dem Italian. Strasburg, 1789.

8°: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 829.

11. German, 1791.
Abriss einer Reise nach den Phlegr. Gefiflden, dem Aetna und den Aeolischen Inseln. Strasburg, 1791.

8°: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 625.

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