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Etna A History of the Mountain and of its Eruptions   By:

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ETNA.

[Illustration: View of Etna from Catania]

ETNA

A HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAIN AND OF ITS ERUPTIONS.

BY

G. F. RODWELL,

SCIENCE MASTER IN MARLBOROUGH COLLEGE.

WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

[Illustration]

LONDON

C. KEGAN PAUL & CO., 1, PATERNOSTER SQUARE

1878

[ The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved. ]

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK

TO

MY MOTHER.

PREFACE.

While preparing an account of MOUNT ETNA for the Encyclopædia Britannica, I was surprised to find that there exists no single work in the English language devoted to the history of the most famous volcano in the world. I was consequently induced to considerably enlarge the Encyclopædia article, and the following pages are the result. The facts recorded have been collected from various sources German, French, Italian, and English, and from my own observations made during the summer of 1877. I desire to express my indebtedness to Mr. Frank Rutley, of H.M. Geological Survey, for his careful examination of the lavas which were collected during my ascent of the mountain, and for the account which he has written of them; also to Mr. John Murray for permission to copy figures from Lyell's "Principles of Geology." My thanks are also due to Mr. George Dennis, H.M. Consul General in Sicily; Mr. Robert O. Franck, Vice Consul in Catania; and to Prof. Orazio Silvestri, for information with which they have severally supplied me.

G. F. RODWELL.

MARLBOROUGH,

September 6th, 1878.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAIN. 1

Position. Name. Mention of Etna by early writers. Pindar. Æschylus. Thucydides. Virgil. Strabo. Lucretius. Lucilius Junior. Etna the home of early myths. Cardinal Bembo. Fazzello. Filoteo. Early Maps of the Mountain. Hamilton. Houel. Brydone. Ferrara. Recupero. Captain Smyth. Gemellaro; his Map of Etna. Elie de Beaumont. Abich. Hoffmann. Von Waltershausen's Atlas des Aetna . Lyell. Map of the Italian Stato Maggiore. Carlo Gemellaro. Orazio Silvestri.

CHAPTER II.

PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE MOUNTAIN. 26

Height. Radius of Vision from the summit. Boundaries. Area. Population. General aspect of Etna. The Val del Bove. Minor Cones. Caverns. Position and extent of the three Regions. Regione Coltivata. Regione Selvosa. Regione Deserta. Botanical Regions. Divisions of Rafinesque Schmaltz, and of Presl. Animal life in the upper Regions.

CHAPTER III.

ASCENT OF THE MOUNTAIN. 43

The most suitable time for ascending Etna. The Ascent commenced. Nicolosi. Etna mules. Night journey through the upper Regions of the mountain. Brilliancy of the Stars. Proposed Observatory on Etna. The Casa Inglesi. Summit of the Great Crater. Sunrise from the summit. The Crater. Descent from the Mountain. Effects of Refraction. Fatigue of the Ascent.

CHAPTER IV.

TOWNS SITUATED ON THE MOUNTAIN. 62

Paterno. Ste. Maria di Licodia. The site of the ancient town of Aetna. Biancavilla. Aderno. Sicilian Inns. Adranum. Bronte. Randazzo. Mascali. Giarre. Aci Reale. Its position. The Scogli de'Ciclopi. Catania, its early history, and present condition.

CHAPTER V.

ERUPTIONS OF THE MOUNTAIN. 79

Their frequency within the historical period. 525 B.C. 477 B.C. 426 B.C. 396 B.C. 140 B.C. 134 B.C. 126 B.C. 122 B.C. 49 B.C. 43 B.C. 38 B.C. 32 B.C. 40 A.D. 72. 253. 420. 812. 1169. 1181. 1285. 1329. 1333. 1371. 1408. 1444. 1446. 1447. Close of the Fifteenth Century... Continue reading book >>




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