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Authors: Guidoboni, E. 
Title: Vesuvius: A historical approach to the 1631 eruption "cold data" from the analysis of three contemporary treatises
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report no.: /178 (2008)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.09.020
Keywords: historical volcanology
1631 eruption chronology
Subject Classification05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
Abstract: The 1631 Vesuvius eruption is one of its best known and most studied of its type. However, the historical approach performed within the framework of the Exploris project highlighted new evidence from previously unused or unknown historical sources. These consist of three treatises that were contemporary to the event; although written in Latin, they have been fully translated and analysed. To guarantee systematic use and open access to the large amount of information they contain, they have been provided as a small database. These treatises have provided new information on phenomena that preceded and accompanied the eruption of 1631, making possible the formation of a complex chronological profile, starting from around 6 months before the eruption. The anthropic impact is also outlined. The method applied has produced a chronology of “cold data”, which are not interpreted from the volcanological standpoint, but only derived directly from the analysed history and sequence of the texts. The analysis of the three treatises has not, however, solved all of the problems connected with the detailed knowledge of the event in 1631. Indeed, problems of two kinds persist: a) linguistic correspondence between the volcanological terms of today and those used in the texts; b) the lack of precision of the measures indicated. Here, the main results obtained from this analysis method are presented, along with a discussion of their limitations and some new perspectives.
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