The researchers of the DisComPoSE project took part in the first congress of the Italian Society of Environmental History (SISAM) dedicated to Environmental History in Italy: Methods and Research Paths held in Catania on 22nd-24th September.
On the 23rd Matteo Lazzari and Yasmina Ben Yessef presented their work within the panel coordinated by Gennaro Varriale (University of Valencia) and entitled Disaster Management in the 17th century.
As chair of the session, Varriale began by explaining the objectives of the panel: to analyse how the societies of the Ancien Régime dealt with natural disasters and how they communicated and disseminated the news of such events. Varriale focused on some of the sources useful for the analysis of these aspects (private and official correspondence, images, public documents, etc.) and stressed the importance of these sources in the research of the speakers who participated in the panel.
Yasmina Ben Yessef presented her research on Natural disasters as driving forces of knowledge in Hispanic America (17thcentury) by illustrating a case study on a storm at the Matecumbe Cay (Florida) in 1622, which caused the sinking of two galleons of the fleet of the Tierra Firme of the Hispanic Monarchy. By using various sources, Ben Yessef emphasized the processes of circulation of scientific knowledge between the Mediterranean and Hispanic America to highlight the role of the latter in the processes of the configuration of empirical knowledge in the Early Modern Age.
In his speech The Mexican volcano Popocatepetl in Bologna at the end of the sixteenth century, Matteo Lazzari stressed the importance of the sources of the archive of the naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi for the knowledge of the American continent.
Lazzari highlighted the interest of Aldrovandi in the volcanological phenomenon and demonstrated the impact of his research on other sources of that time, such as the Codex Pomar de Valencia, through an analysis of a volcano-shaped matrix – most likely the Mexican Popocatepetl – preserved in the archive in Bologna.