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LORENZO MASCHERONI E ALESSANDRO VOLTA: UN DIALOGO TRA SCIENZA E POESIA

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<title> SUMMARY </title>This essay analyses the scientific relationship between two of the most significant figures of the scientific enlightenment in Lombardy: the Abbot Lorenzo Mascheroni, noted mathematician and exceptional poet, and Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery. Special attention is paid to the debate and subsequent controversy on the thesis, put forward by Luigi Galvani in the De viribus electricitatis in motu muscolari (1792), on the existence of a type of electricity peculiar to living beings. The subject of the present study, however, is not so much the controversy between Galvani and Volta, as the way in which it was perceived and represented by Mascheroni in the famous poem in blank verse, the Invito a Lesbia Cidonia of 1793. Through a careful reconstruction of the debate carried out before the publication of the Invito, whose significant editorial phases are examined, we show how Mascheroni transforms the terms of the controversy into powerful and allusive poetic verse, without however hiding his own attraction for the way in which Volta calls into doubt Galvani's interpretation of the experiments on frogs.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Pavia Il presente lavoro è frutto di una ricerca comune e compiuta in stretta collaborazione. Nel- la stesura, il § 1 è stato scritto da Gianni Bonera, mentre i 5§ 2, 3, 4, 5 e 6 da Franco Giudice.; 2: Università di Pavia

10.1163/221058703X00066
/content/journals/10.1163/221058703x00066
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2016-12-03

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