Riflessioni sopra alcuni punti di un nuovo sistema de' Vasi assorbenti ed Esperienze sulla Elettricità Animale lette nell'Accademia di Scienze, Lettere, ed Arti di Padova [...]

Autore: CALDANI, Floriano (1772-1836)

Tipografo: Nella Stamperia Penada

Dati tipografici: Padova, 1792


In 8vo (mm. 209x148). Pp. [16, di cui le prime 2 bianche], 182, [2: errata]. Cartonato coevo arancione con titolo manoscritto al dorso. Etichetta al frontespizio. Piccola macchia a p. 131, ma bellissima copia intonsa in parte ancora a fogli chiusi.

 

PRIMA EDIZIONE. Tra il 1791 e il 1792 L. Galvani pubblicò il De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius, opera capitale che segna l'inizio dell'elettrodinamica e dell'elettrofisiologia.

“In the Spring of 1792 the picture of the controversy looked very different in Italy from that which it was to have some months later when Volta renounced animal electricity. At this moment Pavia, like Bologna, seemed the true fortress of galvanism. On the contrary Padua was the city where the galvanian theory met the strongest criticism. Indeed at the University of Padua there was a very active group of hallerian anatomists and physiologists. They were Leopoldo and his nephew Floriano Caldani, Stefano Gallini, Giuseppe Olivi and Simone Stratico. In hallerian physiology, muscular movements were produced by an internal force which was specific to muscular fibre: a mechanical force, different from life and from the nervous system, and which operated beyond consciousness. Perhaps Leopoldo Caldani did not repeat the galvanian experiments himself. But since his nephew worked with him at the University of Padua, he encouraged him to do this. So Floriano Caldani repeated the galvanian experiments with Gallini and Stratico, and in 1792 he published the results in a paper entitled Experiments on Animal Electricity. It was the official reply of the hallerians to Galvani. Floriano Caldani stated that, after the experiments with the metallic arc, nobody could question the existence of electricity in the animal; but there were many doubts that it was animal electricity. Nevertheless, this ‘really new' discovery was not doomed to produce in physiology and in medicine the ‘total revolution' produced by the hallerian theory. Floriano Caldani did not deny the existence of a physical electricity in living bodies, but he did not attribute to it any physiological function. He considered physical electricity only a stimulus which exited ‘the irritability of the muscular fibre' ” (W. Bernardi, The Controversy on Animal Electricity in Eighteenth-Century Italy: Galvani, Volta and Others, in: “Nuova Voltiana, Studies on Volta and his time”, vol. 1, a cura di F. Bevilacqua e L. Fregonese, Milano, 2000, pp. 108-109).

Floriano Caldani, medico bolognese, fu nipote del celebre Marco Antonio Caldani, con il quale collaborò alla realizzazione del famoso atlante anatomico Icones anatomicae, stampato a Venezia fra il 1801 e il 1814. Visse ed insegnò a Padova (cfr. Cenni biografici degli Accademici defonti, in: “Nuovi Saggi della Cesarea-Regia Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti di Padova”, Ivi, 1840, V, 34r).

 

F. Rossetti-G. Cantoni, Bibliografia italiana di elettricità e magnetismo, Padova, 1881, p. 24; Wheatland Collection, p. 43; M. Pera, La rana ambigua, Torino, 1986, p. 194; F. Ronalds, Catalogue of books and papers relating to electricity, magnetism, etc. including the Ronalds Library, London, 1880, p. 93.


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