Brocchi, Giovanni Battista
BROCCHI, GIOVANNI BATTISTA, a celebrated Italian mineralogist and geologist, was born at Bassano, in February 1772. Ho studied at the university of Pisa, where his attention was especially turned to mineralogy and botany. In 1802 he was appointed professor of botany in the new Lyceum of Brescia ; but he more particularly devoted himself to geological researches in the numerous excursions he made into the adjacent districts. The fruits of these labours appeared in different publications, particularly in his Treatise on the Iron Mines in the department of Melia ; and his Essay on the Physical Constitution of the Metalliferous Mountains of the Valley of Trompia, which appeared in 1807. His valuable researches procured him, in the following year, the office of inspector of mines in the recently established kingdom of Italy, which enabled him to extend his investigations over a great part of Central and Southern Italy, as well as its northern districts. In 1811 he produced a valuable memoir On the Mtiteralogy of the Valley of Fassa and the Tyrol, but his most important work is the great Geologic Fossile Subapennina con Osservazioni Geologiche sidle Apennini, e sul Snob Adjacente, 2 vols. 4to, Milan, 1811, containing most accurate details of the structure of the Apennine range, and an account of the fossils of their strata. These subjects were further illustrated by his valuable geognostic map and his Catalog° raqionato di nun Rceccolt-s di Rocche, disposto con, ordine Geografico, per servire d'lllustrazione della Carta Geognostica dell' Italia, Milan, 1817. work, Dello Stato 1'v:sic° del Sudo di Roma, with its accompanying map, is admirable for accuracy and judgment. In it he has corrected the erroneous views of Breislak, who conceived that the Eternal City occupies the site of a volcano, to which he ascribed the tufa and other volcanic materials that cover the seven hills. Brocchi, on the other hand, has satisfactorily shown that they are derived either from Mont Albano, an extinct volcano, 12 miles from Rome, or from Mont Cimnini, still further to the north of the city. Indeed he has shown that the streams or beds of tufa may be traced almost uninterruptedly from that mountain to Rome. Several minor papers by him, on other mineralogical subjects, appeared in the Biblioteca lialiana from 1816 to 1823. In the latter year Brocchi sailed for Egypt, and engaged with his usual ardour in exploring the geology of that country and its mineral resources, every facility being granted by Mehemet Ali, who in 1825 appointed Brocchi one of a commission to examine and organize his conquest of Sennaar, but the naturalist, unfortunately for science, fell a victim to the climate, at Khartum, in September 1826.