Art. V. [Review of Travels in the Ottoman Empire, by Guillaume A Olivier]
[Alexander Hamilton] *
Exploration, Government, Natural History, Entomology, Amusement, Hydrography, Population, Epidemiology, Climatology, Medical Treatment, Vulcanology, Geology
Observes that Guillaume A Olivier's journey was commissioned amidst 'the horrors of the revolutionary crisis in France', purportedly to collect information primarily on 'Commerce, agriculture, natural history, general physics, geography, the medical art, and even our political relations with Turkey' (44). Concludes from Olivier's established reputation as an entomological author that this purported intent was not a mere pretence to cover 'purposes of more questionable tendancy' (44). In his narrative Olivier explicitly eschews amusing anecdotes and descriptions. Discusses Olivier's account of recent hydrographical work carried out at the request of the Institut Nationale. Discusses Olivier's account of the consequences of polygamy on population size. Observes that 'canine madness is totally unknown in the east', and discusses the analogy developed by Olivier between 'that disorder and the plague, neither of which, he thinks, can be spontaneously generated or communicated by the atmosphere' (51). Discusses Olivier's suggested treatment for the plague. Observes of the island of Delos that, while 'every where schistose or granitical, it exhibits no trace of volcano; "nothing that can explain, by the laws of physics, the wonders which the Greeks have transmitted to us respecting it"' (57–58). Repeats Olivier's descriptions of the geology of some of the other Greek islands.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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