Document Detail

The Lido as Venice's refuse tip: Dalmatian sheep and the 1819 elephant.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15307245     Owner:  HMD     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Lido of Venice is an island twelve kilometers long and between a hundred and one thousand meters wide. The citizans of Venice and many turists can't imagine today, what Lido was some centuries ago Initially totally sandy, it was fertilized by means of a continuous supply of Venice's garbage (the "scoasse"). In addition to the "scoasse", damaged foodstuffs and the waste of the vegetable market were also sent to the Lido. Other fertilisers originated from the dung of the cattle and sheep arriving by ship from Dalmatia, which were landed on the Lido, where they could pasture before slaughter to regain weight lost during their voyage. The sheep dung, especially, was important for the proto-industrial production of saltpetre, a material of the greatest strategic importance, like uranium at the present time. Saltpetre is the most important component of gun powder, which was the only explosive known up to the second half of 19th century. There were plans to establish an "artificial nitriary" in the Lido, making use of the garbage and of the animal waste. In all probability, the most bulky item ever buried in the Lido is the corpse of an enraged elephant, which escaped from its cage on the Riva degli Schiavoni where it was performing during the 1819 carnival, and was killed by a cannon shot in a church where it took refuge. The original title of the paper, published in Italian is: V. Giormani, II Lido di Venezia "scoassera" della città. I montoni dalmati e l'elefante del 1819, in Atti del III Convegno nazionale di storia della medicina veterinaria, Lastra a Signa (Firenze), 23-24 settembre 2000, a cura di Alba Veggetti, Brescia, 2001, pp. 333-339. Other information has been added in order to facilitate non-italians readers and articles appearing after the publication of the Proceedings of the Third National Congress for the History of Veterinary Medicine, Lastra a Signa, (Florence), Italy, have also been used. I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Mary Moors for the translation from Italian and for editorial assistance in the production of this article.
Virgilio Giormani
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Historia medicinae veterinariae     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0105-1423     ISO Abbreviation:  Hist Med Vet     Publication Date:  2004  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-12     Completed Date:  2004-09-13     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7700207     Medline TA:  Hist Med Vet     Country:  Denmark    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3-12     Citation Subset:  Q    
Professor em. of Heterocyclic Chemistry, University of Padua - Via Francesco Morosini 14, Lido - I-30126 VENICE.
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MeSH Terms
History, 19th Century
History, Early Modern 1451-1600
Sanitation / history*
Urban Health / history*
Reg. No./Substance:

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