Bellardi, Luigi

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Bellardi, Luigi

(b. Genoa, Italy, 18 May 1818; d. Turin. Italy, 17 September 1889).

paleontology, entomology.

Although a native of Genoa, Bellardi spent most of his life in Turin, where, following the wishes of his family, he studied law. Since his early youth, however, the natural sciences had attracted him; and in his leisure time he collected the Cenozoic Mollusca abundant in the hills around Turin, Superga, Asti, and Tortona. At the age of twenty he published his first paper on the gastroped genus Borsonia, and from that time on, his major scientific activity concentrated on the Cenozoic Mollusca of the Piedmont and of Liguria. He also visited the Middle East, particularly Egypt, bringing back extensive collections for comparative study.

Between 1854 and 1874 a variety of circumstances prevented Bellardi from dedicating himself entirely to paleontology, and he therefore undertook entomological research, mostly on the diptera of the Piedmont. He also took some interest in botany and agriculture, being the first in Italy to discuss the phylloxera and its relationship to viticulture.

Upon the introduction of evolutionary ideas into paleontology, Bellardi immediately understood their fundamental importance, and his last works show the relationships between the different forms of Mollusca, and their probable filiation through geological time During the last twenty years of his life he returned entirely to paleontology, but never completed his extensive and important I molluschi, which is characterized by perfectionism in presentation and content. With a similar attitude, he taught natural history for thirty years at the Liceo Gioberti and was curator of the paleontological collection of the Royal Geological Museum of Turin, to which he made many contributions. His desire to increase interest in natural history led him to write several elementary textbooks, also characterized by clarity of expression and precision of data.

Bellardi was elected an honorary member of many academies and scientific societies, and King Victor Emmanuel requested him to teach the natural sciences to his sons, an assignment that Bellardi particularly enjoyed.


Among Bellardi’s works are “Saggio orittografico sulla classe dei gasteropodi fossili dei terreni Terziarii del Piemonte,” in Memorie della Reggia Accademia delle scienze di Torini, 2nd ser., 3 (1841), 93–174, written with G. Michelotti; “Description des cancellaires fossiles des terrains Tertiaires du Piémont,” ibid., 225–264; “Monografia delle pleurotome fossili del Piemonte,” lbid., 9 (1848),531–650;“Monografia delle columbelle fossili del Piemonte,” ibid., 10 (1849),225–247; “Monografia delle mitre fossili del Piemonte,” ibid., 11 (1851), 357ndash;390: and I molluschi dei terreni Terziarii del Piemonte e della Liguria. 30 vols. (Turin, 1873–1904), I-V by Bellardi and VI-XXX by F. Sacco—I-VIII, XI, and XIII also in Memorie della Reggia Accademia della scienze di Torino, 2nd ser., 27–44 (1873–1894).

Albert V. Carozzi

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Bellardi, Luigi

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