Volcanoes have contributed in large part to the formation of the Earth’s crust and atmosphere–and are intimately tied to the history of humanity. The most ancient civilizations of Europe have preserved the imprint of these spectacular and often terrifying phenomena. The explosion of Santorini, some 3600 years ago in the Aegean, undoubtedly inspired the Greek fables of Atlantis, the eruptons of Etna (Sicily) are the origin of the image of the forges of Cyclops and other myths, and the concept of Hades was linked to numerous volcanoes in the Mediterranean. Italy was the birthplace of the science of volcanology, and the Atlantic (Iceland and the Azores) volcanoes have given unrivalled opportunity for the study of volcanic islands recently formed. This book, both reference and guide, presents the causes, initiation, and growth of these volcanoes against a background of their environmental aspects and contemporary activity. Special attention is given to the impact on the people who live on or around them. The volcanoes of and volcanic activity in the Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic, and France and Germany are described in clear prose with a minimum of technical jargon. A glossary of volcanic terms used in the local languages is included, and the book is well illustrated with black and white photographs and maps, and an 8-page color insert.