Detailed sampling of the Vesuvius lavas erupted in the period A.D. 1631-1944 provides a suite of samples for comprehensive chemical analyses and related studies. Major elements (Si, Ti, Al, Fetotal, Mn, Mg, Ca, Na, K and P), volatile species (Cl, F, S, H2O+, H2O- and CO2), and ferrous iron (Fe2+) were determined for one hundred and forty-nine lavas and five tephra from the A.D. 1631-1944 Vesuvius activity. The lavas represent a relatively homogeneous suite with respect to SiO2, TiO2, FeOtotal, MnO and P2O5, but show systematic variations among MgO, K2O, Na2O, Al2O3 and CaO. The average SiO2 content is 48.0 wt.% and the rocks are classified as tephriphonolites according to their content of alkalis. All of the lavas are silica-undersaturated and are nepheline, leucite, and olivine normative. There is no systematic variation in major-element composition with time, over the period A.D. 1631-1944. The inter-eruption and intra-eruption compositional differences are the same magnitude. The lavas are highly porphyritic with clinopyroxene and leucite as the major phases. Fractionation effects are not reflected in the silica content of the lavas. The variability of MgO, K2O, Na2O, and CaO can be modelled as a relative depletion or accumulation of clinopyroxene. ?? 1993.