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Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius


Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Galileo's trial by the Inquisition is one of the most dramatic incidents in the history of science and religion. Today, we tend to see this event in black and white--Galileo all white, the Church all black. Galileo in Rome presents a much more nuanced account of Galileo's relationship with Rome.

The book offers a fascinating account of the six trips Galileo made to Rome, from his first visit at age 23, as an unemployed mathematician, to his final fateful journey to face the Inquisition. The authors reveal why the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, set forth in Galileo's Dialogue, stirred a hornet's nest of theological issues, and they argue that, despite these issues, the Church might have accepted Copernicus if there had been solid proof. More interesting, they show how Galileo dug his own grave. To get the imprimatur, he brought political pressure to bear on the Roman Censor. He disobeyed a Church order not to teach the heliocentric theory. And he had a character named Simplicio (which in Italian sounds like simpleton) raise the same objections to heliocentrism that the Pope had raised with Galileo. The authors show that throughout the trial, until the final sentence and abjuration, the Church treated Galileo with great deference, and once he was declared guilty commuted his sentence to house arrest.

Here then is a unique look at the life of Galileo as well as a strikingly different view of an event that has come to epitomize the Church's supposed antagonism toward science.


Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]) and index.


New research shows the true reason why Galileo was condemned by the Church in Rome.

About the Author

William R. Shea holds the "Galileo Chair" of the History of Science at the University of Padua, in Italy. He is Past President of both the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and the International Academy of the History of Science, and is currently Chairman of the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 25 books, including Galileo's Intellectual Revolution and The Magic of Numbers and Motion: The Scientific Career of Rene Descartes.

Mariano Artigas is Professor of Philosophy of Science and was Dean of the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain. He holds a Ph.D. both in physics and philosophy, is an ordained Catholic priest, and has written 14 books, including The Mind of the Universe, which won a Templeton Award.

Product Details

The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius
Shea, William
null, Mariano
Shea, William R.
Artigas, Mariano
iano Artigas
null, William R.
Oxford University Press
Science & Technology
History, Other | History of Science
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
41 halftones
6.1 x 9.3 x 1 in 1.144 lb

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Physics » Biographies and Classics

Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195165982 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]) and index.
"Synopsis" by , New research shows the true reason why Galileo was condemned by the Church in Rome.
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