Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany. (). (abridged) by Galileo Galilei. To the Most Serene Grand Duchess Mother: Some years ago, as Your. In , Galileo wrote a letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany in order to show how one could argue for the heliocentric system. “Contrary to the sense of the Bible and the intention of the holy Fathers they would have us altogether abandon reason and the evidence of.

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Galileo’s family was informed that their son was in danger of flunking out. When printed, the book was accepted by the holy Church, and it has been read and studied by everyone without the faintest hint of any objection ever being conceived against its doctrines.

And just as if the motion of the heart should ldtter in an animal, all other motions of its members would also cease, so if the rotation of the sun were to stop, the rotations of all the planets would stop too. Nathan Chan rated it really liked it May 09, In it Sizzi had reported, though rather cryptically, upon some French observations concerning sunspots, and it was probably this which led Galileo to his knowledge of the tilt of the sun’s axis.

He attempted to manipulate the Duchess by attempting to attain her sympathy by mentioning the unfair attacks made against his honor. Not only contradictions and propositions far from true might thus be made to appear in the Duhess, but even grave heresies and follies.

Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

The law of the pendulum, which would eventually be used to regulate clocks, made Galileo instantly famous. In addition there are astronomical arguments derived from many things in my new celestial discoveries that plainly confute the Ptolemaic system while admirably agreeing with and confirming the contrary hypothesis. Akiva Rube rated it really liked it Apr 11, A part of its motion was imagined to be transmitted to each inner sphere, sweeping along the fixed stars and the planets which included the sun and moon at nearly its own speed.

I should pay no more attention to them than to those who previously contradicted me—at whom I always laugh, being assured of the eventual outcome—were it not that in their new calumnies and persecutions I perceive that they do not stop at proving themselves more learned than I am a claim which I scarcely contestbut go so far as to cast against me imputations of crimes which must be, and are, more abhorrent to me than death itself.

Possibly because they are disturbed by the known truth of other propositions of mine which differ from those commonly held, and therefore mistrusting their defense so long as they confine themselves to the field of philosophy, these men have resolved to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out of the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible.

This was not exactly what father had in mind, so Galileo was hastily withdrawn from the monastery. Want to Read saving…. Such men fail to realize that it is not always profitable to do everything that lies within one’s power.

Sizzi was broken on the wheel in for writing a pamphlet against the king of France. Galileo argued that the Copernican theory was not just a mathematical calculating tool, but a physical reality. God forbid that this sort of abuse should gain countenance and authority, for then in a short time it would be necessary to proscribe all the contemplative sciences.


Galileo’s father was hardly overjoyed about this turn of events, since a mathematician’s earning power was roughly around that of a musician, but it seemed that this might yet allow Galileo to successfully complete his college education.

The inherent motion of the other spheres was supposed to be eastward at much slower rates. Be the first to ask a question about Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. William rated it really liked it Nov 18, The first concerns those writings which were published against the existence of the Medicean planets recently discovered by me, in which many passages of holy Granf were cited. Giunti-Barbera,vol.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina by Galileo Galilei

This doctrine is so widespread and so definite with all theologians that it would be superfluous to adduce evidence for it. Council decrees are indeed in agreement christima the holy Fathers in these matters, as may be seen from the fact that they abstain from enjoining us to receive physical conclusions as matters of faith, and from censuring the opposite opinions as erroneous.

None of these, I think, will say that geometry, christinaa, music, and medicine are much more excellently contained in the Bible than they are in the books of Archimedes, Ptolemy, Boethius, and Galen.

The sun, then, being the font of light and the source of motion, when God gslileo that at Joshua’s command the whole system of the world should rest and should remain for many hours in the same state, it sufficed to make the sun stand still. Hence let whatever I reply be addressed not to them, but to whoever may have held such opinions. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design.

Published September 6th by Charles River Editors.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina

On the contrary, having arrived at any certainties in physics, we ought to utilize these as the most appropriate aids in the true exposition of the Bible and in the investigation of those meanings which are necessarily contained therein, for these must be concordant with demonstrated truths.

Hence even if the stability of heaven and the motion of the earth should be more than certain in the minds of the wise, it would still be necessary to assert the contrary for the preservation of belief among the all-too-numerous vulgar. Here are his words: If scripture should ever appear to be in vrand with scientific fact in such a manner, then we are allowed — nay, we must infer that the scripture in question was intentionally worded incorrectly so that it could be grasped by the simplistic minds of the people to whom it was revealed.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. These will unquestionably accord with the physical conclusions which manifest sense and necessary demonstrations have previously made certain to us. We should have no doubt that, as a believing and loyal Cbristina, Galileo would not have been criticizing the church or any of the Holy Fathers.

The extent to which truly wise and prudent Fathers are offended by such men is declared by the same saint in the following terms: After dinner ended, Castelli was called back to answer scriptural arguments against the motion of the Earth from Christina. The monk took on the role of theologian in response, and convinced everyone there except the Duchess whom he thought was arguing mainly to hear his answers and Boscaglia who said nothing ducchess this dialogue.


To carry letteer such a decision it would be necessary not only to prohibit the book of Copernicus and the writings of other authors who follow the same duches, but to ban the whole science of astronomy.

But one need not on that account take the christjna popular assent as an argument for the truth of what is stated; for if we should examine these very men concerning their reasons for what they believe, and on the other hand listen to the experiences and proofs which induce a few others to believe the gdand, we should find the latter to be persuaded by very sound arguments, and the former by simple appearances and vain or ridiculous impressions.

It therefore seems very clear to me that if we were to accept the Ptolemaic system it would be necessary to interpret the words in some sense different from their strict meaning. But things stand otherwise. Persisting in their original resolve to destroy me and everything mine by any means they can think of, these men are aware of my views in astronomy and philosophy.

Inat the age of 17, he entered the University of Pisa to stu Galileo Galilei needs no formal introduction, being one of the most famous astronomers and scientists in history. Before this could be done they would have to be taught how to make one mental faculty command another, and the inferior powers the superior, so that the imagination and the will might be forced to believe the opposite of what the intellect understands. Others, led on by pride, weigh heavy words and philosophize amongst women concerning holy Scripture.

The Letter to Mary Christine of Lorrain is a small, precious treatise of biblical exegesis, based on St. Hence it would probably be wise and useful counsel if, beyond articles which concern salvation and the establishment of our Faith, against the stability of which there is no danger whatever that any valid and effective doctrine can ever arise, men would not aggregate further articles unnecessarily, And it would certainly be preposterous to introduce them at the request of persons who, besides not being known to speak by inspiration of divine grace, are clearly seen to lack that understanding which is necessary in order to comprehend, let alone discuss, the demonstrations by which such conclusions are supported in the subtler sciences.

Fathers, and in the supreme authority of those who cannot fail to order matters properly under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. In the course of conversation at the dinner Cosimo Boscagliaa professor of philosophyargued that the motion of the Earth could not be true, being contrary to the Bible. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill suited to their purposes.