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This Day in Astronomy History: Feb. 13, 1633: Church vs. Galileo

Galileo Galilei, who has run afoul of the church for his theories concerning heliocentrism and for insulting his old friend Pope Urban VIII, arrives in Rome to face an ecclesiastical court on charges of committing heresy.
Galileo’s long-running feud with the Roman Catholic Church over whether the Earth revolved around the sun (the Copernican view advocated by Galileo) or the sun around the Earth (the Aristotelian view echoed in the scriptures) seemed amicably resolved by 1632. But that was before the publication of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a book that the pope had allowed to be published as long as his own views on the subject were included.
Galileo included them, but inexplicably (for no malicious intent on the part of Galileo has ever been proven) put Urban’s words into the mouth of his character Simplicius, a defender of Aristotelian geocentrism who was often proved wrong and considered something of a fool. This didn’t go down too well in Rome and Galileo was summoned to face the Inquisition.
He was found guilty and the sentence was severe: He was forced to renounce heliocentrism, Dialogue was banned and Galileo spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. In this last he was lucky: The original sentence called for imprisonment.


Interesting fact about Galileo and heliocentricism: there’s an ongoing historiographical debate regarding whether the Inquisition’s arguably strong reaction to his work was caused primarily by post-Reformation tension within the Church, or by Galileo’s abrasive (to say the LEAST) personality. Most of us, I think, are taught the former in school, but even cursory research will show you that Galileo’s ongoing impudence probably had more to do with it than we might like to think.

Yeah, I’ve been learning this, too.  From what I’ve read, the church was willing to change their minds about heliocentrism if Galileo had mathematical proof, which he did not (yet).  But Galileo was apparently quite an ass to the pope. 

htmlwings:

ikenbot:

This Day in Astronomy History: Feb. 13, 1633: Church vs. Galileo

Galileo Galilei, who has run afoul of the church for his theories concerning heliocentrism and for insulting his old friend Pope Urban VIII, arrives in Rome to face an ecclesiastical court on charges of committing heresy.

Galileo’s long-running feud with the Roman Catholic Church over whether the Earth revolved around the sun (the Copernican view advocated by Galileo) or the sun around the Earth (the Aristotelian view echoed in the scriptures) seemed amicably resolved by 1632. But that was before the publication of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a book that the pope had allowed to be published as long as his own views on the subject were included.

Galileo included them, but inexplicably (for no malicious intent on the part of Galileo has ever been proven) put Urban’s words into the mouth of his character Simplicius, a defender of Aristotelian geocentrism who was often proved wrong and considered something of a fool. This didn’t go down too well in Rome and Galileo was summoned to face the Inquisition.

He was found guilty and the sentence was severe: He was forced to renounce heliocentrism, Dialogue was banned and Galileo spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. In this last he was lucky: The original sentence called for imprisonment.

Interesting fact about Galileo and heliocentricism: there’s an ongoing historiographical debate regarding whether the Inquisition’s arguably strong reaction to his work was caused primarily by post-Reformation tension within the Church, or by Galileo’s abrasive (to say the LEAST) personality. Most of us, I think, are taught the former in school, but even cursory research will show you that Galileo’s ongoing impudence probably had more to do with it than we might like to think.

Yeah, I’ve been learning this, too.  From what I’ve read, the church was willing to change their minds about heliocentrism if Galileo had mathematical proof, which he did not (yet).  But Galileo was apparently quite an ass to the pope. 

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