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GALILEI, GALILEO (b. Pisa, Italy, 15 February
1564; d. Arcetri, Italy, 8 January 1642), physics,
rumors discreditable to Galileo, and demonstrable
slanders occur in letters of Georg Fugger, Martin
Horky, and others. Pugnacious rather than belligerent,
he refrained from starting polemic battles but
was ruthless in their prosecution when he answered
an attack at all. His friends included artists and men
of letters as well as mathematicians and scientists;
cardinals as well as rulers; craftsmen as well as
learned men. His enemies included conservative professors,
several priests, most philosophers, and those
scientists who had publicly challenged him and felt
the bite of his sarcasm in return.
Caution and daring both had a place in Galileo's
personality. His reluctance to speak out for the
Copernican system until he had optical evidence
against the rival theories is evidence of scientific
prudence rather than of professorial timidity. Once
convinced by his own eyes and mind, he would not
be swayed even by the advice of well-informed friends
who urged him to proceed with caution. In the writings
he withheld from publication, as in his surviving
notes, many errors and wrong conjectures are to be
found; in his published works, very few. He was as
respectful of authority in religion and politics as he
was contemptuous of it in matters he could investigate
for himself. It is noteworthy that before his Copernican
stand was challenged by an official Church
edict, he had composed and submitted to the authorities
a carefully documented program, based on
positions of Church fathers, that would have obviated
official intervention against his science—a program
that was in fact adopted by a pope nearly three
centuries later as theologically sound.
I. ORIGINAL WORKS.
All works by Galileo and virtually
all known Galilean correspondence and manuscripts are
contained in Le opere di Galileo Galilei, Antonio Favaro,
ed., 20 vols. (Florence, 1890-1909); repr. with some additions
(Florence, 1929-1939; 1965). English translations of
Galileo's principal works are listed below. Following the
translator's name are the English book title, the abbreviated
original title of each work included, and date of first ed.
or approximate date of composition.
T. Salusbury, Mathematical Collections and Translations,
I (London, 1661; repr. 1967), Lettera a Madama Cristina
(ca. 1615) and Dialogo (Florence, 1632); II (London, 1665;
repr. 1967), La bilancetta (ca. 1586); Le meccaniche
1600); Discorso ... intorno alle cose che stanno in su l'acqua
(Florence, 1612); and Discorsi (Leiden, 1638).
T. Weston, Mathematical Discourses Concerning Two New
Sciences (London, 1730; 2nd ed. 1734): Discorsi (Leiden,
E. Carlos, The Sidereal Messenger (London, 1880; repr.
1959): Sidereus nuncius (Venice, 1610).
H. Crew and A. De Salvio, Dialogues Concerning Two
New Sciences (New York, 1914; repr. n.d.): Discorsi
G. de Santillana, ed., Dialogue on the Great World Systems
(Chicago, 1953), the Salusbury trans.: Dialogo
S. Drake, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems (Berkeley, Cal., 1953; rev. 1967): Dialogo
S. Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (New York,
1957): Sidereus nuncius (Venice, 1610); Lettere sulle
macchie solari (Rome, 1613); Lettera a Madama Cristina
(ca. 1615); and Il saggiatore (Rome, 1623).
I. Drabkin and S. Drake, Galileo on Motion and on
Mechanics (Madison, Wis., 1960): De motu (ca. 1590), and
Le meccaniche (ca. 1600).
S. Drake and C. D. O'Malley, The Controversy on the
Comets of 1618 (Philadelphia, 1960): Discorso sulle comete
(Florence, 1619), and Il saggiatore (Rome, 1623).
S. Drake, ed., Galileo on Bodies in Water, (Urbana, Ill.,
1960), the Salusbury trans.: Discorso (Florence, 1612).
L. Fermi and G. Bernadini, Galileo and the Scientific
Revolution (New York, 1961): C. S. Smith, trans., La
bilancetta (ca. 1586).
S. Drake and I. Drabkin, Mechanics in Sixteenth-Century
Italy (Madison, Wis., 1969): Dialogus de motu (ca.
II. SECONDARY LITERATURE.
Nearly 6,000 titles relating
to Galileo are listed in the following bibliographies: Bibliografia
Galileiana, 1568-1895, A. Carli and A. Favaro, eds.
(Rome, 1896); Bibliografia Galileiana, Primo Supplemento,
1896-1940, G. Boffito, ed. (Rome, 1943); “Bibliografia
Galileiana, 1940-1964,” in Galileo, Man of Science, E.
McMullin, ed. (New York, 1967); E. Gentili, Bibliografia
Galileiana fra i due centenari (1942-1964) (Varese, 1966).
Selected biographies are A. Banfi, Galileo Galilei (Milan,
1948); J. Fahie, Galileo: His Life and Works (London,
1903); A. Favaro, Galileo e lo studio di Padova (Florence,
1883), and Galileo Galilei e Suor Maria Celeste (Florence,
1891); K. von Gebler, Galileo Galilei and the Roman
Curia (London, 1879), English trans., Mrs. G. Sturge; L.
Geymonat, Galileo Galilei (Milan, 1957), English trans., S.
Drake (New York, 1965); T. Martin, Galilée (Paris, 1868);
L. Olschki, Galilei und seine Zeit (Halle, 1927; repr., Vaduz,
1965); M. Allen-Olney, The Private Life of Galileo
(London, 1870); P. Paschini, Vita e opere di Galileo Galilei
(Rome, 1965); F. Reusch, Der Process Galilei's und die
Jesuiten (Bonn, 1879); G. de Santillana, The Crime of
Galileo (Chicago, 1955); F. Taylor, Galileo and the Freedom
of Thought (London, 1938); E. Wohlwill, Galilei und sein
Kampf (Hamburg-Leipzig, 1909, 1926).
Fundamental to the study of Galileo's scientific work
are the publications of A. Favaro listed in G. Favaro,
Bibliografia Galileiana di A. Favaro (Venice, 1942); A.
Koyré, Études Galiléennes (Paris, 1939; repr.,
and M. Clavelin, La philosophie naturelle de Galilée (Paris,
Collections of modern Galilean studies include Nel terzo