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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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.

The way to lengthen the day would be to speed up the sun’s proper motion; and to cause the sun to remain above the horizon for some time in one place without declining towards the west, it would be necessary to hasten this motion until it was equal to that of the primum mobile.

Bywith the controversy over the Earth’s motion widespread and increasingly dangerous, Galileo revised this letter and greatly expanded it; this became the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. He stands always upon physical conclusions pertaining to the celestial motions, and deals with them by astronomical and geometrical demonstrations, founded primarily upon sense experiences and very exact observations.

Let us grant then that theology is conversant with the loftiest divine contemplation, and occupies the regal throne among sciences by dignity. These men would perhaps not have fallen into such error had they but paid attention to a most useful doctrine of Lefter. Your Highness may thus see how irregularly those persons proceed who in physical disputes arrange scriptural passages and often those ill-understood by them in the front rank of their arguments.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina – Wikipedia

Be the first to ask a question about Letter to the Tue Duchess Christina. Had the theologians that Galileo addressed in his letter more closely heeded his suggestion to quietude on matters beyond their authority, one imagines that they and the church they represented might have held more respect among the sciences later into history than one finds.

They knew how prejudicial and how contrary to the primary intention of the Catholic Church it would be to use scriptural galileeo for deciding physical conclusions, when either experiments or logical chrostina might in time show the contrary of what the literal sense of the words signifies. The motion of the sun and stability of the earth, they say, is of this sort; hence it is a matter of faith to believe in them, and the contrary view is erroneous.


Galileo discovered something that no one else had ever realized: This approach caused some, including Dominican friar Niccolo Lorini, to complain to the Grsndwhich tried and eventually condemned Galileo of suspicion of heresy.

It is obvious that such authors, not having penetrated the true senses of Scripture, would impose upon others an obligation to subscribe to conclusions that are repugnant to manifest reason and sense, if they had any authority to do so. Remi marked it as to-read Dec 12, To this I wish first to remark that among physical propositions there are some with regard to which all human science and reason cannot supply more than a plausible opinion and a probable conjecture in place of a sure and demonstrated knowledge; for example, whether the stars are animate.

Thus, he argued that the Earth moves grsnd the sun.

Jamie Villamil marked it as to-read Apr 26, These men have by degrees come to be satisfied. Then take any hour of the day, either noon, or any hour as close to evening as you please, and the day would be lengthened and all the celestial revolutions stopped by the sun’s standing chrisstina in the midst of the heavens; that is, in the center, where it resides.

And if on this point it would not have been difficult to convince the common people, and yet the holy scribes forbore to attempt it, then it certainly must appear reasonable that in other and more abstruse propositions they have followed the same policy. Curious to find out how long it took the lamp to swing back and forth, he used his pulse to time large and small swings. And to prohibit the whole science would be but to censure a hundred passages of holy Scripture which teach us that the glory and greatness of Almighty God are marvelously discerned in all his works and divinely read in the open book of heaven.

Paul of Burgos ca. 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. If scripture should ever appear to be in disagreement 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.


This page was last edited on 15 Juneat Carrie added it Mar 01, And the motion or rest of the earth and the sun is so closely linked with the things just named, that without a determination of the one, neither side can be taken in the other matters.

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. He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before granr eyes and minds by direct lettter or necessary demonstrations. There are men who, in defense of propositions which they do not understand, apply—and in a way commit—some text of the Bible, and then proceed to magnify their original error by adducing other passages that are even less understood than the first.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina

Log In Sign Up. To carry out such a decision it would lerter necessary not only to prohibit the book of Copernicus and the writings of other authors who follow the same opinion, but to ban the whole science of astronomy. Galileo adopts an Augustinian perspective, while also marginalizing it later.

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 during this dialogue.