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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If in order to banish the opinion in question from the world it were sufficient to stop the mouth of a single man—as perhaps those men persuade themselves who, measuring the minds of others by their own, think it impossible that this doctrine should be able to continue to find adherents—then that would be very easily done.

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 chrristina who, besides not being known to speak grandd 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.

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Stephen Cranney rated it really liked it Jun 06, As to other scriptural passages which seem to be contrary to this opinion, I have no doubt that if the opinion itself were known to be true and proven, those very theologians who, so long as they deem it false, hold these passages to be incapable of harmonious exposition with it, would hhe interpretations for them which would agree very well, and especially if they would add some knowledge to astronomical science to their knowledge of divinity.

Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science”.

Thus grave divines have actually held that the sun was near setting, and indeed the words themselves seem letfer say so; Sun, stand thou still, stand thou still. My goal is this alone; that if, among errors that may abound in these considerations of a subject remote from my profession, there is anything that may be serviceable to the holy Church in making a decision concerning the Copernican system, it may be taken and utilized as seems best to the superiors.

On Galileo’s Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina | Mavaddat Javid –

Skip to main content. And if the context of his words prove that he did not intend this truth, the one that he did intend will not thereby be false, but most true, and still more profitable for us to know.


Galileo replied with a long letter giving his position on the relation between science and Scripture. Then we would indeed be seen to have contended not for the sense of divine Scripture, but for our own ideas by wanting something of ours to be the sense of Scripture when we should rather want the meaning of Scripture to be ours. To these men I reply that it would require many subtle and profound reasonings to find out which of these things is actually so; but to undertake this and discuss it is consistent neither with my leisure nor with the duty of those whom I desire to instruct in essential matters more directly conducing to their salvation and to the benefit of the holy Church.

And indeed Joshua did intend the whole system of celestial spheres to stand still, as may be deduced from his simultaneous command to the moon, which had nothing to do with lengthening the day. Jaime marked it as to-read Sep 15, This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Augustine we find the following words: He believed that the earth rotated on its axis, but not that it moved around the sun.

The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors—as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. Eishersaroya added it Jan 22, 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 Scripture were cited.

If it is moved, they say, how is it a firmament? And in this manner, by the stopping of the sun, without altering or in the least disturbing the other aspects and mutual positions of the stars, the day could be lengthened on earth—which agrees exquisitely with the literal sense of the sacred text.

Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Hence they have had no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the new doctrine from their very pulpits with unwonted confidence, thus doing impious and inconsiderate lettwr not only to that doctrine and its followers but to all mathematics and mathematicians in general. Yet now that manifest experiences and necessary proofs have shown them to be well grounded, persons exist who would strip the author of his reward without so much as looking at his book, and add the shame of having him pronounced a heretic.

But one need not on that account take the common 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 contrary, we should find the latter to be persuaded by very sound arguments, and the former by simple appearances and vain or ridiculous impressions.

Of this mathematician nothing is known beyond the fact that some of the ancients credited him instead of Philolaus with the astronomy which came to be associated with the Pythagoreans in general. Can an opinion be heretical and yet have no concern with the salvation of souls?


Augustine opines that we are not to be concerned lest the Bible contradict astronomers; we are to believe its authority if what they say is false and is founded only on the conjectures of gwlileo humanity. Possibly it was this consideration that first moved Dionysius the Areopagite to say that in this miracle it was the primum mobile that stood still, and that when this halted, all the celestial spheres stopped as a consequence —an opinion held by St.

If it stands still, how do these stars which are held fixed in it go round from east to west, the more northerly performing shorter circuits near the pole, so that heaven if there is another pole unknown to us may seem to revolve upon some axis, or if there is no other pole may be thought to move as a discus?

Can the Holy Ghost be asserted not to have intended teaching us something that does concern our salvation? I might also name other mathematicians 24 who, moved by my latest discoveries, have confessed it necessary to alter the previously accepted system of the world, as this is simply unable to subsist chriatina longer.

The circumspection of this saint indeed deserves admiration and imitation, when even in obscure conclusions of which we surely can have no knowledge through human proofs he shows great reserve in determining what is to be believed.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Bishop of Avila referred to was Alfonso Tostadoand the reference is to his twenty-second and twenty-fourth questions on the tenth chapter of Joshua.

In order to facilitate their designs, they seek so far as possible at least among the common people to make this opinion seem new and to belong to me alone. For let no one believe that reading the lofty concepts written in that book leads to nothing further than the mere seeing of the splendor of the sun and the stars and their rising and setting, which is as far as the eyes of brutes and of the vulgar can penetrate.

Refresh and try again. Carrie added it Mar 01, And Seneca, 18 a most eminent philosopher, advises us in his book on comets that we should more diligently seek to ascertain whether it is in the sky or in the earth that the diurnal rotation resides.

But if what they say is proved by unquestionable arguments, this holy Father does not say that the astronomers are to be ordered to dissolve their proofs and declare their own conclusions to be false. It is thus, for example, that the rules for measuring fields and keeping accounts are much more excellently contained in arithmetic and in the geometry of Euclid than in the practices of surveyors and accountants.