Galileo Galilei, professor of mathematics at the
University of Pisa, drops two spheres of different masses from the Leaning
Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their
time of descent is
independent of their mass.
This disproves the theory of gravity
according to Aristotle which states objects fall at speed proportional to their
Galileo Galilei comes to the
attention of the Inquisition for the first time for his Copernican views.
Dominican friar, Niccolo Lorini,
who has criticized
Galileo's view in private conversations, files a written complaint with the
Inquisition against Galileo's Copernican views.
writes a long letter defending his views to Monsignor Piero Dini,
a well connected official in the
Vatican, he then writes his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina arguing
for freedom of inquiry and travels to Rome to defend his ideas
A committee of consultants declares to the
Inquisition the proposition the Sun is the
center of the universe and the
Earth has an annual motion is
absurd in philosophy,
at least erroneous in theology, and
formally a heresy.
orders of the Pope Paul V,
Cardinal Bellarmine calls Galileo to his residence and administers a warning
not to hold or defend the Copernican theory.
Galileo is forbidden to
discuss Copernican theory.
Galileo meets repeatedly
with his patron Pope Urban
VIII, he is allowed to write about the Copernican theory as long as he
treats it as a mathematical hypothesis.
A complaint against Galileo's publication The Assayer is lodged
at the Inquisition by a person unknown.
The complaint charges atomistic theory embraced
in this book cannot be reconciled with official church doctrine regarding the
Eucharist, in which bread
and wine are "transubstantiated'' into Christ's flesh and blood.
the Inquisition investigation Galileo is exonerated.
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems, in which the Ptolemaic and Copernican
models are discussed and compared, is cleared (conditionally) to be published
by the Vatican.
Pope Urban VIII,
convinced by the arguments of
various Church officials, stops the distribution of Dialogue Concerning the
Two Chief World Systems.
The case is referred to the Inquisition and
Galileo is summoned to Rome despite his infirmities.
Galileo is ordered to stand trial on suspicion of
heresy, "for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the sun is
the center of reality".
Galileo is interrogated and threatened with
Galileo is found guilty of heresy, and the sentence of the Inquisition is
in three parts:
1) Galileo is found "vehemently suspect of heresy:"
Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe;
the Earth is not at
the center of the universe and moves;
one may hold and defend an opinion
as probable after it has been
to Holy Scripture.
He is required to "abjure, curse, detest" these
2) He is sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of
On the following day this is commuted to house arrest,
in which he remains under for the rest of his life.
3) His offending
Dialogue is banned; and in an action not announced at the trial,
publication of any of his works is forbidden, including any he might write in
Galileo's work advocating
on the Index of banned books until 1758.
His sentence prohibited him
from "teaching, defending or discussing" Copernicanism.
In Germany, the
works of Johannes Kepler
are also banned by papal order.
"The distance and size of the
celestial bodies can be found by determining the size of their eccentric and
epicyclic circles relative to the radius of the
Earth can be projected onto a plane map using geometrical techniques;
localities can be plotted on a standard grid of latitude and longitude
Problems in plane
and spherical trigonometry can be solved with the help of a table of the chords
subtending the arcs from 0° to 90°.
The data derived from
experiments can be
represented by mathematical
equations and can be presented in tabular form." -
Ptolemy I Soter
"Contemplate all the events in the sky; how
the lights in the sky do not change their courses, how each rises and sets in
order, each at its proper time, and they do not transgress their law." -
Book of Enoch
| "Motion is relative.
The Earth is not the
Center of the Universe.
The Sun, the
and Stars revolve not
around the Earth; the Earth is a planet, revolving around the Sun, as do the
The apparent "loops" that the
planets make in their motions across the heavens are not real motions; they are
mere appearances, caused by our position
on the Earth and motion around the sun relative to the other planets.
The appearance of heavens
rotation about the Earth is due to the fact that we are on the surface and
the Earth is rotating about its axis once every twenty four hours." - Nicholas
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