Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 4: Astronomical Works, that is, all that Appertains to the Copernican System, and to the Project on Longitudes, Volume 1, Astronomy


This codex contains important manuscripts in which Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) defended the Copernican theory that the Earth moves around the sun, which he had confirmed by observation with the telescope he had designed, which offered greatly enhanced magnification compared to older telescopes. The principal documents in the volume are letters, dating from 1614-15, to his friend and student Benedetto Castelli, to the Jesuit priest Piero Dini, and to the grand duchess of Tuscany, Christina of Lorraine. In each of these letters, Galileo discussed the relationship between scientific theory and the Bible. He argued that neither the Bible nor nature could speak falsely, but that theologians should not interfere in purely scientific questions. In his letter to Castelli, Galileo demonstrated his approach to scripture by arguing that the Bible was not intended to be an exact description of reality but was conceived as moral teaching. He also held that the ancient texts of the Bible attributed many anthropomorphic characteristics to the divinity. Proceeding from this basis, Galileo argued that the famous passage in the Bible in which Joshua asked God to stop the sun in order to prolong the day represented a metaphorical rather than a literal truth.

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Opere Astronomiche, cioe tuttocio che appartiene at Sistema Copernicano, e al Progetto sulle Longitudini, Tomo 1, Astronomia


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Last updated: September 18, 2015