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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It is sufficiently obvious that to attribute motion to the sun and rest to the earth was therefore necessary lest the shallow minds of the common people should become confused, obstinate, and contumacious in yielding assent to the principal articles that are absolutely matters of faith.
Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany |
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. As to the other point, if we consider the primary aim of the Bible, I do not think that its having always spoken in the same sense need disturb this rule. I forbear to speak of those of my own profession who, attaining a knowledge of the holy Scriptures after mundane learning, tickle the ears of the people with affected and studied expressions, and declare that everything they say is to be taken as the law of God.
Either the Fathers reflected upon this conclusion as controversial, or they did not; if not, then they cannot have decided anything about it even in their own minds, and their incognizance of it does not oblige us to accept teaching which they never imposed, even in intention.
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 find interpretations for them which would agree very well, and especially if they would add some knowledge to astronomical science to their knowledge of divinity.
Such is the opinion grqnd the holiest and most learned Fathers, and in St.
When that happens, it was not holy Scripture that ever affirmed it, but human ignorance that imagined it. I think I have, very good reason for saying this. I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree: They know also that I support this position not only chriistina refuting the arguments of Duhess and Aristotle, but by producing many counter-arguments; in particular, some which relate to physical effects whose causes can perhaps be assigned in no other way.
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One should not wonder that everyone conspires to damn him. Let Your Highness note further how circumspectly this chrisyina proceeds before affirming any interpretation of Scripture to be certain and secure from all disturbing difficulties. People who are unable to understand perfectly both the Bible and the sciences far outnumber those who do understand. And then they might judge that it is fitting for the holy Church to tell that God placed letteer sun in the center of heaven, and that by rotating it like a wheel gave to the moon and the other wandering stars their appointed courses, when she sings the hymn:.
And thus at the end of his letter of dedication, addressing the pope, he said: Skye Nosbisch rated it it was amazing Mar 22, These they apply, with little judgment, to the refutation of arguments that they ti not understand and have not even listened to.
Indeed, some theologians have but now begun to consider it, and they are not seen to deem it erroneous. The letter includes a direct paragraph duchews which Galileo wrote:. He also discovered that Mercury and Venus revolve around the sun, and may have developed a system christona to that of Tycho. Considering the force exerted by logical deductions, they may ascertain that it is not in the power of the professors of demonstrative sciences to change their opinions at will and apply themselves first to one side and then to the grans.
Cajetan 42 is of this opinion, to which Magellan 43 subscribes, confirming it with the remark that Joshua had already done too many things that day before commanding the sun to stand still for him to have done them in half a day.
Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
But if they chriistina reflected upon and considered it, and if they judged it to be erroneous, then they would long ago have condemned it; and this they are not found to have done. Tina Laskowski added it Jan 28, Hence it should not seem strange to the ingenious if people of that sort should in turn deride me.
But mathematics is written for mathematicians, by whom, if I am not deceived, these labors of mine will be recognized as contributing something to their domain, as also to that of the Church over which Your Holiness now reigns. None of these, I think, will say that geometry, astronomy, music, and medicine are much more excellently contained in the Bible than they are in the books of Archimedes, Ptolemy, Boethius, and Galen.
If it is moved, they say, how is it a firmament? But acquiring the highest authority in this way, if she does not descend to the lower and humbler speculations of the subordinate sciences and has no regard for them because they are not concerned with blessedness, then her professors should not arrogate to themselves the authority to gallileo on controversies in professions which they have neither studied nor practiced.
Galileo starts the letter with a little flattery of the Grand Duchess. Next we come to the proposition that agreement on the part of the Fathers, when they all accept a physical proposition from the Bible in the same sense, must give that sense authority to chrlstina a degree that belief in it becomes ducgess matter of faith.
Walter Adam marked it as to-read Nov 14, De Motu Antiquiorapub. Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition. Whereas his critics took the stopping of the sun to mean that sun halts its orbit around the Earth, Galileo interpreted it with a different astronomical viewpoint. In addition, he quotes St. About the time Galileo arrived at FlorenceSizzi departed for Franco, where he came into association with some good mathematicians.
Since The Grand Duchess was a person of high authority but did not have much knowledge in the field of astronomy he was able to write the letter in a way the common person is able to understand. First, those who can tell them the meaning of holy Scripture and how they ought to live their lives; and second, those who can accurately account for the true causes of physical phenomena and tell them how things are in nature.
That the title and authority of queen belongs to theology in the first sense, I think will not be affirmed by theologians who have any skill in the other sciences.
When printed, the book was accepted by the holy Church, and it has been read and studied by everyone without the faintest hint of any objection ever being conceived against its doctrines. Possibly because they are disturbed by the known truth of other propositions of mine which differ from those commonly held, and therefore mistrusting their defense so long as they confine themselves to the field of philosophy, these men have resolved to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out of the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible.