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Dialogo Di Galileo Galilei Linceo Matematico Sopraordinario Dello Stvdio de Pisa
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Fiorenza: Per Gio Batista Landini, 1632
First edition

Born in Pisa in 1564, Galileo studied medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. In 1592 he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics in Padua. His early research was mainly on motion, particularly of falling bodies, but he became interested in astronomy. He developed a new type of telescope.

Much of Galileo’s early work proved the theories of Copernicus, of which the Roman Catholic Church disapproved, placing an injunction not to hold or defend Copernican doctrine. Galileo ignored the injunction with the publication of Dialogo.

Galileo’s Dialogo is a scientific and philosophical affirmation of the Copernican heliocentric theory over the earth-centered Ptolemaic theory of the solar system. Written in a literary style, Galileo deliberately chose to write this work in vernacular Italian rather than scholarly Latin in order to reach a mass audience. The topic made Galileo a threat to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was this book that brought Galileo before the Inquisition in 1633, where he was forced to recant his views. He was put under permanent house arrest. Dialogo was placed on the Index of prohibited book where it remained until 1835. Publication took place between June 1631 and February 1632.  The first printing numbered 1000 copies of 500 pages. This printing sold out before the end of September when it was banned by the Pope. Illustrated. University of Utah copy edges untrimmed.