Galileo by John L. HeilbronGalileo by John L. Heilbron


byJohn L. Heilbron

Paperback | July 12, 2012

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Just over four hundred years ago, in 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a "hurried little masterpiece" in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope - of the craters of the moon, and thesatellites of Jupiter, observations that forced changes to perceptions of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth - the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the greatest moments in the history of science. It was also a point of change in the life of Galileohimself, propelling him from professor to prophet. But this is not the biography of a mathematician. Certainly he spent the first half of his career as a professor of mathematics and has been called "the divine mathematician". Yet he was no more (or less) a mathematician than he was a musician, artist, writer, philosopher, or gadgeteer. This freshlively new biography of the "father of science" paints a rounded picture of Galileo, and places him firmly within the rich texture of late Renaissance Florence, Pisa, and Padua, amid debates on the merits of Ariosto and Tasso, and the geometry of Dante's Inferno - debates in which the young Galileoplayed an active role. Galileo's character and career followed complex paths, moving from the creative but cautious humanist professor to a "knight errant, quixotic and fearless", with increasing enemies, and leading ultimately and inevitably to a clash with a pope who was a former friend.
Professor John Heilbron of the University of California at Berkeley is one of the most distinguished scholars on the Scientific Revolution. He is the author of Geometry Civilized (OUP, 1998) and The Sun in the Church (Harvard, 1999), on science and religion during the 17th century.
Title:GalileoFormat:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 9.21 × 6.02 × 0 inPublished:July 12, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199655987

ISBN - 13:9780199655984

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from There haven been plenty of developments in recent years in understanding the social background to Galileo's discoveries. This brings things up to date and is the most complete life to date. An enjoyable read, in particular I found the description of the way his musical training influenced his scientific investigations fascinating.
Date published: 2014-02-07

Table of Contents

1. A Florentine Education2. A Tuscan Archimedes3. Life in the Serenissima4. Galilean Science5. Calculated Risks6. Miscalculated Risks7. Vainglory8. End GamesAfterword

Editorial Reviews

"Witty...scholarly...innovative...Heilbron's Galileo is no ordinary eulogy." --Patricia Fara, BBC History, November 2010