Galileo - At Odds with Authorities

Galileo thought that being attached to the court in Florence was best for him, but his friends warned that he wouldn’t be as safe there as he was in Tuscany.  Their worries were well-founded.

Although the Medici family had close ties to Rome, they also had concerns.  They did not wish to support anyone who ran afoul of the Church’s position on various matters.

Thinking all would be well in Florence, Galileo left his mistress and son behind - in Venice - and brought his daughter Virginia, and her younger sister, to the Convent of San Mateo (outside Florence).  Since Virginia and her sister were illegitimate, it would have been difficult - at that time, in Italy - for them to marry.  Knowing this, Galileo placed them in the convent.
Over the next many years, Virginia corresponded with her father.  Many of her letters survive; none of Galileo’s letters still exist.

Virginia’s letters show that she was very interested in her father’s work.  She wondered whether Venus revolves around the Sun and inquired whether her father noticed that with his telescope.  In fact, Galileo shared the same beliefs as Copernicus on the point. 

Despite his wisdom, on other levels, Galileo badly misjudged his opposition.  Soon he would stand trial for the positions he was taking.

See, also:


Media Credits

Clip from "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens," a NOVA Production by Green Umbrella, LTD for WGBH/Boston (in association with Channel 4).  Copyright 2002 - WGBH Educational Foundation, all rights reserved. Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the 2002 program. Online, courtesy NOVA and YouTube.

Transcript of entire program online, courtesy NOVA.

Written and Produced by:
David Axelrod

Directed by:
Peter Jones

Narrated by:

Liev Schreiber

Simon Callow - Galileo
Laura Nardi - Maria Celeste
John Fraser - the Inquisitor
Alexa Jago - Voice of Maria Celeste
Cornelius Garrett - Voices of the Ambassador and Castelli





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"Galileo - At Odds with Authorities" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 16, 2019.
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