Galileo - "Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems"

When a new Pope was elected in Rome - Urban VIII - Galileo believed his ideas would finally be accepted.  Not only did Galileo know him, the two men were friends.  Surely, this member of the Barbairi family would permit Galileo to continue his work and publish his findings?

The Pope decided that as long as Galileo wrote hypothetically - posing questions and debating the issues - he would allow further study and publications.  Now 60 years old, Galileo was thrilled.  His book - which he wrote in Italian, not Latin - would entertain and persuade.  He would formulate his theories in a dialogue between three different people.

From her letters, it appears that Maria Celeste helped her father with his manuscript (which took five years to complete).  Galileo made a terrible mistake, however.  He put the words of the Pope in the mouth of a simpleton.  Soon Galileo was in trouble for his latest publication.

Published on Christmas Eve, in 1629, the Dialogue is a rhetorical masterpiece.  The discussions center on whether the Sun or the Earth is at the center of the universe.  The censor, in Florentine, approved publication - then disaster descended on that city.  In 1630, the plague struck all of Tuscany. 

As people throughout the area died, and various areas were quarantined, Galileo lost touch with Rome.  Maria Celeste, and her fellow nuns, were isolated in their convent and escaped the ravages of this round of plague. 

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, v 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 - "Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems"" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 20, 2019.
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