1592Galileo Galilei, professor of mathematics at the
University of Pisa, drops two spheres of different masses from the Leaning
Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their
time of descent is
independent of their mass.
This disproves the theory of gravity
according to Aristotle which states objects fall at speed proportional to their
Galileo Galilei comes to the
attention of the Inquisition for the first time for his Copernican views.
Dominican friar, Niccolo Lorini,
who had earlier criticized Galileo's view in private conversations, files a
written complaint with the Inquisition against Galileo's Copernican views.
Galileo subsequently writes a long letter defending his views to
Monsignor Piero Dini, a well connected
official in the Vatican, he then writes his Letter to the Grand Duchess
Christina arguing for freedom of inquiry and travels to Rome to defend his
A committee of consultants
declares to the Inquisition that the propositions that
the Sun is the center of the universe and
that the Earth has an annual
motion are absurd in
philosophy, at least erroneous in
theology, and formally a heresy.
On orders of the Pope
Paul V, Cardinal Bellarmine calls Galileo to his residence and administers
a warning not to hold or defend the Copernican theory.
forbidden to discuss Copernican theory orally or in writing.
Galileo meets repeatedly with his (at that time)
friend and patron Pope
Urban VIII, he is allowed to write about the Copernican theory as long as
he treated it as a mathematical hypothesis.
A complaint against Galileo's publication The Assayer is lodged
at the Inquisition by a person unknown.
The complaint charges that the atomistic theory
embraced in this book cannot be reconciled with the official church doctrine
regarding the Eucharist,
in which bread and wine are
"transubstantiated'' into Christ's flesh and blood.
investigation by the Inquisition, Galileo is exonerated.
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems, in which the Ptolemaic and Copernican
models are discussed and compared, is cleared (conditionally) to be published
by the Vatican.
Pope Urban VIII,
convinced by the arguments of various Church officials, stops the distribution
of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
The case is
referred to the Inquisition and Galileo is summoned to Rome despite his
Galileo is ordered to
stand trial on suspicion of heresy, "for holding as true the false doctrine
taught by some that the sun is the center of reality".
interrogated and threatened with physical torture.
June 22, 1633
found guilty of heresy, and the sentence
of the Inquisition is in three parts:
is found "vehemently suspect of heresy,"
namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center
of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one
may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been
declared contrary to
He was required to "abjure, curse, and detest" those
2) He is sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of
On the following day this is commuted to house arrest,
in which he remains under for the rest of his life.
3) His offending
Dialogue is banned; and in an action not announced at the trial,
publication of any of his works is forbidden, including any he might write in
Galileo's work advocating
on the Index of banned books until 1758.
His sentence prohibited him
from "teaching, defending or discussing"
In Germany, the works of
Johannes Kepler are also
banned by papal order.
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