The Trial of Galileo
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General Background & Resources:

  • The Galileo Project**** [Albert van Helden, Rice Univ.]
    includes photos and biographies of key persons, images relating to astronomical arguments, more.

    16th-17th c. Texts:

  • Galileo's Dialog Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632). We are using the Stillman Drake translation. The e-text here is abridged for Day 2 (missing are pp. 126-265 from our edition) -- but it is helpful for word searches.
  • Galileo's Siderius Nuncius [Starry Messenger] (1610) [see Reserve books below]
  • Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess Cristina of Tuscany [R. Halsall, Fordham Univ.]
  • Documents from the 1616 Inquisition proceedings -- including the "injunction" and the "certificate," and the statement of the Index banning Copernicanism
  • Letter by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine to Paolo Foscarini (1615) [R. Halsall, Fordham Univ.]
  • Biblical passages cited as contrary to Copernicanism [St. Cloud State Univ.]
  • Nicholas of Cusa On Learned Ignorance
  • See also Finnochiaro's The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History [see Reserve books below]

    Alternative Astronomical Perspectives

  • Overview for self-tutoring**** [Robert Hatch, Univ. of Florida]
  • Boulliau's Conical Hypothesis (1645) [Robert Hatch, Univ. of Florida]
    Galileo's Drawings
  • moon surface, Jupiter's moons, sunspots, phases of Venus, rings of Saturn, etc.


  • Biagioli, Mario. Galileo, Courtier. Chicago, IL: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1993.
  • Blackwell, Richard J. Galileo, Bellarmine and the Bible University of Noter Dame Press, 1991.
  • Blackwell, Richard J. 2006. Behind the scenes at Galileoís trial : including the first English translation of Melchior Inchoferís Tractatus syllepticus. University of Notre Dame Press, 2006.
  • Burke, John. Science and Culture in the Western Tradition. Scottsdale, AZ: Gorsuch Scarisbrick, 1987.
  • Campanella, Tommaso. A defense of Galileo, the mathematician from Florence, which is an inquiry as to whether the philosophical view advocated by Galileo is in agreement with, or is opposed to, the Sacred Scriptures. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Pr., 1994.
  • Cartwright, David Edgar. Tides: A Scientific History. New York: Cambridge Univ. Pr, 1999.
  • G.V. Coyne, M. Heller, and J. Zycinski (eds.). The Galileo Affair: A Meeting of Faith and Science. Specola Vaticana, 1985.
  • Crowe, Michael. Theories of the World from Antiquity to the Copernican Revolution. Dover, 1990.
  • Fantoli, Annibale. Galileo: For Copernicanism and the Church, Vatican Press, 1994.
  • Feldhay, Riuka. Galileo and the Church. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995.
  • Finocchiaro, Maurice. The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 1989.
  • Finocchiaro, Maurice (ed). Galileo on the World Systems. Univ. of California Press, 1997.
  • Galileo Galilei, Dialog Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), trans. by Stillman Drake. Berkeley: University of California Press (1953).
  • Galileo Galilei, Dialog Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), trans. by Stillman Drake. Berkeley: University of California Press (1967).
  • Galileo Galilei, Starry Messenger [Siderius Nuncius] (1610), trans. by A. van Helden. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1989.
  • Galileo Galilei, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans. by Stillman Drake. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957. [includes The Assayer].
  • Gatti, Hilary. Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.
  • Grant, Edward. God in the Middle Ages Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001.
  • Heilbron, John. The Sun in the Church. Harvard University Press, 1999.
  • Kuhn, Thomas S. The Copernican Revolution. MJF Books, 1985.
  • Machamer, Peter (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. Univ. of Cambridge Press, 1998.
  • McMullin, Ernan. The Church and Galileo. Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2005.
  • Moss, Jean Dietz. Novelties in the Heavens: Rhetoric and Science in the Copernican Controversy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1993.
  • Moss, Jean Dietz and William A. Wallace. Rhetoric and Dialectic in the Time of Galileo. Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America Press, 2003.
  • De Santillana, Giorgio. The Crime of Galileo. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1955.
  • Shea, William R. and Mariano Artigas. Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Sobel, Dava. Galileo's Daughter. Penquin, 2000.
  • Westfall, Richard. Essays on the Trial of Galileo. Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1989.
  • Yates, Frances. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. 193.B83 DY27.

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    last revised Jan. 4, 2008