Discovery of Galileo’s long-lost letter

From the newly-discovered copy of Galileo's 1613 letter to Castelli.
From the newly-discovered copy of Galileo’s 1613 letter to Castelli.
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This September 2018 article in Nature by Alison Abbott discusses how a newly-rediscovered document “shows that the astronomer toned down the claims that triggered science history’s most infamous battle — then lied about his edits”.  The document in question is apparently the original version of a letter Galileo wrote in 1613 to his friend, Fr. Benedetto Castelli.  This letter would eventually (in 1615) be the basis of a complaint filed against Galileo with the Inquisition—a complaint that would eventually lead the Inquisition to consider and reject the Copernican theory in 1616.  Galileo at the time complained that the version of the letter that was filed with the Inquisition was an altered version—altered to sound more inflammatory.  He produced a different version, with less inflammatory language, claiming it to be the original one.  This new discovery seems to indicate that Galileo lied about this.

Click here to access this article via Nature‘s web page.

Click here for a PDF version of the published article, courtesy of Nature.

 

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