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Behind the Scenes at Galileo's Trial: Including the First English Translation of Melchior Inchofer's Tractatus syllepticus

Richard J. Blackwell

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0268022011 / ISBN 13: 9780268022013
Published by University of Notre Dame Press, 2006
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Behind the Scenes at Galileo's Trial: ...

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition - may be Reissue.

About this title


Blackwell (emeritus, philosophy, Saint Louis U.) justifies this addition to the vast literature on the 17th century trial of Galileo by noting that Inchofer's judgment against Galileo's Dialogue remained largely unknown in English because his Tractatus Syllepticus had not been translated until now. Translations of two other Latin works, one by a noted Jesuit astronomer, shed further light on the Church's case and why Galileo eventually confessed that his assertion that the Earth orbits the sun was heresy. The author's books include Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible (1991) and a translation of A Defense of Galileo, the Mathematician from Florence (1994). Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

From the Back Cover:

"Embedded here is a real jewel: Blackwell's powerfully illuminating and sobering portrayal of Galileo's fraught relations with the Jesuit astronomer Christopher Scheiner. I know of no other account that shows with such clarity the theological constraints that bound the Catholic protagonists in the infamous 'Galileo affair' and how behind the scenes these constraints evolved and hardened." —Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

"An original contribution to Galilean studies, Richard J. Blackwell's Behind the Scenes at Galileo's Trial is both an in-depth study of the trial and a careful and enlightening examination of the roles played by that understudied figure, Melchior Inchofer, and the famed Jesuit astronomer, Christopher Scheiner, in Galileo's condemnation. It is also a boon to have here English translations of Inchofer's Tractatus syllepticus and Jesuit works, including an excerpt from Scheiner's Prodromus." —Irving Kelter, University of St. Thomas, Houston

"This book is not the usual kind of Galileo fare. Blackwell makes no attempt to tell the whole story, but meticulously and judiciously analyzes background events, texts, and personalities in ways that illuminate and clarify the course and outcome of Galileo's campaign on behalf of heliocentrism and the trial with which it ended. Appendices include relevant texts in translation, as well as Jesuit procedural rules that played a central role in the drama. This is an outstanding contribution to Galileo scholarship." —David C. Lindberg, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin

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