Galileo Galilei
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Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)

Galileo Galilei
Born in Pisa, Toscana, Italiamap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Died in Arcetri, Firenze, Firenze, Toscana, Italiamap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Sep 2011
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Galileo Galilei is notable.
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Galileo was an Italian scientist and scholar.

He was born in Pisa in 1564. His father was the musician Vincenzo Galilei. Galileo initially had little interest in science and instead studied medicine at the University of Pisa. However after he apparently observed the swaying of chandeliers in Pisa Cathedral (from which he got the idea that a pendulum could be used to make a clock), and accidentally overheard a geometry lesson, he became fascinated with science and mathematics. He gave up on medicine and switched to science and maths in university.

He went on to become professor of mathematics at Padua University. Here he made an important disvovery-that all solid objects fall at the same speed. There is a myth that he dropped objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to prove his point.

He built an improved telescope with a magnification of 32. He was the first to use a telescope to study the skies. He spotted the mountains and craters on the moon, sunspots on the surface of the sun and saw the four moons around Jupiter. Galileo also used his telescope to prove Copernicus's theory that the sun was the centre of the universe.

The Catholic Church supported the ideas of Greek writer Ptolemy, which stated the sun was the centre of the universe. They were threatened by Galileo and warned him against spreading his ideas. However he did not listen and published a book on his findings. He was summoned before the Inquisition in Rome and forced to deny his beliefs under threat of torture.

Galileoi's mistress Marina Gamba (1570 – 21 August 1612?) bore him two daughters, (Maria Celeste (Virginia, 1600–1634) and Livia (1601–1659), both of whom became nuns), and a son, Vincenzo (1606–1649), a lutenist musician.

Galileo was sentenced to house arrest in his home in Florence by the Inquisition and spent the last eight years of his life there. He went blind in 1637 but continued working up until his death in 1642. He is hailed as "the father of modern science".



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Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei

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Random, related non-trolling question for more experienced members of the wikitree community... how do we handle nationality, anachronistically?

It catches my eye that we're calling Galileo "Italian" (as does his wikipedia page by the way) when no country, or self-described nationality of that name existed in his lifetime.

I realize this is a slippery slope but I'm curious what the best practice is here. It seems like the answer is probably related to what we do when somebody's place of birth or death was in a city that's changed hands since, or in a political entity that no longer exists i.e. for example, I dunno, hypothetically, would we say a Seleucid was born/died in Syria, for the sake of simplicity? Probably. But would we call them Syrian, no that would be wrong.


posted by Isaac Taylor
Hello folks. Why does this profile for Galileo mention his three children in the bio, but only model one of them-- and not his son, who fathered his descendants?
posted by Isaac Taylor
Galileo Galilei is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables
posted by Doug Lockwood
Is this If so, profile should be open, birth/death dates/locations entered, and a picture added. Thanks.
posted by Bob Fields