Galileo Galilei - When the World Stood Still

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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 23, 2006 - Mathematics - 221 pages
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"I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years ...kneeling before you Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals ...I abjure, curse, detest the aforesaid errors and heresies."

Galileo Galilei in Rome, 22 June 1633, before the men of the Inquisition.

In the small village of Arcetri, on a wooded hillside just south of Florence, an old man sat writing his will. He had to make a journey to Rome and wanted to be prepared for every eventuality. If the plague did not get him on the road, the strain of travelling might finish him off; in addition he had been ill most of the autumn, with dizziness, stomach pains and a serious hernia. And even if he survived these difficulties, and the cold winter wind from the Apennines did not give him pneumonia, he had no idea what awaited him in Rome, only that his arrival was unlikely to be celebrated with a special mass.

The mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei is one of the most famous scientists of all times. The story of his life and times, of his epoch-making experiments and discoveries, of his stubbornness and pride, of his patrons in the house of Medici, of his enemies and friends in their struggle for truth - all is brought vividly to life in this book. Atle Nęss has written a gripping account of one of the great figures in European history.
He was awarded the Brage Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in Norway.

 

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Contents

A Journey to Rome
2
Signs in the Sky
23
A New World 51
50
Friendship and Power
77
Deaths and Omens
103
The Inquisitions Chambers 139
138
Eternity
177
Epilogue
197
Postscript
203
Sources
213
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About the author (2006)

The author was born in 1949. He studied language and literature at Oslo University and worked for some years as a teacher at various levels before becoming an independent writer of novels and non-fiction. Among his books is a novel about the Italian painter Caravaggio, translated into English under the title "Doubting Thomas" [in German as "Caravaggio's Flucht"]. His biography of Galileo won the Brage Award for best Norwegian non-fiction book in 2001. Nęss' most recent work is a biography of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.

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