Analysis Of Galileo, Courtier, By Mario Biagioli

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Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier: The practice of science in the culture of absolutism pp. xi-402, Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. Who was Galileo? Throughout history there have been several different depictions of Galileo: the scientist, the heretic and now, finally, the courtier. In the prologue Biagioli states that his aim is to interpret Galileo’s evolution from mathematician to “new philosopher” within the structure of early court patronage. Biagiolis approach is a ‘detailed, sometimes microscopic, study of the structures of his daily activities and concerns and to show how these framed his scientific discoveries.’ Clearly, this means that everything that Galileo undertook cannot be included in this four hundred-page book. But does this dismiss Biagioli from removing certain aspects of Galileo’s career from this book? …show more content…

The first section treats Galileo at the Florentine court and the second section analyzes the interaction with the Roman court and the papal prince. The description of court life is so illustrative and comprehensive that after a while, the reader has a sense of being there. The chapters are generally chronologically structured, with a changing geographical focus. Galileo, Courtier analyzes Galileo’s career at court, starting with the emergence of patronage network in 1610 and his strategies in the early university phase of his career, ending with the famous “fall from grace” in 1633. The 1610-1633 time period sets this book apart from other books about Galileo, that instead provide a full chronological study of Galileo’s

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