The Legacy of Galileo

  • Neil English
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


It is undoubtedly true that while there may have been a number of observers who had employed the telescope before Galileo, it is to him that we habitually turn to as the great pioneer of early telescopic astronomy. Galileo Galilei was born in the city of Pisa to his parents, father Vincenzo and mother Giulia Galilei, on February 15, 1564. A once independent city-state, Pisa had by now come under the administration of the so-called Florentine Diaspora of Tuscany and flourished throughout the Renaissance. The city enjoyed great wealth as a magnate for some of the richest merchants and bankers of the day. And as a university town, Pisa had also attracted some of the finest minds in Europe from the realms of art, architecture, theology, medicine and the natural sciences. Indeed, the other northern Italian cities, including Milan, Florence, Bologna, Venice and Genoa, enjoyed more or less equal status as self-governing city-states – much like the classical period of ancient Greece, but ruled by a curious assortment of dukes, kings, and prince bishoprics (Fig. 2.1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUK

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