Advertisement

Crafting Early Modern Readers: Galileo and His Interlocutors

  • Crystal Hall
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science book series (PAHALISC)

Abstract

The question of how to read a book preoccupied Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) at all levels of his encounters with print volumes, and likely manuscripts. This can be seen in his patient assembly of commentaries on Petrarch’s poetry, his marginal annotations in various books, his prose criticisms written in flyleaves, or the line-by-line critique of Horatio Grassi’s Astronomical and Philosophical Balance (1618) in his own Assayer (1623). In the Sidereal Messenger (1610) Galileo was particularly concerned with reading at the moment of observing and contextualizing the stars and new satellites seen around Jupiter with the telescope. One of the notes in the flyleaf of Galileo’s copy of On the Phenomena on the Lunar Orb (1612) by Giulio Cesare LaGalla (1576–1624) provides a frame through which to understand the later characterization of reading in Galileo’s final published works: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) and Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Concerning Two New Sciences (1638). According to Galileo’s outline of intellectual methodology as found in this lengthy annotation, the important first step in philosophy is to select good models from which to learn how to read and reason. Galileo’s note on LaGalla’s faults begins with a general presentation of philosophical apprenticeship and foreshadows his famous later presentation of nature as a geometrical book:

Keywords

Reading Practice Black Bile Educational Dialogue Intellectual Journey Modern Book 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Accademici della Crusca. 1612. Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca. Florence. http://vocabolario.sns.it. Accessed 11 Jan. 2016.
  2. Altieri Biagi, Maria Luisa. 1990. L’avventura della Mente. Naples: Morano.Google Scholar
  3. Altieri Biagi, Maria Luisa, and Bruno Basile, 1980 eds. Scienziati del Seicento. Milan/Naples: Ricciardi.Google Scholar
  4. Baron, Hans. 1959. The querelle of the ancients and the moderns as a problem for Renaissance scholarship. Journal of the History of Ideas 20: 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biagioli, Mario. 2007. Galileo’s instruments of credit: Telescopes, images, secrecy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bozzi, Paolo. 1992. Dalla parte di Simplicio. In Galileo Galilei e la Cultura Veneziana. Atti del Convegno di Studio Promosso nell’ambito delle Celebrazioni Galileiane indette dall’Universita’ degli Studi di Padova (1592–1992) Venezia, 18–20 giugno 1992, 313–316. Venice: Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti.Google Scholar
  7. Cox, Virginia. 2008. The Renaissance dialogue: Literary dialogue in its social and poitical contexts, Castiglione to Galileo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Craik, Katharine A. 2007. Reading sensations in early modern England. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dear, Peter. 2006. The meanings of experience. In The Cambridge history of science: 3, Early modern science, ed. Katharine Park, and Lorraine Daston, 106–131. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Drake, Stillman. 1978. Galileo at work: His scientific biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Galilei, Galileo. 1890–1909. Le Opere di Galileo Galilei. Edizione Nazionale sotto gli Auspici di Sua Maestà il Re d’Italia, eds Antonio Favaro and Isidoro del Lungo. G. Barbèra: Florence; Reprinted 1929–1939, 1963–1966.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 1974. Two new sciences. Ed. and trans. Stillman Drake. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 1997. On the world systems. A new abridged translation and guide. Ed. and trans. Maurice A. Finocchiaro. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2001. Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems. Ed. and trans. Stillman Drake. Foreword by Albert Einstein. Introduction by J.L. Heilbron. New York: The Modern Library.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2002. In Dialogo Sopra i due Massimi Sistemi del Mondo, ed. Libero Sosio. Turin: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  16. ———. 2008. The essential Galileo. Ed. and trans. Maurice A. Finocchiaro. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2009. In Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, ed. Antonio Beltrán Marí. Milan: radiciBUR.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2012. Selected writings. Trans. William R. Shea and Mark Davie. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Grafton, Anthony. 1997. Commerce with the classics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. ———. 1999. The humanist as reader. In A history of reading in the West, ed. Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier. Trans. Lydia G. Cochrane, 179–212. Amherst: University of Amherst Press.Google Scholar
  21. Grafton, Anthony, and Lisa Jardine. 1990. Studied for action: How Gabriel Harvey read his Livy. Past and Present 129(1): 30–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johns, Adrian. 2000. Nature of the book: Print and knowledge in the making. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kallendorf, Craig. 2007. The Virgilian tradition. Book history and the history of reading in early modern Europe. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  24. Lincoln, Evelyn. 2014. Brilliant discourse: Pictures and readers in early modern Rome. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Paster, Gail Kern. 2004. Humoring the body. Emotions and the Shakespearean stage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Peterson, Mark. 2013. Galileo’s muse. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ruben, Patricia Lee. 1995. Giorgio Vasari: Art and history. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Spiller, Elizabeth. 2011. Reading and the history of race in the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ———. 2013. Marlowe’s libraries. In Christopher Marlowe in context, ed. Emily C. Bartels, and Emma Smith, 101–109. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Wilding, Nick. 2014. Galileo’s idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the politics of knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crystal Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Bowdoin CollegeBrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations