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Galileo Book and Paul Brunton Talk attracts crowd at Forbes Library

By November 5, 2009No Comments

More than 30 people attended Forbes Library recently to be among the first Australians to see a rare book by Galileo and hear Senior Curator Paul Brunton talk the book purchased by the State Library of NSW. Galileo was a mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who lived in Italy from 1564 to 1642. He is also regarded as the father of modern science for his improvements to the telescope and astronomical observations. The rare Galileo book is titled Dialogo dei massimi sistemi [Dialogue on the two chief world systems], Galileo's celebrated defence of the Copernican system, published in Florence in 1632. By casting Pope Urban VIII as the simple-minded Aristotelian Simplicius in the book, Galileo brought upon himself arrest, trial by the Inquisition and life imprisonment. The sentence was commuted to permanent house arrest, while the printing of any of his works was forbidden. Paul Brunton spoke about the origins of the book, how it was purchased and went into detail about Galileo's life. Surprisingly Galileo was not a rich man, despite his genius.
Pictured above is: Barbara Cowled, Maud Morris and Glad Johnson from Jemalong Retirement Village, with Senior Curator of the State Library of NSW Mr Paul Brunton, at the talk and rare book display.
Pictured below is the front of the book showing Aristotle, Ptolemy and Copernicus – note the candle burn on the side.