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Culture

THE CALLIGRAPHY OF GALILEO HID ONE OF HIS LETTERS DURING 250 YEARS

London / The difficulty in reading the calligraphy of Galileo Galilei could lead to a dating error which has kept hidden for close to 250 years a key letter to understand its inquisitorial process, told EFE Anna Marie Roos, director from the magazine of the British Royal Society Notes and Records.

The missive, misplaced in the library of the scientific institution for more than two centuries, reveals how the astronomer tried to qualify some of his ideas about the heliocentrism for which he was persecuted.

“The letter modifies our understanding of the events that unleashed the process against Galileo. It was in the library of the Royal Society, although we don’t know with certainty what his origin is”. Roos explained.

On December 21, 1613, the scientist wrote a letter to his friend Benedetto Castelli, a mathematician at the University of Pisa, in which he argued that biblical explanations about the workings of nature should not be interpreted literally.

The letter reached the Vatican and was one of the triggers of the long process that led to his condemnation for heresy in 1633, accused of having propagated that the Earth wasn’t at the centre of the Universe, but revolved around the Sun, as he had proposed Copernicus.

Galileo accused the Vatican of having manipulated the words of that letter to Castelli, but the discovery made this summer by Salvatore Ricciardo, an Italian graduate student at the University of Bergamo, reveals that it was the Pisan scientist who tried to soften his original text.

Early last August, Riccardo was studying the online catalog of the Royal Society library for other purposes when he found a document dated October 1613.

Analysing the manuscript directly, he realized that in fact the date of the letter was December 21, 1613 and that the text coincided with the famous letter of Galileo, of which for centuries there have been two different versions – one corrected and another uncorrected.

“It was hidden, but in full view of everyone,” explained the director from Notes and Records, which in mid-October will publish the work in which Riccardo details his discovery, some of whose details have already been disclosed by Nature.

“Probably, the date was badly written in the catalogue because the calligraphy is something difficult to read,” said Roos.

The document that has come to light, full of deletions and corrections, suggests that Galileo himself wrote and edited it, which solves one of the enigmas that scholars of the inquisitorial process against Pisano, one of the fathers of the revolution scientific, they had lost hope of solving.

On October 31, 1992, 350 years after his death, Pope John Paul II solemnly rehabilitated the figure of Galileo and criticized the errors of the theologians of the time that gave rise to such condemnation, without expressly disqualifying the court that sentenced. (September 27, 2018, EFE/Practica Español)

News related in video (October 2009):


Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)

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Question 1
La noticia trata...  
A
de una misiva de Galileo que ha sido descubierta por un estudiante.
B
detalladamente del pensamiento de Galileo Galilei.
C
del descubrimiento de una obra inédita de Galileo Galilei.
Question 2
En la noticia se dice que...  
A
esa misiva es irrelevante para tener una mejor comprensión del proceso contra Galileo.
B
esa misiva es importante para comprender mejor el juicio contra Galileo.
C
esa misiva no aporta nada nuevo que permita comprender mejor el proceso contra Galileo.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...  
A
a pesar de todo Galileo jamás llegó a ser juzgado por la Inquisición por su defensa del heliocentrismo.
B
Galileo fue juzgado por la Inquisición por defender el heliocentrismo.
C
desde siempre Iglesia y la Inquisición apoyó y alabó la obra de Galileo.
Question 4
Quien defiende el heliocentrismo considera que...    
A
ni los planetas ni el Sol se mueven.
B
la Tierra es el centro del Universo.
C
los planetas giran alrededor del Sol.
Question 5
Según el texto, la misiva descubierta es importante...  
A
ya que es el primer documento en el que se afirma que el Sol es el centro del Universo.
B
porque demuestra que Galileo defendió antes el heliocentrismo que Copérnico.
C
ya que en ella Galileo trata de aclarar y explicar mejor sus ideas.
Question 6
Antes de esa misiva, Galileo escribió a Castelli una misiva en la que...  
A
defiende la interpretación literal de la Biblia.
B
él mismo cuestiona el heliocentrismo.
C
afirmaba que la Biblia no debe interpretarse al pie de la letra.
Question 7
La carta escrita a Castelli está relacionada con el juicio contra Galileo.  
A
Para nada.
B
Desde luego.
C
No se sabe.
Question 8
Esa misiva permaneció 'oculta'...    
A
deliberadamente para que nadie la pudiese leer.
B
ya que no se había catalogado correctamente, quizá por la dificultad de entender la letra de Galileo.
C
a pesar de haber sido catalogada correctamente.
Question 9
En el vídeo se dice que...  
A
aún la Iglesia Católica no ha rehabilitado a Galileo.
B
Juan Pablo II rehabilitó a Galileo a principios de los años noventa.
C
Juan Pablo II estuvo a punto de rehabilitar a Galileo
Question 10
Según el vídeo, la primera muestra sobre Galileo en un museo vaticano fue en 1992.      
A
Verdadero.
B
No se sabe.
C
Falso.
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