Galileo Publishes Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Galileo publishes Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, leading to widespread acceptance of the heliocentric system of Copernicus while precipitating condemnation of Copernican theory by the Roman Catholic Church.
Summary of Event
Although the publication of Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World (1632) was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, it fueled the scientific revolution and led to increasing acceptance of the heliocentric (sun-centered) system of Copernicus, culminating in the Newtonian synthesis and the eighteenth century Enlightenment. The classic Greek system of the planets was completed by Ptolemy in about 150 c.e. This Ptolemaic system was geocentric (earth-centered) and could accurately account for the positions of the planets by a complicated combination of circles known as epicycles. It was further developed by Arabic scientists and was incorporated into Catholic theology by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century.
The heliocentric system was developed by Copernicus and published in 1543 in an attempt to simplify astronomy; but it still required complicated combinations of circles to match the accuracy of Ptolemy, and it provided no explanation of how the earth could rotate on its axis and revolve around the sun. Annual revolution of the earth about the sun implied that the...
(The entire section is 1507 words.)
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