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Mathematical Treasure: Marginal Note by Galileo

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

In rereading his own published works, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) often wrote addenda in the margins. Here is an image of one such instance in Galileo’s own handwriting in his 1632 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World - Ptolemaic and Copernican. In the Dialogue, Simplicio supports the Ptolemaic theory of the universe and Salviati argues for the Copernican model.

Galileo's Dialogue, which he had begun writing in 1624 and completed in 1630, was published in 1632 and almost immediately banned by the Inquisition.

The text from which this image is taken is housed at the Library of Science, University of Oklahoma, which has supplied kind permission for use of this image.

Additional source: J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson, Galileo Galilei, MacTutor History of Mathematics, 2002.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Marginal Note by Galileo," Convergence (May 2019)