Galileo Essay

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In the early seventeenth century, Galileo Galilei began the construction of a device that would transform the scientific world. Galileo did not invent the telescope but his improvements on it made him the most scientifically successful user of this instrument in his time. However, Galileo would not stop at scientific discovery. The father of three successfully marketed the improved instrument to the Senate of Venice and the Grand Duke Cosimo II of Tuscany in hopes of possibly furthering his career. In the telescope’s transitional form, Galileo is able to obtain a salary raise and a permanent position at the University of Padua but he is disappointed with this
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Galileo informed the court of his plan to place the name of Cosimo de Medici II in the stars, as the ancient sages did with the most excellent heroes of their time, by naming the newly found stars, or moons, after him. Clearly this would help him gain the Duke’s favor. The second step was to dedicate the treatise on his telescopic discoveries to the Grand Duke. He opens his book with a reverent and adulating dedication. It contains many deifying words, often giving the Duke illustrious and almost divine exploits. This type of dedication was common practice for scientists who needed funding but his position is furthered by the fact that he is naming heavenly bodies and not earthly things. Because of this, the Duke’s name would me mentioned in the same breath as heroes such as Jupiter and Mars or Hercules and Mercury. In succeeding pages, the author continues to worship the Duke and his “agreeableness of manners, splendor of the royal blood, majesty in actions, and breadth of authority and rule over others.” It is clear from the dedication letter to the Duke that Galileo is writing for two audiences, one of these audiences being his scientific peers and the other being the Grand Duke Cosimo II. Obviously, Galileo had the Duke’s patronage in mind and all the key steps in attaining this patronage had been completed

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