Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), his life and his work have been and continue to be the subject of an enormous number of scholarly works. One of the con- quences of this is the proliferation of identities bestowed on this gure of the Italian Renaissance: Galileo the great theoretician, Galileo the keen astronomer, Galileo the genius, Galileo the physicist, Galileo the mathematician, Galileo the solitary thinker, Galileo the founder of modern science, Galileo the heretic, Galileo the courtier, Galileo the early modern Archimedes, Galileo the Aristotelian, Galileo the founder of the Italian scienti c language, Galileo the cosmologist, Galileo the Platonist, Galileo the artist and Galileo the democratic scientist. These may be only a few of the identities that historians of science have associated with Galileo. And now: Galileo the engineer! That Galileo had so many faces, or even identities, seems hardly plausible. But by focusing on his activities as an engineer, historians are able to reassemble Galileo in a single persona, at least as far as his scienti c work is concerned. The impression that Galileo was an ingenious and isolated theoretician derives from his scienti c work being regarded outside the context in which it originated.
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In 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a "hurried little masterpiece" in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope - the craters of the moon, the satellites of Jupiter - Galileo dramatically challenged our idea of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth in the universe. Indeed, the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the great moments in the history of science. Planned to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Starry Messenger, this is a major new biography of Galileo, a fresh and much more rounded view of the great scientist than found in earlier works. Unlike previous biographers, Heilbron shows us that Galileo was far more than a mathematician: he was deeply knowledgeable in the arts, an expert on the epic poet Ariosto, and a fine lutenist. More important, Heilbron notes that years of reading the poets and experimenting with literary forms were not mere sidebars - they enabled Galileo to write clearly and plausibly about the most implausible things. Indeed, Galileo changed the world not simply because he revolutionized astronomy, but because he conveyed his discoveries so clearly and crisply that they could not be avoided or denied. If ever a discoverer was perfectly prepared to make and exploit his discovery, it was the dexterous humanist Galileo aiming his first telescope at the sky. In Galileo, John Heilbron captures not only the great scientist, but also the creative, artistic younger man who would ultimately become the champion of Copernicus, the bête noire of the Jesuits, and the best-known of all martyrs to academic freedom. The title music in this audiobook is Ave Maris Stella by Claudio Monteverdi, which was published in the same year Galileo published Sidereus Nuncius (i.e. The Starry Messenger). Ave Maris Stella was performed using pe 1. Language: English. Narrator: Victor Bevine. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/002762/bk_adbl_002762_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.