31
August
2022

Archives secures two 17th century Galileo books

archives, library
Archives acquires two 17th century Gailileo books 2

The Georgia Tech Archives recently acquired two 17th century copies of Galileo’s work for its Rare Book Collection. 

Systema Cosmicum, or Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, outlines Galileo’s arguments in support of the heliocentric Copernican model. At the time, this was controversial with the Catholic Church, which supported an Earth-centered model of the universe. After its publication in 1624, the Inquisition charged Galileo with heresy and condemned him to life imprisonment. The book remained on the Inquisition’s list of prohibited books until 1822.

This copy is bound with Galileo’s last published work Two New Sciences, which discusses mechanics and motion. Two New Sciences is often cited as the first modern textbook of physics; Isaac Newton claimed it influenced his first two laws of motion.

The Archives’ copy was published in 1699 in Latin and contains the fifth edition of Systema Cosmicum and the third edition of Two New Sciences.

The Archives also acquired a first edition of Galileo’s Opere, consisting of 17 books and published letters bound in 2 volumes, printed in 1655 and 1656. It includes the well-known work Sidereus Nuncius, in which Galileo observed the cycles of the moon with a telescope and included engravings of the lunar surface. This makes it the first published scientific work based on observations made through a telescope.

These books can be viewed by appointment in the Archives Reading RoomContact the Archives to schedule an appointment or learn more.