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Drawing Weapons

Drawing Weapons

(p.38) 3 Drawing Weapons
Galileo's Idol
Nick Wilding
University of Chicago Press

This chapter turns towards Galileo, to investigate his use of instruments and texts in the period before his telescopic astronomical discoveries in 1610. Galileo’s dispute with his former student Baldassarre Capra over the geometrical and military compass is read as part of Galileo’s evolving socio-economic campaign to produce standardised alumni both in the Veneto and over the Alps, especially in Poland. Surviving dedicatory copies of Galileo’s books, the Operazioni del Compasso Militare e Geometrico (1606) and the Difesa (1607) reveal the dual Tuscan and Venetian patronage networks within which Galileo hoped to operate: these strategies were identical to those deployed a few years later with the publication of the more successful Sidereus Nuncius.

Keywords:   Baldassarre Capra, scientific instruments, Operazioni del Compasso Militare e Geometrico, Difesa, scientific disputes

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