"I Am Now the Starry Messenger": The Roman Jesuits' Reaction to Galileo's Celestial Discoveries

Markéta Ledvoňová

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46938/tv.2016.349


The publication of Galileo’s Starry Messenger provoked an immediate reaction of many European scholars, with one important exception: the Jesuit mathematicians of Collegio Romano under the tutelage of recognized mathematician Christoph Clavius. The aim of this paper is to explore the possible reasons behind the belated reaction of the Roman Jesuits who commented on the celestial discoveries more than a year after the publication of Galileo’s book. There is some evidence to suggest that while the Roman mathematician tended to recognize the novelties revealed by the telescope, an instrument that still had to prove its trustworthiness, they were fettered by the strict rules that were designed to maintain unity in the Jesuit order.


Galileo Galilei; Sidereus Nuncius; Christoph Clavius; Jesuits; telescope

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