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Written by Julia Wolf
Those who support Aristotle’s idea of the universe could hardly be called scholars. They are more like artists, for their universe is not full of astronomical objects, but something poetic. It has “mystical music of its spheres and its crystal vaults, the orbits of its heavenly bodies, the slanting angle of the sun’s course, the secrets of moon tables, the starry richness catalogued in the southern hemisphere” and so on. In such a way, they don’t perceive the universe as an unknown territory, but just another divine creation. This imagery gives an impression of just poetic description.
Wise men and their libraries
Mrs Sarti has already worked for scientists, so she knows everything about people of this kind. She might have a lot of memories about that time, but one of her brightest recollections is about libraries. She remembers, how once she “spent four years in service with Monsignor Filippo without ever managing to get all his library dusted”. She remembers “leather bound of books up to the ceiling – and no slop volumes of poetry either”. The poor woman also recollects that “good Monsignor had a whole cluster of sores on his bottom from sitting and poring over all that learning”. This imagery gives a reader a chance to look at a scholar’s library and his lifestyle.
The entire world
When Galileo starts talking about prospects of his work, he gets clearly excited, since “for two thousand years people have believed that the sun and all the starts of heaven rotate around mankind” and now he has a chance to change it. Then he starts enumerating people of different statues and social backgrounds. “Pope, cardinals, princes, professors, captains, merchants, fishwives and schoolkinds thought they were sitting motionless inside this crystal sphere” and they horribly wrong. This enumeration creates an image of a crowd of people, who differ in everything, but their belief of their position in the universe.
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