- Galileo's mother. An aristocratic woman, she was
dissatisfied with her middle- class financial status, and disapproved
of Galileo's father's dabbling in music.
- An ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, his theories
on physics and astronomy informed the conventional wisdom of Galileo's
- A Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church and a member
of the Jesuit order. A great intellect, he was initially well
disposed to Galileo, but Galileo's enthusiasm for the Copernican
system led to a falling-out between the men.
- A great Polish astronomer
in the early 16th century, he first proposed the theory that the
earth might go around the sun.
- Galileo's father. Vincenzo
made a living in the wool trade, but his first love was music.
- Galileo's mistress during his years at the University of
Padua, and the mother of his three children
- A great German astronomer and contemporary of Galileo's,
he was a staunch advocate of the Copernican system.
- A renowned astronomer in ancient Rome, he championed
the geocentric theory, which placed the earth at the center of
- A liberal Cardinal who was friendly with Galileo before
being elected Pope. However, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning
the Two Chief World Systems
alienated him–he felt it mocked
him–and he refused to support the astronomer during his trial.
Galileo's eldest and favorite daughter. She became a nun, and supported
her father during his Inquisition trial.