He was born on this day in 1564 – a time when the European Renaissance was well underway. This time of enlightenment after the Middle Ages, was awakening the senses in ways never before experienced. Before his birth in Pisa, Italy – you know the place with the leaning tower – the Protestant Reformation was taking off and a fellow named Martin Luther had gained quite a following in Germany. Other denominations were popping up all over Europe as well.
In Rome, the Catholic church was still flourishing in spite of it’s disconnection with the Church of England and Henry VIII. We’ve all heard how he battled with the pope over annulment from his first wife, Catherine. The church frowned on divorce and would not acknowledge Henry’s desire to pursuit greener pastures. So Henry formed his own church, with its own laws, which included legalizing divorce.
The 1500s also produced such great artists as da Vinci and Michelangelo – both who had a great bearing on the art created for the church. It seems the church was the source of most of the jobs in those days.
Galileo’s father wanted him to follow a career in medicine because he was a very smart child and being in the medical field would assure him a lucrative income. However, the boy had his own ideas and wanted to research the sciences and learn as much as he could about mathematics, astronomy, science, physics and engineering. Those pursuits led him to believe that the earth rotated around the sun – which was grounds for heresy and separation from the CHURCH. He was accused of heresy twice for his beliefs. Boy the church sure had a powerful hold on the people of that time, didn’t it.
Galileo is probably most well known for his studies in the various sciences. He developed his own version of the telescope and in 1609 he turned the instrument to the heavens to study the stars. His studies led to the scientific revolution and he was referred to as the Father of Modern Science.
His life opened many doors for future discovery and instilled a desire in many to search beyond their own borders. One of the first guys to actually think outside the box.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GALILEO!!