The Stars of Galileo Galilei and the Universal Knowledge of Athanasius Kircher

  • Roberto Buonanno

Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 399)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 1-8
  3. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 23-45
  4. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 47-60
  5. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 61-75
  6. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 77-96
  7. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 97-119
  8. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 121-154
  9. Roberto Buonanno
    Pages 155-172
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 173-178

About this book


In this fascinating book, the author traces the careers, ideas, discoveries, and inventions of two renowned scientists, Athanasius Kircher and Galileo Galilei, one a Jesuit, the other a sincere man of faith whose relations with the Jesuits deteriorated badly. The Author documents Kircher’s often intuitive work in many areas, including translating the hieroglyphs, developing sundials, and inventing the magic lantern, and explains how Kircher was a forerunner of Darwin in suggesting that animal species evolve. Galileo’s work on scales, telescopes, and sun spots is mapped and discussed, and care is taken to place his discoveries within their cultural environment. While Galileo is without doubt the “winner” in the comparison with Kircher, the latter achieved extraordinary insights by unconventional means. For all Galileo’s fine work, the author believes that scientists do need to regain the power of dreaming, vindicating Kirchner’s view.


Athanasius Kircher Galileo Galilei Galileo vs. Kircher Intuitive Science Jesuit Scientific Achievement Jesuit Scientist Master of a Hundred Arts Renaissance Science

Authors and affiliations

  • Roberto Buonanno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly

Bibliographic information