Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Moon, Renaissance Image of the

  • Matteo CosciEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_952-1


The history of modern selenography, i.e., the study of the surface and astrophysical features of the Moon, can find its beginning with the neglected contribution of William Gilbert at the start of the seventeenth century and its conventional end with the work by Giambattista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi 50 years later, with the inevitable mention to the revolutionary telescopical discoveries by Galileo and to the milestone published on the subject by Johannes Hevelius in between. The interest regarding Earth’s unique satellite and its conformation, however, is certainly more ancient, and it was undoubtedly kept alive and brought forth also thanks to the contribution of many other unnamed observers besides the greatest astronomers of the Western tradition, e.g., for meteorological, astrological, and religious reasons that the scientific surveys of the Moon usually did not take account of. In Renaissance time in particular, the Moon was not only at the center of the astronomical horizon but also became a sort of speculative battlefield between different scientific, technological, and political accounts that were raging across a troubled Europe that somehow was there mirroring his inner hopes and daydreaming expectations.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università Ca’ FoscariVeneziaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Matteo Valleriani
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany