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/ / Galileo Galilei Biography

/ / Galileo Galilei Biography.

Galileo Galilei (15.02.1564 - 08.01.1642) - Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer.

Early Life

Galileo Galilei was born on 15 February 1564 in Pisa, Italy. There were six children in a family of Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia Ammannati and he was the eldest. Only four children of their family survived. His father was a noted lutenist and his work was associated with music. It is known that the youngest brother of Galileo, Michelangelo, became a lutenist too. Michelangelo was enjoined by financial worries and could not help his father with dowry for their brothers-in-law, who subsequently tried to get payment due legally. Galileo sometimes lent the money to Michelangelo to help him support his musical efforts. These circumstances enhanced Galileos aspiration to develop inventions and earn extra income.

Galileos name was borrowed from his ancestor Galileo Bonaiuti who was a doctor, politician and teacher. He was born in 1370 and died in 1450. The surname of the family changed from Bonaiuti to Galilei in those years. Galileo Bonaiuti was buried in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence and two centuries later his noted offspring was buried in the same place.

At the age of eight Galileos family moved to Florence but he stayed with Jacopo Borghini for 2 years. Galileo was educated in the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa which was located near Florence.

Galileo Galilei was in a relationship with Marina Gamba and they had 3 children born out of wedlock. His eldest daughter, Virginia, was born in 1600 and the second daughter, Livia, was born in 1601. Galileos third child, Vincenzo, was born in 1606. Because of illegitimate birth his daughters chose the religious life. Both Livia and Virginia spent their whole life remaining at the convent of San Matteo in Arcetri. Livias name was changed to Sister Arcangela. Virginia changed her name to Maria Celeste. She died in 1634 and was buried in the same church with Galileo. Vincenzo became the legatee of Galileo and married.

Career as a scientist

At the age of 17 Galileo Galilei entered the University of Pisa where he studied medicine. He also was interested in mathematics, astronomy and mechanics. In 1589 he became a professor of mathematics at the University of Pisa. From 1592 to 1610 he began to teach mathematics, astronomy and mechanics at the University of Padua.

It is also known that Galileo worked on improvement of design of the telescope and invented different implements like an improved compass. He considered that theory of heliocentrism was right and most of astronomers did not agree with his opinion. As the saying goes Galileo Galilei said the famous phrase And yet it moves when he recanted his belief that the Earth moves around the Sun. He wrote a lot of scientific books including Two New Sciences which became his final book.


Galileo Galilei died at the age of 77 in 1642. In 1737 he was reburied and the monument was put up in his honour at the burial place. While a reburial a tooth and 3 fingers were removed from his body and one of those fingers is now reposited in the Museo Galileo in Florence.

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