If the Medici Had Not Intervened, Galileo “Would Have Been Killed”

(p. D7) The Franklin Institute and its aspiring blockbuster, “Galileo, the Medici & the Age of Astronomy,” are something of an odd couple — a circumstance explained, like so much else, by history.
. . .

Meanwhile, the exhibition leaves provocative questions — about the nexus of church and state, as well as science and faith — unanswered. If Galileo was still a court favorite, and science was so revered in Florence, why weren’t the powerful dukes able to prevent his 1633 trial, heresy conviction, and sentence of house arrest?
Galileo’s patrons did, in fact, intervene on his behalf, Filippo Camerota, vice director of the Institute and Museum for the History of Science and one of the exhibition curators, said in an interview. “If the Medici were not there,” Mr. Camerota said, “he would have been killed.” Good to know.

For the full commentary, see:
JULIA M. KLEIN. “Exhibition; What Galileo Saw.” Wall Street Journal (Tues., APRIL 28, 2009): D7.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

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