Telescopes, Tides, and Tactics
A Galilean Dialogue about The Starry Messenger and Systems of the World
Drake has revised his earlier abridged translation of the Starry Messenger, and for the first time the entire work is presented here in modern English. No other edition or translation of this famous work has analyzed Galileo's recorded observations in detail, compared them with modern calculations, or explained the later use he made of them. In the accompanying fictional dialogue, Salviati, Sagredo, and Sarpi reread the Starry Messenger in 1613 and discuss events and issues raised in the three years since its publication. Much of the dialogue is based on archival materials not previously cited in English. Drake has unearthed a wealth of information that will interest the lay reader as well as the historian and the scientist—descriptions of the various and occasionally bizarre critics of Galileo, a reconstruction of Galileo's promised book on the system of the world, his tables of observations and calculations of satellite motions, and evidence for an early tide theory. It was this theory explaining tides by motions of the earth, rather than the influence of Platonic metaphysics, Drake argues that played a major role in Galileo's acceptance of Copernican astronomy.
Telescopes, Tides, and Tactics is a thorough portrait of Galileo as a working astronomer. Offering much more than a commentary on the Starry Messenger, Drake has written a novel and absorbing contribution to the history of physics and astronomy and the study of the Scientific Revolution.
The First Day
The Second Day
The Third Day
The Fourth Day