A common pastime at my primary school was collecting and swapping scraps – die-cut paper images. Scraps were stored between the pages of a book, either individually or in a set, a collection of a single image in various sizes. At playtime, collectors would swap scrap books and thumb through the pages, poking scraps of interest out of the top of the book before beginning the trade negotiations. Simple pleasures.
The book featured is “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”, published in 1632 by Galileo Galilei. The book which compares Copernican (Earth orbits the sun) and Ptolomeic (everything in the Universe orbits the Earth) theories on astronomy. The Roman Catholic church considered Copernican theory to be heretical, so Gallileo’s book was placed on the church’s Index of Forbidden Books, where it remained until 1835.
Image 35cm x 35cm
After an injunction had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said false doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture — I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this new doctrine already condemned, and adduce arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these, and for this reason I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves.