Job Hunting and the Path to Rome
FIRST TRIP • 1587
In the autumn of 1587, a young man of 23 arrived from Florence on his first trip to the Eternal City. His name was Galileo Galilei, and, in accordance with an Italian custom of calling great men by their first name, we shall continue to refer to him as Galileo. In an age when class consciousness was on the rise in Italy, Galileo was proud of the fact that he descended from a noble family. Originally called Bonaiuti, they had exchanged that name for Galilei in the fourteenth century, although they kept their coat of arms unchanged, a red stepladder on a gold shield, forming a pictograph of the word buonaiuti, which literally means good help. The first Galileo Galilei, the older brother of the young Galileo's great-grandfather, was a successful doctor and an influential professor at the University of Florence. He also held high office in the Republic and was elected gonfaloniere or chief magistrate in 1445. He died around 1450 and was buried with public honors in the church of Santa Croce in
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Publication information: Book title: Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius. Contributors: William R. Shea - Author, Mariano Artigas - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 1.
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