Learning Exercise

The Trial of Galileo Galilei, 1633

Galileo was one of the Renaissance's most famous astronomers. Much discussion and controversy surrounds Galileo trial and recanting of his scientific views in order to obey the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a site for law students. It includes notes about important constitutional issues, links to Supreme Court... see more


Instructions: Once on the site "Exploring Constitutional Law," scroll to the bottom of the page and Click "Famous Trials." Click "Trial of Galileo Galilei." Read: Galileo's Dialogue Concerning Two World Systems, the 1616 Admonition, Galileo's 1633 Depositions, Galileo's Defense, Papal Condemnation, Galileo's Recantation, Key Figures. Write a 5-7 page paper answering the following questions. 1. What were Galileo's views on the movement of the planets? 2. How did Galileo reconcile his scientific views with the views of the Roman Catholic Church? 3. Summarize the 1616 Admonition. 4. Summarize Galileo's 1633 Depositions. 5. What was Galileo's Defense? 6. Why was Galileo condemned by the Roman Catholic Church? 7. Why did Galileo Recant? 8. Did Galileo get a fair trial?


Renaissance Science Roman Catholic Church

Learning Objectives

To acquaint students with one of the Renaissance's most important scientific figures. To acquaint students with the conflict of science versus religion.