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Anna-Luna Post MA

PhD candidate


Claiming Fame for Galileo: The Mechanics of Reputation and its Impact in Early Modern Europe

Universiteit Utrecht
Factulteit Geesteswetenschappen
Promotor: Prof. dr. Arnoud Visser, Prof. dr. Floris Cohen
Aanstelling: Vanaf oktober 2015

This project investigates how Galileo Galilei’s fame and reputation influenced his credibility as a scholar in different networks in Early Modern Europe. Different groups, operating inside as well as outside of scholarly circles and driven by both scholarly and non-scholarly motives, tried to strengthen or damage Galileo’s reputation and credibility from the very start of his career. Adopting a comparative perspective, the project will contrast and compare the motives of different people in these different contexts so as to determine the diverse considerations that underlay the making of Galileo’s reputation internationally. What purpose did his fame serve to the mainly Protestant network of scholars in the Dutch Republic and how did this differ from that of aspiring courtiers in Florence or of Vatican clergy in Rome? With this scope, the project will fill three conspicuous gaps in existing scholarship: it will illuminate the creation of Galileo’s fame, explain the social mechanisms behind reputation building, and assess their impact on the development, formation and success of new ideas.