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17th Century Europe

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... it was to be at the bottom of a stellar ice cream cone as were the hellions of the Inferno, it was even worse still to be a barely significant pico-element of a vast, divine universe. Galileo leaned toward Bruno’s vision of an infinite universe, although he testified in favor of a spherical one. In his day, the wrong opinion could put you in the hands of unruly Jesuit counter-reformers, as nearly the whole of Europe had erupted into a religious conflagration that pitted Catholics against Protestants. As it was, the elderly scholar was brought to the dungeons of Rome to be held accountable for his contrarian ideas.
If you’ll believe Umberto Eco, the people of 17th century Europe were just as likely to fancy conspiracy theories as moderns are, and so it should not surprise that the pendulum of popular opinion swung away from medieval cosmography after Galileo’s
condemnation. The court of popular opinion has never favored those that have chosen to brutally subjugate extremely popular intellectual figures. After the 30 years war settled the differences between Catholics and Protestants, such cities as Amsterdam became safe havens for intellectual inquiry, and philosophers no longer ...

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