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First edition of Galileo's celebrated defense of the Copernican system. In 1624 the new pope Urban VIII granted Galileo permission to discuss the Copernican system provided that the arguments for the Ptolemaic view were given equal treatment. He executed this order literally in the present dialogue between a Copernican, a Ptolemean and an impartial adjudicator. This form permitted him to present his true view of the Cosmos. The work is a masterly polemic for the new science, designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence. "It displays all the great discoveries in the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against the sterility, wilfulness and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense to philosophy, that is, in physics... The Dialogo, more than any other work, made the heliocentric system a commonplace" (PMM). It caused the author's trial by the inquisition and permanent house arrest. The book was placed on the Index until 1832. Somewhat browned in places, but a large copy with some deckle edges preserved.