||The Telescope: Outline of a Poetic History
||441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
||Stocchi, M. P.
||Amongst the first editions of Galileo's books, only the Saggiatore has on its frontispiece the image of the
telescope. Indeed, the telescope is not pictured on the very emphatic
frontispieces of the other books in which Galileo was presenting and
defending the results achieved by his celestial observations, such as
the Sidereus Nuncius.
Many contemporary scientists denied the reliability of the telescope,
and some even refused to look into the eyepiece.
In the 16th and 17th century, the lenses, mirrors,
and optical devices of extraordinary complexity did not have the main
task of leading to the objective truth but obtaining the deformation
of the reality by means of amazing effects of illusion. The Baroque
art and literature had the aim of surprising, and the artists gave an
enthusiastic support to the telescope.
The poems in praise of Galileo's telescopic findings were quite
numerous, including Adone composed by Giovanni Battista
Marino, one of the most renowned poets of the time.
The Galilean discoveries were actually accepted by the poets as
ideologically neutral contributions to the “wonder” in spite they
were rejected or even condemned by the scientists, philosophers, and