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Livia Galilei (sister Arcangela)


Livia Galilei, Galileo's second eldest child, was born on August 18, 1601.

At her birth, as with Virginia (1600-1634), Galileo personally wrote her horoscope.

Livia took her vows in 1617 at the convent of San Matteo in Arcetri, where her father had sent her together with her sister some years previously.

No direct testimony remains about her, though she is often mentioned in Virginia's letters to Galileo.

In contrast to Virginia, Livia did not adjust well to convent life. Her frequent illnesses and indispositions were probably due to her rejection of the harsh convent life. Also, her lack of responsibility toward the tasks she was assigned often led Virginia, though without guile and with great concern, to report on her to their father.

Although there is no evidence of resentment toward Galileo, the harsh life at San Matteo probably created ill feeling between father and daughter, which time did nothing to alleviate.