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Lodovico delle Colombe


Lodovico Delle Colombe was born in 1565 in Florence. He was a philosopher and a poet, and became a member of the Florentine Academy. Colombe is known above all for his opposition to Galileo, at first in the field of astronomy in his siding against the Copernican system, and then in the field of physics, on an issue concerning hydrostatics. On his return from a trip to Rome in 1611, Galileo got involved in a discussion with two Pisan scholars concerning the buoyancy of ice in water. The dispute led Galileo to write an essay entitled Discorso intorno alle cose che stanno in su l'acqua o che in quella si muovono [An Essay on Objects that Float in Water or that Move in It] (Florence, 1612). At the end of 1612 the Aristotelian philosopher published a Discorso apologetico d'intorno al Discorso di Galileo Galilei ["A Defence of Galileo's Essay"] and in 1613 Vincenzo Di Grazia, another opposer of Galileo's, published an essay entitled Considerazioni sopra 'l Discorso di Galileo Galilei ["Considerations concerning Galileo's Essay"]. Both tracts attacked Galileo's theories on the basis of Aristotelian precepts. In 1615 Benedetto Castelli published a Risposta alle opposizioni del S. Lodovico delle Colombe e del S. Vincenzo di Grazia contro al Trattato del Sig. Galileo delle cose che stanno in su l'acqua ["Response to the Disagreements of Ser Lodovico delle Colombe and Ser Vincenzo di Grazia against Signor Galileo's Treatise concerning Objects that Lie on Water"]. The book had been written mainly by Galileo himself.

The dispute showed how important it was for Galileo to formulate the discussion of physical phenomena in mathematical terms, a discipline of which the members of the so-called "Lega del Pippione" (a nickname coined by Lodovico Cigoli for Lodovico delle Colombe and the other opposers of Galileo's theories) displayed a total ignorance.