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Giovanni Ciampoli


Giovanni Ciampoli was born in Florence in 1589. He was groomed for a literary career and showed a strong disposition for poetry. His education took place at the Medici Court, where he had occasion to meet Galileo and to enter his circle of friends.

In 1614, after completing his studies, Ciampoli moved to Rome, where he became an ecclesiast. He was at once introduced into the circles of the Roman Curia and afterwards, in 1618, thanks to the good offices of Galileo, became a member of the Lyncean Academy together with his friend Virginio Cesarini (1595-1624).

In 1621 he was appointed Secretary of Briefs by Gregory XV (1554-1623) and in 1623 became secret Chamberlain of Urban VIII (1568-1644).

He was a precious source of information for Galileo about the goings on in Rome and a convinced supporter of his cultural battles. Ciampoli’s influence was instrumental in getting permission granted to print the Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo [Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems] (Florence, 1632), as a result of which he drew upon himself the hostility of the Pope.

Besides, naturally, his friendship with Galileo, the reasons for his removal from Rome are also to be sought in the support Ciampoli gave to the pro-Spanish faction headed by Cardinal Borgia, hostile to Urban VIII.