Article ID: CBB000931550

From Naples to Goa and Back: A Secretive Galilean Messenger and a Radical Hermeneutist (2009)


In 1623 an Italian traveller, Pietro della Valle, reached the Portuguese colony of Goa in western India, after nine years of travel in the Near East. That same year, Christopher Borrus, a Jesuit on his way back to Italy from doing missionary work in Cochin-China (southern Vietnam), also stopped in Goa. The two men --- della Valle, who was trained in Near Eastern languages, and Borrus, who was skilled in astronomy, cartography and mathematics --- worked together to translate into Persian a short Latin work of Borrus's on the Tychonic system. As it has come down to us, the translation takes the form of a Persian-Italian manuscript letter made into a booklet. Addressed to a Persian astronomer named Zayyn al-din al-Lari, it eventually became part of the collections of the Vatican Library. Such a collocation of evidence fused the vast geographical and cultural gaps among the three men and extended to the East what has become known as `the Galileo affair'.


Description On the 1623 Persian translation done in Goa by Pietro della Valle and Christopher Borrus of Borrus's work on the Tychonic system.

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Authors & Contributors
Golvers, Noël
Carolino, Luís Miguel
Wu, Huiyi
Lobsang Yongdan
Orii, Yoshimi
Yeo, Insok
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Journal of Jesuit Studies
Tarikh-e Elm (The Iranian Journal for the History of Science)
Physics in Perspective
Korean Journal of Medical History
Pavia University Press
World Scientific
Leuven University Press
Institute for Neohellenic Research [National Hellenic Research Foundation]
Hackett Publishing Company
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Transmission of texts
Verbiest, Ferdinand
Borri, Cristoforo
Thomas, Antoine
Galilei, Galileo
Brahe, Tycho
Lembo, Giovanni Paolo
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
14th century
East Asia
Macau (China)
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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