Recantation of Galileo Galilei

Author: Galileo Galilei

Recantation of Galileo Galilei


"I, Galileo Galei, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged 70 years, arraigned personally before this tribunal, and kneeling before you, most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors general against heretical depravity throughout the whole Christian Republic, having before my eyes and touching with my hands, the holy Gospels—swear that I have always believed, do now believe, and by God’s help will for the future believe, all that is held, preached, and taught by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church. But whereas—after an injunction had been judiciously intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the centre of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to the Holy Scripture—I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this doctrine already condemned, and adduced arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these; and for this cause I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the centre and moves:—

Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this strong suspicion, reasonably conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church; and I swear that in future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that should I know any heretic, or person suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to the Holy Office, or the Inquisitor promise to fulfil and observe in their integrity all penances that have been, or that shall be, imposed upon me by this Holy Office. And, in the event of my contravening, (which God forbid !) any of these my promises, protestations, and oaths, I submit myself to the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. So help me God, and His holy Gospels, which I touch with my hands.

I, the said Galileo Galilei, have abjured, sworn, promised, and bound myself as above; and in witness of the truth thereof I have with my own hand subscribed the present document of my abjuration, and recited it word for word at Rome, in the Convent of Minerva, this twenty-second day of June, 1633.

I, Galileo Galilei, have abjured as above with my own hand."

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Chicago: Galileo Galilei, Recantation of Galileo Galilei in The Library of Original Sources, ed. Oliver J. Thatcher (Milwaukee, WI: University Research Extension Co., 1907), 306–307. Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022,

MLA: Galilei, Galileo. Recantation of Galileo Galilei, in The Library of Original Sources, edited by Oliver J. Thatcher, Vol. 5, Milwaukee, WI, University Research Extension Co., 1907, pp. 306–307. Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022.

Harvard: Galilei, G, Recantation of Galileo Galilei. cited in 1907, The Library of Original Sources, ed. , University Research Extension Co., Milwaukee, WI, pp.306–307. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from