I saw several chronologies of the trial online but most of them only mention the name of Urban 8 as involved in the actual court proceedings. How many judges were involved and who were they exactly?

Note 1. Reading the small print at wiki I found the names of the three of the ten cardinals who did not vote to convict: Francesco Barberini, Laudivio Zacchia and Gaspare Borgia. I still don't know the names of any cardinals that voted to convict.

Note 2. Material related to the trial can be found in "Hidden agenda of the Galileo trial?" on the History of Science and Mathematics Stack Exchange site.


The seven who convicted were Felice Centini, Desiderio Scaglia, Antonio Barberini, Berlinghiero Gessi, Fabrizio Verospi, Guido Bentivoglio and Marzio Ginetti. And as you note Francesco Barberini, Laudivio Zacchia and Gaspare Borgia did not. These three didn't vote to acquit, they were just absent from the signing of the condemnation - we don't know why

All information from The Galileo Case: Trial, Science, Truth page 142 By Mario D'Addio. Gracewing Publishing, 2004 ISBN 9780852446652

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  • $\begingroup$ The page you linked is behind a paywall or at any rate is not accessible from where I am. What is the page number in the book by D'Addio? $\endgroup$ – Mikhail Katz Aug 29 '16 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ 142, (edited into the answer) $\endgroup$ – James K Aug 29 '16 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ According to wiki there were two Antonio Barberini's, one a nephew and the other a brother of Urban 8. Both were apparently cardinals by the time of the trial. Which one was one of the ten judges? Sorry I don't have access to D'Addio's book. It is interesting, of course, to find disagreement among the Barberinis on this issue. $\endgroup$ – Mikhail Katz Aug 29 '16 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ Can't tell from the source that I have. I'd guess the nephew. Urban was one of the worst nepotists, and there were lots of Barberini's promoted to various positions in the vatican. As I indicated the failure to sign the condemnation is not necessarily evidence that they supported Galileo. They might simply have prefered to spend the morning doing something else. $\endgroup$ – James K Aug 29 '16 at 18:58

The Galileo project has a pretty good and searchable account of his life.

Timeline (scroll down to June 1633)

With a formal threat of torture, Galileo is examined by the Inquisition. The next day he is sentenced to prison at the pleasure of the Inquisition and to religious penances. The sentence is signed by only seven of the ten cardinal-inquisitors.

So, there were ten cardinals. Pope Urban was not one of the ten, though he was the driving force behind the trial. Source.

Ten cardinals sat in judgment of Galileo. Pope Urban VIII was not present in person, but he was there in spirit, for his personal feelings of anger and frustration were the driving force behind the extraordinary proceedings

I couldn't, however, find any record of who the ten cardinals were, or which seven signed and which three didn't.

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  • $\begingroup$ Kudos for answering the question. $\endgroup$ – Sir Cumference Aug 28 '16 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for this. The pope's nephew Francesco Barberini is known to have voted against it. Other than that I don't have much information. $\endgroup$ – Mikhail Katz Aug 28 '16 at 16:43

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