galileo galilei in angels and demons

In Angels & Demons, Langdon finds an original copy of Galileo's Diagramma della Verita in the Vatican Secret Archives. On one of the pages lies a poem written by the poet John Milton in English, regarded in science as a "pure language", as it came from a country uncensored by the Catholic Church. According to Brown, Galileo was the founder of the first Illuminati, and a source of inspiration to them.

angel demon

This poem reads:

"From Santi's Earthyly Tomb with Demons Hole,
'Cross Rome the mystic elements unfold,
The Path of Light is laid, the sacred test,
Let angels guide you on your lofty quest."

rome angels and demons

Using this poem Langdon and Vittoria race across Rome trying to find the Path of Illumination, a set of markers pointing to the Illuminati Lair. Each marker is an Altar of Science, a location in Rome where the kidnapped Cardinals will be executed on the hour from 8pm that night.

galileo galilei

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 to a large Catholic family in Pisa. His father intended him to be a priest, but at university he became more interested in mathematics and natural science. In 1592, he joined the University of Padua, teaching geometry, mechanics, and astronomy until 1610. There, Galileo made significant scientific discoveries in kinematics, astronomy and improvement of the telescope.

the angel and demon

In 1608, Galileo made a telescope with a magnification around 3x, and later made others with magnifications up to 32x. This enabled him to see the planets more closely than anyone before, and enabled him to identify, and then name, three of Jupiter’s moons: Io, Europa and Callisto. In 1611, he identified phases of Venus, proving it orbited the sun. This, because it supported heliocentricity, was eventually condemned as heresy by the Catholic Church.

angles & demons

Galileo publisher several notable works, the most famous of which is the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, in which he laid out his view for a heliocentric solar system while also giving time to the Church’s geocentric system. He had three children, two girls and a boy; as they were all conceived outside out of marriage, the two girls were sent to a convent.

angles and demons

Galileo was a religious scientist and believed, as he wrote in The Assayer, "Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe...It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures.” Galileo showed a remarkably modern understanding of the proper relationship between mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental physics.


Galileo also evolved the theories of acceleration and motion, and noticed that pendulum swings could regulate a clock. He invented or improved upon such items as a military compass used by gunners, a refracting telescope, and a thermometer, and perhaps even designed the first ballpoint pen.

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