Title page of 'The Operation...' by Galileo, 1606.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Title page of 'Le Operazioni del Compaso Geometrico et Militare' ('The Operation of the Geometric and Military Compas', Padua, 1606). Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) published this treatise on the use of the compas following a dispute with Simon Marius (1570-1624), a fellow profesor at Padua, who Galileo accused of plagiarising his proportional compas. Galileo succesfully brought action against a pupil of Marius, Baldasar Capra, after Marius had returned to Germany. Galileo is one of the greatest scientists and his achievements include the discovery of Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies.