Seeking financial gain and instant fame, several people tried to pass off Galileo’s invention as their own. The most sensational case was that of Baldassarre Capra, who published a Latin translation of the Operazioni del compasso geometrico e militare, signing it as if he were the author. Already at the appearance of the New Star in 1604, Capra had slandered Galileo in print, but without provoking a reply. This time, however, Galileo felt obliged to denounce Capra, who was then condemned by the University of Padua Reformers to have every copy of his book confiscated and destroyed. A few copies did escape destruction however, and Galileo went on to publish the Difesa contro alle calunnie et imposture di Baldesar Capra [Defence against the calumny and false claims of Baldassare Capra] revealing his plagiarizer’s ignorance and refuting all of his insinuations, both old and new.
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