On the censorship of Tycho Brahe’s books in Iberia
It is known that throughout the seventeenth century the world system proposed by Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) assumed a preponderant position in the Iberian cosmological debate, according to many opinions the one showing the best agreement to empirical evidence. Moreover, the Tychonian model (or variants thereof) did not present the difficulties of apparent contradiction with scriptures, as the heliocentric system of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) did, since it kept the earth fixed at the centre of the world. However, Tycho, as a Lutheran author, was targeted by the Inquisition. Passages of various works of the Danish astronomer were included in the Spanish Indices of 1632, 1640 and 1707, although the formal condemnation of the Roman Inquisition never materialized. In the network of the Society of Jesus a seemingly informal censorship also circulated, apparently based on Tridentine determinations, published in 1651 in the influential work of Giambattista Riccioli (1598–1671) Almagestum novum. In this paper I will discuss the scope, effects and limitations of the censorship of Tycho's scientific books in Portugal and Spain, through the analysis of several annotated copies, preserved manly in Iberian libraries, with a special attention to books with a well-established provenance in past Jesuit colleges.