The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

History Program Events

November 11 – Nick Wilding on “Forging the Moon; Or, How to Spot a Fake Galileo”

The integrity of the historical record is a prime concern for any historian. It follows that the art of detecting forgeries is crucial to our craft. Early modern print materials have generally been held above suspicion as a technologically impossible, or at least unprofitable, subject for forgery. But the emergence in 2005 of a spectacular copy of Galileo’s cosmos-changing Sidereus Nuncius, furnished with an autograph inscription and hand drawn lunar illustrations, forced a reconsideration of this assumption. By reconstructing the recent history of the analysis of this single and singular object, Professor Wilding shows how, when viewed from different perspectives, within shifting contexts, and alongside a choice of control copies, a seemingly rigorous and secure authentication can gradually lose its certainty and eventually become proof of forgery.

History Lounge (Room 5114)

The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue

November 11, 2015 6-8pm

This event is free and open to the public

This event is part of the New York History of Science Lecture Series.


Sponsoring Organizations:

New York University

Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Columbia University in the City of New York

City University of New York

The New York Academy of Sciences