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Early modern scholars regularly commented on each other’s’ background, to either argue for or against their credibility. The use of such arguments was directly fueled by competition: scholarly achievements led to glory, which was taken as an important sign of merit and therefore considered a valuable asset within the Republic of Letters. Precisely because it was so valuable, scholars competed among each other to ‘win’ glory for themselves or their region or country of origin. This paper investigates the way competition and bias impacted scholarly credibility through the case study of one of the most famous and controversial scholars of all time: Galileo Galilei.

Dr. Anna-Luna Post is Postdoctoral Fellow at Jesus College - Cambridge

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