I have a question on Italian language, how it has been used some 400 years ago and how it is translated today.

There is a quote, frequently attributed to Vincenzo Galilei, that says in English something close to

It appears to me that those who rely simply on the weight of authority to prove any assertion, without searching out the arguments to support it, act absurdly. I wish to question freely and to answer freely without any sort of adulation. That well becomes any who are sincere in the search for truth.

Beside looking extensively, I have never been able to locate the place where Vincenzo Galilei really said that.

It seems that most quotations that present a source point to page 3 of Galileo, by John Joseph Fahie. Which in turn point (up the page a bit) to two publications by Vincenzo:

Most people that quote it nowadays, have not idea where it comes from, and there is even some people, maybe young or naïve, that wrongly attribute it to Galileo himself, as on can see here.

The question is: Did Vincenzo Galilei really said that and where?

Added on Sep 10, 2020: Dava Sobel, the author of Galileo's daugther, that got translated into Italian as La figlia di Galileo told me today that the issue showed up during the translation of her book to Italian by Roberta Zuppet, and she passed me the text that was used by Zuppet:

"Mi pare che faccino cosa ridicola…quelli che per prova di qual si sia conclusione loro, vogliono, che si creda senz’altro, alla semplice autorità; senza addurre di esse ragioni che valide siano….Voglio in oltre, che mi concediate, essermi lecito alla libera interrogarvi, e rispondervi senz’alcuna sorta d'adulatione, come veramente conviene tra quelli che cercano la verità delle cose."

I would expect that anyone translating such text would look for the original text, instead of translating it twice.

  • 2
    Welcome to Italian.SE! It seems to me that your question is not about Italian language, so I would consider it off-topic on this site.
    – Charo
    Sep 10 '20 at 6:31
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    As far as I know, Galileo Galilei’s father spelt his name either as Vincenzo or Vincentio and the former is mostly used nowadays (and the only one I’ve ever seen in in books on music referring to him). Anyway, the quote seems more in Galileo’s style, but I can’t exclude he learned that way of approaching problems from his father.
    – egreg
    Sep 10 '20 at 7:52
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's not about Italian language per se.
    – DaG
    Sep 10 '20 at 9:01
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    I agree that this question is off topic, but against my best judgment I looked for, and perhaps found, an answer. I deliberately put it in a comment, to stress the fact that this question is out if place here. See inftub.com/scienze/fisica/… and search for “Mi sembra che coloro che per prova di una qualsiasi affermazione”. However, the spelling looks kind of modernised.
    – DaG
    Sep 10 '20 at 9:03
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    You are perfectly right: the webpage I mentioned turns out to be unreliable and the quote it gives is might be a retranslation from English (act absurdly > agiscano in maniera ... assurda etc.). The quote found by Zuppet, on the other hand, is correct: it can be found in the last six lines of page 2 of the Dialogo (as linked by you in Google Books).
    – DaG
    Sep 11 '20 at 0:05

The answer has been found by @DaG after some chasing, and it is located on the last six lines of page 2 of Vincenzo Galilei, Dialogo della Musica Antica et della Moderna, reproduced here:

Scan of the bottom of page 2

Thanks also goes do Dava Sobel that included the quotation on her book (Galileo's Daughter) and then the text was picked up by her translator (Roberta Zuppet) who then produced the original Italian text for the citation changed a bit to modern Italian, which in turn -- I conjecture -- made the search easier.

The attribution by Stankova and Rikes here is incorrect.

  • 1
    Why “changed a bit to modern Italian”? It's laudably conformal to the original, even in the now non-standard spelling and punctuation, with the single exception (which might well be a typo or a “correction” by an editor) sorte > sorta.
    – DaG
    Sep 11 '20 at 19:09
  • @DaG I was wondering exactly about what happened there, and I even thought the original could be "sorto", not knowing much Italian I an in the dark here. Could it be a contraction with the following article?
    – Paulo Ney
    Sep 11 '20 at 20:11
  • @PauloNey: I also believe it says "sorte": "sorto" wouldn't have sense. The text is also reproduced in this thesis.
    – Charo
    Sep 12 '20 at 10:03
  • @PauloNey: It says sorte which, beside being a word in its own right, is a rarer and more old-fashioned variant of sorta (see here).
    – DaG
    Sep 13 '20 at 15:14

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