These sweeping, lavishly illustrated biographies of influential Renaissance figures draw on the most recent and authoritative scholarship available. The dawn of the Renaissance reintroduced classical learning, advanced scientific thought. and humanist ideals to a Europe that had been plagued by war, disease, tyranny, and superstition. Driven by the rediscovery of Greek and Roman texts lost during the barbarian invasions of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance era was characterized by tremendous artistic, scientific, economic, and political development. All of these astonishing developments influenced the leaders and artists of the time. The six books in this extraordinary series provide a solid and fascinating survey of the Renaissance and bring the creative environment of that time to life. This is the engrossing story of Galileo, the great Italian scientist, who would forever change how scientists conduct experiments and how we look at the heavens and Earth's place in them. By performing accurate experiments that could be repeated, he was able to disprove many accepted theories of the day that had never before been tested. He then made vast improvements to the newly invented telescope and turned it toward the heavens--"again challenging the accepted and church-approved beliefs of the day by examining the skies. His work resulted in charges of heresy by the Catholic Church, and Galileo spent his final years under house arrest.