Did the Inquisition threaten Galileo with torture and, if so, did he know he was not actually in danger of being tortured?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_affair says: "Galileo was interrogated while threatened with physical torture.[46] A panel of theologians, consisting of Melchior Inchofer, Agostino Oreggi and Zaccaria Pasqualigo, reported on the Dialogue. Their opinions were strongly argued in favour of the view that the Dialogue taught the Copernican theory.[52]

Galileo was found guilty, and the sentence of the Inquisition, issued on 22 June 1633,[53] was in three essential parts:

Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to "abjure, curse, and detest" those opinions.[54]
He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition.[55] On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.[56]

According to popular legend, after his abjuration Galileo allegedly muttered the rebellious phrase "and yet it moves" (Eppur si muove), but there is no evidence that he actually said this or anything similar."

http://www.iitaly.org/node/52894 says: "On April 12, 1633, Galileo was summoned to Rome by the Inquisition, the Holy Office (Santi Uffizi). In an article for the journal Church History last year, Prof. Henry Kelly of UCLA wrote that, at that trial, Galileo said that after 1616 he had never considered heliocentrism to be possible. “Galileo was clearly stretching the truth... Admitting otherwise would have increased the penance he was given, but would not have endangered his life, since he agreed to renounce the heresy."

From the inquisitors came no threat of torture, says Prof. Kelly. Still, Galileo abjured but was found guilty of heresy on June 22, 1633. Ever since then writers have invented words for him, such as this version by Italian writer Primo Levi (1919 - 1987), the author of "Se questo è un uomo": "I have had to bow down and say that I did not see what I saw." Galileo was first held in the home of the Archbishop of Siena and then under house arrest at Arcetri on the Florentine Hills, where he died on January 8, 1642."

https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/the-truth-about-galileo-and-his-conflict-with-the-catholic-church says: "Kelly also noted that by the practice of the time, Galileo’s guilty plea, which denied actual belief in the heresy, triggered an automatic examination of his private beliefs under torture, a new procedure adopted by the church around the turn of the 17th century. Galileo was never tortured, however. The pope decreed that the interrogation should stop short with the mere threat of torture. This was a routine kind of limitation for people of advanced age and ill health like Galileo, and it should not be attributed to the influence of the scientist’s supporters."

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/church-history/article/galileos-nontrial-1616-pretrial-16321633-and-trial-may-10-1633-a-review-of-procedure-featuring-routine-violations-of-the-forum-of-conscience/F5BB9632FA3F4C34B33C119A401EB3BC , which is the actual paper by Henry Ansgar Kelly about the interactions between the Inquisition and Galileo, says: "In Galileo's case, the examination on intention was to be carried out not with actual torture but only with the threat thereof. Whether Galileo was told of this limitation is not known. It may well have been part of the plea bargain that he made with Maculano, or it may have been the result of standard rules for defendants of advanced age or ill heath."

So Kelly does not know whether Galileo knew that he was in no danger of being tortured.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Kelly's article already answers both title questions, so what is the question for us? $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    May 15, 2021 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold Have you seen Kelly's article? $\endgroup$ May 15, 2021 at 7:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's online, and Wolf quotes relevant passages under your own link. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    May 15, 2021 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold I looked at the article. Kelly says he doesn't know whether Galileo knew he was in no danger of being tortured. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2021 at 9:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ He also says that foregoing torture was standard for the weak and the elderly. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    May 15, 2021 at 11:23


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