Why is Galileo known by his first name, un­like other sci­en­tists?

How It Works - - BRAIN DUMP - Brian Jet­son

Galileo Galilei didn’t solely go by his first name, mainly be­cause both Galileo and Galilei are the sur­names of his fam­ily, or clan. Galileo was used by the man him­self, and it was placed in front of the other sur­name be­cause it is the sin­gu­lar ex­pres­sion, whereas Galilei is plu­ral. As the most no­table mem­ber of his fam­ily, the name Galileo was in­stantly recog­nis­able for him alone, leav­ing him with lit­tle need to use an­other name. Ital­ian cul­ture at the time also ac­cepted men chang­ing the length of their names to in­clude their fa­ther’s name or place of birth de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion. The typ­i­cal ‘first name fol­lowed by sur­name’ con­ven­tion as we know it to­day only came into force in Italy dur­ing Galileo’s adult­hood.

Un­like Germany and France, Italy hadn’t em­braced the first name and sur­name con­ven­tion by Galileo’s time

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