"The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" ("Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo"), a 1632 book by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), comparing the Copernican with the traditional Ptolemaic system, was translated from Italian to Latin as "Systema cosmicum" in 1635 by Bernegger. It was dedicated to Galileo's patron, Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
According to Stephen Hawking, "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science". Praise does not come more fulsome than this or from more elevated people.
Under great pressure and extreme censure concerning his writing, it was published after lengthy discussions with the Inquisition which was trying to quash his views of the movement of the celestial bodies. It is a discussion between Sagredo, the wise man, Salviati (Galileo himself) and Simplicio, the religious traditionalist who has humorous rings run around him throughout the dialogues (obviously contingent on one's point of view).
Salviati is Galileo himself, Sagredo is named after Francesco Sagredo (1571-1620) a close friend and Venetian mathematician and Simplicio, the dedicated follower of old fashions, Ptolemy and Aristotle, promulgates the traditional church view.
This book shows not only that Galileo was genius and a brilliant scientist (although the word "scientist" did not exist), he was also good writer able to convey his astronomical ideas very effectively (and a wide range of other scientific issues), even if he was not always diplomatic, prudent or politically astute.
Galileo could not have been more obvious in his writings, little secret was made of the various interlocutors and he wrote much of it with great humour. This will surprise many readers but provide them with a very different view of one of the greatest scientist of all time - in his own words. It may not be easy in places, but it is worth the struggle.