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About the collections Theme of the exhibit Macrocosm Microcosm

The Macrocosm:

In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus published a book that demonstrated mathematically that the motions of the heavenly bodies could be explained using a sun-centered universe and a moving earth.

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Copernicus, Nicolaus.
Nicolai Copernici Torinensis De revolvtionibvs orbium coelestium, libri vi. Habes in hoc opere iam recens nato, & aedito, studiose lector, motus stellarum, tam fixarum, qum erraticarum, cum ex ueteribus tum etiam ex recentibus obseruationibus restitutos: & nouis insuper ac admirabilibus hypothesibus ornatos. Habes etiam tabulas expeditissimas, ex quibus eosdem ad quoduis tempus qum facillime caculare poteris. Igitur eme, lege, fruere.
Norimbergae: apud Ioh. Petreium, 1543.


Published in Nrnberg in 1543, Copernicus's book revived the basic theory of a non-earth centered universe. It was published only reluctantly by Copernicus who had held onto the manuscript for many years, and actually brought to the printer by a disciple, Georg Joachim (Rheticus). It was published as Copernicus lay dying. The book drew the wrath of the Roman Church in 1616, after Galileo began a propaganda campaign for the Copernican theory. The Collections' copy has been "corrected" to show that the idea of a sun-centered, earth-moving was merely an hypothesis. An unknown inquisitor inserted "hypoth." in a critical passage.

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About the collections Theme of the exhibit Microcosm Macrocosm

Department of the History of Science
History of Science Collections