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# On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres

The Ptolemaic system of the universe, with the earth at the center, had held sway since antiquity as authoritative in philosophy, science, and church teaching. Following his observations of the heavenly bodies, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) abandoned the geocentric system for a heliocentric model, with the sun at the center. His remarkable work, On the Revolutions of Hea
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Paperback, 344 pages

Published
November 1st 1995
by Prometheus Books
(first published 1543)

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Feb 27, 2011
Matt
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It wasn’t until some 70 years later, helped by Galileo‘s stubbornness, that the heliocentric universe posited by Copernicus’ book resulted in the Roman Catholic Church decree that heliocentrism was heresy. Copernicus expressed his fear of this reaction, or more likely the scorn of the mathematical community, in his Preface and Dedication to Pope Paul III. With great humility, he submitted the work as a life-long product of observation and study. Despite his fears of discarding a thousand years o
...more

Back in high school, I had a Physics teacher who said that everyone should read the great classics once. His definition of classics were different than most English teachers. While he still includes the great works of literature, he also recommended religious texts (the Bible, the Koran, etc.) and the great works of science.

When I saw this series in my local library I was reminded of him and thought that it would be a great way to start reading some of those classics.

Copernicus' masterwork is de ...more

In any case, there is no real prose, and most of the book is dense mathematical proofs and theorems developed from Euclid's Elements. It really hasn't aged well, but Copernicus and astronomers in general kept fantastic records of calendar dates. The rea ...more

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“Mathemata mathematicis scribuntur.”
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