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On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  790 ratings  ·  27 reviews
New to our On the Shoulders of Giants series, this groundbreaking work of astronomy proposed a heliocentric universe in which planets orbited the sun-daring to challenge the Ptolemaic ideal of the earth as the center of the universe. This essay by Copernicus (1473-1543), revolutionized the way we look at the earth's placement in the universe, and paved the way for many ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Running Press Book Publishers (first published 1543)
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Riku Sayuj
The Earth is Spherical, Small, Mobile (triply so), Certainly Not the Center of the Universe, and thus imperfect from now on.

Having said that, so far as hypotheses are concerned, let no one expect anything certain from Science, which cannot furnish it, lest he accept as the truth ideas conceived for another purpose, and depart from this study a greater fool than when he entered it. Farewell.
Roy Lotz
And though all these things are difficult, almost inconceivable, and quite contrary to the opinion of the multitude, nevertheless in what follows we will with God’s help make them clearer than day—at least for those who are not ignorant of the art of mathematics.

The Copernican Revolution has become the prime exemplar of all the great transformations in our knowledge of the world—a symbol of scientific advance, the paradigmatic clash of reason and religion, a shining illustration of how cold
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks for starting the Copernican revolution which greatly impacted the scientific revolution and thereby completely changed our world views. We wouldn't be where we are today without you.
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 ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Even if one has trouble following Copernicus in his proofs, there is something undoubtedly sublime about reading his book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres. To watch as a 1200 year old geocentric planetary system is dismantled is amazing in itself. But like I mentioned, the text is difficult to follow. The reader will be up for multiple problems if he or she hasn't read Euclid or Ptolemy. I skipped Ptolemy myself, but my exposure to Euclid helped. If one bypasses the Almagest then it ...more
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
show me deferent and i'll disprove your epicycle
Cathy Garcia
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of Copernicus' work, enough said.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
torun, polska 19 feb 1473 - 1543 frauenburg, deutschland

Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995
Charles Glenn Wallis, trans.

genius: gathered together the observations before him, and interpreted them in leaps of deduction (and mathematics); the method of genius simple; the leaps astronomical
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In De Revolutionibus (1543), Copernicus published his ground breaking heliocentric theory.

During the first millennium, astronomers and theologians used the Ptolemaic system, which in essence consisted of this:

1. The earth is in the centre of the cosmos.
2. All planets, moon and sun revolve in orbits around the earth - this they do in cristalline spheres.
3. The outer cirstalline sphere contains all the stars.

To accord for all the discrepancies (for example: some planets, like Venus, have a
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
And then came a voice out of Poland, saying that this earth, footstool of God, and home of his redeeming pilgrimage, was a minor satellite of a minor sun. It seemed so simple a thing to say. We cannot be moved to fear or wonder by it now. We take it for granted that the soil on which we stand is a passing thing, transiently compact of elements that will disintegrate and leave not a wrack behind. But to the medieval world, whose whole philosophy had rested on the neighborly nearness of the earth ...more
P.D. Maior
Copernicus was a neo-platonist occultist studying under Novara and merely republishing what we such have all, always, already known. such all encompassing notions of ours always will be contrary to the formatory, dead-weight fact, small minded aristotelian materialist majorities with noses to the ground. Hawking was king for a day among them and the last person who should have been given free reign to edit holy Copernicus - whom we owe so much true science to precisely because of his fight ...more
Key Exerpts from Complete Work

Information provided in this incomplete presentation includes those of greater interest and probability the most revolutionary at the time. The preliminary sections provide historical context. The translation is generally easy to understand. The original work comprised six books within one volume, while this edition has portions of two.

There are at least three possible explanations for the missing information: (a) the publisher had an incomplete original, (b) the
Alp Turgut
Nicolaus Copernicus’in "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres / Göksel Kürelerin Devinimleri Üzerine"yi iki farklı açıdan incelemekte fayda var. İlk kitabın büyük bir kısmı ve sonraki beş kitabın giriş yazıları dışında okuyucuya zengin bir okuma sunamayan eserin tamamen teknik bir eser olması ne yazık ki eseri edebi açıdan yüksek yerlere yerleştiremiyor. Fakat, bilimsel açıdan bakıldığında Dünya merkezli sistemi Güneş Sistemi’ne taşıyarak insanlığa duyurması sebebiyle devrim niteliğinde ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this in college for a class. I wouldn't say i remember much of it. I didn't exactly go out of my way to read it.
Carl Koontz
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You can feel his fear of the devil worshipping christians in the beginning. His use of logic is just awesome.
Julia M
I read the first book of the 6 online and couldn't find the rest. While this is a great book, it isn't a classic in my opinion as a book that every person should read.
Brian Maicke
May 25, 2009 rated it liked it

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
William Schram
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Copernicus writes of the heliocentric theory of the sun. A theory that eventually came to be accepted as fact even throughout all of the controversy. Published on his deathbed, Copernicus never got to see the results of the can of worms he opened.

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
Septia Kholimatussa'diah
[BUKAN REVIEW] Err, lebih dari separuhnya berupa pembuktian matematis terkait judul, jadi saya 'simply' melompati saja bagian itu karena sudah pernah ngutak-ngatik sampe mumet waktu kuliah dulu, haha. Sebenarnya waktu minjam buku ini sekitar semingguan yang lalu sama sekali belum tau/dengar soal kisruh penganut Bumi-datar yang muncul lagi. Saya ngambil buku ini dari rak perpus cuma karena pengen ada buku klasik aja dari beberapa buku yang saya pinjam. Oh ya, kita harus pernah dong baca sumber ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm certainly Intrigued about how our planet works out of our sight, so giving a chance to this wild author, plus astronomer, will make your life a little bit easier to understand why we're not the center of the universe, supporting every sustancial idea in maths (mostly geometry) to be exact/precise on every of his word.

Reader, this is not a contest about getting into Cop's ideas but to analice them and also, why not, learn about geometry a little.
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval, science
Copernicus wrote this in the teeth of hostility from the Catholic Church which stuck to biblical description rather than truth- where have we heard that before. Copernicus had no computers or calculators and his only equipment was an astrolabe yet he managed to do all these calculations manually. A true genius
Vikas Lather
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Paradigm shift from the Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which positioned the Earth at the center of the galaxy, compared to the heliocentric model which has the Sun at the center of the Solar System."
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben ikna oldum; dünya ve diğer gök cisimleri güneşin etrafında dönüyor. Kitabın büyük bir kısmının karmaşık geometrik hesaplardan oluştuğunu hatırlatayım.
Bjørn Peterson, PhD
Definitely interesting, but not exactly gripping.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Simply brilliant and way over my head.
нєνєℓ  ¢ανα
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking opus!
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Polish name: Mikołaj Kopernik. Polish astronomer and mathematician who, as a student, studied canon law, mathematics, and medicine at Cracow, Bologna, Rome, Padua, and Ferrara. Copernicus became interested in astronomy and published an early description of his "heliocentric" model of the solar system in Commentariolus (1512). In this model, the sun Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy was actually ...more
“Mathemata mathematicis scribuntur.” 6 likes
“...Bana öyle geliyor ki, Pythagorasçılar bazılarının düşündüğü gibi, öğretilerini paylaşmaktan duydukları kıskançlıktan değil de, büyük insanlara ait böylesine güzel ve binbir zorlukla dolu keşif, maddî bir kazancı olmaksızın kalem oynatmayı sıkıcı bulan ya da başkalarının yüreklendirip örnek olmasıyla hür felsefe çalışmasına özendirilse de aklî donukluklarından ötürü filozoflar arasında tıpkı bal arılarının arasındaki erkek arılar gibi duran kişilerce hor görülmesin diye böyle yapıyordu.” 6 likes
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