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Celestial Revolutionary: Copernicus, the Man and His Universe Hardcover – 30 Mar 2014

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780763506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780763507
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,488,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Interesting and surprising... Freely gives a good sense of how small
the European scientific community was at the time and, interestingly,
how much they owed to contemporary work in the Arab world...gives a
good sense of where Copernicus's ideas fit within a broader
understanding of the history of astronomy.' --Emily Winterburn, BBC Sky at Night Magazine

About the Author

John Freely is one of the most widely respected writers of travel books, histories and guides about Greece and Turkey. He is the author of The Grand Turk, Storm on Horseback, Children of Achilles, The Cyclades, The Ionian Islands, The Western Shores of Turkey, Strolling through Athens, Strolling through Venice and the bestselling Strolling through Istanbul (all I.B.Tauris). He lives in Istanbul.


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Format: Hardcover
Nicholas Copernicus was an oddity. He moved from school to school, city to city, to Italy and back to Poland, never causing much of a stir or gaining fame or fortune. He was a competent, journeyman canon and physician to a bishop (his uncle) in Poland. He loved astronomy and built his own setup at his own expense. He came to many of the same conclusions as others had before him – the earth was not immoveable at the center of the universe. He devised a rational, elegant theory and structure out of it that worked and made sense. Copernicus dismissed the Aristotelian model of earth-centric spheres in favor of a sun-centered universe, but was unable to fully shake the concept of spheres. He was confident enough to begin writing letters about it all as early as 1524. He might have begun putting ink to paper on a book version as early as 1515.

There was no drama to it. No one else was involved. There was no eureka moment. His initial findings were published without uproar. His formal findings were only published posthumously. They caused no great commotion (at first). Copernicus was not excommunicated , sent to hell, disinterred or made the object of a damning declaration. Others using his findings did not fare as well. And for 200 years, “scientists” still claimed it was absurd.

He was no fool. In the tense times of Catholic repression of Lutherans, he wanted to keep his head down and the controversy low. He did not attempt to publish his theory. Then luck interceded. A young mathematics genius sought him out, worked with him for two years (on sabbatical from his university), and convinced Copernicus to let him publish the initial findings without actually using his name. And that’s how it was done.
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