Nicholas Copernicus’ Revolutions

Book One
  • Jerzy Dobrzycki


Among the many various literary and artistic pursuits which invigorate men’s minds, the strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects, most deserving to be known. This is the nature of the discipline which deals with the universe’s divine revolutions, the asters’ motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings, as well as the causes of the other phenomena in the sky, and which, in short, explains its whole ap-pearance. What indeed is more beautiful than heaven, which of course contains all things of beauty? This is proclaimed by its very names [in Latin], caelum and rnundus, the latter denoting purity and ornament, the former a carving. On account of heaven’s transcendent perfection most philosophers have called it a visible god. If then the value of the arts is judged by the subject matter which they treat, that art will be by far the foremost which is labeled astronomy by some, astrology by others, but by many of the ancients, the consummation of mathematics. Unquestionably the summit of the liberal arts and most worthy of a free man, it is supported by almost all the branches of mathematics. Arithmetic, geometry, optics, surveying, mechanics and whatever others there are all contribute to it.


Great Circle Equal Angle Spherical Triangle Heavenly Body Equal Side 
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Copyright information

© Edward Rosen 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerzy Dobrzycki

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