Letters Written by Copernicus

  • Pawel Czartoryski


The surviving letters written by Copernicus present a startling contrast to the extant correspondence of the three astronomers to whom he is most often compared: Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), and Johannes Kepler (1571–1630). Only seventeen of Copernicus’ letters survive. With but two exceptions (Letters III, IV), they are all quite brief and business-like. The light they throw on Copernicus’ life and character, and on his intellectual development, flickers by contrast with the steady, strong illumination provided by the far more copious correspondence conducted by Brahe, Galileo, and Kepler. By reason of their paucity, Copernicus’ letters are all the more precious, since his other writings are sternly taciturn, unlike the outspoken publications of his three fellow-astronomers.


Erroneous Date Correct Reading Latin Text General Letter Illegitimate Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Album studiosorum universitatis cracoviensis, II (Cracow, 1892)Google Scholar
  2. Biskup, Marian, “Problem autografu listu Mikolaja Kopernika do Feliksa Reicha z roku 1528,” KMW, 1975, pp. 257–261; facsimile of Copernicus’ letter to Reich between pp. 260–261Google Scholar
  3. Burmeister, Karl Heinz, Georg Joachim Rhetikus, 3 vols. (Wiesbaden, 1967–1968)MATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Catalogus Czartoryski Catalogus codicum manu scriptorum Musei principum Czartoryski, 2 vols. (Cracow, 1887–1913); indexes (Cracow, 1928; Tessin, 1931)Google Scholar
  5. Corpus iuris polonici, IV (Cracow, 1910), ed. Oswald BalzerGoogle Scholar
  6. Forstreuter, Kurt, “Aktenaustausch zwischen dem Staatsarchiv in Königsberg und den ermländischen Archiven in Frauenburg,” Archivalische Zeitschrift, 1931, 40: 267–269Google Scholar
  7. [Hoffmanowa, Klementyna] in Rozrywki dla Dzieci, 1826, 5:81–84; 1828, pp. 81–84Google Scholar
  8. Hubatsch, Walter, Albrecht von Brandenburg-Anspach (Heidelberg, 1960; Studien zur Geschichte Preussens, Band 8)Google Scholar
  9. Jamiolkowska, Danuta, “Memoriale Łukasza Watzenrodego — analiza paleograficzna,” KMW, 1972, pp. 633–648Google Scholar
  10. Joachim, Erich, Die Politik des letzten Hochmeisters in Preussen Albrecht von Brandenburg (Leipzig, 1892–1895; Publicationen aus der k. preussischen Staatsarchiv, Bd. 50, 58, 61 )Google Scholar
  11. Kopernikus-Forschungen, eds. Johannes Papritz and Hans Schmauch (Leipzig, 1943; Deutschland und der Osten, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte ihrer Beziehungen, Vol. 22)Google Scholar
  12. Le Branchu, Jean-Yves, Ecrits notables sur la monnaie, 2 vols. (Paris, 1934 )Google Scholar
  13. Moore, George Albert, Copernicus, Treatise on Coining Money (Chevy Chase, Md [1965])Google Scholar
  14. Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn, Zbior pamigtnikow historycznych o dawnéy Polszcze (1st ed. Warsaw, 1822–1833; 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1838–1840; Collection of Historical Diaries concerning Poland in Olden Times)Google Scholar
  15. Oko, Jan, “Paweł Deusterwalt,” Ateneum Wileńskie, 1930, 7: 786–798Google Scholar
  16. Prowe, Leopold, Mittheilungen aus schwedischen Archiven und Bibliotheken (Berlin, 1853 )Google Scholar
  17. Schmauch, Hans, “Neue Funde zum Lebenslauf des Coppemicus,” ZGAE, 1943, 28: 53–99Google Scholar
  18. Schultheiss, Tassilo, Nicolaus Coppernicus aus Thorn Ueber die Umdrehungen der Himmelskörper (Posen, 1923 )Google Scholar
  19. Sikorski, Jerzy, Prywatne życie Mikołaja Kopernika ( Olsztyn, 1973; The Private Life of Nicholas Copernicus )Google Scholar
  20. Sommerfeld, Erich, Die Geldlehre des Nicolaus Copernicus (Vaduz, 1978 )Google Scholar
  21. Triller, Anneliese, “Das dy helige gerechtikeit nicht vorhindert worde,” ZGAE, 1972, 36: 124–133Google Scholar
  22. Wołyński, Arturo, Autografi di Niccolò Copernico (Florence, 1879 )MATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Edward Rosen 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pawel Czartoryski

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations