Another System Wherein the Earth is Situated in the Center of the World and Moves About Its Own Axis in the Space of Twenty-Four Hours

  • Otto Von Guericke
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 137)


There is, in addition, a fourth theory of the world system about which the first writers were Heraclides Ponticus, likewise Ecphantus and the youthful Plato. These were followed by Tost, Longberg, and most recently by Michael Havemann, Senior Officeholder of the State Ministry in his Astraea sive Sideralis Scientia, and others. These place the earth in the center of the world, and although they do not allow of its moving forward on its central axis, they assign, nonetheless, daily motion to it, that is, setting and rising within a period of twenty-four hours. It is in accordance with the following optical principal that the sun (ERRATUM read “ut sol caeteraque” for “caeteraque”) and other stars are seen within the same space of time to set: “Those bodies visible to the eye and which move with equal velocity as the eye, seem to be at rest. Those which move more slowly, however, seem to move backward, and those which move more rapidly, seem to be carried forward.” Vitelo, Book 3, propositions 135, 138, Euclid, Optica, theorem 59). To each of the planets, however, they attributed individual motion in free space and to the firmament, the slow motion of the equinoctal precession, that is, one revolution in 25,000 years, a subject discussed above in Chapter 2. They call his motion secondary motion and declare that it is free of all impetuosity, contrariety, error, and fluctuation so that no planet in the heavens circulates more quickly on one day and more slowly on another or that a man who is now standing perfectly still, would be made to move forward moments later, and shortly thereafter to move backward in crab fashion, etc., as the Ptolemaics have taught. This theory poses several questions, however, that must be addressed. (1) Why it is that the planets now appear larger to us, now smaller and consequently do not always maintain the same distance from the earth, for at times they approach very near to it and at others recede at a distance from it.


Free Space Central Axis Slow Motion World System Individual Motion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

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  • Otto Von Guericke

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