Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes
Nicolaus Copernicus (/ko??p??rn?k?s, k?-/; Polish: Miko?aj Kopernik; German: Nikolaus Kopernikus; Niklas Koppernigk; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance- and Reformation-era mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, likely independently of Aristarchus of Samos, who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.
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To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
Therefore I would not have it unknown to Your Holiness, the the only thing which induced me to look for another way of reckoning the movements of the heavenly bodies was that I knew that mathematicians by no means agree in their investigation thereof.
So far as hypotheses are concerned, let no one expect anything certain from astronomy, 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.
Therefore, when I considered this carefully, the contempt which I had to fear because of the novelty and apparent absurdity of my view, nearly induced me to abandon utterly the work I had begun.
I can easily conceive, most Holy Father, that as soon as some people learn that in this book which I have written concerning the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, I ascribe certain motions to the Earth, they will cry out at once that I and my theory should be rejected.
Pouring forth its seas everywhere, then, the ocean envelops the earth and fills its deeper chasms.
Therefore, in the course of the work I have followed this plan: I describe in the first book all the positions of the orbits together with the movements which I ascribe to the Earth, in order that this book might contain, as it were, the general scheme of the universe.
So, influenced by these advisors and this hope, I have at length allowed my friends to publish the work, as they had long besought me to do.
Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe. All this is suggested by the system of procession of events and the harmony of the whole Universe, if only we face the facts, as they say, "with eyes wide open."
Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest in the middle of the heavens as its center, would, I reflected, regard it as an insane pronouncement if I made the opposite assertion that the earth moves.
In first place we must observe that the universe is spherical. This is either because that figure is the most perfect, as not being articulated, but whole and complete in itself; or because it is the most capacious and therefore best suited for that which is to contain and preserve all things.
The scorn which I had reason to fear on account of the novelty and unconventionality of my opinion almost induced me to abandon completely the work which I had undertaken. . . . Astronomy is written for astronomers. To them my work too will seem, unless I am mistaken, to make some contribution.
Therefore, having obtained the opportunity from these sources, I too began to consider the mobility of the earth.