The one who moved the earth

The one who moved the earth
Mikolaj Kopernik (known outside of Poland as Nicolaus Copernicus) was born in 1473 in Torun, today’s Poland. He was a mathematician, lawyer, economist, doctor, translator… but for the most of people he is the astronomer who formulated whose works proved that the Earth is not the center of the universe but moves around the sun.

He was born in a family of Mikolaj Kopernik and Barbara Watzenrode. His father – Mikolaj the Older – derived from Silesian village called Koperniki. Its members would settle down at the end of 14th century in larger Polish cities, Silesian Duchies and on the territory of Teutonic Order. The father of Kopernik was at first Krakow merchant but then he moved to Torun. Mikolaj had 3 other siblings. The mother – Barbara, who came from Watzenrode family – died most probably when the later astronomer was still a young boy. After the death of children’s father, they were taken care of by Lucas Watzenrode – brother of Barbara and bishop of the region.

He studied Mathematics and Astronomy in Krakow (Poland), law in Bolonia (Italy) and medicine in Padwa (Italy). He spoke Polish, German and Latin equally fluently. He spoke also a little bit of Greek and Italian. Mikolaj never married nor had any children.

Copernicus was still working on De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (even if not convinced that he wanted to publish it) when in 1539 Georg Joachim Rheticus, a Wittenberg mathematician, arrived in Frombork. Philipp Melanchthon, a close theological ally of Martin Luther, had arranged for Rheticus to visit several astronomers and study with them.
The Catholic Church's 1758 Index of Prohibited Books omitted the general prohibition of works defending heliocentrism, but retained the specific prohibitions of the original uncensored versions of De revolutionibus and Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Those prohibitions were finally dropped from the 1835 Index.
Says historian John David North comparing the nationality discourse to the war that led to the cession of Royal Prussia to the Polish king roughly a decade before Copernicus' birth.[104] North describes Copernicus as "a subject to the Polish king, drawing heavily on German culture," but also points out the strong influences of Italy and the Roman Catholic Church.

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