De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (English: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), first printed in 1543 in Nuremberg, is the seminal work on heliocentric theory and the masterpiece of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States In Astronomy, heliocentrism is the theory that the Sun is at the center of the Solar System. The book offers an alternative model of the universe to the Ptolemaic system. In Astronomy, the geocentric model of the Universe is the superseded theory that the Earth is the center of the universe and other
Copernicus initially wrote up an outline of his system in a short text called the Commentariolus. In the Commentariolus ( Little Commentary) Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his revolutionary Copernican heliocentrism theory of the solar system A physician's library list dating to 1514 includes a manuscript whose description matches the Commentariolus, so Copernicus must have begun work on his new system by that time. However, most historians believe that he wrote the Commentariolus after his return from Spain, and possibly only after 1510. At this time, Copernicus anticipated that he could reconcile the motion of the Earth to the perceived motions of the planets quite easily, with fewer motions than were necessary for the Alfonsine Tables, the version of Ptolemaic astronomy popular at that time. The Alfonsine tables (sometimes spelled Alphonsine tables) were Ephemeris (astronomical tables drawn up at Toledo by order of
Observations of Mercury by Bernhard Walther (1430-1504) of Nuremberg, a pupil of Regiomontanus, were made available to Nicolaus Copernicus by Johannes Schöner, 45 observations in total, 14 of them with longitude and latitude. Johannes Müller von Königsberg ( June 6, 1436 &ndash July 6, 1476) known by his Latin Pseudonym Regiomontanus Johannes Schöner ( January 16, 1477 in Karlstadt am Main &ndash January 16, 1547 in Nürnberg) (aka Johann Schönner Copernicus used three of them in De revolutionibus, giving only longitudes, and erroneously attributing them to Schöner. Copernicus's values differed slightly from the ones published by Schöner in 1544 in Observationes XXX annorum a I. Regiomontano et B. Walthero Norimbergae habitae, [4°, Norimb. 1544].
Remarkably the manuscript of De revolutionibus in Copernicus's own hand has survived. In Astronomy, heliocentrism is the theory that the Sun is at the center of the Solar System. The Solar System consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by Gravity. (Autograph manuscripts of published major scientific works from this time are rare. ) Close examination of the manuscript, including the different types of paper used, has helped scholars to construct an approximate timetable for its composition. Apparently Copernicus began by making a few astronomical observations to provide new data to perfect his models. He may have begun writing the book while still engaged in observations. By the 1530s a substantial part of the book was completed. But he was still completing his work (even if he was not convinced that he wanted to publish it) when in 1539 Georg Joachim Rheticus, a great mathematician from Wittenberg, arrived in Frombork. Georg Joachim von Lauchen, also known as Rheticus ( February 16 1514 &ndash December 4 1574) was a Mathematician, Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a Town in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the Elbe Frombork ( is a Town in northern Poland, on the Vistula Lagoon, in Braniewo County, Warmia-Masuria Province. In 1542, in Copernicus's name, Rheticus published a treatise on trigonometry (later included in the second book of De revolutionibus). Under strong pressure from Rheticus, and having seen that the first general reception of his work had not been unfavorable, Copernicus finally agreed to give the book to his close friend Tiedemann Giese, bishop of Chełmno (Kulm), to be delivered to Rheticus for printing by Johannes Petreius at Nürnberg (Nuremberg). Tiedemann Giese ( June 1, 1480 – October 23, 1550, Heilsberg) was a member of the patrician Giese family of Danzig (Gdańsk For the concentration camp located near a village with a similar name Chełmno nad Nerem see Chełmno extermination camp. Johann(es Petreius aka Hans Peterlein (c 1497 near Bad Kissingen - March 18 1550, Nuremberg) was a German printer It was published just before his death, in 1543.
The major work of Copernicus is the result of decades of labor. It rewrote Ptolemaic theory for a moving Earth, and incorporates over a thousand years of accounts of astronomical observations of varying accuracy. In its standard English edition, it contains 330 folio pages, 100 pages of tables, and over 20,000 tabulated numbers.
The book is dedicated to Pope Paul III (in a preface which attempts to articulate that mathematics, not physics, should be the basis for understanding and accepting his theory) and is divided into 6 parts ("books"):
De revolutionibus starts with an anonymous foreword stating that the whole work is only a simple hypothesis, implying that it might only be bold speculation. It is misleading to understand the word "hypothesis" in its modern sense, a proposed law or principle that is to be tested by experiment. Rather, the word should be understood as meaning a convenient bit of mathematics not necessarily related at all to reality. The foreword was at the time generally regarded as Copernicus's own idea, until Johannes Kepler showed that it was an addition by the Lutheran philosopher Andreas Osiander. Johannes Kepler (ˈkɛplɚ ( December 27 1571 &ndash November 15 1630) was a German Mathematician, Astronomer Andreas Osiander ( 19 December, 1498 &ndash 17 October 1552) was a German Lutheran theologian. That Osiander had written the preface was certainly common knowledge among astronomers well before Kepler. Johannes Praetorius (1537-1616) wrote on his copy of De Revolutionibus a comment that affirms Osiander as the author of the preface. 
In his system Copernicus argued that the universe is made up of eight spheres. The outer, eighth sphere consisted of motionless, fixed stars with the sun motionless at the centre. The planets revolved around the Sun in the order of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The moon however, revolved around the Earth. Moreover, according to him, what seemed to be the movement of the Sun and fixed stars around the Earth was really explained by the daily rotation of the Earth around its own axis. Even with all of his advances, he retained the circular orbits, because of which he was forced to also retain the epicycles of the Ptolemaic system to prove his calculations correct. Nevertheless, the shift from an Earth-centered, to a sun-centered system was very important and raised serious questions about Aristotle's astronomy and physics, despite Copernicus's adherence to Aristotle. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
The book caused only mild controversy at the time, and provoked no fierce sermons about contradicting holy scripture; Osiander's preface, therefore, may have had some success. In 1546, however, a Dominican, Giovanni Maria Tolosani, wrote a treatise denouncing the theory and defending the absolute truth of scripture. The Order of Preachers ( Latin: Ordo Praedicatorum) after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is Tolosani also claimed that Bartolomeo Spina, the Master of the Sacred Palace, had intended to condemn the theory but had been unable to press the issue because of ill health. Bartolommeo Spina (born at Pisa about 1475 died at Rome, 1546 was an Italian Dominican theologian and scholastic philosopher
According to Olivier Thill's 2002 update of a biography written in 1654 by Pierre Gassendi, many persons, astronomers, theologians and others, knew about Copernicus's theory before 1615. Pierre Gassendi ( January 22, 1592 &ndash October 24, 1655) was a French Philosopher, priest, Scientist Their stance is given as follows:
|Bernard Wapowski, Tiedemann Giese, Johannes Dantiscus, Nikolaus Cardinal von Schönberg, Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter, Georg Joachim Rheticus, Heinrich Zell, Andreas Aurifaber, Achille Pirmin Gasser, Johannes Petreius, Erasmus Reinhold, Johannes Angelus, Petrus Ramus or de la Ramée, Omer Talon, Robert Record or Recorde, John Feild or Field, John Dee, Pontus de Tyard, Leonardo Botallo, Petrus Pitatus, Johannes Stadius, Regnier Gemma Frisius, Cyprianus Leovitius, David Origano or Tost, Nicodème Frischlin, Nicolao Zoravio, Brunone Seidelius, Christian Wursteisen (Urstitius), Erasmus Oswald Schreckenfuchs, Thomas Digges, Nicolaus Neodomus, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Valentin Steinmetz, Diego Lopez de Zuñiga or Didacus a Stunica, Giovanni Battista Benedetti, Francesco Patrizio, Bartholomäus Scultetus, John Blagrave, Jonas Petrejus Upsaliensis, Duncan Liddel, Jean-Antoine de Baïf, Bartholomaeus Keckermann, Christoph Rothmann, Joseph Justus Scaliger (the son of Julius C. Bernard Wapowski (1450 &ndash 1535 was a historian and the leading Polish Cartographer of the 16th century known as "the father of Polish cartography Tiedemann Giese ( June 1, 1480 – October 23, 1550, Heilsberg) was a member of the patrician Giese family of Danzig (Gdańsk Johannes Dantiscus, (Johann(es von Höfen or Johann(es Flachsbinder (Jan Dantyszek ( 1 October 1485 in Danzig Gdańsk in Poland Nikolaus von Schönberg ( 11 August 1472 &ndash 7 September 1537) was a German Archbishop of Capua. Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter (born 1506 in Nellingen / Blaubeuren near Ulm, died March 28 1557 in Regensburg) was a Georg Joachim von Lauchen, also known as Rheticus ( February 16 1514 &ndash December 4 1574) was a Mathematician, Heinrich Zell (died 1560 was a German printer and Cartographer. Andreas Aurifaber (1514 &ndash 1559 was a German Physician of some repute but through his influence with Albert of Brandenburg, last grand-master of Georg Joachim von Lauchen, also known as Rheticus ( February 16 1514 &ndash December 4 1574) was a Mathematician, Johann(es Petreius aka Hans Peterlein (c 1497 near Bad Kissingen - March 18 1550, Nuremberg) was a German printer Erasmus Reinhold ( October 22, 1511 &ndash February 19, 1553) was a German Astronomer and Mathematician John Dee (13 July 1527 – 1608 or 1609 was a noted English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, occultist Johannes Stadius or Estadius ( Dutch, Jan Van Ostaeyen; French, Jean Stade) (ca Philipp Nicodemus Frischlin (also spelled Nikodemus) ( September 22, 1547 - November 29, 1590) German Philologist Christian Wursteisen (Christianus Urstisius (1544 – 1588 was a mathematician, theologician, historian from Basel. Christian Wursteisen (Christianus Urstisius (1544 – 1588 was a mathematician, theologician, historian from Basel. Thomas Digges (1546 &ndash 24 August 1595) was an English Astronomer, son of Leonard Digges, and great populariser of Science Bartholomäus Keckermann (1572-1609 in Danzig was a German writer Calvinist Theologist and Philosopher. Christoph Rothmann (born between 1550 and 1560 in Bernburg, Saxony-Anhalt; died probably after 1600 in Bernburg was a German mathematician and one of the few well-known Joseph Justus Scaliger ( August 5 1540 &ndash January 21 1609) was a French religious leader and scholar known for expanding the Scaliger), Paul Wittich, Valentin Otho, Jacob Christmann, Johannes Amos Comenius, William Gilbert, Giordano Bruno, Michael Maestlin, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Gaultier, Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc, Pierre Gassendi, Pierre de Bérulle, Elia Diodati, Matthias Bernegger, Marin Mersenne, René Descartes, Nicolaus Mulerius, etc. Paul Wittich (1546—1586 was a Silesian Mathematician and Astronomer whose Capellan geoheliocentric model in which the inner planets Mercury and Valentinus Otho or Valentin Otto (born around 1550 possibly in Magdeburg - 1603 in Heidelberg) was a German Mathematician and not to be confused with Wolfgang Jakob Christmann, theologist from Augsburg Jakob Christmann (born November 1554 in Johannisberg ( Rheingau John Amos Comenius (Jan Amos Komenský Ján Amos Komenský Johann Amos Comenius Jan Amos Komeński Comenius Ámos János latinized: Iohannes Amos Comenius William Gilbert, also known as Gilbard ( Colchester, England, May 24, 1544 &ndash London, England, November 30 Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600) was an Italian Philosopher best-known as an early proponent of Heliocentrism and Michael Maestlin (also Mästlin Möstlin or Moestlin ( 30 September 1550 in Göppingen, Germany - 20 October 1631) was a Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe ( December 14 1546 &ndash October 24 1601) was a Danish nobleman Johannes Kepler (ˈkɛplɚ ( December 27 1571 &ndash November 15 1630) was a German Mathematician, Astronomer Pierre Gassendi ( January 22, 1592 &ndash October 24, 1655) was a French Philosopher, priest, Scientist Marin Mersenne, Marin Mersennus or le Père Mersenne ( September 8, 1588 &ndash September 1, 1648) was Nicolaus Mulerius ( 25 December 1564, Bruges - 5 September 1630, Groningen) was a professor of Medicine and||Paul Eber, Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Giovanni Maria Tolosani, Julius Caesar Scaliger, Jorgen Christoffersen Dibvardius or Dybbard, Francesco Maurolico, Jean Bodin, Guillaume de Saluste du Bartas, Wilhelm Misocacus, Francesco Barozzi or Barocius, Thomas Blundeville, Johannes Laurentius Gevaliensis, Lambert Danneau, Jacopo Mazzoni, François Viète, George Buchanan, Giulio Cesare LaGalla, Giovanni Antonio Magini, Jean-Baptiste Morin, Christopher Clavius, etc. Paul Eber ( November 8, 1511 - December 10, 1569) German Theologian, was born at Kitzingen in Franconia Philipp Melanchthon (born Philipp Schwartzerd) ( February 16, 1497 &ndash April 19, 1560) was a German professor and theologian Martin Luther (November 10 1483 February 18 1546 was a German Monk, theologian, university professor Father of Protestantism, and church reformer John Calvin (or Jean Calvin) (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564 was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and Julius Caesar Scaliger or Giulio Cesare della Scala ( April 23, 1484 &ndash October 21, 1558) was an Italian scholar and physician Christopher Clavius, ( March 25, 1538 &ndash February 12, 1612) was a German Jesuit Mathematician and|
Identification of "Copernicans" or "anti-Copernicans" will vary depending on the criteria used. For instance, Gassendi apparently considered Tycho Brahe to be a supporter of Copernicus, even though Tycho plainly believed that the Earth did not move. Tycho performed many of the essential measurements which Johannes Kepler used to advance Copernicus's position. Johannes Kepler (ˈkɛplɚ ( December 27 1571 &ndash November 15 1630) was a German Mathematician, Astronomer
It has been much debated why sixty years would pass before Copernicus's work would come under serious attack. The alleged reasons range from the personality of Galileo Galilei to the availability of actual evidence (such as observations with the telescope) which could make it practical for the first time to settle the truth or falsity of the theory. Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 &ndash 8 January 1642 was a Tuscan ( Italian) Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, and Philosopher Whatever the reason, in 1616 Cardinal Bellarmine gave Galileo an order from the Pope to take the position that the system was purely hypothesis. Robert Bellarmine ( Roberto Francesco Romolo Cardinale Bellarmino) (4 October 1542 Montepulciano, Siena, Italy – 17 September 1621 Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 &ndash 8 January 1642 was a Tuscan ( Italian) Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, and Philosopher After that, De revolutionibus was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books along with two less important works (but none of Galileo's, at that time). The Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("List of Prohibited Books" was a list of publications prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church. It was not formally banned but merely withdrawn from circulation pending "corrections" which would clarify the status of the theory as hypothesis (nine sentences, by which the heliocentric system was represented as certain, had to be either omitted or changed). Such corrections were prepared by Francesco Ingoli and others, and were formally approved in 1620; the reading of the book was then allowed.  But the book was never reprinted with these changes, and was available in Catholic jurisdictions only by special request of suitably qualified scholars. It remained on the Index until 1758, when Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) removed the uncorrected book from his revised Index. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("List of Prohibited Books" was a list of publications prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church. Year 1758 ( MDCCLVIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Pope Benedict XIV ( March 31, 1675 &ndash May 3, 1758) born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was Pope from August 17 
A few years after the death of Copernicus, Erasmus Reinhold developed the Prutenic Tables (Prussian Tables, Latin: Tabulae prutenicae, German: Preußische Tafeln), based on Copernicus's observations. Erasmus Reinhold ( October 22, 1511 &ndash February 19, 1553) was a German Astronomer and Mathematician The Prutenic Tables (Tabulae prutenicae Prutenische oder Preußische Tafeln were Ephemeris (astronomical tables by astronomer Erasmus Reinhold published Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. Reinhold's Prutenic Tables were used as a basis for the calendar reform instituted under Pope Gregory XIII. Pope Gregory XIII (January 7 1502 &ndash April 10 1585 born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope from 1572 to 1585 The tables were also used by sailors and sea explorers, who during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had used the Table of the Stars by Regiomontanus. Johannes Müller von Königsberg ( June 6, 1436 &ndash July 6, 1476) known by his Latin Pseudonym Regiomontanus
Nicolaus Copernicus mocked Lactantius, who was an early Christian author (ca. Lucius Caelius (or Caecilius? Firmianus Lactantius was an Early Christian author (ca 240 - ca. 320), in De revolutionibus:
Perhaps there will be babblers who claim to be judges of astronomy although completely ignorant of the subject and, badly distorting some passage of Scripture to their purpose, will dare to find fault with my undertaking and censure it. I disregard them even to the extent of despising their criticism as unfounded. For it is not unknown that Lactantius, otherwise an illustrious writer but hardly an astronomer, speaks quite childishly about the Earth's shape, when he mocks those who declared that the Earth has the form of a globe. Hence scholars need not be surprised if any such persons will likewise ridicule me. Astronomy is written for astronomers.
A German TV documentary on "The world's 7 greatest lies"  states that medieval scholars knew very well that the Earth was a sphere. Copernicus is blamed for omitting that Lactantius was the exception rather than the rule, thus he contributed to the flat Earth mythology. The Myth of the Flat Earth or Flat Earth mythology refers to the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth
For a long time, historians believed that the book was not widely read at the time of its first publication. Owen Gingerich, a widely recognized authority on both Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler, disproved that belief after a 35-year-long project to examine every surviving copy of the first two editions. Dr Owen Jay Gingerich (1930- is a former Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University, and a senior Astronomer Johannes Kepler (ˈkɛplɚ ( December 27 1571 &ndash November 15 1630) was a German Mathematician, Astronomer His efforts and conclusions are recounted in The Book Nobody Read, published in 2004 by Walker & Co. That book and the research behind it earned the Polish government's Order of Merit in 1981. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is a Polish order awarded to those who have rendered great service to the Polish nation Due largely to Dr. Gingerich's scholarship, De revolutionibus has been researched and catalogued better than any first-edition historical text except for the original Gutenberg Bible. Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible or the Mazarin Bible) is a printed version of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible that