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On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Nicolai Copernicus


Third Edition in Latin with diagrams and tables.
This edition was prepared by Nicolaus Mulerius and is the first to contain explanatory notes and source notes to the Greek phrases used by Copernicus as well as the first to contain the biography of Copernicus. “De Revolutionibus” was first published in 1543 in Nuremberg. It was an alternative model of the universe that challenged the view of the universe, then based on the Ptolemaic system developed by Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in second century A. D., in which the universe was a fixed pivot with earth at the center and the moon, sun, and planets were carried by a system of epicycles and deferents. Copernicus’ system worked mathematically and like the Ptolemaic system it was uniform, circular and used epicycles, however it positioned the sun near the center of the universe, motionless with the earth and other planets rotating around it.

The first printing of “De Revolutionibus” failed to garner attention with the print run failing to sell out and the volume was met with mild controversy. In 1616, the work was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (books banned by the Catholic Church) and would remain on the Index until 1758.

TITLE: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Nicolai Copernicus

Published: 1617

Catalogue: #0767