Did Copernicus Owe a Debt to Aristarchus?

  title={Did Copernicus Owe a Debt to Aristarchus?},
  author={Owen Gingerich},
  journal={Journal for the History of Astronomy},
  pages={37 - 42}
  • O. Gingerich
  • Published 1 February 1985
  • Physics
  • Journal for the History of Astronomy
During Copernicus's lifetime, in the early years ofthe sixteenth century, very little was known in western Europe of Aristarchus. Our best source for Aristarchus's heliocentric ideas, the Sand-reckoner of Archimedes, was not published until 1544, the year after Copernicus died.' In our modern era of library catalogues, reference indices, and data retrieval systems it is easy but anachronistic to imagine that Copernicus could have consulted a manuscript in Italy when he was beginning to learn… 
The first Copernican was Copernicus: the difference between Pre-Copernican and Copernican heliocentrism
It is well known that heliocentrism was proposed in ancient times, at least by Aristarchus of Samos. Given that ancient astronomers were perfectly capable of understanding the great advantages of
Michael Maestlin and the Fate of the Narratio Prima
The first description in print of Copernican astronomy was written not by Nicolaus Copernicus himself but by his student Georg Joachim Rheticus. In 1539 Rheticus visited Copernicus in Frauenburg,
Copernicus's Doctrine of Gravity and the Natural Circular Motion of the Elements
  • D. Knox
  • Physics
    Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
  • 2005
of Copernicus's De revolutionibus concerns mathematical astronomy. Its opening chapters, however, summarise several traditional, nonmathematical, arguments for a geocentric, geostatic cosmos and
From mythology to science: the development of scientific hydrological concepts in the Greek antiquity and its relevance to modern hydrology
Abstract. Whilst hydrology is a Greek term, it has not been in use in the Classical literature but much later, during the Renaissance, in its Latin version, hydrologia. On the other hand, Greek
Purpose of the Creation of Man: Quran’s True Version of Anthropic Principle
Scientists, especially theoretical physicists and cosmological philosophers have always wondered the beauty of the universe, especially how it has led to the creation or evolution of intelligent
Lucretius and the Symptomatology of Modernism
Considerations of Lucretius and modernism generally take it for granted that Lucretius’s modernity, proto-modernity, or impact on modernity is exceptional. The usual story is that Lucretius, in some
Essay Review: Volume 4A of The General History: Astrophysics and Twentieth-Century Astronomy to 1950
pay you at my return which will be this week, the day not determined. As to Thirston rent I have not yet wrote about it, being desirous that you and I should writejoyntly, in relation to the lease
What's in a name: the etymology of astrobiology
Abstract Astrobiology has been gaining increasing scientific prominence and public attention as the search for life beyond Earth continues to make significant headway on multiple fronts. In view of
Rediscovering and Reviving Old Observations and Explanations of Metabolic Scaling in Living Systems
This article discusses several examples of the recent rediscovery and (or) revival of specific metabolic scaling relationships and explanations for them previously published during the nearly 200-year history of allometric studies.
Ionian Philosophers and Early Greek Cosmology (Invited)
The contribution of the ancient Ionian Philosophers and particularly of Aristarchus of Samos to the astronomical-cosmological science is described with the purpose of restoring the historical truth


Mathematical astronomy in Copernicus's De revolutionibus
When I first laid out the framework for A History of Ancient Mathe matical Astronomy, I intended to carry the discussion down to the last applications of Greek astronomical methodology, i. e.
From Copernicus to Kepler : Heliocentrism as Model and as Reality
And if we should admit that the course of the sun and moon could be demonstrated even if the earth is fixed, then with respect to the other wandering bodies there is less agreement. It is credible
I feel that it is unfortunate that the two most recent English translators of Copernicus's book, A
  • 1976
The references are found in Book III
  • -context index prepared by Heribert Nobis at the Copernicus Forschungsstelle in Munich, and with the index and notes in Edward Rosen's translation
  • 1978
Kein Faden, nichts, fuhrt da von Aristarch zu Koppernikus. Was dieser an der Weite des Himmels erschaute
  • Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte und Altertumskunde Ermlands, xxv
  • 1935
Plutarch's Moralia, xiii(Loeb Library
  • Plutarch's Moralia
  • 1957
Aristarchus of Samos and Copernicus
  • Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists
  • 1978
This collection of short works is still found in the Uppsala University Library -see item 42
  • in Science and history: Studies in honor of Edward Rosen (Studio Copernicana, xvi
  • 1978
This task is rendered much easier by the article and notes of Rosen cited in refs 4 and 15,and by the review by Byron Emerson Wall
  • Studies in the history and philosophy of science
  • 1975