Is This the Face of Copernicus?

Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was the first astronomer to formulate a scientifically-based heliocentric cosmology that displaced the Earth from the center of the universe. His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the Scientific Revolution.

His influence was felt throughout Europe and, of course, the Netherlands. Stevin, in his book on astronomy, De Hemelloop (1608) is believed to be the first of the 16th century Dutch astronomers to publish acceptance of the Copernican system.

kopernikFrom Jerzy Gąssowski & Beata Jurkiewicz of the Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology:

In spring 2004, at the meeting of the Scientific Council of the Frombork-based Baltic Research Centre operating within the Aleksander Gieysztor Pultusk School of Humanities, bishop Doctor Jacek Jezierski, provost of the Frombork metropolitan church, asked me (i.e. J. Gassowski) whether I would be interested in carrying out archaeological research aimed at locating the grave of Nichoalus Copernicus. At first I refused saying that the task resembled that of looking for a needle in a haystack. What is known is that the famous astronomer, a canon of the local church, was buried in the church when he died at the age of 70. Records from chapter meetings do not contain the exact date of his death or the place of his burial. No durable epitaph was placed on his grave, either. On the day of Copernicus’ death his work was being printed, so it did not bring him international renown at the time, and the astronomer himself did not give any instructions concerning the possible tombstone nor did he leave any means to finance the funeral.

Read the complete article here.


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