Volume VI of the magnum opus by Nicolaus Copernicus and a turning point for philosophy and natural science: On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Nuremberg (Germany) — 1543

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Nuremberg (Germany) — 1543

  1. Few other treatises have been of such great significance for science, philosophy, mathematics, and more

  2. On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres is the magnum opus by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) and originated in a period of about 15 years

  3. The masterful treatise comprised six volumes, which are illustrated with a total of 148 woodcuts

Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

DE ARIETE

Not only is Aries one of the original 48 Ptolemaic constellations, it is associated with the ancient Greek myth of the Golden Fleece and has been recognized as a ram since the Babylonians. The woodcut shows a ram resting and graph lines represent the relative positions of the stars to one another in the constellation. Aries’ four bright stars align with its horns and the Bedouin, who navigated by the stars, literally called the two brightest the “horns of the ram” (qarna al-hamal).

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Alternative Titles:
  • Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

The title of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI, translates as On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in Six Books. Few other treatises from the Middle Ages have been of such great significance for science, philosophy, mathematics, and the natural history of the universe. The magnum opus of Nicolaus Copernicus originated during a period of approximately 15 years before it was first printed in Nuremberg in 1543. The unbelievably influential text is a milestone in the astronomy of the modern era. It provoked a revolution in the thinking of the medieval population and was an absolute standard work of science until the late 18th century.

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

In the year 1543, the first edition of the primary work by Nicolaus Copernicus De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI was published in Nuremberg. The translated title of the work is On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in Six Books. The work belongs among the milestones of astronomy during the modern era. It is a key work of the so-called Copernican Revolution and is considered to be a paradigm for a scientific revolution, in which the reigning medieval geocentric worldview was replaced by a heliocentric one. The findings of Copernicus regarding the Earth and the Universe were groundbreaking in every regard. His theories were based in mathematics and science and did away with religious superstition. The masterful treatise comprised six volumes, which are illustrated with a total of 148 woodcut diagrams.

A Milestone of Astronomy

The work by Copernicus is a milestone of astronomy and its significance for the scientific and cultural history of the modern era can hardly be overestimated. Here, scientific research is very closely linked with philosophical questions. Inspired by the sources of Greek antiquity, above all Aristarchus of Samos, Heraclides Ponticus, and Philolaus, Copernicus developed a new worldview. Accordingly, the Earth moves along its own access and orbits the sun as the central star, like the other known planets. The Earth was seen as the stationary center of the universe for more than two thousand years. The undertaking by Copernicus was tremendous. He debunked millennia-old, unchallenged arguments against a mobile Earth. He discerned the heliocentric theory from decades of astronomical observations as well as mathematic calculations. Thus, he was able to soundly substantiate his groundbreaking theories. His work possesses such charisma that other scientists, especially Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei, built upon it and the great change of perspective was universally accepted only two hundred years later.

From Theory to Publication

Copernicus had already begun recording his theory in a short treatise ca. 1509, the so-called Commentariolus, a few excerpts of which were publically disclosed. After that, he was occupied with its scientific elaboration for some 30 years and began to transcribe his work ca. 1530. Numerous sources from this time exist in which the new theory was disseminated and discussed in the learned circles of Europe. In 1533, Pope Clement VII had his secretary explain it in a lecture. In September 1541, the Nuremberg publisher Johannes Petreius was granted the right to print the groundbreaking work, it was completed in early 1543. The first edition of around 400 printed pages organized the work of Copernicus into six books. The first book dealt with the foundations of the heliocentric worldview, the second the theory of heavenly phenomena, the third the apparent movements of the Sun, the fourth the movement of the Moon, the fifth and sixth with the length and breadth of the movements of the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury.

The Precious Edition of the Masterpiece

The historically interesting first edition of the Copernican work is stored today in the university library in the Polish city of Torun. There are various theories about the provenance of the edition. One theory says that it was purchased by the secretary of Duke Albert of Prussia, together with other high-quality masterpieces of literature. It was one of the first scientific treatises for the library of the University of Konigsberg, founded in 1544. One other theory claims that the work was a gift of the canon and close confidant of Albert’s, Georg Donner, to the Prussian Duke. In any case, a comprehensive primary work by Copernicus was united in 1543 into a unique codex and was furnished with a finely made leather binding by the bookbinder Caspar Angler. It remained in the collection of the library of the University of Konigsberg until 1944. It was brought to Torun during the turmoil of the Second World War, where it has been in the collection of the university library since ca. 1949.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI
Size / Format
564 pages / 29.0 × 20.5 cm
Date
1543
Language
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI

DE DRACONE

This page is dedicated to the constellation Draco, one of the original 48 constellations listed by the ancient astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC, which is shown with a neighboring constellation, Ursa Minor (also known as the Little Dipper in North America). It is a circumpolar constellation, meaning that is never sets and can be seen all year from northern latitudes.

Oriented along the stars of the constellation, the mythological figure Draco is shown, which was one of the Gigantes that made war on the Olympic gods for ten years. It is a dragon that was killed by the goddess Mineva, becoming twisted up in the process and then frozen in this position after Minerva threw Draco across the sky and it passed by the North Pole.

2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI“

Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI Facsimile

Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
Nicolaus Copernicus - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI – Pol.6 III.142 – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka Mikołaj Kopernik w Toruniu (Toruń, Poland)
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Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Orbis Pictus – Pelplin, 2006
Limited Edition
399 copies
Binding
Hand colored brown leather, fastened with two clasps. Comes in wooden box with engraved and gilded title, padded with jute
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!

Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI Facsimile

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Mikołaj Kopernik - De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Bernardinum Wydawnictwo – Pelplin, 2006
Limited Edition
100 copies
Binding
Hand colored brown leather, fastened with two clasps. Comes in wooden box with engraved and gilded title, padded with jute
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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