Narratio Prima

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Narratio Prima

De libris revolutionum Copernici narratio prima, usually referred to as Narratio Prima (Latin : First Account), is an abstract of Nicolaus Copernicus' heliocentric theory, written by Georg Joachim Rheticus in 1540. It is an introduction to Copernicus's major work, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium , published in 1543, largely due to Rheticus's instigation. Narratio Prima is the first printed publication of Copernicus's theory. [1]

Nicolaus Copernicus Renaissanse-era mathematician and astronomer who formulated the heliocentric model of the Universe

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, in all likelihood independently of Aristarchus of Samos, who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.

Copernican heliocentrism Concept that the Earth rotates around the Sun

Copernican heliocentrism is the name given to the astronomical model developed by Nicolaus Copernicus and published in 1543. It positioned the Sun near the center of the Universe, motionless, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths modified by epicycles and at uniform speeds. The Copernican model displaced the geocentric model of Ptolemy that had prevailed for centuries, placing Earth at the center of the Universe. It is often regarded as the launching point to modern astronomy and the Scientific Revolution.

Georg Joachim de Porris, also known as Rheticus, was a mathematician, astronomer, cartographer, navigational-instrument maker, medical practitioner, and teacher. He is perhaps best known for his trigonometric tables and as Nicolaus Copernicus's sole pupil. He facilitated the publication of his master's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.



Copernicus, born in 1473 and already well over 60 years old, had never published any astronomical work, as his only publication had been his translation of poems of Theophylact Simocatta, printed in 1509 by Johann Haller. At the same time, he had distributed his ideas among friends, with manuscripts called Commentariolus . In the 1530s, he was urged to publish by many, yet still hesitated when in 1539, Rheticus arrived in Frauenburg (Frombork) to become Copernicus' first and only pupil. Philipp Melanchthon had arranged for Rheticus to visit several astronomers and study with them.

Theophylact Simocatta was an early seventh-century Byzantine historiographer, arguably ranking as the last historian of Late Antiquity, writing in the time of Heraclius about the late Emperor Maurice (582–602).

Johann Haller Polish publisher

Johann Haller or Jan Haller (1463–1525) is considered one of the first commercial printers in Poland.

<i>Commentariolus</i> work by Copernicus

The Commentariolus is Nicolaus Copernicus's brief outline of an early version of his revolutionary heliocentric theory of the universe. After further long development of his theory, Copernicus published the mature version in 1543 in his landmark work, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

In September 1539 Rheticus went to Danzig (Gdańsk) to visit the mayor who gave Rheticus some financial assistance to publish the Narratio Prima. [2] This Narratio Prima, published by Franz Rhode in Danzig in 1540, is still considered to be the best introduction to Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. As the full [3] title [4] states, the Narratio was published as an open letter to Johannes Schöner of Nuremberg (Nürnberg). It was bundled together with the Encomium Prussiae [5] which praised the spirit of humanism in Prussia.

History of Gdańsk history of the city in Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Gdańsk is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Founded by the Polish ruler Mieszko I in the 10th century, the city was for a long time part of Piast state either directly or as a fief. In 1308 the city became part of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights until the 15th century. Thereafter it became part of Poland again, although with increasing autonomy. A vital naval city for Polish grain trade it attracted people from all over the European continent. The city was taken over by Prussia during the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 and subsequently lost its importance as a trading port. Briefly becoming a free city during Napoleonic wars, it was again Prussian after Napoleon's defeat, and later became part of the newly created German Empire.

Franz Rhode was a German printer of the 16th century.

Johannes Schöner German astronomer

Johannes Schöner was a renowned and respected German polymath. It is best to refer to him using the usual 16th-century Latin term "mathematicus", as the areas of study to which he devoted his life were very different from those now considered to be the domain of the mathematician. He was a priest, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, cosmographer, cartographer, mathematician, globe and scientific instrument maker and editor and publisher of scientific tests. In his own time he enjoyed a European wide reputation as an innovative and influential globe maker and cosmographer and as one of the continent's leading and most authoritative astrologers. Today he is remembered as an influential pioneer in the history of globe making and as a man who played a significant role in the events that led up to the publishing of Copernicus' "De revolutionibus" in Nürnberg in 1543.

During his two year stay in Prussia, Rheticus published works of his own, and in cooperation with Copernicus, in 1542 a treatise on trigonometry which was a preview to the second book of De revolutionibus. Under strong pressure from Rheticus, and having seen the favorable first general reception of the Narratio Prima, Copernicus finally agreed to give the book to his close friend, bishop Tiedemann Giese, to be delivered to Nuremberg for printing by Johannes Petreius under Rheticus's supervision.

Trigonometry In geometry, study of the relationship between angles and lengths

Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that studies relationships between side lengths and angles of triangles. The field emerged in the Hellenistic world during the 3rd century BC from applications of geometry to astronomical studies. In particular, 3rd-century astronomers first noted that the ratio of the lengths of two sides of a right-angled triangle depends only of one acute angles of the triangle. These dependencies are now called trigonometric functions.

Tiedemann Giese Roman Catholic bishop

Tiedemann Giese, was Bishop of Kulm (Chełmno) first canon, later Prince-Bishop of Warmia (Ermland). His interest in mathematics, astronomy, and theology led him to mentor a number of important young scholars, including Copernicus. He was a prolific writer and correspondent, publishing a number of works on the reformation of the church. Tiedemann was a member of the patrician Giese family of Danzig (Gdańsk) in Poland. The Giese family ancestors originated from Unna in Westphalia, near Cologne. His father was Albrecht Giese and his younger brother, the Hanseatic League merchant Georg Giese.

Johannes Petreius German printer

Johann(es) Petreius was a German printer in Nuremberg.

Later editions of Narratio Prima were printed in Basel, in 1541 by Robert Winter, and in 1566 by Henricus Petrus in connection with the second edition of De revolutionibus.

Basel Place in Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.

Dr. Robert W. Winter was one of California's leading architectural historians. He was the Arthur G. Coons Professor of the History of Ideas, Emeritus, at Occidental College, Los Angeles. He is particularly known for his contributions to the history of the California branch of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Henricus Petrus

Henricus Petrus (1508–1579) and his son Sebastian Henric Petri headed the printer shop of Basel, called Officina Henricpetrina.

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<i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium</i> book by Copernicus

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is the seminal work on the heliocentric theory of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) of the Polish Renaissance. The book, first printed in 1543 in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire, offered an alternative model of the universe to Ptolemy's geocentric system, which had been widely accepted since ancient times.

Linda Hall Library

The Linda Hall Library is a privately endowed American library of science, engineering and technology located in Kansas City, Missouri, sitting "majestically on a 14-acre (5.7 ha) urban arboretum." It is the "largest independently funded public library of science, engineering and technology in North America" and "among the largest science libraries in the world."

Johannes Werner German mathematician

Johann(es) Werner was a German mathematician. He was born in Nuremberg, Germany, where he became a parish priest. His primary work was in astronomy, mathematics, and geography, although he was also considered a skilled instrument maker.

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Achilles Gasser German physician and astrologer

Achilles Pirmin Gasser was a German physician and astrologer. He is now known as a well-connected humanist scholar, and supporter of both Copernicus and Rheticus.

<i>Prutenic Tables</i> astronomical calculations

The Prutenic Tables, were an ephemeris by the astronomer Erasmus Reinhold published in 1551. They are sometimes called the Prussian Tables after Albert I, Duke of Prussia, who supported Reinhold and financed the printing. Reinhold calculated this new set of astronomical tables based on Nicolaus Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, the epochal exposition of Copernican heliocentrism published in 1543. Throughout his explanatory canons, Reinhold used as his paradigm the position of Saturn at the birth of the Duke, on 17 May 1490. With these tables, Reinhold intended to replace the Alfonsine Tables; he added redundant tables to his new tables so that compilers of almanacs familiar with the older Alfonsine Tables could perform all the steps in an analogous manner.

Johannes Praetorius German astronomer and mathematician

Johann Richter or Johannes Praetorius was a Bohemian German mathematician and astronomer.

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Hieronymus Schreiber German doctor, mathematician and astronomer

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  1. Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology (2004). "About Narratio Prima Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine .".
  2. Edward Rosen, Three Copernican Treatises: The Commentariolus of Copernicus; The Letter against Werner; The Narratio Prima of Rheticus, Columbia University Press, 1939.
  3. AD CLARISSMUM VIRUM D. IOANNEM SCHONERUM, DE LIBRIS REVOLUTIONUM eruditissimi viri & Mathematici excellentissimi, Reverendi D. Doctoris Nicolai Copernici Torunnaei, Canonici Varmiensis, per quendam Iuvenem, Mathematicae studiosum NARRATIO PRIMA
  4. Title page of Narratio Prima Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Nicolaus Copernicus Gesamtausgabe (complete edition), Akademie Verlag, Letters of Copernicus,


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