Nicolaus Copernicus was a forerunner of modern astronomy, and like other thinkers such as Galileo Galilei, he was severely criticized by the Church, which refused to accept his theories. Born into a wealthy family of merchants, Nicolaus Copernicus was orphaned at the age of ten and was brought up by his maternal uncle, the canon of the Frauenburg Cathedral and later bishop of Warmia. It was his uncle who advocated for an education at the university for the boy. Copernicus attended several universities where he studied mathematics, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, Greek, literature and law. But better not to give any more clues here!
Copernicus was rigorously interrogated (and harassed) by the Church because his hypotheses went against certain ecclesiastical ideas of the time. He deprived Earth of its privileged status as the center of the cosmos and thus, he dismissed other options for the configuration of the universe that were supported by physical and mathematical theories. Because Copernicus shied away from controversy and was profoundly Christian, he escaped the fate of other great thinkers like Galileo Galilei. The criticism was his only punishment. It is said that it was only on his deathbed that the Polish cleric finally saw the book to which he had devoted half his life in print. This was De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres).
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