In 1539, 25-year-old mathematics prodigy Georg Joachim Rheticus set off to northern Poland to meet the elderly, but not-yet-famous, amateur astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Although Copernicus had published nothing on the topic, rumors floated about his revolutionary theory that the Sun, not Earth, was at the center of the universe, and about a manuscript he had almost completed on the subject.
Rheticus spent 3 years at Copernicus’ side, during which time he persuaded the aging astronomer to complete his manuscript, De revolutionibus.
In this week’s podcast, Dennis Danielson discusses their collaboration and his book The First Copernican: Georg Joachim Rheticus and the Rise of the Copernican Revolution. He also describes Rheticus’ rise, exile, and eventual redemption through a twist of fate.
Read more about this book.
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