What was the significance of Osiander's preface to Copernicus' "On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

bandmanjoe's profile pic

bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Andreas Osiander was a German Lutheran minister who worked in the early 1500s on publishing Copernicus work "On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies".  Osiander inserted a preface, of which
Copernicus may not have been completely aware, that stated the official position of the church at that time.  The church refused to accept Copernicus suggestion that the sun was the center of the universe, and instead, held to the Ptolemaic theory which taught the Earth was the center of the universe.  Osiander stated the model containe within this work might be used for computational purposes only, and that the model should not be regarded as truthful or accurate.  This might have some bearing on the fact that Copernicus idea was not initially accepted or received, since it seemed to indicate Copernicus himself doubted the validity of his own book.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question