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Setting Up Copernicus? Astronomy And Natural Philosophy In Giambattista Capuano Da Manfredonia’s Expositio On The Sphere

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Chapter Summary

Capuano's Expositio of the Sphere is considerably more significant, both on its own terms and in relation to Nicholas Copernicus, than the modest earlier scholarship on him has realized. While commenting on Sacrobosco's elementary text of the mathematics curriculum, Capuano also brings together salient arguments from the Physics and De caelo commentaries of the previous century, including the possibility of mixed circular motions and of combined rectilinear and circular motions. An imperfect version of Capuano's commentary on Sacrobosco first appeared in a 1499 Venetian astronomical compendium, which also reprinted his Peuerbach commentary. Capuano's preface discusses the status of astronomy as a science and its relation to mathematics, concluding that astronomy (he uses both astronomia and astrologia) belongs to physics (natural philosophy) rather than mathematics.

Keywords: astronomy; Capuano's Expositio; mathematics; natural philosophy; Nicholas Copernicus; Sphere



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