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Humanism And Astronomy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the teaching of astronomy at Cracow in the fifteenth century. Early in the fifteenth century a chair for astronomy was established at the university. The chapter presents a summary which is necessarily selective, dictated in part by Copernicus's reaction and also by efforts in the fifteenth century to improve tables and observational accuracy; eight principal astronomical questions and objections in the tradition of Ptolemy are also presented in the chapter. The training that Copernicus received in Cracow was undoubtedly important, but he sensed that the questions provoked by his teachers would not be answered there. Even if some project was beginning to form in his mind (unlikely at such an early date), he turned to Italy to refine the taste for Renaissance humanism that he acquired in Cracow.

Keywords: astronomy; Copernicus; Crackow University; Ptolemy; Renaissance humanism



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