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Poland, Toruń, and Cracow in the Fifteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author reconstructs the details regarding the education that Nicholas Copernicus received in Poland in the fifteenth century. On 19 February 1473, Copernicus was born in Toruń in the bishopric of Chełmno in the region of eastern Pomerania. Experts on Copernicus have assumed that Nicholas obtained an education in liberal arts at Cracow. It is likely that Copernicus counted among his teachers the leading masters in arts or their students. He may not have completed all of the requirements and attended all of the courses towards degrees, but an education in liberal arts at Cracow according to the standards of the day included instruction in grammar, rhetoric, poetry, logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. The author has based the above reconstruction on the statutory requirements for degrees and on his age and previous education at matriculation.

Keywords: Cracow; education; fifteenth century; Nicholas Copernicus; Poland; Toruń



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