62 Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes from Renaissance Polymath

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Polish polymath, mathematician, astronomer and Catholic canon.

Nicolaus Copernicus a Polish astronomer born on February 19, 1473 in Toruń revolutionized our understanding of the solar system with his heliocentric theory placing the Sun at the center and describing Earth as a planet that rotates on its axis daily and orbits the Sun annually.

This theory influenced many scientific revolution thinkers including Galileo Kepler Descartes and Newton.

Copernicus was well-educated studying liberal arts astronomy and astrology at the University of Cracow and later at the University of Bologna where he was exposed to critical texts that shaped his future work.

Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

He also studied medicine and canon law at the University of Padua and the University of Ferrara respectively.

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Apart from his scientific pursuits Copernicus served as a church canon performing various administrative and medical duties.

His most famous work “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri vi” which contained his final heliocentric theory was published in 1543 the year of his death.

Nicolaus Copernicus was known for Heliocentrism and Quantity theory of money.

I have curated the best quotes by Nicolaus Copernicus.


Best Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

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I knew that mathematicians by no means agree in their investigation thereof. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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I have at length allowed my friends to publish the work, as they had long besought me to do. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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The earth together with its circumjacent elements performs a complete rotation on its fixed poles in a daily motion… ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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Nor is it necessary that these hypotheses should be true, nor indeed even probable… ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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The earth also is spherical, since it presses upon its center from every direction. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Yet if anyone believes that the earth rotates, surely he will hold that its motion is natural, not violent. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

We regard it as a certainty that the earth, enclosed between poles, is bounded by a spherical surface. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The earth together with its surrounding waters must in fact have such a shape as its shadow reveals, for it eclipses the moon with the arc of a perfect circle. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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Gravity is merely a certain natural inclination with which parts are imbued by the architect of all things. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

I can easily conceive, most Holy Father, that as soon as some people learn that in this book which I have written concerning the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, I ascribe certain motions to the Earth, they will cry out at once that I and my theory should be rejected. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Famous Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

There is no one center of all the celestial circles or spheres. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

If the motions of the other planets were added to the rotation of the earth and calculated as for the revolution of that planet … it so bound together both the order and magnitude of all the planets and the spheres and the heaven itself, that in no single part could one thing be altered without confusion among the other parts and in all the universe. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Not a few other very eminent and scholarly men made the same request, urging that I should no longer through fear refuse to give out my work for the common benefit of students of Mathematics. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The motion of the earth can unquestionably produce the impression that the entire universe is rotating. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Although all the good arts serve to draw man’s mind toward better things, this function can be more fully performed by this art. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

For a traveler going from any place toward the north, that pole of the daily rotation gradually climbs higher, while the opposite pole drops down an equal amount. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Top Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

Yet the widespread planetary theories seemed likewise to present no small difficulty. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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More stars in the north are seen not to set, while in the south certain stars are no longer seen to rise. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

I feel no shame in asserting that this whole region engirdled by the moon, and the center of the earth, traverse this grand circle amid the rest of the planets in an annual revolution around the sun. Near the sun is the center of the universe. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The first and highest of all is the sphere of the fixed stars, which comprehends itself and all things, and is accordingly immovable. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

What appears to us as motions of the sun arise not from its motion but from the motion of the earth and our sphere, with which we revolve about the sun like any other planet. The earth has, then, more than one motion. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Let no one expect anything certain from astronomy, which cannot furnish it, lest he accept as the truth ideas conceived for another purpose… ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Astronomy is written for astronomers. To them my work too will seem, unless I am mistaken, to make some contribution. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth’s mobility. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Popular Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

For I am not so enamored of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

In the midst of all dwells the Sun. For who could set this luminary in another or better place in this most glorious temple, than whence he can at one and the same time brighten the whole. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Since nothing stands in the way of the movability of the earth, I believe we must now investigate whether it also has several motions, so that it can be considered one of the planets. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The strongest affection, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects … the universe’s divine revolutions, the stars’ motions, sizes, distances… ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

All the spheres revolve about the sun as their mid-point, and therefore the sun is the center of the universe. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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There may be babblers who dare to condemn my hypothesis. I value them not. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

It is proper for an astronomer to establish a record of the motions of the heavens with diligent and skilful observations, and then to think out and construct laws for them. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Great Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

Trismegistus calls it a ‘visible God’; Sophocles’ Electra, ‘that which gazes upon all things’. And so the sun governs the family of stars which wheel around. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Moreover, why Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, when they rise in the evening, appear greater than when they disappear and reappear with the sun. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Of all things visible, the highest is the heaven of the fixed stars. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

In the first book I shall describe all the positions of the spheres, along with the motions which I attribute to the Earth, so that the book will contain as it were the general structure of the universe. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

So if the worth of the arts were measured by the matter with which they deal, this art-which some call astronomy, others astrology. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Those things which I am saying now may be obscure, yet they will be made clearer in their proper place. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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I often considered whether there could perhaps be found a more reasonable arrangement of circles. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Nations are not ruined by one act of violence. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

I took upon myself the task of re-reading the books of all the philosophers which I could obtain, to seek out whether any one had ever conjectured that the motions of the spheres of the universe were other than they supposed who taught mathematics in the schools. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Scientific Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

For every apparent change in respect of position is due to motion of the object observed, or of the observer, or indeed to an unequal change of both. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Moreover, since the sun remains stationary, whatever appears as a motion of the sun is really due rather to the motion of the earth. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Through steady observation, arranged by God’s wisdom, who would not be guided to admire the Builder who creates all! ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Every light has its shadow, and every shadow hath a succeeding morning. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

To know the mighty works of God, all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Mathematics is written for mathematicians. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Since different hypotheses are sometimes available to explain one and the same motion … an astronomer will prefer to seize on the one which is easiest to grasp. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

If then the Earth also performs other motions, they must necessarily be like those which are similarly apparent in many external bodies in which we find an annual orbit. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The center of the earth is not the center of the universe, but only of gravity and of the lunar sphere. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

Wise Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

Pouring forth its seas everywhere, then, the ocean envelops the earth and fills its deeper chasms. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

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I am aware that a philosopher’s ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons… ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

But we should rather follow the wisdom of nature. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

We find then in this arrangement an admirable harmony of the world. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.

The Universe, wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator. ~ Nicolaus Copernicus.


So these were the 62 top Nicolaus Copernicus quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Bethany Hamilton quotes and Grace Murray Hopper quotes.


Short Biography of Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus, a Renaissance polymath, revolutionized science by proposing a heliocentric universe model, with the Sun, not Earth, at its center, in his landmark work “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.”

Nicolaus Copernicus

Born in 1473 in what is now Poland, Copernicus was a true polymath, skilled in mathematics, astronomy, and various other fields.

Full Name Nicolaus Copernicus
Polish Name Mikołaj Kopernik
Born 19 February 1473, Thorn, Royal Prussia, Poland
Died 24 May 1543 (age 70 years), Frauenburg, Royal Prussia, Poland
Influenced Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, MORE
Known for Heliocentrism; Quantity theory of money; Gresham–Copernicus law
Parents Nicolaus Copernicus Sr., Barbara Watzenrode
Siblings Katharina Copernicus, Andreas Copernicus, Barbara Copernicus
Fields Astronomy; Canon law; Economics; Mathematics; Medicine; Politics
Education University of Kraków (1491–1495), University of Bologna (1496–1500), University of Padua (1501–1503), University of Ferrara (DCanL, 1503)
Academic advisors Domenico Maria Novara da Ferrara

His work laid the foundation for the Copernican Revolution and significantly contributed to the Scientific Revolution.

Copernicus, who never married, led a diverse and influential life until his death in 1543.


Quick Facts about Nicolaus Copernicus

  • Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473.
  • He introduced the heliocentric theory, stating that planets revolve around the Sun.
  • Copernicus’s contributions marked the beginning of the Copernican Revolution in science.
  • He remained a bachelor throughout his life and was a member of the clergy.
  • Copernicus also had interests in medicine and economics.
  • His family background included merchants and clergy, with his father being a copper merchant.
  • Copernicus was a polyglot, fluent in Polish, German, Latin, Italian, and had knowledge of Greek.
  • He wasn’t the first to propose heliocentrism but popularized it.
  • Earlier scholars like Aristarchus of Samos had similar ideas, but Copernicus did not fully credit them.
  • Copernicus made significant contributions to economics, proposing ideas on currency and inflation.
  • Although he studied medicine, he never earned a medical degree.
  • As a church official, Copernicus took a vow of celibacy.
  • He might have had an affair with his housekeeper, Anna Schilling.
  • Copernicus attended four universities but often left without obtaining a degree.
  • He received a doctorate in canon law from the University of Ferrara.
  • Copernicus was cautious about sharing his heliocentric views due to potential ridicule and persecution.
  • His seminal work, “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,” was published on his deathbed in 1543.
  • The Catholic Church initially repudiated his work, which later influenced the punishment of Galileo Galilei.
  • The chemical element Copernicium is named in his honor.
  • Copernicus’s remains were identified in 2008, after being discovered under Frombork Cathedral.
  • Monuments dedicated to Copernicus can be found worldwide, including in Warsaw, Chicago, and Montreal.
  • The Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw is named after him.
  • His ideas on supply and demand influenced economic principles like Gresham’s Law and the Quantity Theory of Money.
  • Copernicus’s book was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books by the Church but was later edited and removed from the ban.
  • Copernicus’s work laid the groundwork for future astronomers, including Galileo.
  • Despite his contributions to astronomy, Copernicus maintained a low profile regarding his theories during most of his life.
  • Copernicus’s family had a strong influence on his education and career, with his uncle funding his studies.
  • The heliocentric theory challenged the widely accepted geocentric model of the universe at the time.
  • Copernicus’s theory significantly changed the way we understand our place in the universe.
  • His legacy continues through the institutions, elements, and monuments named in his honor.

Top Questions about Nicolaus Copernicus

Q: What is Nicolaus Copernicus known for?

A: Nicolaus Copernicus is known for proposing the heliocentric system, where planets orbit the Sun, and Earth rotates daily on its axis, contributing to the precession of the equinoxes.

Q: Why is Nicolaus Copernicus considered a hero?

A: Copernicus is hailed as a hero in astronomy for his groundbreaking heliocentric model, positing the Sun as the center of the solar system with planets, including Earth, orbiting it.

Q: Did Copernicus have any children?

A: Copernicus never married and had no known children. He had a controversial relationship with his housekeeper, Anna Schilling, but they never married.

Q: How famous is Nicolaus Copernicus?

A: Nicolaus Copernicus is immensely famous as one of history’s most influential astronomers, primarily for his heliocentric solar system model.

Q: What was Copernicus’s real name?

A: Copernicus was originally named Mikolaj Kopernik or Nicolaus Koppernigk before adopting the Latinized version, Nicolaus Copernicus.

Q: When and where was Copernicus buried?

A: Copernicus died in 1543 in Frombork, Poland, and was buried in the local cathedral, though the exact location of his grave was forgotten over time.

Q: What are the birth and death dates of Copernicus?

A: Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473, in Toruń, Poland, and died on May 24, 1543, in Frauenburg, East Prussia.

Q: Who discovered heliocentrism?

A: Nicolaus Copernicus discovered heliocentrism, detailing a universe with Earth and other planets orbiting the Sun in 1543.

Q: Why was heliocentrism initially rejected?

A: Heliocentrism faced rejection because early proponents couldn’t explain why the relative positions of stars appeared unchanged despite Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Q: What language did Copernicus use for his writings?

A: Copernicus wrote his heliocentric universe model in Latin, a Romanization of his actual surname “Kopernik.”

Q: Who is considered the father of astronomy?

A: Nicolaus Copernicus is regarded as the Father of Astronomy, especially for his work “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.”

Q: Who supported Copernicus’s theory?

A: Galileo Galilei supported Copernicus’s theory by observing Venus’s phases through a telescope, which aligned with the heliocentric model and contradicted the geocentric model.

Q: Where did Copernicus receive his education?

A: Copernicus studied at the University of Cracow starting in 1491, though there’s no record of him earning a degree there, which was common for the time.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar