Skip to main content

The first Copernican was Copernicus: the difference between Pre-Copernican and Copernican heliocentrism

Abstract

It is well known that heliocentrism was proposed in ancient times, at least by Aristarchus of Samos. Given that ancient astronomers were perfectly capable of understanding the great advantages of heliocentrism over geocentrism—i.e., to offer a non-ad hoc explanation of the retrograde motion of the planets and to order unequivocally all the planets while even allowing one to know their relative distances—it seems difficult to explain why heliocentrism did not triumph over geocentrism or even compete significantly with it before Copernicus. Usually, scholars refer to explanations of sociological character. In this paper, I offer a different explanation: that the pre-Copernican heliocentrism was essentially different from the Copernican heliocentrism, in such a way that the adduced advantages of heliocentrism can only be attributed to Copernican heliocentrism, but not to pre-Copernican heliocentrism proposals.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    This is true for Aristarchus even if he lived before the development of the epicycle and deferent model, for these advantages arise even if we compare heliocentrism with Eudoxus’s system.

  2. 2.

    There are, nevertheless, some scholars who appeal to other internal reasons. Stahl (Stahl 1945: 328), for example, says that in ancient times Aristarchus’s heliocentrism was not accepted precisely for the same reason that made Tycho Brahe to offer his geo-heliocentrism: there was no observation of the annual parallax. Dreyer (1953: 148) adds that “the principal reason why the heliocentric idea fell perfectly flat, was the rapid rise of practical astronomy.” Heliocentrism would be unable to account for the inequalities without complicating the original simplicity of the model. Of course, one must say against Dreyer that exactly the same situation happened with the geocentric model: it had to be complicated with eccentrics and equant points in order to be able to account for the anomalies.

  3. 3.

    This does not imply that a particular lunar theory proposed in the context of a heliocentric model could not play an important role. Actually, Copernicus’s most important astronomical contribution was his lunar model, which superseded that of Ptolemy’s. Cfr. Swerdlow and Neugebauer (1984, I: 193–283).

  4. 4.

    “Usually” because it is possible to assume at the same time the rotation of the Earth and the sphere of fixed stars. Ptolemy considered this possibility in Almagest, I,7 (Toomer 1998: 44–45). Technically, hypothesis 1 implies that the sphere of the fixed stars remain at rest, but it doesn’t imply that its center is the Sun. Probably, one should refer also to hypothesis 2 in order to imply that the Sun is the center of the sphere.

  5. 5.

    The situation is actually somewhat more complex. See Carman (2010).

  6. 6.

    To express the exact sense in which heliocentrism explained the retrograde motion of the planets better than geocentrism is not an easy task. It is not as simple as to assert, like Lakatos (1978: 185), that “the assumption that inferior planets have a shorter period while superior planets have a longer period than that of the Earth” is enough to arrive at the inference that “[p]lanets have stations and retrogressions.” See Swerdlow (1984).

  7. 7.

    Simplicius, on De Caelo, ii.7 (289b 1); Heiberg, 1984, pp. 441.31–445.5; ii. 14 (297 a 2), Heiberg (1894), pp. 541.27–542.2; c.13, 293b, Heiberg (1894), pp. 519.9–519-11; Schol. In Arist. (Brandis 1836: 505 b, 46–47); Proclus, In Tim. 281 E (Festugière 1968). All the testimonies are translated by Heath (1913: 254–255).

  8. 8.

    The interpretation of a Simplicius’s text from the Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (Evans and Berggren 2006: 250–252; Todd and Bowen 2009: 158–164) produced a significant discussion in the second half of nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth (Böckh 1852: 135–141; Bergk 1883: 148–152; Martin 1883; Tannery 1899; Heath 1913: 249–256; Schiaparelli 1926: 176–195). Nevertheless, following Tannery (1899, pp. 305–311), almost all scholars today agree that a later copyist interpolated the name of Heraclides in the text and, therefore, it has no value as a testimony (Evans and Berggren 2006, note 18: 254). Some other scholars, such as Duhem (1915, iii, 44–162), Dicks (1970, 136–137, 218–219) and Gottschalk (1980, 69–82), based mainly on Calcidius’s commentary to Plato’s Timaeus 38D (translated in Eastwood 1992: 239–240), considered whether one could attribute to Heraclides some sort of semi-Tychonic hypothesis according to which Venus and Mercury revolved around the Sun, while the Sun, the Moon and the outer planets orbited the Earth (hypothesis 3a, without hypothesis 2). The semi-Tychonic hypothesis, i.e., hypothesis 3a, was certainly known in ancient times, but as Neugebauer (1975, p. 694), Eastwood (1992) and Keyser (2009) show, the attribution to Heraclides was based on a misinterpretation of Calcidius’s text.

  9. 9.

    It is impossible to enumerate and discuss all the pre-Copernican authors who mentioned hypothesis 1. Most of them are presented in McColley (1937). None of these authors ever held hypothesis 2 or 3.

  10. 10.

    The text has been discussed because of a supposed problem in one of its clauses, namely that the clause “lying in the middle of the orbit” should be grammatically attributed to the circle and not to the Sun, as Erhardt and Erhardt (1942: 579) propose because it is closer to circle than to sun. Neugebauer (1942, 6) proposes to add \({\uptau }\tilde{\upomega }{\upnu }\; {\uppi }{\uplambda }{\upalpha }{\upnu }\hbox {o}{\upmu }{\acute{\upvarepsilon }}{\upnu }{\upomega }{\upnu }\) (“of the planets”) to reconcile syntax and meaning: “the earth moves around the sun through the circumference of a circle which lies in the midst of the course [of the planets].” Neugebauer’s addition, of course, assumes rather than proves that Aristarchus affirmed hypothesis 3. I do not see any problem with the attribution of the clause to the Sun. I follow, therefore, Heath’s translation. For another problem with the text, see Boter (2007).

  11. 11.

    Wall (1975) alone has doubts regarding the attribution of heliocentrism to Aristarchus. His main argument is putting into question the authenticity of Archimedes in the Arenarius, based on the analysis of Erhardt and Erhardt-Siebold (1942).

  12. 12.

    According to Ptolemy, the solar anomaly was not explained by an epicycle but by an eccentric (Almagest III,4; Toomer 1998: 153), but he showed that both models are equivalent (Almagest III,3; Toomer 1998: 141–153).

  13. 13.

    This text had many different interpretations during Middle Ages that Eastwood (2000, 2003) studies through the figures of the manuscripts of Capella’s De Nuptiis. Nevertheless, all the discussions and variants involved the inner planets only, and never the outer ones.

  14. 14.

    Even if some of his followers, like Somesv́ara, tried to reinterpret the text to make it geostatic, cfr. Shukla (1976: 120).

  15. 15.

    Some historians, such as Basham (1954: 491), stated that Āryabhaṭa I suggested hypothesis 2 too, but this seems to me to be absolutely unjustified. See Dutta (2006): 69.

  16. 16.

    I am not assuming Duhem’s instrumentalist reading of Greek astronomy (see Duhem 1908) which was definitively discredited by Lloyd (1978). Duhem’s mistake was to assume that all Greek astronomy is reduced to the mathematical tradition. It is undeniable, however, that alongside the physical tradition, the mathematical tradition also existed.

  17. 17.

    Censorinus (de Die natali, XVIII. 11; Hultsch 1867) attributed a length of the Great Year to Aristarchus. Great Years usually were cycles at which all the celestial bodies, Sun, Moon and the five planets, return to the same position. So, this attribution could imply that Aristarchus developed some planetary theory or, at least, a theory of the cycles of the planets. Tannery (1888, 93–94), however, shows that the value Aristarchus proposed only implies a return of the Sun and Moon, but not of the planets (see also Heath 1913: 314–316 and Huxley 1964). So, again, this would be an argument for holding that Aristarchus did not make any contribution to planetary theory.

References

  1. Barnes, Jonathan. 1995. The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford translation. One Volume, Digital Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Basham, Arthur L. 1954. The Wonder that was India: A Survey of the Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent Before the Coming of the Muslims. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.

  3. Bergk, Th. 1883. Fünf Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie und Astronomie. Leipzig: R. Reisland.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Böckh, A. 1852. Untersuchungen Über das kosmische System des Platon Berlin. Leipzig: Veit & Comp.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Boter, Gerard J. 2007. A Textual Problem in Archimedes. Arenarius 218,14 Heiberg. Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, 150. Bd., H. 3/4: 424–429.

  6. Brandis, Christianus A. 1836. Scholia in Aristotelem. Berolini: Georgium Reimerum.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Carman, Christián. 2010. On the Determination of Planetary Distances in the Ptolemaic System. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3): 257–265.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Clark, Walter E. 1930. The \(\bar{{\rm A}}\) ryabhaṭiya of \(\bar{{\rm A}}\) ryabhaṭa. An Ancient Indian Work on Mathematics and Astronomy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

  9. Clavius, Chirstoph. 1570. In Sphaeram Joannis de Sacrobosco Commentarius. Rome: Victorium Helianum.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Dicks, D.R. 1970. Early Greek astronomy to Aristotle. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Diels, H. 1879. Doxographi Graeci. Berlin: G. Reimer.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Laertius, Diogenes. 1935. Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Volume II, Books 6–10 with an English translation by R. D. Hicks (Loeb Classical Library No. 185). London: William Heinemann.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Donahue, William H. 2000. Kepler’s Optics: Paralipomena to Witelo and the Optical Part of Astronomy. Fredericksburg: Sheridan Books.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Dreyer, J.L. 1953 A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler. Second edition, originally published as History of the Planetary Systems from Thales to Kepler. 1905. New York: Dover.

  15. Duhem, P. 1908. To Save the Phenomena: An Essay on the Idea of Physical Theory from Plato to Galileo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Duhem, Pierre. 1915. Le système du monde; histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon à Copernic, A. Paris: Hermann.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  17. Dupuis, J. 1892. \(\Theta {\rm E}\Omega {\rm N}{\rm O}\Sigma \quad \Sigma {\rm M}\Upsilon {\rm P}{\rm N}{\rm A}{\rm I}{\rm O}\Upsilon \quad \Pi \Lambda {\rm A}{\rm T}\Omega {\rm N}{\rm I}{\rm K}{\rm O}\Upsilon \quad {\rm T}\Omega {\rm N} \quad {\rm K}{\rm A}{\rm T}{\rm A} \quad {\rm T}{\rm O} \quad {\rm M}{\rm A}\Theta \) HMATIKON \({\rm X}{\rm P}{\rm H}\Sigma {\rm I}{\rm M}\Omega {\rm N} \quad {\rm E}{\rm I}\Sigma \quad {\rm T}{\rm H}{\rm N} \quad \Pi \Lambda {\rm A}{\rm T}\Omega {\rm N}{\rm O}\Sigma \quad {\rm A}{\rm N}{\rm A}\Gamma {\rm N}\Omega \Sigma {\rm I}{\rm N}\). Théon de Smyrne philosophe platonicien exposition des connaissances mathématiques utiles pour la lecture de Platon. Paris: Hachette.

  18. Dutta, Amartya K. 2006. \(\bar{{\rm A}}\)ryabhata and Axial Rotation of Earth 3. A Brief History. Resonance 11 (5): 58–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Eastwood, B. 1992. Heraclides and Heliocentrism—Texts Diagrams and Interpretations. Journal for the History of Astronomy 23 (4): 233–260.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Eastwood, B. 2000. Astronomical Images and Planetary Theory in Carolingian Studies of Martianus Capella. Journal for History of Astronomy xxxi: 1–28.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Eastwood, B. 2001. Johannes Scottus Eriugena, Sun-Centered Planets, and Carolingian Astronomy. Journal for History of Astronomy xxxii: 281–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Eastwood, B. 2003. Planetary Diagramas-Descriptions, Models, Theories. In Bruce Eastwood y Gerd Graßhoff. Birkhäuser Basel: The Power of Images in Early Modern Science.

  23. Evans, J. 1998. The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Evans, J., and J.L. Berggren. 2006. Geminus’s Introduction to the Phenomena: A Translation and Study of a Hellenistic Survey of Astronomy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Festugière, A.J. 1968. Proclus, Commentaire sur le Timée. Tome Quatrième-Livre IV. Paris: Libraire Philosophique J. Vrin.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Gingerich, Owen. 1985. Did Copernicus Owe a Debt to Aristarchus? Journal for the History of Astronomy xvi: 37–42.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Gottschalk, H. 1980. Heraclides of Pontus. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Hamellius, Paschasius. 1557. Commentarius in Archimedis Syracusani praeclari matheatici librum de numero arenae. Paris: apud Guillaume Cavellat.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Heath, T.L. 1897. The Works of Archimedes, Edited in Modern Notation with Introductory Chapters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  30. Heath, T.L. 1913. Aristarchus of Samos. The Ancient Copernicus. A History of Greek Astronomy to Aristarchus together with Aristarchus’ Treatise on the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon. Oxford: Oxford and Clarendon University Press.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  31. Heiberg, J.L., and H.J. Menge. 1895. Euclidis Opera Omnia, vol. VII. Leipzig: Teubner.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  32. Heiberg, J.L. 1894. Simplicii, in Aristotelis de caelo commentaria. Berlin: Reimer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  33. Heiberg, J.L. (ed.). 1913. Archimedis Opera omnia: cum commentariis Eutocii, vol. 2. Leipzig: Teubner.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  34. Heiberg, J.L. (ed.) (1898–1903) Claudii Ptolemaei Opera quae exstant omnia. Vol. I, Syntaxis Mathematica, 2 vols. Leipzig: Teubner.

  35. Hultsch, Fridericus. 1867. Censorinus, De die natali liber. Lipsiae: Teubner.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Huxley, George. 1964. Aristarchus of Samos and Greco-Babylonian Astronomy. Roman and Byzantine Studies 5 (2): 123–131.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Jones, Alexander. 1999. Astronomical papyri from Oxyrhynchus, vol. 233. Philadelphia: Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  38. Kepler, Johannes. 1604. Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, Quibus Astronomiae Pars Optica Traditvr. Frankfurt: C. Marnius & Heirs of J. Aubrius.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Keyser, Paul T. 2009. Heliocentrism in or out of Heraclides. In Heraclides of Pontus: Discussion New Brunswick, ed. William W. Fortenbaugh, and Elizabeth Pender, 205–235. London, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Kuhn, Thomas. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (third edition: 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  41. Lakatos, Imre, and Elie Zahar. 1978. Why did Copernicus’s Research Programme Supersede Ptolemy’s? In The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Philosophical Papers, Volume 1, ed. John Worral, and Gregory Currie, 168–192. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  42. Lloyd, G.E.R. 1978. Saving the Appearances. The Classical Quarterly, New Series 28 (1): 202–222.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Martin, H. 1883. Mémoires sur l’histoire des hypothèses astronomiques chez les Grecs et les Romains. Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, xxx. 2e partie.

  44. McColley, G. 1937. The Theory of the Diurnal Rotation of the Earth. Isis 26 (2): 392–402.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. McDonald Comford, Francis. 1997. Plato’s Cosmology. The Timaeus of Plato. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Neugebauer, O. 1942. Archimedes and Aristarchus. Isis 34: 6.

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  47. Neugebauer, O. 1956. The Transmission of Planetary Theories in Ancient and Medieval Astronomy. Scripta Mathematica 22: 165–192.

    MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  48. Neugebauer, O. 1975. A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy. Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences 1. 3 vols. Berlin: Springer.

  49. North, John. 2008. Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Peucer, Caspar. 1553. Elemanta Doctrinae de Circulis Coelestibus, et Primo Motu, Recognita et Correcta. Wittenberg: Crato.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Pingree, D. 1976. The Recovery of Early Greek Astronomy from India. Journal for the History of Astronomy vii: 109–123.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Pingree, D. 1978. Indian Astronomy. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 122 (6): 361–364.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Pingree, D. 2001. Nilakantha’s Planetary models. Journal of Indian Philosophy 29 (1/2, Special Issue: Ingalls Festschrift): 187–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Plofker, Kim. 2009. Mathematics in India. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  55. Plutarch. 1957. Moralia, Volume XII Concerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon. On the Principle of Cold. Whether Fire or Water Is More Useful. Whether Land or Sea Animals Are Cleverer. Beasts Are Rational. On the Eating of Flesh. Translated by Harold Cherniss and William C. Helmbold. Loeb Classical Library 406. Harvard University Press: Harvard.

  56. Rackham, H. 1933. Cicero In Twenty-Eight Volumes, XIX, De Natura Deorum. Academica with an English translation of H. Rachkham. Cambrdige: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Ragep, J. 2001. Tusi and Copernicus, the Earth’s Motion in Context. Science in Context xiv: 145–163.

    MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  58. Ramasubramanian, K.M. 1998. Model of Planetary Motion in the Works of Kerala Astronomers. Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India 26: 11–31.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Ramasubramanian, K., M.D. Srinivas, and M.S. Sriram. 1994. Modification of the Earlier Indian Planetary Theory by the Kerala Astronomers (c. 1500 AD) and the Implied Heliocentric Picture of Planetary Motion. Current Science 66 (10): 784–790.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Rosen, Edward. 1978. Aristarchus of Samos and Copernicus. Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists xv: 85–93.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Schiaparelli, G. 1926. Scritti sulla storia della Astronomia Antica. Parte prima- scirtti editi. Tomo II. Bologna: Mimesis.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  62. Shukla, Kripa S. 1976. The \(\bar{{\rm A}}\) ryabhaṭiya of \(\bar{{\rm A}}\) ryabhaṭa. Critically edited with Introduction; English Translation, Notes, Comments and Indexes. New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy.

  63. Sprenger, A. 1856. The Copernican System of Astronomy Among the Arabs. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 25: 189.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Stahl, W., and Johnson. 1977. Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal arts, vol. 2. New York: Columbia University Press.

  65. Stahl, William H. 1942. Astronomy and Geography in Macrobius. Transactions of the American Philological Association LXXIII: 232–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Stahl, William H. 1945. The Greek Heliocentric Theory and Its Abandonment. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association 76: 321–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Stahl, William H. 1952. Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Sturm, Johann Christoph. 1667. Sand Rechnung. Verlagsort: Nürnberg.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Swerdlow, Noel M., and Otto Neugebauer. 1984. Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus, vol. 2. Berlin: Springer.

    Book  MATH  Google Scholar 

  70. Swerdlow, Noel. 1973. The Derivation and First Draft of Copernicus’s Planetary Theory. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 117 (6): 423–512.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Swerdlow, Noel. 1984. Notes: On the Retrogradations of Planets. Journal for the History of Astronomy xv: 30–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Tannery, P. 1888. La Grande année d’Aristarque de Samos. Mém. De la Soc. Des sciences phys. Et naturelles de Bordeaux 3 Serie iv: 79–96.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  73. Tannery, P. 1899. Sur Héraclide du Pont. Revue des Éstudes grecques XII (47): 305–311.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Todd, R., and A.C. Bowen. 2009. Heraclides on the Rotation of the Earth: Text, Contexts and Continuities. In Heraclides of Pontus. Discussion, Routgers University Studies in Classical Humanities, vol. XV, ed. W. Fortenbaugh, and E. Pender. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Toomer, G.J. 1998. Ptolemy’s Almagest. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Van der Waerden, B.L. 1970. Das heliozentrische System in der grieghischen, persischen un dindischen Astronomie. Neujahrsblatt ... derl Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Zürich auf das Jahar 1970. (... im Anschlub and d. Jahrg. 114 der Vierteljahrschrift d. Naturf. Ges.).

  77. von Erhardt, Rudolf, and Erika von Erhardt-Siebold. 1942. Archimedes’ Sand-Reckoner: Aristarchos and Copernicus Author. Isis 33 (5): 578–602.

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  78. Wall, B.E. 1975. Anatomy of a Precursor: The Historiography of Aristarchos of Samos. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 6 (3): 201–228.

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  79. Waterfield, Robin. 2008. Plato. Timaeus and Critias. A New Translation by Robun Waterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Webster, Colin. 2014. Euclid’s Optics and Geometrical Astronomy. Apeiron 47 (4): 526–551.

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  81. Westman, Robert S. 2011. The Copernican Question: Prognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order. California: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Alexander Jones, Dennis Duke, Daniel Blanco, Ignacio Silva, Anibal Szapiro, Diego Pelegrin, Gustavo Zelioli and Gonzalo Recio for discussing previous versions of this paper.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christián C. Carman.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by: Alexander Jones.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Carman, C.C. The first Copernican was Copernicus: the difference between Pre-Copernican and Copernican heliocentrism. Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 72, 1–20 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00407-017-0198-3

Download citation