The centre of the universe – 1665

The other opinion – followed by the Pythagoreans, Aristarchus of Samos and others long before Aristotle or Hipparchus or Ptolemy came into this world and returned to center stage by Nicolas Copernicus some one hundred years ago – is still approved by the most excellent mathematicians. It places the sun at the center of the universe as the soul of the world and governor of the universe, from which the earth and all the planets borrow their light. There they believe it to remain stationary, as we can see in the second figure…

Now it is not our intention here to specify which of these opinions is consistent with truth and best befits the natural order of the world. That is a question we must leave to those versed in the science of celestial matters. And for all that the earth, according to the Copernican hypothesis, moves annually around the sun in a circle whose diameter would be two million leagues from Germany, and that the sphere of the fixed stars would be of so vast an extent as to be utterly incommensurate with that of the sky around the earth, there is, nonetheless, no noticeable difference between this theory and the earlier one (according to which the earth is the center of the universe) in respect of the apparent rising and setting of the celestial bodies, the changing duration of days and nights and the other things that follow from this. But since the hypothesis of a fixed earth seems generally more probable and is, besides, easier to understand, this introduction will adhere to it, without for the present considering the other theories.

Introduction to Geography, Joan Blaeu, Atlas Maior, 1665

(by the way, two million leagues is about the 1/75th of the true distance).

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