Not Only Nicolaus Copernicus

In 1364, King Kazimierz III Wielki (Casimir III the Great) founded in Cracow the second oldest university in Central Europe (the first one being that of Prague). Nicolaus Copernicus was one of the first famous students of the Cracovian Academy. Copernicus was a real Renaissance man: he was not only an outstanding astronomer but also a mathematician, economist and doctor; he showed much practical interest in his country’s political and economic life. His greatest achievements, however, are connected with astronomy; he got interested in the subject during his studies in Cracow. After years of research and observations, Copernicus formulated his heliocentric theory of the universe. The full outline of his theory was given in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) published in 1543, a year after his death. Copernicus’ theory altered the course of astronomy by proposing that the earth moves around the sun. At the same time, it brought about a great methodological change in sciences and worldwide revolution in thinking.