From Big Medical Encyclopedia

COPERNICUS Nikolay (Copernicus, Kopernik Nikolaj, 1473 — 1543) — the Polish astronomer, the doctor; the creator of the doctrine about heliocentric system of the world.


Was born in a family of the merchant, after the death of the father (1483) it was brought up by the uncle on mother Lukash Vachenrode, Varmiya's bishop (area in sowing. - vost. parts of Poland). Studied in Krakow (Yagellonsk) un-those (1491 — 1495). Among his teachers there was a famous doctor Ya. Ursinus. In 1497 N. Copernicus received a ministry of the canon. Continued education in the Italian high fur boots where studied astronomy, mathematics, medicine and the right. Among his university friends there was a scientific doctor J. Frakastoro (the author of works «About a contagion, contagious diseases and their treatment», «About syphilis»), at to-rogo at demonstrations on anatomy there was N. Copernicus. In 1503 to N. Copernicus awarded degree of the Doctor of Law in Ferrara. Having finished the medical education in Padua, he in 1504 returned home, and in 1507 received the place of the doctor and secretary at the uncle and there lived to his death in Lidzbark in the episcopal residence. In 1512 Frombork (lower reach of Vistula) where he organized observatory in one of towers of a fortification moved in. This room where N. Copernicus lived St. 30 years, remained and is the museum. He rendered medical aid to the population, supplied poor free with medicines, bought for himself and for episcopal library of the medical book on which fields records about the medicines applied by it at treatment of patients remained. In one of Euclid's works (un-that is now stored in library in Uppsala, Sweden) on fields the recipe from 21 components is written by N. Copernicus's hand. He participated in creation of water system in Torun and Fromborke. The verses cut on an aqueduct in Fromborke say: «His wisdom returns to people that the nature takes away from them».

Standing on positions yatromekhanik (see), N. Copernicus drew parallels between medicine and Archimedes's mechanics and tried to develop mathematical models for medicine. Creation of the doctrine about heliocentric system of the world was result of long-term work of N. Copernicus. It began with attempts to improve the doctrine about geocentric system of the world, created by Ptolemaeus. Results of work were generalized by it in the composition «About addresses of heavenly spheres» («De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium»), published thanks to efforts of his only pupil G. Rhaticus in Nyurenberg (1543) shortly before the death of the scientist. With the advent of this work «... there begins the chronology release of natural sciences from theology...» (F. Engels, Natural dialectic, 1969, page 8). Value of heliocentric system in the history of science consisted that Earth which was considered as the center of the world began to be understood as one of planets of solar system. In 1616 N. Copernicus's book was introduced by the decree of inquisition in «An index of the prohibited books» and remained under a ban till 1828.

Works: Gesamtausgabe, Bd 1 — 2, Miinchen, 1944 — 1949; About addresses of heavenly spheres, in book: Nicolaus Copernicus, Saturday. the Art. to the four hundred-anniversary from the date of death, page 187, M. — L., 1947.

Bibliography: Blazhko S. N. Copernicus, M. — L., 1926; Veselovsky I. N. and White Yu. A. Nicolaus Copernicus, 1473 — 1543, M., 1974, bibliogr.; Nicolaus Copernicus, to the 500 anniversary since birth, 1473 — 1973, under the editorship of V. A. Kotelnikov, M., 1973, bibliogr.; In i e n-k about w s k and B. Kopernik i heliocentryzm w polskiej kulture umyslowej do konca XVIII wieku, Wroclaw, 1971; B r o z e k L. Bib-liografia Kopernikowska 1923 — 1948, Poznan, 1949.

E. D. Gribanov.