Nicholas of Cusa


Nicholas of Cusa

Nicholas of Cusa (1401 – August 11, 1464) was a German philosopher and astronomer. His principal legacy consists of the monographs De Docta Ignorantia (1440) and On Conjectures (1441), eventually published in the 16th century in Paris and Basel. He was the first to propose that the Sun was a star like any other. He embraced the heliocentric system, but argued that the planetary orbits were not perfect circles and that the axis of the poles of the Earth was not fixed. He held that all motion is the relative motion of bodies. Nicolas of Cusa was widely read in the 16th century; he was also known to and quoted by Bruno.

He studied in Heidelberg, Padua, and Cologne. His main career was as a papal envoy, leading to his appointment as cardinal by Pope Nicholas V in 1448.


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