The Copernicus of the Scandinavian Clerici Vagantes: Heliocentric Debates and Early Modern Natural Philosophy across the Baltic Region
24.09.2019 | 17.04.2020
This paper takes a fresh look at the circulation of cosmological knowledge, by taking the cultural exchanges between Scandinavia and Northern Germany as a reference point. It shows that these transactions were fueled by transfer and communication as much as by warfare and confessional
struggle, and that our archival evidence hardly supports the historiography of the Copernican reception as a rift between ‘conventionalism’ and realism. A particular aspect of interest is in how heliocentric debates reshaped disciplines and institutions. First, I offer a sketch of the main
historical actors involved with various titles in this field, between 1570 and the 1630s. Second, I analyze the Disputatio de sole, which stands out and was produced by the collaboration of Gestrinius and Kexlerus. Finally, I reassess a set of marginal annotations to a rare 1543 edition of De revolutionibus, now housed in Wolfenbüttel, suggesting who did it and possibly why.