Nicholas Copernicus

Nicholas Copernicus – February 19, 1473 to May 24, 1543

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Historical Events During Life of Copernicus

In 1492, Christopher Columbus, trying to create a more direct trade route between India and Spain, becomes the first European explorer to discover the Americas.

In 1517, Martin Luther posts his theses, a list of grievances with the Catholic Church. This begins the protestant reformation.

Other Historical Figure During Life of Copernicus

Niccolò Machiavelli lived from 1469-1527. He was an incredibly influential philosophical thinker who is often considered to be the founder of political science, as he was one of the first to approach the subject in a systematic way that analyzed how to govern effectively as opposed to writing about normative judgments.


What stuck out was how little happened during Copernicus’s lifetime. The periods before and after his lifetime were both far more eventful – more wars, more societal changes, more scientific advancement, etc. In part, this seems caused by him. He helped progress Europe from an era where ideas stemmed mostly from Aristotelian logic and introspection. He moved us towards looking more at external evidence and towards a more modern conception of what science is. And this matches with some of the other people who lived at the same time. Machiavelli and Martin Luther, like Copernicus, transformed how the West viewed (and views) the world. Above all else, Copernicus seemed to live during a time that planted the seeds for future changes and revolutions.


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