Kopernikus Copernicus Kopernik

Nicolaus Copernicus (Polish – Mikolaj Kopernik; German – Nikolaus Kopernikus) was born in 1473 in the city of Toruń (Thorn), which was at the time, located in the province of Royal Prussia, in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. He was the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at its centre.

Nikolaus Kopernikus

Astronomer Kopernikus, or Conversations with God by the Polish artist Jan Matejko.

It is fair to say that there is some debate whether he was German or Polish. His working languages were Latin and German, his mother tongue was German, and his father was probably fully bilingual speaking both German and Polish. Copernicus himself in addition to German and Latin also spoke Polish, Greek and Italian. However, if he saw his nationality as anything it was probably Prussia, rather than either Polish or German.

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