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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Nicholas of Cusa"

Nicholas of Cusa [Astro*Index]

(1401-1464) Born at Kues (near Treves), Rhineland; died at Lodi, Italy.

German cardinal.

Nicholas Krebs studied law at Heidelberg and the University of Padua, but abandoned the law to enter the Church, and was made a cardinal in 1448. He opposed the practical view of Regiomontanus, believing that the Earth rotated upon its axis and revolved about the Sun. He also asserted that the concept of up and down in space was nonexistant, and that the stars were suns (with their own planetary systems). Always eager to measure physical phenomena, he was an early advocate of empirical methods. He ground concave lenses (a much more difficult task than making convex lenses) to make spectacles for the nearsighted, recommended counting the pulse as a medical aid to diagnosis, and theorized that plants derived part of their nourishment from the surrounding air.


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine