Nicolaus Copernicus/Archive 1 - Life

Life

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on 19 February 1473 in the city of Toruń (Thorn), in the province of Royal Prussia, in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.

His father was a merchant from Kraków and his mother was the daughter of a wealthy Toruń merchant. Nicolaus was the youngest of four children. His brother Andreas (Andrew) became an Augustinian canon at Frombork (Frauenburg). His sister Barbara, named after her mother, became a Benedictine nun and, in her final years (she died after 1517), prioress of a convent in Chełmno (Kulm). His sister Katharina married the businessman and Toruń city councilor Barthel Gertner and left five children, whom Copernicus looked after to the end of his life.

Copernicus never married or had children.

"Towards the close of 1542, he was seized with apoplexy and paralysis." He died on 24 May 1543, on the day that he was presented with an advance copy of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

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