Aristotle at the Centre of the Universe
Debate heliocentrism with Aristotle. In this title page from a 1635 Leiden edition of Galileo’s courageous 1632 Dialogus De Systemate Mundi, the great heliocentrist Nicolaus Copernicus, looking at out the reader, converses energetically with the ancient geocentrist astronomers Aristotle (left) and Claudius Ptolemy. The great scientists transcend two millennia to debate with one another on an Early Modern harbour wharf.
Copernicus’ revolutionary model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), completed just before he died in 1543), transformed the history of science. Yet Galileo was still tried by the Inquisition for embracing heliocentrism, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest.