Giovanni Battista Riccioli, Almagestum novum (Bologna, 1651). OU History of Science Collections.

This section of the course explores theories of the cosmos from the ancient Greeks to Isaac Newton.  We will look at geocentric, heliocentric and geoheliocentric models of the universe (all shown in the image to the left.  We will also look at the social and cultural settings in which these different models developed, the motivations (philosophical, religious and practical) for studying the heavens, and the relationship between astronomy and religion in different periods.

You will find links to each of the topics in this section below.

Introduction: The School of Athens

Greek Cosmology

Aristotelian Physics


The Mathematical Models of the Greeks

Science in the Islamic World

Islamic Astronomy

Medieval Cosmology

Why was Copernicus a Copernican?

Responses to Copernicus


Galileo and Heliocentrism

Tycho Brahe

Johannes Kepler

Isaac Newton

Lady astronomers

2 thoughts on “Heavens

  1. This is perfect, I’m so glad I found this blog, I hope the texts I’m gonna read are just as good as the first I read minutes ago in this site. I’m not used to type in blogs but I have to say thanks. Thanks.


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