The doctrine that the earth moves round the sun, in opposition to the doctrine that the sun moves round the earth; so called after Nicolas Copernicus, the Prussian astronomer. (1473-1543.)
“Even Bellarmine does not by any means hold the consensus to be decisive against Copernicanism; for, in his letter to F. Foscarini, he says that though he does not believe that any proof of the earth's motion can be adduced, yet, should such proof occur, he is quite prepared to change his views as to the meaning of the Scripture text.” —Nineteenth Century, May, 1886 (The Case of Galileo ).
“Whereas it has come to the knowledge of the Holy Congregation that that false Pythagorean doctrine altogether opposed to Holy Scripture, on the mobility of the earth and the immobility of the sun, taught by Nicholas Copernicus. ... This congregation has decreed that the said book of Copernicus be suspended until it be corrected.” —Decree of the H. Congregation of the Index, A.D. 1616. (Quoted in the Nineteenth Century, as above.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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