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Nicolaus Copernicus

The "Torun portrait" (anonymous, c. 1580), kept in [[District Museum in Toruń|Toruń town hall]], [[Poland]]{{efn|The oldest known portrait of Copernicus is that on the [[Strasbourg astronomical clock]], made by [[Tobias Stimmer]] c. 1571–74. According to the inscription next to that portrait, it was made from a self-portrait by Copernicus himself. This has led to speculation that the Toruń portrait, whose provenance is unknown, may be a copy based on the same self-portrait.<ref>André Goddu, ''Copernicus and the Aristotelian Tradition'' (2010), [https://books.google.com/books?id=iEjk13-1xSYC&pg=PA436 p. 436] (note 125), citing Goddu, review of Jerzy Gassowski, ''Poszukiwanie grobu Mikołaja Kopernika'' (Search for Grave of Nicolaus Copernicus), in ''Journal for the History of Astronomy'', 38.2 (May 2007), p. 255.</ref>}} Nicolaus Copernicus (;}}}}}} ;.}} ; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance-era mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic clergyman who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the center of the universe, in all likelihood independently of Aristarchus of Samos, who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.

The publication of Copernicus' model in his book ''De revolutionibus orbium coelestium'' (''On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres''), just before his death in 1543, was a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making a pioneering contribution to the Scientific Revolution.

Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. A polyglot and polymath, he obtained a doctorate in canon law and was also a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist. In 1517 he derived a quantity theory of money—a key concept in economics—and in 1519 he formulated an economic principle that later came to be called Gresham's law.
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