- He stopped the Sun and moved the Earth

  • An interview with the distinguished astronomer -Nicolaus Copernicus,  carried out by the Academy of Krakow student- Babuśka from Krapkowice.

    Student Babuśka: Greetings Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus! Great thanks for agreeing to this interview.

    MK: Good Morning! I am pleased to see that one of the best students of the Academy of Krakow is going to hold a conversation with me.

    St B: Today you are a world-renowned astronomer. How did your early education look like? Rumour says that you were taught by the famous Nicolaus Włodka from Kwidzyn- Warsaw capitular.

    MK: Unfortunately I was never educated my Mr. Nicolaus. But I have to admit I very much regret this fact- he was indeed a great man. After my father’s death in the 80’s my mother moved from Toruń, so I didn’t have the chance to meet him. However I truly admire his achievements, mostly his remarkable clock hanged on the Wrocław Cathedral.

    SB: Please do forgive me but I have to ask- is it true that your mother  Bożena‘s father..

    Mk: Barbara’s… (smile).

    SB: I am so sorry! Please, forgive my mistake! That was an unforgivable oversight!

    MK:  These things happen, don’t worry… What were you about to ask me?

    SB: Oh yes, yes. Is it true that your mother Barbara’s father is the famous Bartłomiej Watzenrode, the supressor of…

    MK: I don’t know about any Bartłomiej, I am only familiar with Łukasz Watzenrode.  Please don’t be so stressed- you are not in an exam. (smile)

    SB: Please accept my apology! What a shame! I am a useless human being.

    MK: Everything is ok, really… Do continue.

    SB: Oh yes, yes. Is it true that your mother Barbara’s father is the famous Łukasz Watzenrode, the vanquisher of the Knights of the Cross?

    MK: Łukasz Watzenrode, the  vanquisher of those filthy rats, you meant to say. Yes, he fought against them, he even got wounded during the battle of Łasinem in 1453 or 1453- I can’t remember-unfortunately my memory is slowly fading. Anyway he was a noble and honorable man. Out of the goodness of his heart he lent his vernacular town- Toruń, almost 269 florins for mililtary purposes.  Regrettably, he was summoned to God before the Peace of Thorn, so he wasn’t able to see our motherland’s glory.

    SB:  Currently you are a well-known astronomer. However, was your education always directed towards this profession?

    MK: No, it wasn’t- despite the fact that I was always fascinated by the stars and what is beyond them. Thanks to my uncle’s efforts I got into  the University of Bologna, known perhaps for its gradutes- Dante Alighieri and Coluccio Salutati. My astronomy lecturer was Dominik Novara- for sure you have heard of him. He was the person who made me discover my love for the moon and planets once again after years of oblivion. However in 1501, after being granted permission by the Warmian chapter, I started attending medical school.

    SB: Have you ever tought of, if you may call this, the career of a priest?

    MK: No, never. But my uncle, who was a bishop, wanted me to become one, after my cousin came down with leprosy. To his, to say the least,  great discontent I chose a scientific carrier. A big hmm…. dispute ensued between us. I have to say that I didn’t expect such bad temper from a man of the cloth. Honestly I wouldn’t even expect that kind of behaviour from my not so polite brother- and that is saying something.


    SB:  Let’s go forward to the essence of this interview. How did you feel after the heavy critiscm of your heliocentric theory? It is said that even Martin Luther dispised it, sayig that “The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down”.

    MK: I am aware that my discovery ruined the foregoing world order and many beliefs became irrelevant. People want to feel safe, they hate such drastic upheavals. I have to admit that in spite of the irrefutable evidence, everyone, exept for my old teacher Jerzy Rytyk,  questions my theory. The only thing that comforts me is the fact that maybe the next generations of humanity will accept this knowledge.

    SB: You have definetely convinced me. Great thanks for your time, it was a pleasure.

    MK: I am glad to have met such a bright student. The pleasure is mine.


    Agata Wolak