A rebuttal of recent arguments for Maragha influence on Copernicus


  • Viktor Blåsjö Mathematical Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht




Copernicus, Maragha school, Tusi couple, harmonic motion


I reply to recent arguments by Peter Barker & Tofigh Heidarzadeh, Arun Bala, and F. Jamil Ragep claiming that certain aspects Copernicus’s astronomical models where influenced by late Islamic authors connected with the Maragha school. In particular, I argue that: the deleted passage in De revolutionibus that allegedly references unspecified previous authors on the Tusi couple actually refers to a simple harmonic motion, and not the Tusi couple; the arguments based on lettering and other conventions used in Copernicus’s figure for the Tusi couple have no evidentiary merit whatever; alleged indications that Nicole Oresme was aware of the Tusi couple are much more naturally explained on other grounds; plausibility considerations regarding the status of Arabic astronomy and norms regarding novelty claims weight against the influence thesis, not for it.

Author Biography

Viktor Blåsjö, Mathematical Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht


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How to Cite

Blåsjö, V. (2018). A rebuttal of recent arguments for Maragha influence on Copernicus. Studia Historiae Scientiarum, 17, 479–497. https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.18.017.9337