Fast Facts
Link List
FECC in Denmark
Landskrona is a locality and the seat of Landskrona Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 28,670 inhabitants in 2005. History The city of Landskrona was founded at the location of Scania's (at that time a part of Denmark) best natural harbour, as a means of King Eric of Pomerania's anti-Hanseatic policy, intended to compete with Danish towns under Hanseatic

Since January 2001 Landskrona has had a railway station connecting to the main line between Malmö and Gothenburg along the Swedish west coast.

Borstahusen is a fishing village just north of Landskrona. Around the original village, a recreational area has sprung up with camping, golf courses and beaches.

The dawn of modern science is generally traced back to the early modern period, during what is known as the Scientific Revolution that took place in 16th and 17th century Europe. An important chapter occurred on Ven Island
Skåne County
 (Skåne län) is the southernmost administrative county or län, of Sweden, basically corresponding to the historical province Scania. It borders the counties of Halland, Kronoberg and Blekinge. The seat of residence for the Skåne Governor is the town of Malmö. The headquarters of Region Skåne is the town of Kristianstad.
Helsingborg is  the seat of Helsingborg Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 95,444 inhabitants in 2008. Helsingborg is the centre of an area in the Øresund region of about 320,000 inhabitants in north-west Scania, and is Sweden's closest point to Denmark. IKEA, the world's #1 retailer of home interiors, has its corporate headquarters in Helsingborg. Its Danish counterpart  is known internationally as the setting of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, whence the spelling 'Elsinore' originated but is officially Helsingør. European route E55 traverses the two cities; ferries connect the two sides.
Øresund The Sound (locally known as Sundet, Danish Øresund or Swedish Öresund), is the strait that separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania is one of the busiest waterways in the world. Its width is just 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) at the narrowest point between Elsinore, Denmark, and Helsingborg, Sweden. The strait has also lent its name to the Øresund Region of 3.7 million inhabitants on both the Danish and Swedish sides. Political control of Öresund has been an important issue in Danish and Swedish history. Notable islands include:
--Ven (also spelled Hven) --Peberholm - an artificial island --Middelgrunds
fortet - an artificial island --Flakfortet - an artificial island & Gråen - a semi artificial island outside port of Landskrona
Lund is the oldest city in Skane County Lund University, established 1666, is today one of Scandinavia's largest institutions for education and research. Because of Lund's central position, it is possible to travel to the three largest cities in Sweden without having to change trains.Lund is located very close to Malmö-Sturup Airport
Öresund Region under  flag of Denmark, for nearly all of the period 800 to 1658. Today population  stresses  regional identity. The central Copenhagen-Malmö axis is the most populous and most densely populated urban area in Scandinavia with approximately 2.65 million inhabitants. Sweden and Denmark maintain their own currencies, the Danish krone and Swedish krona
The Øresund or Öresund Bridge (Danish: Øresundsbroen, Swedish: Öresundsbron, joint hybrid name: Øresundsbron) is a combined twin-track railroad and four-lane highway bridge-tunnel across the Öresund strait. The Øresund Bridge connects Sweden and Denmark, and it is the longest highway and railroad bridge in Europe. The Øresund Bridge also connects two major Metropolitan Areas: those of the Danish capital city of Copenhagen and the major Swedish city of Malmö. Furthermore, the Øresund Bridge connects the highway network of Scandinavia with those of Central and Western Europe
Rail - at Copenhagen Airport is located underneath Terminal 3 on the Øresund Railway Line and is served by Øresundstogene, the main way to get into the city centre, and to Helsingør, to Malmö, Gothenburg, Ystad and Karlskrona and other southern/ southwestern Swedish cities and towns along the way. These regional/ interregional trains are operated by DSB first.
The Flying Dutchman (opera) by Richard Wagner
 The Best of Sweden - VEN ISLAND || Ven Directory @

Copenhagen Airport easy transit to Southern Sweden




Landskrona is situated at the north side of the Oresund Sound on Sweden's south-west coast which enjoys a  view over the small island Ven away to Denmark. Landskrona was fought over often in the wars between Sweden and Denmark over the centuries and nearby Copenhagen in Denmark is as influential as ever with the completion of the Öresund Bridge in 2000

The port and industrial town of Landskrona which means  "Land's crown" is between the larger cities Helsingborg and Malmö. A beautiful coastal town famous for it many parks and the magnificent 16th century Citadel Castle, considered as one of the best preserved water fortresses in Scandinavia. Besides "Citadellet" and the old fishing village and beach area of Borstahusen there is the historic island of Ven. Here is where the visible planets were first scientifically measured and the island and museum is easily accessible by boat from Landskrona year-round.

Southern Sweden is a world of its own distinguishes from the rest of the country by geography, culture, and history. Ruled by Denmark until 1658, Skåne (pronounced skoh-neh), is one of Sweden's most attractive areas with beautifully fertile plains, sandy beaches, historic villages, medieval churches, and summer resorts broken up by  large forests and castles set amidst gently rolling hills. 

Ven Island [also spelled Hven]

The isle Ven has a  museum dedicated the astronomer Tycho Brahe  (1546-1601) who built the preeminent  renaissance-era astronomical observatory here and whose planetary recorded observations allowed remarkable men to advance our understanding of the universe in revolutionary ways. His institution included the spectacular castle Uraniborg, the underground observatory Stjerneborg and a fantastic renaissance garden. Today the Renaissance garden has been restored and the ruins of Tycho's  Stjerneborg have been incorporated into a multimedia theater and is right in the middle of the island.

Also on Ven is also the beautiful St. Ibbs church from early 13th century

Unaniborg Castle on the island of Hven was the greatest scientific 

research institute in the world.

Unaniborg Castle [Castle of the Heavens] on the island of Ven [Hven] was the greatest scientific research institute in the world and a cradle of early modern science.

It's easy to get around the island, and there are plenty of quiet spots for relaxing, swimming or having a picnic. Good swimming.
GETTING AROUND: Many of those who visit Ven choose to explore the island by bicycle. (which can be hired at Bäckviken, where the boat comes in) or on foot. There is also a bus service from Bäckviken to Kyrkbacken, on the northwest coast of the island, near which is the 12th century church of St Ibb (St James).
GETTING THERE: Ferries from the Swedish town of Landskrona run about every 90 minutes; the trip takes 30 minutes.  In the summertime, there are also ferries from Copenhagen and the town of Råå, south of

Landskrona Fast Facts
Post code: S-261
Telephone code: 0418
Småland province immediately north of Skane province is considered the Kingdom of Glass with  world-renowned glass-blowing firms Kosta Boda and Orrefors located here
Official web site:
Emergency call 0418-47 39 95

The Landskrona city hall is beautifully situated with a view over the boats that travels between Landskrona and Ven.

Landskrona got it's town charter in 1413, and the founders of the city was Erik av Pommern and Margrethe Valdemars-datter. In the end of the 16th century Landskrona was Danish and had a population of about 1000 citizens.

Landskrona is now the only city in Sweden operating trolleybuses

From 1885 to 1891 author and 1909 Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf lived and worked as a teacher in Landskrona for ten years. The house where she lived is called the House of Selma Lagerlöf today and is  behind the Sofia Albertina Church (18th C.; fine stained glass), at Kungsgatan 13A in Landskrona, While here she wrote her novel "Gösta Berling's Saga" (published 1891)

On March 20, 1413 Landskrona got its first city charter when Erik of Pomerania was the king of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and wanted a trade city not ruled by the Hanseatic League (a trading monopoly active between 13th & 17th centuries).  Landskrona, with its natural deep harbor was selected.600 årslogga

Landskrona supported the deposed king Christian II of Denmark (1525), and opposed the Reformation in Denmark (1535), and in both cases found itself among the defeated. The Reformist King Christian III of Denmark abstained however from retaliation, and instead founded a castle to protect the harbour.Download The castle, built where the monastery had been situated until the Reformation, was completed by 1560. Today it is the most popular attraction in Landskrona known as the the Citadel. It is one of the most well preserved water fortresses in Scandinavia.

For most of the 20th century Landskrona was an  industrial city supporting its own shipyard. In 1981 the Sound shipyard closed and things were quiet until 2001 when a railroad station made Landskrona a direct connection with the booming Oresund Sound region.

Annual Events  [that are Traditional Cultural Celebratory & Free]
The Landskrona carnival is a joyful festival held in July every year attracting more than 150,000 visitors. During three days the streets are filled with people dancing and singing. There will be six different stages where performance can be viewed and music is played. The big parade is usually Saturday [more]

There are regular street fairs with vendors including the the Karneval medieval market, christmas market and medieval evenings

Malmo Festival -late August (in Swedish: Malmöfestivalen) is Malmo's biggest event of the year. The 8-day festival takes place in the second half of August and attracts over 1.5 million visitors and it is all free admission, gratis!  Malmöfestivalen a variety of entertainment with over 250 concerts and music performances, lots of great Swedish food to taste, an amusement park, theater shows, artwork market, sports events, and more


Carnival or Karneval
Copenhagen Karneval hosts a very popular and much loved Carnaval every year on Whitsun weekend or Pentecost. Whit is a reference to the outpouring of the wisdom of the Holy Ghost and is defined as the 7th Sunday after Easter on one of 6 weekends in May or June. The holiday actually goes back further mythologically to Summer's Day, the beginning of the Summer half-year. The 3 day event features a Parade Samba and other dancers through the City and a 3 day world music festival and children's carnival in Fælledparken [

Lundakarneval is big deal since it only happens every 4 years and is a fully student-run event by Lund University.  Last one was May 2010 and next one is 2014. There's many days of shows and parties. An amateur event. midway between a music and stage fair, a city festival and an outpouring of gentle satire, parody and general madness. Some students dress up in costumes, often relating to and poking fun at current issues, and parade in wagons. Others perform humorous skits in the evenings. [more]

Borstahusen is a place where many people make a stop on their way to Ven. The village has genuine fishermen buildings from the 1770's and an open-air recreation area where sandy beach, long shallows and bathing jetties call to you. Sunbathers appreciate there is both grass and sand to stretch out on. The shade of the pine trees is a nice option when the sun gets to hot.

Nearby to the beach is the restaurant and event center known as Erikstorps Kungsgård. In the harbour, an old pump house has been converted into a museum, gallery and restaurant, designed by the architect Per Dockson.

You can also find here two 18-hole golf courses,  Sweden's only golf museum, a marina, sports fields, as well as camping.

 A few kilometers farther north is the hilly region of Glumslövs Backar, a landscape shaped by Ice Age glaciers. The charming village here is Glumslö with its striking castle in Örenäs which also receives guests as a hotel and conference center.

Flygeltofta, Häljarp, valleys of Hilleshög and Härslövsåsen ridge are places good for a day trip with a picnic basket. They offer spectacular views over the slopes, prehistoric remains, medieval churches and old mills, along with bird watching, hiking and fishing for eel or trout in the Saxån.

Karlslundsparken has a little zoo, café and a boutique.

View Larger Map
Since 2001 Landskrona has had a railway station on the main line between Malmö and Gothenburg along the Swedish west coast. The connection between the new station and the city centre, "The Station Shuttle," is operated with trolleybuses

TRANSIT: Plane to Train: Copenhagen Airport  [served by nearly 70 airlines.
Rail - the airport's station is located underneath Terminal 3 on the Øresund Railway Line and is served by Øresundstogene, the main way to get into the city centre, and to Helsingør, to Malmö, and other Swedish cities. Danish intercity trains terminate at this station, going to places in Denmark such as Esbjerg, Århus, Frederikshavn and Padborg, where connections are available for trains to Germany.
CAR: It’s about one hour by car from Copenhagen if you take the Öresund  bridge via Malmö


Rail Station to City Center: Landskrona has a remarkable trolleybus system built to support its main rail station connecting to the city centre some 3 kilometres away. Its new application of this old idea for efficient, clean transit is often cited globally as a model for future green living.  It is Europe's first all new trollybus system of the 21st century and has become a symbol of where we must all go as we shed fossil-fuel burning transit before the earth sheds us.

Tourist Info Office
Regeringsgatan 13; 261 36 Lanskrona
Phone: +46 418 473 000 Fax: +46 418 473 002
Monday - Friday 10.00-17.00 closed Saturday and Sunday

Landskrona harbor offers boat services to the Tuborg Harbor inTo Homepage... Copenhagen and to the island Ven. Fresh fish is on sale on the boats in the harbour. For those interested in doing their own fishing there are several fishing trips available every week.
Andra Tvärgatan SE-261 35 Landskrona
Phone +46 418 470507 Fax + 46 418 24105

Öresund Region  
The Øresund bridge, built in 2000,  changed everything.

'Around the Sound' package unlimited train travel and one ferry trip, for two days.   costs just 245SEK (just over £20) for trains between the cities and towns, plus ferry- and bridge-crossings (see more at


Slideshow content from the Skåne County pool @ flickr

Sweden has continental climate in most of the country with generally warm summers and cold winters.
Only the southwestern coastal area between Goteborg and Malmo has milder weather during winter
because of the influence of the waters from the Atlantic Ocean. The south coast moderately
Click for Helsingborg, Sweden Forecast warm summers, between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius from June to September, but temperatures can rise over 30 degrees sometimes. Nights are around 13 or 14 degrees.
Winters last from December to March with temperatures around zero during the day, -3 degrees at night and an absolute low of around -25 degrees.
Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, but with some more rain in summer and quite some snow in winter.


- Helsingør
The nearest weather station for Landkrona is located at Helsingborg; Sweden's closest point to Denmark and and important art centre for the region. From here the Danish city Elsinore (Helsingør) is clearly visible on the other side of the strait of Øresund about 4 km to the west. Sweden's oldest city has been officially here since 21 May 1085.

Helsingborg's geographical and strategic position at the narrowest part of The Sound made it very important historically for both Denmark and Sweden over time. Today, the wars over control of the straight are long forgotten, but the mighty, historic landmarks of Kronborg Castle on the Danish side and the fortress tower of Kärnan on the Swedish side remain. These are the world's oldest twin cities, that easily connect through a frequent 20 minute ferry ride.

Visitors arriving in Helsingborg by sea cannot fail to see the town's emblem and landmark, Kärnan (the "Kernel"), a conspicuous brick tower 35m/115ft high which stands at the upper end of the long market square (Stortorget). The flowering oasis of Sofiero Castle with its 10,000 rhododendrons is a must-see attraction. Same is the Frederiksdal Outdoor Museum where you can make an excursion through history as you wander in the beautiful gardens and explore the houses in different historical styles

The Øresund region unique is that it is part Danish and part Swedish. featuring the two modern 21st century multicultural cities of Copenhagen and Malmö only 35 minutes apart.

The long harbor faces Øresund, the 16 km (10 mi) wide waterway which separates Denmark from Sweden. Copenhagen started out as a fishing village, and has become one of the world's design capitals. Shops and stores in Copenhagen often have longer opening hours than rural areas. For many of its nine centuries it has been the metropolitan center of not only Denmark but also Sweden and Norway. It's airport serves as the Scandinavia's largest transport hub and its bridge to the 3rd largest Swedish City of Malmo makes Landskrona only an hour away.

There's much history on display in the Danish capital with copper-roofed town houses and cobbled streets leading to the Royal Gardens. Copenhagen is also referred to as the "Paris Of The North" due to its similar charm. In the Danish language, the city's name is København. The Copenhagen International airport above a train hub is the largest in all of Scandnavia

Malmo is the “capital” of the Swedish southernmost province Skåne the third largest city in Sweden and located at the southern most tip of the country making it the city with the warmest climate in Sweden.  It is a vibrant and multicultural place, influenced by Copenhagen across the Öresund and the beautiful bridge connecting their cities.  The Oresund Bridge, inaugurated in 2000, is the longest bridge in Europe.

In the summer months, people come here to sunbathe, swim and barbecue while for winter you would do well to add a trip to the sauna. The biggest annual event after the nearby Landskrona Carnival in July is the food festival during the third week of august, Malmöfestival.

"In recent years, Malmö has been the target of an unprecedented far-right-wing smear campaign falsely labeling the city as "Islam's victory in Europe",

wikitravel-Malmo 2010

The Möllevangen neighborhood is known for its many international restaurants and shops. The main shopping area runs from Stortorget and Lilla Torg, through Södergatan, via Gustav Adolfs Torg (Gustav Adolf's Square), continuing southwards along Södra Förstadsgatan, to Triangeln and on. Most of this area is pedestrianised, so you can enjoy your shopping without having to contend with traffic. Malmö itself has more than 45 galleries, there are plenty of other possibilities in the Skåne region when it comes to art and design - explore Dunker Culture Centre, Wanås Foundation, Lund Art Hall, Form Design Center etc. There are also several amazing cultural sights in the region such as Hovdala Castle, Sofiero Castle, The Willow lake Park in Malmö and a lot more.

There are trains roughly every 20 minutes or so between Malmo and Copenhagen, which stop at the Copenhagen Airport as well, travelling via the Öresund Bridge. It is only 35 minutes by train from Malmö city centre to the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark, and 22 minutes to Copenhagen Airport.

OCT-2010: Members of the Federation of European Carnival Cities to visit Sweden's leading Carnival City of Landskrona and also pay respect to its great patrimony of Ven Island where dreams became the answers to tomorrow's questions. 

"It is so important that Town halls and cities support the dreams of people."

---International FECC President Henry Van der Kroon; Patras, Greece 2010

--More about the summit


Ven and Landskrona are at the core of the Sound, called Öresund by the Swedes and Øresund by the Danes
The Age of Wonder:
A Cradle of the Age of Reason which beget

 "the Scientific Revolution"

The sixteenth century is sometimes called the age of wonder. Magellan sailed around the world, the Protestant reformation begun in 1520, cut further into the authority of the Church, and the leadership of Elizabeth the first elevated England to world power in the new Protestant world. The willingness to question previously held truths and search for new answers resulted in a period of major scientific advancements. Best known today as "the Scientific Revolution," it traditionally held by most historians to have begun in 1543, when De Revolutionibus, by the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, was first printed and culminated with the publication of the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687 by Isaac Newton.
Pivotal Events
  • Constantinople falls 1453 scholars & books scattered
  • Printing invented 1457.
  • Michelangelo, 1475-1564. the first artist to have a biography written while alive
  • Martin Luther, 1483-1546.
  • Shakespeare 1564-1616.
  • Age of Exploration, Colonization.
  • Supernovae, 1572, 1604 shook idea of heavens as unchanging.
Ven Island Observatory
Ven Island at the center of the busy Öresund straight was where the data showing the earth as a reflection of the universe was first gathered by Tycho Brahe. Tycho, first became prominent explaining the 1572 Supernova as an event in distant space and then as the first professional astronomer who posthumously established himself as the greatest observational genius of his age by collecting the data showing how the visible planets moved. 
For the first time the positions of the planets were measured to a high degree of accuracy, and were  tracked over long periods. The result was that it became  apparent that neither the Ptolemaic nor the Copernican system did a very good job of predicting the planetary locations. Tycho's explanation became a convenient explanation by keeping the earth at the center but letting the other visible planets orbit the sun. Then he discovered the brilliant young German mathematic and mystic  Johannes Kepler just as his funding from the Danish monarchy was ending.


"The birth of modern science which is the fusion of observation and theory teetered on the precipice of their mutual distrust."

--Carl Sagan

Kepler & Ven Isle

Kepler was chief beneficiary of the planetary data collected on Ven island by Tycho.  He was convinced

 "that the geometrical things have provided the Creator with the model for decorating the whole world."

In Harmony, he attempted to explain the proportions of the natural world—particularly the astronomical and astrological aspects—in terms of music.

Click for a pop-up tribute to the music of the spheres updated with rhythm and modern day Carnaval
The Flying Dutchman
Richard Wagner's opera based upon the legendary story of a legendary Dutch ship captain who made a deal with the devil followed from a stormy sea crossing through the Baltic sea Wagner made while fleeing creditors in Riga, Latvia to London in  1839. The central theme is redemption through love, to which Wagner returns in most of his subsequent operas.
21st century Alchemists
The Alchemists Tycho Brahe and Sir Isaac Newtown frame "the Scientific Revolution." Alchemy during their time was credited with birthing organic chemistry and being concerned about turning base metals in gold but this only obscures  its prominent history as an esoteric philosophy found among most great civilizations including ancient Egypt and China.  Today the most prominent Alchemist is Brazilian Paolo Coelho whose book by the same name is the most translated book by a living author. Paolo Coelho is often quoted on the subject of following your dreams by channeling love. This also could describe Brazilian Carnaval which has been embraced throughout the Scandinavian countries as their own best way to celebrate life and community during summer. Their Karneval wants you to join in and share the joy of living life in the moment 

"We are stardust, we are golden "

WOODSTOCK by Joni Mitchell
'Well, then can I walk beside you?
I have come to lose the smog,
And I feel like I'm a cog in something turning.
And maybe it's the time of year,
Yes and maybe it's the time of man.
And I don't know who I am,
But life is for learning.'
We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon.
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.


Carl Sagan on Epicycles, Ptolemy, and Kepler
Carl Sagan: Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion
Carl Sagan on Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and ellipses

History of Denmark

The Reformation, which originated in the German lands in the early 16th century from the ideas of Martin Luther (1483–1546), had a considerable impact on Denmark. The Danish Reformation started in the mid-1520s. Some Danes wanted access to the Bible in their own language
Hans Tausen (1494 – November 11, 1561),as bishop the protagonist of the Danish Reformation
Christian III of Denmark (12 August 1503 – 1 January 1559) Reign Denmark 1534–1559
Norway 1537–1559 eldest son of King Frederick I of Denmark, Duke of Schleswig and Holstein (1471–1533) His Lutheran tutor, Johann Rantzau, had a profound influence on the young prince and in 1521 at Germany's   Diet of Worms he heard Martin Luther speak. At his own court at Schleswig he did his best to introduce the Protestant Reformation, despite the opposition of the bishops. After his father's death, in 1533, Christian was proclaimed king resulting in a two-year civil war, known as the Count's Feud (Grevens Fejde) (1534–1536), between Protestant and Catholic forces. Catholic peasants under Skipper Clement began an uprising in northern Jutland which imminently threatened Christian III's rule resulting in the new king sending trusted advisor Johan Rantzau north with an army of German mercenaries. Clement and his army fled north, taking refuge inside the walls of Aalborg. The appeal for help to
Gustav I of Sweden, (12 May 1496 – 29 September 1560) was answered and important in ending the civil war..
Traditional Swedish history considers Gustav ! founder of modern Sweden. Gustav I's breaking with the Catholic Church is virtually simultaneous with Henry VIII doing the same in England; both kings acted following a similar pattern, i.e., a prolonged confrontation with the Pope culminating with the king deciding to take his own decisions independently of Rome.
First Treaty of Brömsebro: Christian III's meeting with Gustav I of Sweden in Brömsebro, 1541 - established respected borders and joint defense.

The establishment of the Danish Lutheran Church as the national church of Denmark (Folkekirke). officially on 30 October 1536 when the reconstituted State Council adopted the Lutheran Ordinances designed by Johannes Bugenhagen, which outlined church organization, liturgy, and accepted religious practice.

All of Denmark's Catholic bishops went to prison until such time as they accepted Luther's reforms. The authorities released them when they promised to marry and to support the reforms. The Crown confiscated churches, abbeys, priories and cathedrals
Frederik II
His son Frederick 2 King of Denmark · Norway 1559-88 was able to support the lavish scientific work of Tycho through tolls on the strong traffic through the Øresund, which Danes could tax because Denmark controlled both sides of the Sound as well as the steady confiscations from the Danish reformation of Catholic Church property.
The Danish economy benefited from the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) in the Netherlands because a large number of skilled refugees from that area (the most economically advanced in Europe) came to Denmark. This helped to modernize many aspects of society and to establish trading links between Denmark and the Netherlands.
In a delayed result of the Reformation, Denmark became involved in the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) on the Protestant side. As a result Denmark lost its Baltic possessions and Skåne.
Christian IV · 1638
King Christian IV(12 April 1577 – 28 February 1648) was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings. This included many accomplishments as well as defeats including the rise of Sweden in allaince with the Dutch to defeat the Danish domination of the Øresund
Reformation in Denmark-Norway and Holstein was the transition from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism in the realms ruled by the Copenhagen-based House of Oldenburg in the first half of the 16th century. After the break-up of the Kalmar Union in 1521/1523, these realms included the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway and the Duchies of Schleswig (a Danish fief) and Holstein (a German fief), whereby Denmark extended over today's Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe islands, Skåneland and Gotland in Sweden, and Øsel (Saaremaa) in Estonia. The Protestant Reformation was initiated by Martin Luther's 95 theses in 1517, and reached Holstein and Denmark in the 1520s. The church order turned against saint worship, fast days, celibacy and everything else that was considered Catholic foolery. Only when the last monk or nun had died was the monastery added to the property of the Crown. Thus, the Reformation became a relatively bloodless affair in Denmark.
Enlightenment era when reason was advocated as the primary source for legitimacy and authority. The Enlightenment was less a set of ideas than it was a set of values. At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science. Some historians also include the late seventeenth century, which is typically known as the Age of Reason There is little consensus on when to date the start of the age of Enlightenment and some scholars simply use the beginning of the eighteenth century or the middle of the seventeenth century as a default date.[5] If taken back to the mid-1600s, the Enlightenment would trace its origins to Descartes' Discourse on the Method, published in 1637. Others define the Enlightenment as beginning in Britain's Glorious Revolution of 1688 or with the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica which first appeared in 1687.
Autobiographical timeline of Tycho Brahe
Life and Times of Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe @ galileoand

English In English På 

Svenska På Svenska På Dansk På Dansk Auf 

Deutsch Auf Deutsch


Tycho Brahe was a brilliant Danish astronomer and a devout Protestant Christian. In 1576, King Frederick II of Denmark granted him the island of Hven, between Denmark and Sweden, where he built an astronomical observatory.

On the 11th of the 11th month  1572 Tycho carefully observed the supernova, Cassiopie, a massive star that reached the end of its fuel supply and exploded.  From measurements he'd taken was able to prove without a doubt that this "new star" was definitely cosmic and not sublunar.

Since Plato's time Western philosophers had held that the heavens were perfect. From Aristotle came the idea that perfection was unchanging, except for the heavenly motions which were regular and perfect, that all changes in the heavens must take place in the lunar sphere close to Earth, and that the distant sphere of fixed stars was inviolate and unchanging.

Tycho was strongly critical of those who dismissed the implications of the astronomical appearance, writing in the preface to his book on the subject; De Stella Nova he wrote: "O crassa ingenia. O caecos coeli spectatores" ("Oh thick wits. Oh blind watchers of the sky"). This book makes Tycho famous all over Europe.


"I've studied all available charts of the planets and stars and none of them match the others. There are just as many measurements and methods as there are astronomers and all of them disagree. What's needed is a long term project with the aim of mapping the heavens conducted from a single location over a period of several years.
--- Tycho Brahe, 1563 (age 17)
Of noble family, he was early adopted by his uncle, Joergen Brahe, who sent him, in April 1559, to study philosophy and rhetoric at Copenhagen. The punctual occurrence at the predicted time, August 21st, 1560, of a total solar eclipse led him to regard astronomy as "something divine"; he purchased the Ephemerides of Johann Stadius (3rd ed., 1570), and the works of Ptolemy in Latin, and gained some insight into the theory of the planets. Entered as a law student at the university of Leipzig in 1562, he nevertheless secretly prosecuted celestial studies, and began continuous observations with a globe, a pair of compasses and a "cross-staff." He quit Leipzig on the 17th of May 1565, but his uncle dying a month later, he repaired to Wittenberg, and thence to Rostock, where, in 1566, he lost his nose in a duel, and substituted an artificial one made a copper alloy. In 1569 he matriculated at Augsburg, and devoted himself to chemistry for two years (1570-72). On his return to Denmark, in 1571, he was permitted by his maternal uncle, Steno Belle, to install a laboratory at his castle of Herritzvad, near Knudstrup; and there, on the 11th of November 1572, he caught sight of the famous "new star" in Cassiopeia.

It would be 32 years hence that his former assistant Kepler wouldalso saw witness a rare supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.

Tycho Brahe, 

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), from a rich Danish noble family, was fascinated by astronomy, but disappointed with the accuracy of tables of planetary motion at the time. He decided to dedicate his life and considerable resources to recording planetary positions ten times more accurately than the best previous work.
"Yet in this my stars were not Mercury as morning star in the angle of the seventh house, in quartile with Mars, but they were Copernicus, they were Tycho Brahe, without whose books of observations everything which has now been brought by me into the brightest daylight would lie buried in darkness. "

— Johannes Kepler Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619),

Based on the lack of stellar parallax, Tycho believed the 1572 Cassiope was not a planet, but a new star. Through his superior instrumentation and first publication he settled the uncertainty and made his reputation as the  astronomer with the most accurate records. In 1575, Tycho was planning to relocate to Basel. Not wanting to lose the country's most prominent scientist  and in gratitude to Tycho's uncle saving his life Frederick II, the king of Denmark gave Tycho tremendous resources to build an observatory on his own island of Nen.

The first stone of the magnificent obervatory of Uraniborg was laid on the 8th of August 1576; it received the finest procurable instrumental outfit; and was the scene of Tycho's labors in systematically collecting materials -- the first made available since the Alexandrian epoch -- for the correction of astronomical theories. For more than twenty years Brahe plotted his careful observations of the six planets, sun, moon, and a variety of stars. He had a 5-foot diameter polished brass globe made for him so that he could record the courses of these objects as well as many other oversized instruments made affordable through his support from King Frederick II of Denmark (1 July 1534 – 4 April 1588).

While on Hven, Tycho concentrated primarily on obtaining accurate positions of the stars and on observing the Sun, Moon, and planets in order to get the most precise understanding to date of their orbits and motions. Before he could bring his observing program to completion, events took a turn for the worse for Tycho.

Tycho Brahe's reputation as the pre-eminent observational astronomer of the sixteenth-century derives from his construction and use of a range of astronomical instruments of large size and remarkable accuracy.  The world had never before seen so many or such good and reliable astronomical instruments. Precision, stability and permanency were significant for all of them. While earlier astronomers had to calculate with errors of up to ten minutes in their observations, Tycho's observations were mostly good to within half a minute Tycho's own most detailed descriptions of these objects are to be found in the Astronomiae instauratae mechanica (1598) which he self-published as part of his campaign for patronage to continue his work.

In 1588, King Frederick died and Tycho found that he did not enjoy the same favor among the new regents. By the time the new King, Christian IV, was crowned in 1596, it was only too clear that the royal court would no longer smile upon Tycho's lavish expenditures.  His pension and fief having been withdrawn, he sailed for Rostock in June 1597, and re-commenced observing before the close of the year, in the castle of Wandsbeck near Hamburg. He spent the following winter at Wittenberg, and reached Prague in June 1599.

The Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf  enthusiastically took Tycho into his favor and in 1599 provided him with the Benatky Castle, placed high on a rock with unobstructed view towards a wide horizon. well assured of favor and protection from the emperor Rudolph II. That monarch, accordingly, assigned him the castle of Benatky for his residence, with a pension of 3000 florins This is where Tycho and Johannes Kepler meet for the first time in the beginning of 1600. After one year at Benatky, Tycho is called back to Prague by the Emperor, who wants him closer. Today, the castle is a regional museum with a section on Tycho Brahe's work. 

Tycho's work was cut short by his death in 1601, and it was left to his assistants to continue his work. Johann Kepler saw to the printing of Tycho's long-delayed Astronomiæ instauratæ progymnasmata

The Tychonic system, where the all the planets except the earth spun around the sun gained a considerable following after 1616 when Rome decided officially that the heliocentric model was contrary to both philosophy and Scripture, and could be discussed only as a computational convenience that had no connection to fact. Kepler tried, but was unable, to persuade Tycho to adopt the heliocentric model of the solar system.

Tychonic planetary system


Tycho achieved his goal of measuring to one minute of arc. This was a tremendous feat before the invention of the telescope. The Tychonic model of the solar system, in which the planets orbit the sun, and the sun orbits the Earth was considered the safe position for astronomers wary of religious persecution.

Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler
These two colorful characters made crucial contributions to our understanding of the universe: Tycho’s observations were accurate enough for Kepler to discover that the planets moved in elliptic orbits, and his other laws, which gave Newton the clues he needed to establish universal inverse-square gravitation.
"Tycho was unable to turn his observations into a coherent theory of the solar system, he knew he needed the brilliant Kepler's help but simply to hand over his life's work to a potential rival that was unthinkable. Tycho was the greatest observational genius of the age and Kepler the greatest theoretical mathematician."

---Carl Sagan on Tycho Brahe,
Johannes Kepler, and ellipses



Kepler and Brahe did not get along well. Brahe apparently mistrusted Kepler, fearing that his bright young assistant might eclipse him as the premiere astronomer of his day. He jealously guarded his data from Kepler, letting him see only the part of his voluminous data. He set Kepler the task of understanding the orbit of the planet Mars, which was particularly troublesome.

 In 1601, Tycho contracted a bladder ailment while staying in Prague, in the Czech Republic. He died on October 24, 1601, however, there is circumstantial evidence suggesting that he died of mercury poisoning.

Was Tycho Brahe murdered?

 and if so by whom?

Title page from the Tabulae Rudolphinae.
Title page from the Tabulae Rudolphinae

Tycho's most important publication, Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata, was also published posthumously in 1602 after being privately distributed in 1598. After Tycho's death in 1601, it appears that his heirs sold the Mechanica's woodcuts and copper-plate engravings to the Nürnberg writer and printer Levinus Hulsius. Hulsius printed his edition in 1602. This work contained his solar theory, including tables, completed by 1589, and a section on the lunar motions which took Tycho the rest of his life to complete. It was edited by Kepler and gave the places of 777 fixed stars (this number was increased to 1005 by Kepler in 1627 in the "Rudolphine Tables.")

Heavenly Intrigue is the controversial book which sensationally suggests Keplar murdered Brahe by poisoning him with mercury.
The authors of Heavenly Intrigue are generally congratulated for their scholarship in the of retelling of the fascinating story of the relationship of two remarkable men who played a key role in our understanding of our planet's relationship to the universe.  The shocking late discovery that Brahe was likely murdered through Mercury poisoning has not been rebutted.
That so many benefitted from Keplar's access to Brahe data should have made for a long list of suspects but that would not have been as sensational a hook as suggesting the prominent scientist as prime suspect. Tycho had jealously guarded his data since its acquisition yet he would not have received the appointment as chief scientist of the Holy Roman Emperor without convincing many of its strategic importance.
Kepler's ability to translate Tycho's data into mathematical equations which would predict future planetary motion will forever stand among the most important advances in science. While Kepler would understandably privately express frustration at being allowed minimal data access to the jealously guarded Tycho data there is little evidence beyond the obsessiveness and frustration expressed in Kepler's extensive writing. This is merely the most obvious overlooked motive, that the most immediate beneficiaries of Kepler data access, the patron and the entire science and military bureaucratic establishment of the empire, need to be considered suspects as well.
Keplar's quick appointment to replace Brahe as the most worthy scientist in Europe's most powerful government and thereby grant himself full access to the Tycho data would indicate others saw the advantages of Brahe's forced retirement. Keplar was a German astrologer  who had first come to the public's attention for predicting in 1595 a peasant uprising and a Turkish invasion. Keplar's eventual mathematical description of the data or Rudolphine Tables was eventually named after their joint patron the Emperor Rudolf II when it was finally self-published many years later. 

The Last Banquet
At fifty-four, Brahe had always been a healthy person. But on October 13, 1601, Brahe was attending a banquet when he suddenly fell ill, delirious and unable to urinate. Over the next eleven days, the astronomer hovered at the point of death, suffering from fever and severe abdominal pain.

On the evening of October 23, he seemed to rally somewhat; his fever broke, his pain subsided, and he regained lucidity. But by the next morning he was dead. Until recently, it was thought that Brahe had died from uremia, or possibly from a burst bladder. But recent forensic analysis of his hair shows a curious spike in the amount of mercury in Brahe’s body shortly before his death.

Gilder, Joshua and Ann-Lee (2004). Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History’s Greatest Scientific Discoveries. Doubleday. ISBN: 0385508441.
Brahe, besides his mastery of astronomy, was also an enthusiastic alchemist, though he was less concerned with turning base metals into gold than he was with making medicines. A few of his medicines did contain mercury, and it is known that he had taken a few of his own preparations for various minor illnesses. However, the type and amount of mercury in these preparations was not nearly enough to kill him, and at any rate Brahe was expert enough to know what dosage to administer.

Joshua and Ann-Lee Gilder, in their book Heavenly Intrigue, argue that Kepler was the most likely suspect. Kepler was well versed in alchemy and had access to Brahe’s alchemical lab, and he had often expressed his disdain for Brahe in letters; and that merely being Brahe’s assistant would never bring him any glory and even suppress his discoveries.

"Brahe may discourage me from Copernicus (or even from the five perfect solids) but rather I think about striking Tycho himself with a sword.I think thus about Tycho: he abounds in riches, which like most rich people he does not rightly use. Therefore great effort has to be given that we may wrest his riches away from him. We will have to go begging, of course, so that he may sincerely spread his observations around" ---Kepler (Letter to Michael Maestlin, February 16 1599, Gesammelte Werke, vol. xiii, p. 289).
Alternative views

The authors of Heavenly Intrigue could have just as plausibly made the case that:

"Brahe was a nobleman recently expelled from his homeland by his enemies now dealing with a court at Prague ruled by an increasingly mad "emperor." No one knows the extent of Brahe's household including servants and minor assistants at the time of his death. Certainly Kepler ranked high among Brahe's assistants but the two did not really get along. Is it likely that Brahe would have had Kepler at his side during an excruciating illness, taking a cup of mercury-laced milk from him at his bedside? I don't think so. And could Kepler have kept this murder a secret when he was so apt to rage and verbal self-flagellation? Again, I don't think so.

Timothy Haughe @

"The person most likely to kill Brahe was his devoted wife, whom he virtually ignored. She was the one who administered his medicine on his deathbed. Tycho suffered for days, the pain never went away. And so it was his wife who euthanised him.

 Thal Ajoni (UK) @

 "Tycho committed suicide with the fatal dose of mercury.

Marcelo Gleaser @

The dead can no longer defend themselves.
"Although it is common to sacrifice the innocent in the interest of sensationalism, this pseudo-historical account, with its extensive bibliography, truly sinks to new lows in selective revelation.

Anthony Russo @

"Every word and deed is documented, almost always with original sources - generally Kepler's own letters. This is a must read for anyone interested in the history of science, or just interest in a great story for that matter.

Sam Collamer @



 Tycho was an imperious, hard-drinking aristocrat whose devotion to precise observation was motivated by his devotion to astrology. He was also an alchemist and lived for twenty years on a fantastic 'sorcerer's island' near Hamlet's castle of Elsinore, ending his days as Imperial Mathematicus at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor.
 In Germany Tycho lost his temper in a quarrel with another student over who was the better mathematician, this led to a duel in which part of Tycho's nose was cut off. This occurred in the Christmas season of 1566, after a fair amount of drinking, while Tycho, just turned 20 years old, was studying at the University of Rostock in Germany. The duel with rapiers with Manderup Parsbjerg, a fellow Danish nobleman occurred in the dark. The lost piece was replaced by a gold and silver alloy, and Tycho always carried around with him a snuffbox containing some "ointment or glutinous composition" which he frequently rubbed on his nose, possibly to keep it stuck on. In 1901, though, Tycho's tomb was reopened and the experts speculated that the green skull rimming indicated a copper replacement nose which would have been more practical.
It had long been thought that Tycho died from holding his urine overlong after a count’s banquet, it then being courteous not to void before your host.This theory was supported by Kepler's first-hand account. But hair analysis in 1996 showed he  died from Mercury poisoning: extremely toxic levels of it have been found in his hair and hair-roots which had been stored in Prague. This discovery led to greater interest in the historic relationship between Tycho and Kepler
In 1572, in Knudstrup, Tycho fell in love with Kirsten Jørgensdatter, a commoner whose father, Pastor Jorgen Hansen, was the Lutheran clergyman of Knudstrup's village church. Under Danish law, when a nobleman and a common woman lived together openly as husband and wife, and she wore the keys to the household at her belt like any true wife, their alliance became a binding morganatic marriage after three years. The husband retained his noble status and privileges; the wife remained a commoner. Their children were legitimate in the eyes of the law, but they were commoners like their mother and could not inherit their father's name, coat of arms, or land property.

This sighting tube was six feet long. It sat on a pedestal which was recessed into the floor. Brahe stood or sat on the steps while sighting through the tube. Once a particular star or planet was centered in the tube, its altitude above the horizon was read off of the protractor scale. At the same time its orientation from north was noted on a horizontal scale attached to the pedestal. The date, time, and coordinates of the heavenly object were logged into a table for each observation. The speed and accuracy of this and other instruments allowed Brahe to take many measurements in a night, sometimes only a few minutes apart.

An Equatorial Armillary Sphere.
An image of an equatorial armillary sphere, from Tycho Brahe's Mechanica.
Tycho built a subterranean observatory, Stjerneborg, on Hven near Uraniborg to give his devices greater stability and protection from the wind.
His sister Sophia assisted Tycho in many of his measurements. These jealously guarded measurements were "usurped" by Kepler following Tycho's death. Tycho was the last major astronomer to work without the aid of a telescope, soon to be turned skyward by Galileo. Tycho Brahe, basically, used mainly a compass and a sextant or quadrant to observe the stars.
Tycho once boasted that his observatory on the island of Hven had cost King Frederick II of Denmark more than a ton of gold.
Although, Tycho's planetary model became discredited, his astronomical observations are considered an essential contribution to the Scientific Revolution. Tycho was primarily an empiricist, who set new standards for precise and objective measurements.
Tycho considered astrology and alchemy subjects of great importance, and he was in his own time also famous for his contributions to medicine and his herbal medicines were in use as late as the 1900s.
Tycho Brahe's body is currently interred in a tomb in the Church of Our Lady of Tyn on Old Town Square near the Prague Astronomical Clock in Prague.


Named after Tycho
* Tycho crater on the Moon.
* Tycho Brahe crater on Mars.
* The name of American electronic musician Tycho: Tycho (
* The name of an Australian powersynth band: Tycho Brahe (
* An old name of an Irish synthpop band, now called Tychonaut (
* Tycho Brahe, pseudonym of Jerry Holkins and a character from the popular webcomic Penny Arcade.
* The AI Tycho from Bungie's computer game Marathon.
* Brother-Captain Tycho of the Blood Angels Chapter of Space Marines in Games Workshop's sci-fi tabletop wargame, Warhammer 40,000.
* Tycho Brahe is the name of a mysterious planetoid in the computer game Descent II.
* a Scandlines ferry connecting Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden.
* Tycho Celchu, a character from Star Wars.
* A science college in Helsingborg
* A minor character in the fantasy series The Bartimaeus Trilogy
The alchemical operation consisted essentially in separating the prima materia, the so-called chaos, into the active principle, the soul, and the passive principle, the body, which were then reunited in personified form in the coniunctio or 'chymical marriage'... the ritual cohabitation of Sol and Luna.  
One of most vigorous critics of Heliocentric or the new Copernican theory of the earth revolving around the sun was Martin Luther whose teaching had recently been adopted by the states of  Sweden, Denmark and Germany

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

 ---Paulo Coelho

Author of The Alchemist -a fable about undauntedly following one's dreams, listening to one's heart, and reading life's omens



Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and Planetary Motion(2/2)
Epitome of Copernican Astronomy was read by astronomers throughout Europe, and following Kepler's death it was the main vehicle for spreading Kepler's ideas. Between 1630 and 1650, it was the most widely used astronomy textbook, winning many converts to ellipse-based astronomy.[52] However, few adopted his ideas on the physical basis for celestial motions. In the late 17th century, a number of physical astronomy theories drawing from Kepler's work—notably those of Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and Robert Hooke—began to incorporate attractive forces (though not the quasi-spiritual motive species postulated by Kepler) and the Cartesian concept of inertia. This culminated in Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (1687), in which Newton derived Kepler's laws of planetary motion from a force-based theory of universal gravitation.[72]
Among many other harmonies, Kepler articulated what came to be known as the third law of planetary motion. He then tried many combinations until he discovered that (approximately) "The square of the periodic times are to each other as the cubes of the mean distances." However, the wider significance for planetary dynamics of this purely kinematical law was not realized until the 1660s. For when conjoined with Christian Huygens' newly discovered law of centrifugal force it enabled Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley and perhaps Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke to demonstrate independently that the presumed gravitational attraction between the Sun and its planets decreased with the square of the distance between them.[59] This refuted the traditional assumption of scholastic physics that the power of gravitational attraction remained constant with distance whenever it applied between two bodies, such as was assumed by Kepler and also by Galileo in his mistaken universal law that gravitational fall is uniformly accelerated, and also by Galileo's student Borrelli in his 1666 celestial mechanics.[60]
In 1623, Kepler at last completed the Rudolphine Tables, which at the time was considered his major work. However, due to the publishing requirements of the emperor and negotiations with Tycho Brahe's heir, it would not be printed until 1627. In the meantime religious tension—the root of the ongoing Thirty Years' War—once again put Kepler and his family in jeopardy. In 1625, agents of the Catholic Counter-Reformation placed most of Kepler's library under seal, and in 1626 the city of Linz was besieged. Kepler moved to Ulm, where he arranged for the printing of the Tables at his own expense.[61]

Star tables had been produced for many centuries and were used to establish the position of the planets relative to the fixed stars (particularly the twelve constellations used in astrology) on a specific date in order to construct horoscopes. In 1551, following the publication of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium by Nicholas Copernicus, Erasmus Reinhold produced the Prussian Tables based on a heliocentric model of the solar system, but these were no more accurate than the earlier tables. They contain positions for the 1,006 stars measured by Tycho Brahe, and 400 and more stars from Ptolemy and Johann Bayer, with directions and tables for locating the planets of the solar system. The tables included many function tables of logarithms and antilogarithms, and instructive examples for computing planetary positions.

In 1628, following the military successes of the Emperor Ferdinand's armies under General Wallenstein, Kepler became an official adviser to Wallenstein. Though not the general's court astrologer per se, Kepler provided astronomical calculations for Wallenstein's astrologers and occasionally wrote horoscopes himself. In his final years, Kepler spent much of his time traveling, from the imperial court in Prague to Linz and Ulm to a temporary home in Sagan, and finally to Regensburg. Soon after arriving in Regensburg, Kepler fell ill. He died on November 15, 1630, and was buried there; his burial site was lost after the Swedish army destroyed the churchyard.[62]

Johannes Kepler silver commemorative coin
The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe is a 1959 book by Arthur Koestler, and one of the main accounts of the history of cosmology and astronomy in the Western World, beginning in ancient Mesopotamia and ending with Isaac Newton.
Carved Stone Balls Of the 387 known carved stone balls, 375 are about 70 mm in diameter about the size of tennis balls.
Pythagorean_tuning has been documented as long ago as 1800 B.C. in Babylonian texts.[1] It is the oldest way of tuning the 12-note chromatic scale. Pythagorean tuning is based on a stack of intervals, each tuned in the ratio 3:2, the next simplest ratio after 2:1, which is considered to yield the same note. For instance, the A is tuned such that the frequency ratio of A and D is 3:2 — if D is tuned to 288 Hz, then the A is tuned to 432 Hz. The E above A is also tuned in the ratio 3:2 — with the A at 432 Hz, this puts the E at 648 Hz. One of Pythagoras' favorite and most "Sacred Numbers" was 432000, a "harmonic" of 4320.

five 'Platonic' solids
In three dimensions there are just five regular polyhedra.
  • Tetrahedron - made of 4 equilateral triangles
  • Cube - made of 6 squares
  • Octahedron - made of 8 equilateral triangles
  • Dodecahedron - made of 12 regular pentagons
  • Icosahedron - made of 20 equilateral triangles
 planetary spheres
In his Mysterium Cosmographicum, where Kelar constructed a model of the solar system in which the distances of the planetary orbits were physically expressed by the nesting of these five regular solids.
Plato's Timaeus and the Regular Polyhedra by Nicholas Gier and Gail Adele

"Finally, the most amazing vindication of Plato has come from recent surveys of the universe that indicate that the universe may indeed be a dodecahedron, whose reflecting pentagonal faces give the illusion of an infinite universe when in fact it is finite."
Kepler and the Music of the Spheres by David Plant @
Pauli on conflict between Kepler and Flood @
Kepler Quotes by Dictionary of Science Quotations
Kepler Tour and Tycho Brae Tour by Sachiko Kusukawa,  Adam Mosley and the University of Cambridge.
Sacred Theory: Carved Stone Balls
Galileo Galilei @
Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo & Newton @
The Personal Lives and Philosophies of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Einstein  

Isaac Newton: Overview
Isaac Newton: Alchemist
Johannes Kepler
If this [the Mysterium cosmographicum] is published, others will perhaps make discoveries I might have reserved for myself. But we are all ephemeral creatures (and none more so than I). I have, therefore, for the Glory of God, who wants to be recognized from the book of Nature, that these things may be published as quickly as possible. The more others build on my work the happier I shall be.
— Johannes Kepler [Letter to Michael Maestlin (3 Oct 1595)]


His first publication in 1597 was called Mysterium Cosmographicum (literally, the Cosmic Mystery).  Mysterium, Kepler attempted to show that planetary orbits were arranged in accordance with the regular, or Platonic polyhedra . In this way, for example, Kepler argued that the ratio of orbital radii for Venus and Mercury was the same, or nearly so, as the ratio of the radii for the circumscribed and inscribed spheres of an octahedron.

As he indicated in the title, Kepler thought he had revealed God’s geometrical plan for the universe. His subsequent main astronomical works were in some sense only further developments of it, concerned with finding more precise inner and outer dimensions for the spheres by calculating the eccentricities of the planetary orbits within it. In 1621 Kepler published an expanded second edition of Mysterium, half as long again as the first, detailing in footnotes the corrections and improvements he had achieved in the 25 years since its first publication.

Through their letters, Tycho and Kepler discussed a broad range of astronomical problems, dwelling on lunar phenomena and Copernican theory (particularly its theological viability). But without the significantly more accurate data of Tycho's observatory, Kepler had no way to address many of these issues.

Instead, Keplar turned his attention to chronology and "harmony," the numerological relationships among music, mathematics and the physical world, and their astrological consequences. By assuming the Earth to possess a soul (a property he would later invoke to explain how the sun causes the motion of planets), he established a speculative system connecting astrological aspects and astronomical distances to weather and other earthly phenomena.

Mysterium Cosmographicum: the cosmic mystery
Johannes Kepler believed in Copernicus’ picture. Raised in the Greek geometric tradition, he believed God must have had some geometric reason for placing the six planets at the particular distances from the sun that they occupied. He thought of their orbits as being on spheres, one inside the other. One day, he suddenly remembered that there were just five perfect Platonic solids, and this gave a reason for there being six planets - the orbit spheres were maybe just such that between two successive ones a perfect solid would just fit. He convinced himself that, given the uncertainties of observation at the time, this picture might be the right one.
The 5 solids as drawn in Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum.
A platonic solid (also called regular polyhedra or Pythagorean solid) is a convex polyhedron whose vertices and faces are all of the same type.  There are only five regular figures have many remarkable properties; All of their vertices lie on a sphere. They all have equal edges, equal faces, and equal angles. 
That these solids ordered our solar system was Keplar's great initial insight, which informed and supported his later breakthrough discoveries, accords much to geometry as a principle which orders the universe and all its creatures. Although best known as Platonic solids their importance in ordering the universe was first brought to the attention by Pythagoras [570-c. 495 BC
] whose education was distinguished by decades of study in Egypt and other ancient centers of learning and initiation.
Some of the greatest achievements of Plato's Academy came in the areas of mathematics and astronomy. Heraclides Ponticus discovered the axial revolution of the earth and the revolution of Venus and Mercury around the sun. Eudoxus gave us the theory of proportion, the method of exhaustion, and the concentric spheres of the Ptolemaic cosmology. Theaetetus was the inventor of solid geometry and the general theory of incommensurables. He also constructed the regular polyhedra, demonstrated that each of them could be inscribed in a sphere, and proved that there could only be five. During a trip to Sicily in 367 B.C.E., Plato may have first learned of the regular polyhedra from Archytas, the last of the Pythagoreans. In the Timaeus Plato used the regular polyhedra as the basic elements of the universe.

As a brilliant anticipation of modern physics, the "receptacle" of the Timaeus is combination of space, matter, and energy. Classical physics followed the Greek atomists in separating matter and energy, but modern physics of the 20th century has had to return to the inseparability first proposed by Plato.

Kepler's geometric scheme for the relative orbits of the planets in our visible solar system which eventually led to his formulation of the Laws of Planetary motion. Kepler's first book; The Cosmic Mystery argued that the distances of the planets from the Sun in the Copernican system were determined by the five regular solids, if one supposed that a planet's orbit was circumscribed about one solid and inscribed in another. Except for Mercury, Kepler's construction produced remarkably accurate results.
Tycho Brae impressed with Kepler's talent and insight as a mathemetician asked Kepler to calculate new orbits for the planets from Tycho's observations. Kepler moved to Prague in 1600.

According to Keplar, the orbits of the six planets known at the time—Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—could be arranged in spheres nested around the five Platonic solids: octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron, tetrahedron and cube. The Platonic polyhedra arranged in this order, coinciding circumspheres for a given polyhedron and inspheres for the next polyhedron gave a fair approximation for the relative sizes of planetary orbits around the Sun. Kepler never rejected this model but his strive for increased accuracy and explanations for variances would occupy his career.

Kepler was convinced

 "that the geometrical things have provided the Creator with the model for decorating the whole world."

In the tradition of the legendary Greek philosopher Pythagoras (6th century BC), Kepler did not view science and spirituality as mutually exclusive, he saw his work reconciling the emerging vision of a Sun-centred planetary system with the ancient Pythagorean concept of armonia, or universal harmony.

 Pythagoras discovered that the pitch of a musical note depends upon the length of the string which produces it. This allowed him to correlate theMusic_intervals_frequency-ratio_equal_tempered-pythagorean_comparison.jpg intervals of the musical scale with simple numerical ratios. When a musician plays a string stopped exactly half-way along its length an octave is produced. The octave has the same quality of sound as the note produced by the unstopped string but, as it vibrates at twice the frequency, it is heard at a higher pitch. The mathematical relationship between the keynote and its octave is expressed as a 'frequency ratio' of 1:2. In every type of musical scale, the notes progress in a series of intervals from a keynote to the octave above or below. Notes separated by intervals of a perfect fifth (ratio 2:3) and a perfect fourth (3:4) have always been the most important 'consonances' in western music. In recognizing these ratios, Pythagoras had discovered the mathematical basis of musical harmony.

The musicologist Joscelyn Godwin comments, "...the celestial harmony of the solar system... is of a scope and harmonic complexity that no single approach can exhaust. The nearest one can come to understanding it as a whole is to consider some great musical work and think of the variety of analytical approaches that could be made to it, none of them embracing anything like the whole."

In Harmony, Keplar attempted to explain the proportions of the natural world—particularly the astronomical and astrological aspects—in terms of music. The central set of "harmonies" was the musica universalis or "music of the spheres," which had been studied by Pythagoras, Ptolemy and many others before Kepler. Soon after publishing Harmonices Mundi, Kepler was embroiled in a celebrated exchange with Robert Fludd, who had recently published his own harmonic theory. Their ideas continue to resonate in the 21st century as the call grows louder for a recognition of the value of their sort of alchemical or intuitive science that is capable ofn embracing the concept of multiple levels of soul and its calling card of synchronicity.

"Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God."

---Johannes Kepler

4000 year old Carved Stone Balls

with symmetrical form of the five Platonic solids

Five of nearly 400 Neolithic Stone Balls (ca. 2,000 BCE) now kept at Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University.
These rounded stones with regularly spaced bumps are from largely from Northeast Scotland. Some degree a high level of craftsmanship and their Download use is not known and it may have been oracular or as venerated ritual art objects. High points of each bump mark the vertices of each of the regular polyhedra. The stone balls also appear to demonstrate the duals of three of the regular polyhedra. The lack of balls found in graves may indicate that they were not considered to belong to individuals. 'Sink stones' found in Denmark and Ireland have some slight similarities, these artifacts being used in conjunction with fishing nets.

1600: Tycho hires Kepler

By 1599, however, Keplar again felt his work limited by the inaccuracy of available data—just as growing religious tension was also threatening his continued employment in Graz. Because of his talent as a mathematician, displayed in this volume, Kepler was invited by Tycho Brahe to Prague to become his assistant and calculate new orbits for the planets from Tycho's observations in December of that year. Tycho invited Kepler to visit him in Prague; on January 1, 1600 (before he even received the invitation), Kepler set off in the hopes that Tycho's patronage could solve his philosophical problems as well as his social and financial ones.

On August 2, 1600, after refusing to convert to Catholicism, Kepler and his family were banished from Graz. Several months later, Kepler returned, now with the rest of his household, to Prague. Through most of 1601, he was supported directly by Tycho, who assigned him to analyzing planetary observations and writing a tract against Tycho's deceased rival, Ursus. In September, Tycho secured him a commission as a collaborator on the new project he had proposed to the emperor: the Rudolphine Tables that should replace the Prutenic Tables of Erasmus Reinhold.

Two days after Tycho's unexpected death on October 24, 1601, Kepler was appointed his successor as imperial mathematician with the responsibility to complete his unfinished work. The next 11 years as imperial mathematician, the most prestigious appointment in mathematics in Europe would be the most productive of his life until, in 1612, Emperor Rudolph II was deposed

Kepler revealed the discovery of his first two laws of planetary motion in his Astronomia Nova, published in 1609. The announcement of his third law was not made until 1618.

Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary Motion
  • I       The planets move in elliptical orbits with the sun at a focus.
  • II     In their orbits around the sun, the planets sweep out equal areas in equal times.
  • III   The squares of the times to complete one orbit are proportional to the cubes of the average distances from the sun.

These are the laws that Newton was able to use to establish universal gravitation.

"And if you want the exact moment in time, it was conceived mentally on 8th March in this year one thousand six hundred and eighteen, but submitted to calculation in an unlucky way, and therefore rejected as false, and finally returning on the 15th of May and adopting a new line of attack, stormed the darkness of my mind. So strong was the support from the combination of my labour of seventeen years on the observations of Brahe and the present study, which conspired together, that at first I believed I was dreaming, and assuming my conclusion among my basic premises. But it is absolutely certain and exact that the proportion between the periodic times of any two planets is precisely the sesquialterate proportion of their mean distances."
— Johannes Kepler; Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619), book V, ch. 3. Trans. E. J. Aiton, A. M. Duncan and J. V. Field (1997), 411.


Kepler was Imperial Mathematician, the most prestigious appointment in mathematics in Europe until 1612, when his patron, Emperor Rudolph II was deposed. In Prague Kepler published a number of important books. In 1604 Astronomia pars Optica ("The Optical Part of Astronomy") appeared, in which he treated atmospheric refraction but also treated lenses and gave the modern explanation of the workings of the eye; in 1606 he published De Stella Nova ("Concerning the New Star") on the new star that had appeared in 1604; and in 1609 his Astronomia Nova ("New Astronomy") appeared, which contained his first two laws (planets move in elliptical orbits with the sun as one of the foci, and a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times). Whereas other astronomers still followed the ancient precept that the study of the planets is a problem only in kinematics, Kepler took an openly dynamic approach, introducing physics into the heavens.

In 1610 Kepler heard and read about Galileo's discoveries with the spyglass. He quickly composed a long letter of support which he published as Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo ("Conversation with the Sidereal Messenger"), and when, later that year, he obtained the use of a suitable telescope, he published his observations of Jupiter's satellites under the title Narratio de Observatis Quatuor Jovis Satellitibus ("Narration about Four Satellites of Jupiter observed"). These tracts were an enormous support to Galileo, whose discoveries were doubted or denied by many. Both of Kepler's tracts were quickly reprinted in Florence. Kepler went on to provide the beginning of a theory of the telescope in his Dioptrice, published in 1611.

During this period the Keplers had three children (two had been born in Graz but died within months), Susanna (1602), who married Kepler's assistant Jakob Bartsch in 1630, Friedrich (1604-1611), and Ludwig (1607-1663). Kepler's wife, Barbara, died in 1612. In that year Kepler accepted the position of district mathematician in the city of Linz, a position he occupied until 1626. In Linz Kepler married Susanna Reuttinger. The couple had six children, of whom three died very early.

In Linz Kepler published first a work on chronology and the year of Jesus's birth, In German in 1613 and more amply in Latin in 1614: De Vero Anno quo Aeternus Dei Filius Humanam Naturam in Utero Benedictae Virginis Mariae Assumpsit (Concerning the True Year in which the Son of God assumed a Human Nature in the Uterus of the Blessed Virgin Mary"). In this work Kepler demonstrated that the Christian calendar was in error by five years, and that Jesus had been born in 4 BC, a conclusion that is now universally accepted. Between 1617 and 1621 Kepler published Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae ("Epitome of Copernican Astronomy"), which became the most influential introduction to heliocentric astronomy; in 1619 he published Harmonice Mundi ("Harmony of the World"), in which he derived the heliocentric distances of the planets and their periods from considerations of musical harmony. In this work we find his third law, relating the periods of the planets to their mean orbital radii.

In 1615-16 there was a witch hunt in Kepler's native region, and his own mother was accused of being a witch. It was not until late in 1620 that the proceedings against her ended with her being set free. At her trial, her defense was conducted by her son Johannes.

1618 marked the beginning of the Thirty Years War, a war that devastated the German and Austrian region. Kepler's position in Linz now became progressively worse, as Counter Reformation measures put pressure on Protestants in the Upper Austria province of which Linz was the capital. Because he was a court official, Kepler was exempted from a decree that banished all Protestants from the province, but he nevertheless suffered persecution. During this time Kepler was having his Tabulae Rudolphinae ("Rudolphine Tables") printed, the new tables, based on Tycho Brahe's accurate observations, calculated according to Kepler's elliptical astronomy. When a peasant rebellion broke out and Linz was besieged, a fire destroyed the printer's house and shop, and with it much of the printed edition. Soldiers were garrisoned in Kepler's house. He and his family left Linz in 1626. The Tabulae Rudolphinae were published in Ulm in 1627.


Keplar: No boundaries between art, God and Science
Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, but there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of natural philosophy). Kepler also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. Kepler's most important inspiration was a model to explain the relative distances of the planets from the Sun in the Copernican System.

Johannes Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt in Swabia, in southwest Germany. His paternal grandfather, Sebald Kepler, was a respected craftsman who served as mayor of the city; his maternal grandfather, Melchior Guldenmann, was an innkeeper and mayor of the nearby village of Eltingen. His father, Heinrich Kepler, was "an immoral, rough and quarrelsome soldier," according to Kepler, His father left the family when Johannes was five years old and is believed to have died in the Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands. His mother Katharina Guldenmann, an inn-keeper's daughter, was a healer and herbalist. From 1574 to 1576 Johannes lived with his grandparents; in 1576 his parents moved to nearby Leonberg, where Johannes entered the Latin school. In 1584 he entered the Protestant seminary at Adelberg, and in 1589 he began his university education at the Protestant university of Tübingen. Here he studied theology and read widely. He passed the M.A. examination in 1591 and continued his studies as a graduate student.



astronomical diagram

 This diagram from the Mysterium Cosmographicum shows the recurrence pattern of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, a major astrological event. This pattern led to Kepler's discovery of the nested polyhedra or that one Platonic solid fits between each pair of the six visible

At University, Kepler had learned about Copernicus' system and had immediately accepted heliocentrism as a real picture of the world:
'I have attested it as true in my deepest soul,' he later wrote. Nevertheless, he did not exhibit much interest in the subject until the day in Gratz when the figure on the blackboard suggested to him that he could explain the details of the heliocentric cosmos in terms of a beautiful underlying geometric pattern. Copernicus had discovered the general arrangement of the heavens - the sun at the center and the planets revolving around it. Now Kepler would explain precisely the orbital sizes and spacings. That there was a precise mathematical explanation for the cosmic plan was an article of faith with Kepler, because for him the world was a reflection of the supremely Pythagorean God.

---Wertheim, Pythagoras' Trousers, 1997

Kepler's teacher in the mathematical subjects was Michael Maestlin (1550-1635). Maestlin was one of the earliest astronomers to subscribe to Copernicus's heliocentric theory, although in his university lectures he taught only the Ptolemaic system. Only in what we might call graduate seminars did he acquaint his students, among whom was Kepler, with the technical details of the Copernican system. Kepler stated later that at this time he became a Copernican for "physical or, if you prefer, metaphysical reasons."

In 1594 Kepler accepted an appointment as professor of mathematics and astronomy at the Protestant school at Graz in Austria, which he took up in April 1594, aged 23. There were no clear distinctions between astronomy and astrology; amongst his duties as 'mathematicus' Kepler was expected to issue an annual almanac of astrological predictions. In his first almanac he predicted an exceptionally cold winter and a Turkish incursion into Austria. When both predictions proved correct, he unexpectedly gained a reputation as a prophet.

On 19th July 1595, a sudden revelation changed the course of Kepler's life. In preparation for a geometry class he had drawn a figure on the blackboard of an equilateral triangle within a circle with a second circle inscribed within it. He realized that the ratio of the two circles replicated the ratio of the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. In a flash of inspiration, he saw the orbits of all the planets around the Sun arranged so that regular geometric figures would fit neatly between them. He tested this intuition using two-dimensional plane figures — the triangle, square, pentagon, etc. — but this didn't work. As space is three-dimensional, he went on to experiment with three-dimensional geometric solids.  Life had taken Kepler by surprise and ordered he move toward the unknown.

For six years, Kepler taught arithmetic, geometry, Virgil, and rhetoric. In his spare time he pursued his private studies in astronomy and astrology. In 1597 Kepler married Barbara Müller. In that same year he published his first important work, The Cosmographic Mystery, in which he argued that the distances of the planets from the Sun in the Copernican system were determined by the five regular solids, if one supposed that a planet's orbit was circumscribed about one solid and inscribed in another. Except for Mercury, Kepler's construction produced remarkably accurate results. 

Kepler was the first to state clearly that the way to understand the motion of the planets was in terms of some kind of force from the sun. However, in contrast to Galileo, Kepler thought that a continuous force was necessary to maintain motion, so he visualized the force from the sun like a rotating spoke pushing the planet around its orbit.


Kepler, Galileo & Newton
galileo-kepler.jpg ... retreat before the general ignorance and not to expose ourselves or heedlessly to oppose the violent attacks of the mob of scholars and in this you follow Plato and Pythagoras our true perceptors. But after a tremendous task has been begun in our time first by Copernicus and then by many very learned mathematicians and when the assertion that the Earth moves can no longer be considered something new would it not be much better to pull the wagon to its goal by our joint efforts now that we have got it under way and gradually with powerful voices to shout down the common herd which really does not weigh the arguments very carefully?    --- Kepler to Galileo [more]

I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or Moon or my telescope. ---Galileo to Kepler

O telescope, instrument of knowledge, more precious than any sceptre. — Johannes Kepler Letter to Galileo (1610).

Galileo and Kepler corresponded and Kepler was among Galileo's most prominent public defenders, but while Galileo defended Copernican astronomy he never wrote about Kepler's model.Galileo may have been repelled by Kepler's mysticism as he ridiculed Kepler's correct speculation on tidal action being influenced by the moon as "occult phenomena." More likely, Galileo, as a one of science's greatest self-promoters, was not inclined to share credit in his field with any contemporary.
"Among the great men who have philosophized about [the action of the tides], the one who surprised me most is Kepler. He was a person of independent genius, [but he] became interested in the action of the moon on the water, and in other occult phenomena, and similar childishness.
I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or Moon or my telescope.
--- Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Galileo's most original contributions to science were in mechanics where he helped clarify concepts of acceleration, velocity, and instantaneous motion. One of the first to record observations from the recently invented telescope, was an aggressive popularizer of Copernican viewpoint and satirist of Aristotelian physics.

  • "God wrote the universe in the language of mathematics".
  • “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
  • “The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go”
  • “Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.”
  • You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
  • Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.

--- Galileo Galilei

Newton probably believed, like most alchemists, that he was rediscovering the lost knowledge of Moses and of Hermes Trismegistus. These were the legendary sages to whom it was believed had been revealed divine knowledge. Both lived in Egypt, where much of their learning had been preserved in the Great Library of Alexandria, until its destruction. That knowledge had since been steadily lost over time; the ancient Greeks had been a 'golden age' when much of it had still been preserved, but since their time more and more had been lost. For this reason, alchemy had become a library-research discipline, not one given to experiment. Knowledge of the 'hidden arts' was to be obtained through the discovery and deciphering of lost and mysterious ancient texts. Newton, of course, took the opposite tack - although he accepted that he was rediscovering lost knowledge, he meticulously checked and noted down his findings by means of chemical experiment. The brazier in his room burned constantly for years at a time.

More serious alchemists adopted codenames for their correspondence. Thus, Newton dubbed himself Jeova Sanctus Unus - Latin for 'One Holy God', and simultaneously a nod to Newton's Arian beliefs (that God was a single, indivisible entity and not a Trinity) and a near-anagram of his Latinised name, Isaacus Neuutonus. It was under this moniker that Newton corresponded with other members of the Hartlib Circle, including Henry More and Boyle.

In the beginning of the year 1665 I found the Method of approximating series & the Rule for reducing any dignity of any Bionomial into such a series. The same year in May I found the method of Tangents of Gregory & Slusius, & in November had the direct method of fluxions & the next year in January had the Theory of Colours & in May following I had entrance into ye inverse method of fluxions. And the same year I began to think of gravity extending to ye orb of the Moon & (having found out how to estimate the force with wch [a] globe revolving within a sphere presses the surface of the sphere) from Keplers rule of the periodic times of the Planets being in sesquialterate proportion of their distances from the center of their Orbs, I deduced that the forces wch keep the Planets in their Orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about wch they revolve: & thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the earth, & found them answer pretty nearly. All this was in the two plague years of 1665-1666. For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy more then than at any time since.
Sir Isaac Newton
Quoted in Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1980), 143.
Isaac Newton initiated classical mechanics in physics.
  • Built in part on Kepler's concept of Sun as center of solar system,
  • planets move faster near Sun.
  • Inverse-square law.
  • Once law known, can use calculus to drive Kepler's Laws.
  • Unification Kepler's Laws; showed their common basis.

    Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

    "But before mankind could be ripe for a science which takes in the whole of reality, a second fundamental truth was needed, which only became common property among philosophers with the advent of Kepler and Galileo. Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it. Propositions arrived at by purely logical means are completely empty as regards reality. Because Galileo saw this, and particularly because he drummed it into the scientific world, he is the father of modern physics -- indeed, of modern science altogether."
    -Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

    "Cosmology -The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built by pure deduction "

    'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.'

    "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  ---Albert Einstein

    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks in the immeasurable flow of time.
    " --- John Banville: Kepler, (Minerva 1990)
    "It is a vulgar belief that our astronomical knowledge dates only from the recent century when it was rescued from the monks who imprisoned Galileo; but Hipparchus … who among other achievements discovered the precession of the eqinoxes, ranks with the Newtons and the Keplers; and Copernicus, the modern father of our celestial science, avows himself, in his famous work, as only the champion of Pythagoras, whose system he enforces and illustrates. Even the most modish schemes of the day on the origin of things, which captivate as much by their novelty as their truth, may find their precursors in ancient sages, and after a careful analysis of the blended elements of imagination and induction which charaterise the new theories, they will be found mainly to rest on the atom of Epicurus and the monad of Thales. Scientific, like spiritual truth, has ever from the beginning been descending from heaven to man."

    Benjamin Disraeli Lothair (1879), preface, xvii

    Copernicus and Kepler credit ancients & god for heliocentric order 
     "In the middle of all sits Sun enthroned. In this most beautiful temple could we place this luminary in any better position from which he can illuminate the whole at once? He is rightly called the Lamp, the Mind, the Ruler of the Universe: Hermes Trismegistus names him the Visible God, Sophocles' Electra calls him the All-seeing. So the Sun sits as upon a royal throne ruling his children the planets which circle round him. The Earth has the Moon at her service. As Aristotle says, in his On Animals, the Moon has the closest relationship with the Earth. Meanwhile the Earth conceives by the Sun, and becomes pregnant with an annual rebirth" ---Copernicus (De Revolutionibus, Of the Order of the Heavenly Bodies 10).
    Keplar: Astronomiae Pars Optica
    Through most of 1603, Kepler paused his other work to focus on optical theory; the resulting manuscript, presented to the emperor on January 1, 1604, was published as Astronomiae Pars Optica (The Optical Part of Astronomy). In it, Kepler described the inverse-square law governing the intensity of light, reflection by flat and curved mirrors, and principles of pinhole cameras, as well as the astronomical implications of optics such as parallax and the apparent sizes of heavenly bodies. He also extended his study of optics to the human eye, and is generally considered by neuroscientists to be the first to recognize that images are projected inverted and reversed by the eye's lens onto the retina. The solution to this dilemma was not of particular importance to Kepler as he did not see it as pertaining to optics, although he did suggest that the image was later corrected "in the hollows of the brain" due to the "activity of the Soul." Today, Astronomiae Pars Optica is generally recognized as the foundation of modern optics
    Always being subjected to persecution by the Catholics, Kepler had to relocate several times due to pressure from the Church, yet he would not convert.  Also, mathematicians were not in great demand at the time, and Kepler did not have very much money to support his family.  He lived in poverty, and died in poverty, but one thing is for certain, he was very prolific, and his work did not die with him.
    Astrologer Keplar: Celestial imprint is the geometric-harmonic imprint constitutes "the music that impels the listener to dance"
    Kepler believed in astrology in the sense that he was convinced that planetary configurations physically imprinted humans at birth with an affinity for a certain resonance.  He sought a theoretical theory for this intuition. On the more certain foundations of astrology (1601). In The Intervening Third Man, or a warning to theologians, physicians and philosophers (1610), posing as a third man between the two extreme positions for and against astrology, Kepler advocated that a definite relationship between heavenly phenomena and earthly events could be established.
    From his long-term study of weather conditions correlated with planetary angles and from detailed analysis of his collection of 800 birth charts, Kepler concluded that when planets formed angles equivalent to particular harmonic ratios a resonance was set up, both in the archetypal 'Earth-soul' and in the souls of individuals born under those configurations.  He considered this 'celestial imprint' more important than the traditional emphasis on signs and houses: "in the vital power of the human being that is ignited at birth there glows that remembered image..." The geometric-harmonic imprint constitutes "the music that impels the listener to dance" as the movements of the planets, by transit and direction, echo and re-echo the natal theme. In addition to the Ptolemaic aspects, Kepler proposed the quintile (72°), bi-quintile (144°) and sesqui-quadrate (135°). Extending the analogy of the musical scale, the quintile is equivalent to an interval of a major third (4:5), the sesqui-quadrate to a minor sixth (5:8) and the bi-quintile to a major sixth (3:5).
    "The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics."

    "The Earth is round, and is inhabited on all sides, is insignificantly small, and is borne through the stars."

    "Nature uses as little as possible of anything."

    'Geometry existed before the Creation, is co-eternal with the mind of God, is God himself ... geometry provided God with a model for the Creation.' Thus, 'where matter is, there is geometry.'

    "I give myself over to my rapture. I tremble; my blood leaps. God has waited 6000 years for a looker-on to His work."

    After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.

    “I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

    “The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”

    “I demonstrate by means of philosophy that the earth is round, and is inhabited on all sides; that it is insignificantly small, and is borne through the stars.”

    Planets move in ellipses with the Sun at one focus.

    However, before we come to [special] creation, which puts an end to all discussion: I think we should try everything else.

    I also ask you my friends not to condemn me entirely to the mill of mathematical calculations, and allow me time for philosophical speculations, my only pleasures.

    I am stealing the golden vessels of the Egyptians to build a tabernacle to my God from them, far far away from the boundaries of Egypt. If you forgive me, I shall rejoice; if you are enraged with me, I shall bear it. See, I cast the die, and I write the book. Whether it is to be read by the people of the present or of the future makes no difference: let it await its reader for a hundred years, if God himself has stood ready for six thousand years for one to study him.
    — Johannes Kepler
    Harmonice Mundi, The Harmony of the World (1619),

    Truth is the daughter of time, and I feel no shame in being her midwife.

    "I used to measure the heavens, now I shall measure the shadows of the Earth. Although my soul was from heaven, the shadow of my body lies here." - Kepler's epitaph.


    Both the Enlightenment and the people who reacted against it (Romantics) developed more positive views of wilderness.  The idea that wilderness was good was spreading, but it took several different forms.

    The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the 18th century.  The scientific revolution got people excited that we can understand the world through science.  This led to an emphasis on finding better ways of doing things, instead of tradition.  This was very influential on the American revolution and the constitution.
    alchemical illustration--scholar measuring humans
    New ways of seeing nature resulted from the enlightenment, in three rather contradictory ways.
    • the enlightenment led some intellectuals to Deism: an approach to religion that focuses on God as the creator of the world, rather than emphasizing God intervening in our daily lives (and if you focus on God as creator then the creation becomes an important way of knowing God).  God is a perfect watchmaker who made the creation work so well that God doesn't need to interfere.
    • the development of science led to the idea of natural theology, a different approach that lead to the idea that studying nature was a way to get closer to God, popular even among some evangelicals
    • The Romantic movement in Europe was a reaction against the idea that science can explain everything, that everything is rational.  It led to an enthusiasm for whatever was wild and mysterious.  God is in the mysterious and can't be understood so is a very personal experience.


    We warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know the Universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how. ---Paulo Coelho

    "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." 
     -Albert Einstein