Nicolaus Copernicus is a Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic canon, who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center. In all likelihood, Copernicus developed his model independently of Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.
Copernicus was born and died in the State of the Teutonic Order. A polyglot and polymath, he obtained a doctorate in canon law and was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist.
The publication of Copernicus’ model in his book (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) is a major event in the history of science.