By James M. Lattis
Though particularly unknown this day, Clavius used to be tremendously influential all through Europe within the past due 16th and early 17th centuries via his astronomy books—the usual texts utilized in many faculties and universities, and the instruments with which Descartes, Gassendi, and Mersenne, between many others, realized their astronomy. James Lattis makes use of Clavius's personal guides in addition to archival fabrics to track the principal position Clavius performed in integrating conventional Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian ordinary philosophy into an orthodox cosmology. even though Clavius strongly resisted the recent cosmologies of Copernicus and Tycho, Galileo's invention of the telescope eventually eroded the Ptolemaic global view.
By tracing Clavius's perspectives from medieval cosmology the 17th century, Lattis illuminates the conceptual shift from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy and the social, highbrow, and theological effect of the medical Revolution.
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Extra info for Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology
53 He may have left Coimbra soon thereafter, however, because he is reported in that same year to have made a pious visit to Monserrat, in Spain, a site important in the spiritual progress of Saint Ignatius. 54 As Montserrat is not out of the way of an overland route from Portugal to Italy, he probably worked this pilgrimage into the journey that would return him to Rome, where he spent most of the rest of his life. By May 1561 he was numbered among the students studying physics and metaphysics at the Collegio Romano, and in 1562 we find Clavius enrolled as a theology student.
Baldi reports that Clavius traveled a great deal in Spain, Germany, and Italy so that he could meet the principal scholars of the humanities, philosophy, and mathematics. Yet the extant records indicate only a number of journeys in and around Italy (Sicily, as mentioned earlier, Naples, and several tours of duty in Campania). Perhaps the references to Spain and Germany correspond to the voyages of his youth (from Bamberg to Rome, to Coimbra, and back to Rome), but as a Jesuit novice he would hardly have been meeting with famous scholars.
In 1566 Clavius is still listed among those studying theology at the Collegio Romano, though in 1564 he had been ordained. However, the process of full formation was a long one. It was only in September 1575, when he was thirty-seven years old, that he is recorded as having professed the solemn vows, including the fourth vow, peculiar to Jesuits, of obedience to the pope, and thus became a fully formed member of the Society. Clavius is first listed as a professor in the Collegio Romano in 1567, when he is recorded as teaching mathematics.