11 October 2015

A perfit description of the Coelestiall Orbes

This orbe of starres fixed infinitely up extendeth hit self in altitude sphericallye, and therefore immovable the palace of foelicitye garnished with perpetuall shininge glorious lights innumerable farr excelling our sonne both in quantitye and quality the very court of coelestiall angelles devoide of griefe and replenished with perfite endless ioye the habitacle for the elect.
legend by Thomas Digges from his 1576 translation of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus.

Digges, writes David Wootton in The Invention of Science, was the first competent astronomer to explicitly propose an infinite universe (Nicholas of Cusa had argued that an omnipotent God would make an infinite universe, but this was a philosophical, not an astronomical argument).

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