Quotation for the week: Copernicus

A famous phrase here from Copernicus’s Preface to De Revolutionibus, in which he encourages Pope Paul III not to listen to “babblers” who criticise his work without being qualified:

Mathemata mathematicis scribuntur.

Mathematics is written for mathematicians.

(Actually, the word here translated as “mathematics” doesn’t mean what we now call “mathematics” — as with that St Augustine quotation, it might be better to render the phrase as “Astronomy is written for astronomers”, as in this translation. That, however, would deprive the long-suffering partners and families of mathematicians of the pleasure of capping the quotation with “and that’s the precisely the problem with it.”)


This entry was posted in Quotations. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.