'Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World'
By Johannes Kepler (Author)
This volume contains two of Kepler's most important works: The Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (books 4 and 5 of which are translated here) is a textbook of Copernican science, remarkable for the prominence given to physical astronomy and for the extension to the Jovian system of the laws recently discovered to regulate the motions of the Planets. Harmonies of the World (book 5 of which is translated here) expounds an elaborate system of celestial harmonies depending on the varying velocities of the planets.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. He is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.
During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria, where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. Later he became an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He was also a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein. Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope), and mentioned the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.
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).