Erasmus Reinhold

Infobox Scientist
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name = Erasmus Reinhold


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caption = Erasmus Reinhold (1511-1553)
birth_date = October 22, 1511
birth_place = Saalfeld, Germany
death_date = February 19, 1553
death_place = Saalfeld, Germany
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nationality = flag|Germany|name=German
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fields = Astronomer and mathematician
workplaces = University of Wittenberg
alma_mater = University of Wittenberg
doctoral_advisor = Jacob Milich
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religion = Lutheran


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Erasmus Reinhold (October 22, 1511 – February 19, 1553) was a German astronomer and mathematician, considered to be the most influential astronomical pedagogue of his generation. [Owen Gingerich: The Role of Erasmus Reinhold and the Prutenic Tables in the Dissemination of the Copernican Theory, 1973, Studia Copernicana, Poland [http://books.google.com/books?id=bR8LAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA27&dq=author:%22Owen+Gingerich%22+%2Bhe+Role+of+Erasmus+Reinhold+and+the+Prutenic+Tables+in+the+Dissemination&sig=JlCddebimY-l-bTTuNQ6uU40Dq4] ] He was born and died in Saalfeld, Thuringia, Germany.

He was educated at the University of Wittenberg, where he was first elected dean and later became rector. In 1536 he was appointed professor of higher mathematics by Philipp Melanchthon. In contrast to the limited modern definition, "mathematics" at the time also included applied mathematics, especially astronomy. His colleague, Georg Joachim Rheticus, also studied at Wittenberg and was appointed professor of lower mathematics in 1536.

Reinhold catalogued a large number of stars. His publications on astronomy include a commentary (1542, 1553) on Georg Purbach's "Theoricae novae planetarum".

Duke Albert of Brandenburg Prussia supported Reinhold and financed the printing of Reinhold's "Prutenicae Tabulae" or "Prussian Tables". These astronomical tables helped to disseminate calculation methods of Copernicus throughout the Empire. Both Reinholds's "Prutenic Tables" and Copernicus' studies were the foundation for the Calendar Reform by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. However, Reinhold (like other astronomers before Kepler and Galileo) translated Copernicus' mathematical methods back into a geocentric system, rejecting heliocentric cosmology on physical and theological grounds. [Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker, and Xiang Chen. "The Cognitive Structure of Scientific Revolutions". New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. pp 138-148]

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