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Nicolaus Copernicus in Lidzbark Warmiński

2023-02-01 14:37:31 (ost. akt: 2023-02-01 14:59:27)

It was the end of 1495. The twenty-two-year-old young man, the future author of a theory revolutionizing people's ideas about the universe, visited Heilsberg for the first time. However, it was not a sightseeing visit.

Nicolaus Copernicus in Lidzbark Warmiński
Earlier, when he was in his native Toruń to accompany his mother Barbara on his last journey, he was ordered to appear before his uncle, a powerful bishop, advisor to the Polish king Jan Olbracht, Łukasz Watzenrode. Although it was only after the death of his sister that Łukasz took full care of his nephews: Mikołaj and Andrzej, he also decided about their future, including the way of teaching the brothers, trying to replace their prematurely deceased father, who was not allowed to live to adulthood of his descendants.
When my uncle considered the education acquired by the Copernicus in Poland sufficient, he requested their presence in Warmia. In his plans, Watzenrode depicted Nicholas as a canon of Frombork. One of them – Jan Zanau – has just passed away from this world, and the bishop's protégé could take over the functions performed by the deceased. At a later date, the dignitary would think about finding a worthy job also for his younger nephew, Andrew. So the brothers set off on a journey to the court of the protector, immersed in grief after the loss of their mother.
His uncle did not expect that the way to take up the post by his protégé would encounter some obstacles, or rather one key one - the opposition of the congregation of canons. The reason for this objection was not nepotism, as we might expect, but simply the lack of appreciation of venerable gentlemen towards a reluctant bishop. Copernicus had to wait for the position in the chapter, and the Italian Bologna was chosen as the best place to wait. The astronomer's first stay in Heilsberg was therefore short, probably lasting several months. Nevertheless, observing the work of the bishop, Nicholas gained experience that would prove useful in later years...
Mikulski Krzysztof, Mikołaj Kopernik w Lidzbarku Warmińskim [in:] Mikołaj Kopernik w zamek biskupów w Lidzbarku Warmiński. Materials after the conference "Astronomical achievements of Nicolaus Copernicus during his stay in the bishops' castle in Lidzbark Warmiński", Białystok 2020.
Sikorski Jerzy, The Private Life of Nicolaus Copernicus, Olsztyn 2011.