Europe in the Time of Neacºu: his Contemporaries

Kopernic Mikolaj (Nicolaus Copernicus), 1473 - 1543, Polish astronomer who scientifically grounded the theory of the heliocentric world. In 1510 he published "Commentariolus" (Brief commentary) where he exposed his ideas concerning the solar system, stating that the planets and the solar system spin around the sun (situated at the centre of the Universe) and around their own axis. He developed his ideas in his book "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" (Movement of the celestial bodies), in 1543, which also includes a catalogue of stars.

Erasmus Desiderius Rotterdamus, pseudonym of Gerhard Garhards, 1466 - 1536, Dutch humanist during the Renaissance age. In his pamphlets and satirical writings, the best known being "Eulogium to Folly" (1509), Erasmus satirised the feudal society, condemned the religious fanatism and unmasked the ignorance of the clergy. He also prepared the Reformation by attacking the papacy, the Church and the official theology, through his programme of reforming the Christian religion. The programme suggested the return to the initial Evangelic sources and by publishing the New Testament in Greek as well as the philological comment of its content. He is also the author of certain pedagogic writings in which he demanded a mild discipline and suggested the encouragement of the children's independent activity.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 -1527), political thinker, historian and writer. He was chancellor and secretary of state of the Council of the feudal lords in the Republic of Florence (1488 - 1512), being involved in all the great events of his time. In 1512, when de Medicis family came back to power in Florence, he was exiled in San Casciano (1512 -1519) where he wrote his most important works. In his fundamental writing "Il Principe", Machiavelli sustained the necessity of unifying Italy under an absolute monarchy; he considered that for achieving this aim the sovereign may use any mean including fraud, violence and murder. This lead to the notion of when denoting the lack of scruples in choosing the ways of achieving a purpose. In the last years of his life he wrote "Florentine Stories", in 8 books, a work which situates him among the creators of the Renaissance historiography in Italy.

Sir Thomas More (1478 - 1535), humanist thinker and English man of state, one of the founders of the Utopian socialism. He was Chairman of the House of Commons (1523-1529) and Lord Chancellor (1529 - 1532). Raising against Henry VIII's Church reforms he was imprisoned and executed. In his work "Utopia" (1516) he asserts that the private property is the source of all social injustice. He describes an ideal society where the labour is compulsory for everybody, the production and the consumption being rationally regulated by the State. The spare time is dedicated to science and art; children of both sexes are identically educated.

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