Back to Volume
Paper: A Pluralistic Vein in the Early Eighteenth Century in Europe\footnotemark
Volume: 520, Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East
Page: 151
Authors: Capaccioli, M.
Abstract: We review the development of the pluralistic vision in the Western culture and show the existence, in the Mitteleuropa of the 18th century, of an enclave of pluralism in the context of an infinite universe. In 1742, on the frontispiece of his Atlas novus coelestis, Johann Gabriel Doppelmayer presented a sort of Brunian “manifesto” in which the Solar System is surrounded by many other planetary systems. Two years later, Leonhard Euler published his Theoria motuum planetarum et cometarum, with a clone of the pluralistic iconography of the Atlas. In the years following 1751, a fresco was painted in one hall of the Castle of Prague, now the Mathematics Room, under the influence of the Jesuit Joseph Stepling, where the reference to Doppelmayer's and Euler's pictures is evident. While the pluralistic faith of Doppelmayer and Stepling is not ascertained, Euler was a firm pluralist and kept a regular correspondence with Stepling. These facts suggest that the three, while belonging to different cultural and religious environments, shared a common position in favor of the Brunian doctrine and exchanged information, opinions, and even cryptic iconic references to the cosmology of the Nolan philosopher.
Back to Volume