The Fathers of Astronomy

I searched Google Ngram Viewer for “Father of Astronomy”, 1500-2019, English (2019), Case-Insensitive.

Fathers of Astronomy:
1635 – Hipparchus of Bithynia (C2nd BCE)
1754 – Claudius Ptolemy (C2nd CE)
1803 – Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543 CE)
1833 – The Biblical Enoch
1838 – Thales of Miletus (c. 620 B.C.E.—c. 546 B.C.E.)

“Hipparchus of Bithynia, an astronomer of the second century B.C. “The true father of astronomy.””
– Meric Casaubon (1635)[1, p.225]

“We look up to Ptolemy as the father of astronomy. He mentions his predecessor Hipparchus with the same level of reverence; and Hipparchus … speaks of Thales with the same degree of reverence.”
– John Hill (1754)[2, WAIN]

Nicholas Copernicus, a native of Thorn in Prussia, and a canon of Worms, is the father of astronomy among the moderns…”
– The Massachusetts Register and United States Calendar (1803)[3, p.8]

“…Hipparchus, the prince and father of astronomy, who flourished about 142 B.C….”
– Abraham Rees (1810)[4, p.5]

“HIPPARCHUS, the father of Astronomy, lived between 160 and 125 years before our era, and was born at Nice in Bithynia.”
– Samuel Vince (1814)[5, p.256]

“But surely a mere Jewish tradition, that Enoch was the father of astronomy, in which he had been instructed by the angels…”
– Richard Laurence (1833)[7, p.xxxiv]

“…Thales, the great father of Astronomy…”
-The New-Yorker: Volume 6 (1838)[6, p.56]

“ENOCH; the son of Jared, and father of Methuselah. … An ancient author affirms, that he was the father of astronomy; and Eusebius hence infers, that he is the same with the Atlas of the Grecian mythology.”
Bela Bates Edwards (1851)[8, p.504]

“The Egyptians advanced one step in the right direction, when they determined the path of the sun; and Thales, who, like Moses, was learned in all the science of that Pharaonic people, introduced what he had gleaned into his own land, and became the father of astronomy.”
– Elias Lyman Magoon (1856)[9, p.75]

“But by far the greatest of the Greek astronomers was Hipparchus (c.161-126 B.C.), a native of Bithynia, who has been justly called the Father of Astronomy.”
– The New International Encyclopædia: Volume 2 (1917)[11, p.292]

“The father of astronomy is Ptolemy…”
 – Sir Harold Alfred MacMichael (1922)[10, p.187]

“Indeed, some claim to hold Abraham of the Hebrews, and Moses, as the father of astronomy.”
– Journal of the History of Ideas: Volume 67 (2006)[12, p.51]

“…Galileo Galilei … the Father of Astronomy…”
– Rashidul Bari (2011)[13, p.189]


[1] – Meric Casaubon. “The Golden Book of Marcus Aurelius” (1635). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[2] – John Hill. “Urania: Or, a Compleat View of the Heavens; Containing the Ancient and Modern Astronomy, in Form of a Dictionary: Illustrated with a Great Number of Figures … A Work Intended for General Use, Intelligible to All Capacities, and Calculated for Entertainment as Well as Instruction” (1754). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[3] – “The Massachusetts Register and United States Calendar” (1803). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[4] – Abraham Rees. “The Cyclopaedia: Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature · Volume 23” (1810). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[5] – Samuel Vince. “A Complete System of Astronomy: Volume 2” (1814). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[6] – “The New-Yorker: Volume 6” (1838). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[7] – Richard Laurence. “The Book of Enoch” (1833). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[8] – Bela Bates Edwards. “Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: Or, Dictionary of the Bible, Theology, Religious Biography, All Religions, Ecclesiastical History, and Missions. To which is Added a Missionary Gazetteer, Containing Descriptions of the Various Missionary Stations Throughout the Globe” (1851). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[9] – Elias Lyman Magoon. “Westward Empire: Or, The Great Drama of Human Progress” (1856). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[10] –  Sir Harold Alfred MacMichael. “A History of the Arabs in the Sudan and Some Account of the People who Preceded Them and of the Tribes Inhabiting Dárfūr: Volume 2” (1922). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[11] – “The New International Encyclopædia: Volume 2” (1917). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[12] – “Journal of the History of Ideas: Volume 67” (2006). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

[13] – Rashidul Bari. “Grameen Social Business Model: A Manifesto for Proletariat Revolution” (2011). Accessed 20 Feb. 2021.

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