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Kepler, Johannes (1571–1630)

  1. Alvin J. Schmidt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0750

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Kepler, Johannes (1571–1630). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


This world-renowned astronomer was born prematurely to a pauper family on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, near Stuttgart, Germany. From childhood on, his life was difficult. At the age of 4 he almost died of smallpox, which left him with defective eyesight. He was physically frail and beset with a number of ailments, consisting of skin rashes, boils, chronic putrid wounds on his feet, stomach ailments, gall problems, and a mild form of hemophilia. He had a quarrelsome mother and an illtempered, spiteful father who was a drifter. Johannes could only attend school irregularly. From the ages of 9 to 11 he was totally absent from school, for he had to do menial farm work to help alleviate the family's poverty. His schoolmates disliked him, apparently because of his precocity. In time, his exceptional intelligence stood him in good stead, for at the age of 17 in 1588 he passed the baccalaureate examination at the university in Tübingen, where in 1589 he began studying for the Lutheran ministry.


  • kepler, johannes (1571–1630);
  • astronomiae pars optica;
  • world-renowned astronomer;
  • astronomia nova, his major work;
  • mysterium cosmographicum (mystery of the universe)