He was born in 1571 in Weil der Stadt near Stuttgart. In 1589, he became a student of theology at the University of Tübingen, intending to go on and become a Lutheran clergyman, and as part of his education in the Faculty of Arts he studied mathematics and astronomy. His teacher was Michael Mastlin, from whom he learned the Copernican theory36 and it did not take long before Kepler was convinced that Copernicus was right. In 1596, in the preface to his first major work, he wrote:

... six years ago, when I was studying under the distinguished Master Michael Mastlin at Tübingen, I was disturbed by the many difficulties of the usual conception of the universe, and I was so delighted with Copernicus, whom Mr Mastlin often mentioned in his lectures, that I not only frequently defended his

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