Tycho Brahe's Nose





Sir David Brewster relates that in the year 1566, an accident occurred

to Tycho Brahe, at Wittenberg, which had nearly deprived him of his

life. On the 10th of December, Tycho had a quarrel with a noble

countryman, Manderupius Rasbergius, and they parted ill friends. On the

27th of the same month, they met again; and having renewed their

quarrel, they agreed to settle their differences by the sword. They

accordingly met at seven o'clock in the evening of the 29th, and fought

in total darkness. In this blind combat, Manderupius cut off the whole

of the front of Tycho's nose, and it was fortunate for astronomy that

his more valuable organs were defended by so faithful an outpost. The

quarrel, which is said to have originated in a difference of opinion

respecting their mathematical attainments, terminated here; and Tycho

repaired his loss by cementing upon his face a nose of gold and silver,

which is said to have formed a good imitation of the original. Thus,

Tycho was, indeed, a "Martyr of Science."



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