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I have seen this mentioned on the interwebs a few times. people have mentioned that some Greek thinkers and Islamic astronomers came up with heliocentrism before Copernicus and that Copernicus copied Al-Haytham's model.

Is it Eurocentrism to give credit solely to Copernicus?

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Why didn't Aristarchus' theory of Heliocentrism stick? $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jul 21 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ No serious source credits the idea of heliocentrism to Copernicus, solely or otherwise, he is credited for producing a heliocentric model simpler and observationally superior to geocentric ones. Technical parallels between al-Shatir's (not al-Haytham's) models and Copernican ones are also well-known, although there is no direct evidence of transmission. However, al-Shatir's models were geocentric, and Copernicus used plenty of other Ptolemaic devices related to epicycles, like everybody before Kepler. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jul 22 at 0:37
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There is an evidence that heliocentrism was proposed by some ancient Greek philosophers, in particular Aristarchus of Samos. His work did not survive, and all we know about it is a brief mentioning in one work of Archimedes.

Concerning Ibn al-Haytham, Wikipedia mentions his works where he criticized Ptolemy, but does not mention that he ever advocated heliocentrism. If you have a source which says this, please give a reference.

It is highly unlikely that Copernicus could read Ibn al-Haytham. (I doubt that he could read Arabic and that al-Haytham was translated into Latin). But Copernicus mentions his ancient Greek predecessors.

Concerning "giving credit" this is a question of opinion. On my opinion, crediting Copernicus has nothing to do with "eurocentrism". (Aristarchus was also a European, and he is given some credit, though his work did not survive and we know almost nothing about it. About al-Haytham, I have never heard that he developed a heliocentric system. Please give a source if you know one.)

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Aristarchus of Samos is credited with the first heliocentric model.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos

The scientists of that day were capable of sophisticated reasoning. They pointed out that if the earth moves around the sun, then we should see parallax in the stars six months apart. But we see no parallax. Therefore either the stars must be unimaginably far away, which is unlikely; or else heliocentrism must be wrong. Of course today we know that the stars actually are so far away as to not exhibit parallax.

There is a fantastic website that recounts the history of our ideas of the solar system. Well worth reading. It's called The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown.

http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-table-of.html

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  • $\begingroup$ Umm, they do "exhibit parallax", just quite small ones. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jul 23 at 21:00
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As the other answers have stated, the heliocentric model goes back to Aristarchus, but it had no followers in the Middle Ages, whether in Christendom or in Islam. Some Indian (e.g. Aryabhatta) and Muslim (e.g. al-Biruni) astronomers did consider the possibility that the Earth rotates daily on its axis, but they did not deny that the Earth stands in the centre of the cosmos.

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