2nd-century Roman mathematician, astronomer, geographer / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Claudius Ptolemy (/ˈtɒləmi/; Greek: Πτολεμαῖος, Ptolemaios; Latin: Claudius Ptolemaeus; c. 100 – c. 170 AD) was a Roman mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific treatises, three of which were of importance to later Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European science. The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest, although it was originally entitled the Mathēmatikē Syntaxis or Mathematical Treatise, and later known as The Greatest Treatise. The second is the Geography, which is a thorough discussion on maps and the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The third is the astrological treatise in which he attempted to adapt horoscopic astrology to the Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day. This is sometimes known as the Apotelesmatika (lit. "On the Effects") but more commonly known as the Tetrábiblos, from the Koine Greek meaning "Four Books", or by its Latin equivalent Quadripartite.
|Born||c. 100 AD|
Egypt, Roman Empire
|Died||c. 170 (aged 69–70) AD|
Alexandria, Egypt, Roman Empire
|Citizenship||Roman; ethnicity: Greco-Egyptian|
|Known for||Ptolemaic universe|
Ptolemy's world map
Ptolemy's intense diatonic scale
Ptolemy's table of chords
|Fields||Astronomy, Geography, Astrology, Optics|
|Influenced||Theon of Alexandria|
Unlike most ancient Greek mathematicians, Ptolemy's writings (foremost the Almagest) never ceased to be copied or commented upon, both in Late Antiquity and in the Middle Ages. However, it is likely that only a few truly mastered the mathematics necessary to understand his works, as evidenced particularly by the many abridged and watered-down introductions to Ptolemy's astronomy that were popular among the Arabs and Byzantines alike.