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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter surveys the work of Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), who wrote on astronomy, cosmology, astrology, geography, optics and harmonics and who placed several fields of study into forms that remained definitive until the Renaissance. His astronomical Syntaxis (or Almagest) gave theories of the motions of the sun, moon, and planets that were highly successful in representing the angular motions of the bodies, although his lunar theory exaggerated the variation in distance. The cosmological consequences of this world view were developed in a separate work, the Planetary Hypotheses. Of the surviving ancient treatises on astrology, Ptolemy’s is the most rationalized and orderly and attempts to justify this art in terms of philosophy. His geographical work provides instructions for projecting a world map and an extensive gazetteer of sites. In both his astronomy and his harmonics Ptolemy built and described a suite of instruments. His book on optics includes experiments aimed at determining a law of refraction.

Keywords: astrology, astronomy, eccentric, epicycle, geography, harmonics, instruments, maps, moon, optics, planets, soul, sun

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