Claudius Ptolemy- Great Astronomer or Plagiarist?

Many amateur astronomers today may not even recognize the name of Claudius Ptolemy, but the field of astronomy owes this man’s work a huge thank you. That is… according to some scholars. Others, however, think he was nothing more than a common thief.

His work, Almagest, is the oldest surviving star chart. In his 13 volume work Ptolemy puts forward a mathematical model to fit his observational data that was much more sophisticated than any known at that time. Almagest still holds the record for the longest used scientific text ever. Almagest was considered so important that the text was translated into Arabic 500 years after it was written. The translated book was found in the great libraries of Cordova and Toledo, Spain. Many consider Claudius Ptolemy one of the greatest astronomers of history.Ptolemy’s theory saw the earth as the center of the universe. All of calculations of how the planets moved were based on this fact. Read More →