Ptolemy (/ˈtɒləmi/; Greek: Κλαύδιος
Πτολεμαῖος, Klaúdios Ptolemaîos [kláwdios
Claudius Ptolemaeus; c. AD 100 –
c. 170) was a Greco-Roman mathematician, astronomer,
geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek
Anthology. He lived in the city of
Alexandria in the Roman
province of Egypt, wrote in Koine Greek, and held Roman
citizenship. The 14th-century astronomer
Theodore Meliteniotes gave
his birthplace as the prominent Greek city
Ptolemais Hermiou (Greek:
Πτολεμαΐς ‘Ερμείου) in the
Θηβαΐδα [Θηβαΐς]). This attestation is quite late,
however, and, according to Gerald Toomer, the translator of his
Almagest into English, there is no reason to suppose he ever lived
anywhere other than Alexandria. He died there around
Ptolemy wrote several scientific treatises, three of which were of
importance to later Byzantine, Islamic and European science. The first
is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest, although it
was originally entitled the Mathematical Treatise
(Μαθηματικὴ Σύνταξις, Mathēmatikē Syntaxis) and
then known as the Great Treatise (Ἡ Μεγάλη Σύνταξις,
Hē Megálē Syntaxis). The second is the Geography, which is a
thorough discussion of 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
(Ἀποτελεσματικά) but more commonly known as the
Tetrabiblos from the Greek (Τετράβιβλος) meaning "Four
Books" or by the Latin Quadripartitum.
3 The Geography
7 Named after Ptolemy
8 See also
10.1 Texts and translations
11 External links
11.1 Primary sources
11.2 Secondary material
11.2.1 Animated illustrations
Engraving of a crowned
Ptolemy being guided by the muse Astronomy,
from Margarita Philosophica by Gregor Reisch, 1508. Although Abu
Ptolemy to be one of the Ptolemies who ruled Egypt
after the conquest of Alexander the title ‘King Ptolemy’ is
generally viewed as a mark of respect for Ptolemy's elevated standing
Ptolemaeus (Πτολεμαῖος – Ptolemaios) is a Greek name. It
occurs once in Greek mythology, and is of Homeric form. It was
common among the Macedonian upper class at the time of Alexander the
Great, and there were several of this name among Alexander's army, one
of whom made himself King of
Egypt in 323 BC:
Ptolemy I Soter.
All the kings (Pharaohs) after him, until
Egypt became a Roman
province in 30 BC, were also Greek Ptolemies.
Claudius is a Roman nomen; the fact that
Ptolemy bore it
indicates he lived under the Roman rule of
Egypt with the privileges
and political rights of Roman citizenship. It would have suited custom
if the first of Ptolemy's family to become a citizen (whether he or an
ancestor) took the nomen from a Roman called
Claudius who was
responsible for granting citizenship. If, as was common, this was the
emperor, citizenship would have been granted between AD 41 and 68
(when Claudius, and then Nero, were Roman emperors). The astronomer
would also have had a praenomen, which remains unknown.
The 9th-century Persian astronomer Abu Ma'shar presents
Ptolemy as a
member of Egypt's royal lineage, stating that the ten kings of Egypt
who followed Alexander were wise "and included
Ptolemy the Wise, who
composed the book of the Almagest". Abu Ma'shar recorded a belief that
a different member of this royal line "composed the book on astrology
and attributed it to Ptolemy". We can evidence historical confusion on
this point from Abu Ma'shar's subsequent remark “It is sometimes
said that the very learned man who wrote the book of astrology also
wrote the book of the Almagest. The correct answer is not
known”. There is little evidence on the subject of Ptolemy's
ancestry, apart from what can be drawn from the details of his name
(see above); however, modern scholars refer to Abu Ma’shar’s
account as erroneous, and it is no longer doubted that the
astronomer who wrote the
Almagest also wrote the
Tetrabiblos as its
Ptolemy wrote in Greek and can be shown to have utilized Babylonian
astronomical data. He was a Roman citizen, but was ethnically
either a Greek or a Hellenized Egyptian. He was
often known in later Arabic sources as "the Upper Egyptian",
suggesting he may have had origins in southern Egypt. Later Arabic
astronomers, geographers and physicists referred to him by his name in
Arabic: بَطْلُمْيوس Batlamyus.
Further information: Almagest
Ptolemy with an armillary sphere model, by
Joos van Ghent
Joos van Ghent and Pedro
Berruguete, 1476, Louvre, Paris
Almagest is the only surviving comprehensive ancient
treatise on astronomy. Babylonian astronomers had developed
arithmetical techniques for calculating astronomical phenomena; Greek
astronomers such as
Hipparchus had produced geometric models for
calculating celestial motions. Ptolemy, however, claimed to have
derived his geometrical models from selected astronomical observations
by his predecessors spanning more than 800 years, though astronomers
have for centuries suspected that his models' parameters were adopted
independently of observations.
Ptolemy presented his astronomical
models in convenient tables, which could be used to compute the future
or past position of the planets. The
Almagest also contains a star
catalogue, which is a version of a catalogue created by Hipparchus.
Its list of forty-eight constellations is ancestral to the modern
system of constellations, but unlike the modern system they did not
cover the whole sky (only the sky
Hipparchus could see). Across
Europe, the Middle East and North
Africa in the Medieval period, it
was the authoritative text on astronomy, with its author becoming an
almost mythical figure, called Ptolemy, King of Alexandria. The
Almagest was preserved, like most of extant Classical Greek science,
in Arabic manuscripts (hence its familiar name). Because of its
reputation, it was widely sought and was translated twice into Latin
in the 12th century, once in Sicily and again in Spain. Ptolemy's
model, like those of his predecessors, was geocentric and was almost
universally accepted until the appearance of simpler heliocentric
models during the scientific revolution.
His Planetary Hypotheses went beyond the mathematical model of the
Almagest to present a physical realization of the universe as a set of
nested spheres, in which he used the epicycles of his planetary
model to compute the dimensions of the universe. He estimated the Sun
was at an average distance of 1,210
Earth radii, while the radius of
the sphere of the fixed stars was 20,000 times the radius of the
Ptolemy presented a useful tool for astronomical calculations in his
Handy Tables, which tabulated all the data needed to compute the
positions of the Sun,
Moon and planets, the rising and setting of the
stars, and eclipses of the Sun and Moon. Ptolemy's Handy Tables
provided the model for later astronomical tables or zījes. In the
Phaseis (Risings of the Fixed Stars),
Ptolemy gave a parapegma, a star
calendar or almanac, based on the hands and disappearances of stars
over the course of the solar year.
Geography by Ptolemy, Latin manuscript of the early 15th century
Ptolemy's other main work is his
Geography (also called the
Geographia), a compilation of geographical coordinates of the part of
the world known to the
Roman Empire during his time. He relied
somewhat on the work of an earlier geographer, Marinos of Tyre, and on
gazetteers of the Roman and ancient Persian Empire.
He also acknowledged ancient astronomer
Hipparchus for having provided
the elevation of the north pole for a few cities.
The first part of the
Geography is a discussion of the data and of the
methods he used. As with the model of the solar system in the
Ptolemy put all this information into a grand scheme.
Following Marinos, he assigned coordinates to all the places and
geographic features he knew, in a grid that spanned the globe.
Latitude was measured from the equator, as it is today, but Ptolemy
preferred to express it as climata, the length of the longest day
rather than degrees of arc: the length of the midsummer day increases
from 12h to 24h as one goes from the equator to the polar circle. In
books 2 through 7, he used degrees and put the meridian of 0 longitude
at the most western land he knew, the "Blessed Islands", often
identified as the Canary Islands, as suggested by the location of the
six dots labelled the "FORTUNATA" islands near the left extreme of the
blue sea of Ptolemy's map here reproduced.
A 15th-century manuscript copy of the
Ptolemy world map, reconstituted
Geography (circa AD 150), indicating the countries of
"Serica" and "Sinae" (China) at the extreme east, beyond the island of
"Taprobane" (Sri Lanka, oversized) and the "Aurea Chersonesus" (Malay
Europe tabula. A 15th century copy of Ptolemy's map of Britain
Ptolemy also devised and provided instructions on how to create maps
both of the whole inhabited world (oikoumenè) and of the Roman
provinces. In the second part of the Geography, he provided the
necessary topographic lists, and captions for the maps. His oikoumenè
spanned 180 degrees of longitude from the Blessed Islands in the
Atlantic Ocean to the middle of China, and about 80 degrees of
Shetland to anti-Meroe (east coast of Africa); Ptolemy
was well aware that he knew about only a quarter of the globe, and an
erroneous extension of
China southward suggests his sources did not
reach all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
The maps in surviving manuscripts of Ptolemy's Geography, however,
only date from about 1300, after the text was rediscovered by Maximus
Planudes. It seems likely that the topographical tables in books 2–7
are cumulative texts – texts which were altered and added to as new
knowledge became available in the centuries after Ptolemy. This
means that information contained in different parts of the Geography
is likely to be of different dates.
A printed map from the 15th century depicting Ptolemy's description of
the Ecumene, (1482, Johannes Schnitzer, engraver).
Maps based on scientific principles had been made since the time of
Eratosthenes, in the 3rd century BC, but
Ptolemy improved map
projections. It is known from a speech by
Eumenius that a world map,
an orbis pictus, doubtless based on the Geography, was on display in a
school in Augustodunum,
Gaul in the third century. In the 15th
Geography began to be printed with engraved maps;
the earliest printed edition with engraved maps was produced in
Bologna in 1477, followed quickly by a Roman edition in 1478
(Campbell, 1987). An edition printed at
Ulm in 1482, including woodcut
maps, was the first one printed north of the Alps. The maps look
distorted when compared to modern maps, because Ptolemy's data were
inaccurate. One reason is that
Ptolemy estimated the size of the Earth
as too small: while
Eratosthenes found 700 stadia for a great circle
degree on the globe,
Ptolemy uses 500 stadia in the Geography. It is
highly probable that these were the same stadion, since Ptolemy
switched from the former scale to the latter between the Syntaxis and
the Geography, and severely readjusted longitude degrees accordingly.
Ancient Greek units of measurement and History of geodesy.
Ptolemy derived many of his key latitudes from crude longest
day values, his latitudes are erroneous on average by roughly a degree
(2 degrees for Byzantium, 4 degrees for Carthage), though capable
ancient astronomers knew their latitudes to more like a minute.
(Ptolemy's own latitude was in error by 14'.) He agreed (Geography
1.4) that longitude was best determined by simultaneous observation of
lunar eclipses, yet he was so out of touch with the scientists of his
day that he knew of no such data more recent than 500 years before
(Arbela eclipse). When switching from 700 stadia per degree to 500, he
(or Marinos) expanded longitude differences between cities accordingly
(a point first realized by P.Gosselin in 1790), resulting in serious
over-stretching of the Earth's east-west scale in degrees, though not
distance. Achieving highly precise longitude remained a problem in
geography until the application of Galileo's Jovian moon method in the
18th century. It must be added that his original topographic list
cannot be reconstructed: the long tables with numbers were transmitted
to posterity through copies containing many scribal errors, and people
have always been adding or improving the topographic data: this is a
testimony to the persistent popularity of this influential work in the
history of cartography.
Main article: Tetrabiblos
Ptolemy 'the Alexandrian', as depicted by a
Ptolemy has been referred to as “a pro-astrological authority of the
highest magnitude”. His astrological treatise, a work in four
parts, is known by the Greek term Tetrabiblos, or the Latin equivalent
Quadripartitum: ‘Four Books’. Ptolemy's own title is unknown, but
may have been the term found in some Greek manuscripts:
Apotelesmatika, roughly meaning 'Astrological Outcomes,' 'Effects' or
As a source of reference, the
Tetrabiblos is said to have "enjoyed
almost the authority of a Bible among the astrological writers of a
thousand years or more". It was first translated from Arabic into
Plato of Tivoli
Plato of Tivoli (Tiburtinus) in 1138, while he was in
Tetrabiblos is an extensive and continually reprinted
treatise on the ancient principles of horoscopic astrology. That it
did not quite attain the unrivaled status of the
perhaps, because it did not cover some popular areas of the subject,
particularly electional astrology (interpreting astrological charts
for a particular moment to determine the outcome of a course of action
to be initiated at that time), and medical astrology, which were later
The great popularity that the
Tetrabiblos did possess might be
attributed to its nature as an exposition of the art of astrology, and
as a compendium of astrological lore, rather than as a manual. It
speaks in general terms, avoiding illustrations and details of
Ptolemy was concerned to defend astrology by defining its
limits, compiling astronomical data that he believed was reliable and
dismissing practices (such as considering the numerological
significance of names) that he believed to be without sound basis.
Much of the content of the
Tetrabiblos was collected from earlier
sources; Ptolemy's achievement was to order his material in a
systematic way, showing how the subject could, in his view, be
rationalized. It is, indeed, presented as the second part of the study
of astronomy of which the
Almagest was the first, concerned with the
influences of the celestial bodies in the sublunar sphere. Thus
explanations of a sort are provided for the astrological effects of
the planets, based upon their combined effects of heating, cooling,
moistening, and drying.
Ptolemy's astrological outlook was quite practical: he thought that
astrology was like medicine, that is conjectural, because of the many
variable factors to be taken into account: the race, country, and
upbringing of a person affects an individual's personality as much as,
if not more than, the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the
precise moment of their birth, so
Ptolemy saw astrology as something
to be used in life but in no way relied on entirely.
A collection of one hundred aphorisms about astrology called the
Centiloquium, ascribed to Ptolemy, was widely reproduced and commented
on by Arabic, Latin and Hebrew scholars, and often bound together in
medieval manuscripts after the
Tetrabiblos as a kind of summation. It
is now believed to be a much later pseudepigraphical composition. The
identity and date of the actual author of the work, referred to now as
Pseudo-Ptolemy, remains the subject of conjecture.[dubious –
Ptolemy also wrote an influential work, Harmonics, on music theory and
the mathematics of music. After criticizing the approaches of his
Ptolemy argued for basing musical intervals on
mathematical ratios (in contrast to the followers of
in agreement with the followers of Pythagoras), backed up by empirical
observation (in contrast to the overly theoretical approach of the
Ptolemy wrote about how musical notes could be
translated into mathematical equations and vice versa in Harmonics.
This is called Pythagorean tuning because it was first discovered by
Pythagoras believed that the mathematics of music
should be based on the specific ratio of 3:2, whereas
believed that it should just generally involve tetrachords and
octaves. He presented his own divisions of the tetrachord and the
octave, which he derived with the help of a monochord. His Harmonics
never had the influence of his
Almagest or Planetary Hypotheses, but a
part of it (Book III) did encourage
Kepler in his own musings on the
harmony of the world (Kepler, Harmonice Mundi, Appendix to Book
V). Ptolemy's astronomical interests also appeared in a discussion
of the "music of the spheres". See: Ptolemy's intense diatonic scale.
Main article: Optics (Ptolemy)
His Optics is a work that survives only in a poor Arabic translation
and in about twenty manuscripts of a Latin version of the Arabic,
which was translated by
Eugene of Palermo (c. 1154). In it Ptolemy
writes about properties of light, including reflection, refraction,
and colour. The work is a significant part of the early history of
optics and influenced the more famous 11th-century Book of Optics
Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham). It contains the earliest surviving table
of refraction from air to water, for which the values (with the
exception of the 60° angle of incidence), although historically
praised as experimentally derived, appear to have been obtained from
an arithmetic progression.
The work is also important for the early history of perception.
Ptolemy combined the mathematical, philosophical and physiological
traditions. He held an extramission-intromission theory of vision: the
rays (or flux) from the eye formed a cone, the vertex being within the
eye, and the base defining the visual field. The rays were sensitive,
and conveyed information back to the observer’s intellect about the
distance and orientation of surfaces. Size and shape were determined
by the visual angle subtended at the eye combined with perceived
distance and orientation. This was one of the early statements of
size-distance invariance as a cause of perceptual size and shape
constancy, a view supported by the Stoics.
explanations for many phenomena concerning illumination and colour,
size, shape, movement and binocular vision. He also divided illusions
into those caused by physical or optical factors and those caused by
judgmental factors. He offered an obscure explanation of the sun or
moon illusion (the enlarged apparent size on the horizon) based on the
difficulty of looking upwards.
Named after Ptolemy
There are several characters or items named after Ptolemy, including:
The crater Ptolemaeus on the Moon;
The crater Ptolemaeus on Mars;
The asteroid 4001 Ptolemaeus;
Ptolemy Stone used in the mathematics courses at both US St.
John's College campuses.
Ptolemy's theorem on distances in a cyclic quadrilateral, and its
generalization, Ptolemy's inequality, to non-cyclic quadrilaterals
Ptolemaic graphs, the graphs whose distances obey Ptolemy's inequality
Messier 7 –
Ptolemy Cluster, star cluster described by Ptolemaeus
Ptolemy's Canon – a dated list of kings used by ancient astronomers.
Ptolemy's table of chords
^ a b Since no contemporary depictions or descriptions of
known to have existed, later artist's impressions are unlikely to have
reproduced his appearance accurately
^ a b c d
Ptolemy at Encyclopædia Britannica
^ Sir Heath, Thomas (1921). A History of Greek Mathematics. Oxford:
Clarendon Press. pp. vii, 273.
^ Select Epigrams from the
Greek Anthology By John William Mackail
Page 246 ISBN 1406922943, 2007
^ "Mortal am I, the creature of a day and yet I trace the - Google
^ See 'Background' section on his status as a Roman citizen
^ G. J. Toomer, "
Claudius Ptolemaeus). " Complete
Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved from
Encyclopedia.com. 21 Jan, 2013. Concerning the possibility that
Ptolemy might have been born in Ptolemais Hermiou, Toomer writes: "The
Theodore Meliteniotes that he was born in Ptolemais
Hermiou (in Upper Egypt) could be correct, but it is late (ca. 1360)
^ Jean Claude Pecker (2001), Understanding the Heavens: Thirty
Centuries of Astronomical Ideas from Ancient Thinking to Modern
Cosmology, p. 311, Springer, ISBN 3-540-63198-4.
^ Πτολεμαῖος, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, on
^ Abu Ma’shar, De magnis coniunctionibus, ed.-transl. K. Yamamoto,
Ch. Burnett, Leiden, 2000, 2 vols. (Arabic & Latin text); 4.1.4.
^ Jones (2010) ‘Ptolemy’s Doctrine of the Terms and Its
Reception’ by Stephan Heilen, p. 68.
Tetrabiblos ‘Introduction’; p. x.
^ Asger Aaboe, Episodes from the Early History of Astronomy, New York:
Springer, 2001, pp. 62–65.
^ Alexander Jones, "The Adaptation of Babylonian Methods in Greek
Numerical Astronomy," in The Scientific Enterprise in Antiquity and
the Middle Ages, p. 99.
^ a b Victor J. Katz (1998). A History of Mathematics: An
Introduction, p. 184. Addison Wesley, ISBN 0-321-01618-1: "But
what we really want to know is to what extent the Alexandrian
mathematicians of the period from the first to the fifth centuries
C.E. were Greek. Certainly, all of them wrote in Greek and were part
of the Greek intellectual community of Alexandria. And most modern
studies conclude that the Greek community coexisted [...] So should we
Ptolemy and Diophantus, Pappus and
Hypatia were ethnically
Greek, that their ancestors had come from Greece at some point in the
past but had remained effectively isolated from the Egyptians? It is,
of course, impossible to answer this question definitively. But
research in papyri dating from the early centuries of the common era
demonstrates that a significant amount of intermarriage took place
between the Greek and Egyptian communities [...] And it is known that
Greek marriage contracts increasingly came to resemble Egyptian ones.
In addition, even from the founding of Alexandria, small numbers of
Egyptians were admitted to the privileged classes in the city to
fulfill numerous civic roles. Of course, it was essential in such
cases for the Egyptians to become "Hellenized," to adopt Greek habits
and the Greek language. Given that the Alexandrian mathematicians
mentioned here were active several hundred years after the founding of
the city, it would seem at least equally possible that they were
ethnically Egyptian as that they remained ethnically Greek. In any
case, it is unreasonable to portray them with purely European features
when no physical descriptions exist."
^ "Ptolemy." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia
Britannica, Inc., 2006. Answers.com 20 Jul. 2008.
George Sarton (1936). "The Unity and Diversity of the Mediterranean
World", Osiris 2, p. 406–463 .
^ John Horace Parry (1981). The Age of Reconnaissance, p. 10.
University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04235-2.
^ J. F. Weidler (1741). Historia astronomiae, p. 177. Wittenberg:
Martin Bernal (1992). "Animadversions on the Origins of
Western Science", Isis 83 (4), p. 596–607 .)
Martin Bernal (1992). "Animadversions on the Origins of Western
Science", Isis 83 (4), p. 596–607 [602, 606].
^ Shahid Rahman; Tony Street; Hassan Tahiri, eds. (2008). "The Birth
of Scientific Controversies, The Dynamics of the Arabic Tradition and
Its Impact on the Development of Science: Ibn al-Haytham's Challenge
of Ptolemy's Almagest". The Unity of Science in the Arabic Tradition.
11. Springer Netherlandsdoi=10.1007/978-1-4020-8405-8.
pp. 183–225 . doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8405-8.
^ "Dennis Rawlins". The International Journal of Scientific History.
^ Goldstein, Bernard R. (1997). "Saving the Phenomena: The Background
to Ptolemy's Planetary Theory". Journal for the History of Astronomy.
28 (1): 1–12. Bibcode:1997JHA....28....1G.
^ S. C. McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe,
Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr. 1998, pp. 20–21.
Homer Haskins, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science,
New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1967, reprint of the Cambridge,
Mass., 1927 edition
^ Dennis Duke, Ptolemy's Cosmology
^ Bernard R. Goldstein, ed., The Arabic Version of Ptolemy's Planetary
Hypotheses, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 57, no.
4 (1967), pp. 9–12.
^ Shcheglov D.A. (2002–2007): "Hipparchus’ Table of
Ptolemy’s Geography", Orbis Terrarum 9 (2003–2007), 177–180.
^ "DIO". www.dioi.org.
^ Bagrow 1945.
^ Talbert, Richard J. A. (2012). "Urbs Roma to Orbis Romanus". In
Talbert. Ancient Perspectives:
Maps and Their Places in Mesopotamia,
Egypt, Greece and Rome. Chicago. pp. 170–72.
^ Jones (2010) ‘The Use and Abuse of Ptolemy’s
Renaissance and Early Modern Europe’ by H. Darrel Rutkin, p. 135.
Ptolemy Tetrabiblos, 'Introduction' p. x.
^ Jones (2010) p. xii.
Ptolemy Tetrabiblos, 'Introduction' p. xii.
^ FA Robbins, 1940; Thorndike 1923
^ Hetherington, Norriss S. Encyclopedia of Cosmology (Routledge
Revivals): Historical, Philosophical, and Scientific Foundations of
Modern Cosmology Routledge, 8 apr. 2014 ISBN 978-1317677666 p 527
^ Smith, A. Mark (1996). Ptolemy's Theory of Visual Perception– An
English translation of the Optics. The American Philosophical Society.
ISBN 0-87169-862-5. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
^ Carl Benjamin Boyer, The Rainbow: From Myth to Mathematics (1959)
^ H. W. Ross and C. Plug, "The History of Size Constancy and Size
Illusions", in V. Walsh & J. Kulikowski (eds.) Perceptual
Constancy: Why Things Look as They Do. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1998, pp. 499–528.
^ H. E. Ross and G. M. Ross, "Did
Ptolemy Understand the Moon
Illusion?", Perception 5 (1976): 377–395.
^ A. I. Sabra, "Psychology Versus Mathematics:
Moon Illusion", in E. Grant & J. E. Murdoch (eds.) Mathematics
and Its Application to Science and Natural Philosophy in the Middle
Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 217–247.
Mars Labs. Google Maps.
Texts and translations
Bagrow, L. (January 1, 1945). "The Origin of Ptolemy's Geographia".
Geografiska Annaler. Geografiska Annaler, Vol. 27. 27: 318–387.
doi:10.2307/520071. ISSN 1651-3215. JSTOR 520071.
Berggren, J. Lennart, and Alexander Jones. 2000. Ptolemy's Geography:
An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters. Princeton and
Oxford: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01042-0.
Campbell, T. (1987). The Earliest Printed Maps. British Museum
Hübner, Wolfgang, ed. 1998.
Claudius Ptolemaeus, Opera quae exstant
omnia Vol III/Fasc 1: ΑΠΟΤΕΛΕΣΜΑΤΙΚΑ (= Tetrabiblos). De
Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-598-71746-8 (Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum
et Romanorum Teubneriana). (The most recent edition of the Greek text
of Ptolemy's astrological work, based on earlier editions by F. Boll
and E. Boer.)
Lejeune, A. (1989) L'Optique de Claude Ptolémée dans la version
latine d'après l'arabe de l'émir Eugène de Sicile. [Latin text with
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Ingemar Düring. Göteborgs högskolas årsskrift 36, 1930:1.
Göteborg: Elanders boktr. aktiebolag. Reprint, New York: Garland
Ptolemy. 2000. Harmonics, translated and commentary by Jon Solomon.
Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava, Supplementum, 0169-8958, 203.
Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11591-9
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Ptolemy Tetrabiblos. Cambridge,
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library).
Smith, A.M. (1996) Ptolemy's theory of visual perception: An English
translation of the Optics with introduction and commentary.
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 86, Part 2.
Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society.
Stevenson, Edward Luther (trans. and ed.). 1932.
Claudius Ptolemy: The
Geography. New York: New York Public Library. Reprint, New York:
Dover, 1991. (This is the only complete English translation of
Ptolemy's most famous work. Unfortunately, it is marred by numerous
mistakes and the placenames are given in Latinised forms, rather than
in the original Greek).
Stückelberger, Alfred, and Gerd Graßhoff (eds). 2006. Ptolemaios,
Handbuch der Geographie, Griechisch-Deutsch. 2 vols. Basel: Schwabe
Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7965-2148-5. (Massive 1018 pp. scholarly
edition by a team of a dozen scholars that takes account of all known
manuscripts, with facing Greek and German text, footnotes on
manuscript variations, color maps, and a CD with the geographical
Taub, Liba Chia (1993). Ptolemy's Universe: The Natural Philosophical
and Ethical Foundations of Ptolemy's Astronomy. Chicago: Open Court
Press. ISBN 0-8126-9229-2.
Ptolemy's Almagest, Translated and annotated by G. J. Toomer.
Princeton University Press, 1998
Sir Thomas Heath, A History of Greek Mathematics, Oxford :
Clarendon Press, 1921.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ptolemy.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ptolemy
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Tetrabiblos at LacusCurtius (Transcription of the Loeb
Classical Library's English translation)
Tetrabiblos of J.M. Ashmand's 1822 translation.
Geography at LacusCurtius (English translation, incomplete)
Ptolemy on the country of the
Seres (China) (English
Almagest books 1–13 The complete text of Heiberg's edition (PDF)
Almagest books 1–6 (in Greek) with preface (in Latin) at archive.org
Geography, digitized codex made in Italy between 1460 and 1477,
translated to Latin by Jacobus Angelus at Somni. Also known as codex
valentinus, it is the oldest manuscript of the codices with maps of
Ptolemy with the donis projections.
Hieronymi Cardani ... In Cl. Ptolemaei ... IIII De astrorum judiciis
From the Rare Book and
Special Collection Division at the Library of
Almagestū Cl. Ptolemei From the Rare Book and
Division at the Library of Congress
Arnett, Bill (2008). "Ptolemy, the Man". obs.nineplanets.org.
Danzer, Gerald (1988). "Cartographic Images of the World on the Eve of
the Discoveries". The Newberry Library. Retrieved 26 November
Haselein, Frank (2007). "Κλαυδιου Πτολεμιου:
Γεωγραφικῆς Ύφηγήσεως (Geographie)" (in German
and English). Frank Haselein. Archived from the original on
2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
Houlding, Deborah (2003). "The Life & Work of Ptolemy".
Skyscript.co. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
Jones, Alexander (ed.) 2010.
Ptolemy in Perspective: Use and Criticism
of his Work from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century. New York:
Series: Archimedes, Vol. 23., ISBN 978-90-481-2787-0
Toomer, Gerald J. (1970). "
Claudius Ptolemæus)" (PDF). In
Gillispie, Charles. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 11. New York:
Scribner & American Council of Learned Societies.
pp. 186–206. ISBN 978-0-684-10114-9.
Sprague, Ben (2001–2007). "
Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy):
Representation, Understanding, and Mathematical Labeling of the
Spherical Earth". Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science.
Retrieved 26 November 2008.
Java simulation of the Ptolemaic System – at Paul Stoddard's
Animated Virtual Planetarium, Northern Illinois University
Animation of Ptolemy's Two Solar Hypotheses on YouTube
Epicycle and Deferent Demo – at Rosemary Kennett's website at the
University of Syracuse
Flash animation of Ptolemy's universe. (best in Internet Explorer)
Online Galleries, History of Science Collections, University of
Oklahoma Libraries. High resolution images of works by
Ptolemy in .jpg
and .tiff format.
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