Ptolemy

Portrait of Ptolemy by [[Justus van Gent]] and [[Pedro Berruguete]] (1476){{efn|name="portraits"|Since no contemporary depictions or descriptions of Ptolemy are known to have existed, later artists' impressions are unlikely to have reproduced his appearance accurately.}} Claudius Ptolemy (; , ; ; AD) was an Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist who wrote about a dozen scientific treatises, three of which were important to later Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European science. The first was his astronomical treatise now known as the ''Almagest'', originally entitled ''Mathematical 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'' (, ) but more commonly known as the ''Tetrábiblos'', from the Koine Greek meaning "Four Books", or by its Latin equivalent ''Quadripartite''.

The Catholic Church promoted his work, which included the only mathematically sound geocentric model of the Solar System, and unlike most 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. His work on epicycles has come to symbolize a very complex theoretical model built in order to explain a false assumption. Provided by Wikipedia
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