Facts about Ptolemy

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Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek-Roman polymath, born in first century AD (90 AD-168AD) in Egypt. He had command over fields of astronomy, mathematics and geography. Little is known about his personal life, except the fact that he never married, and died in Alexandria (Egypt). He is known for works like, Geographia, Tetrabiblos, and Almagest.

Fact 1– Claudius Ptolemy presented the Ptolemaic system of universe, according to which , earth is the center of universe with the sun revolving around it.

Fact 2 -This lead to the concept of earth being geocentric. Many people followed this concept, even some adopted it religiously, primarily the Greeks. This theory became obsolete in 17th century.

Fact 3-He had both Greek and roman nationality, hence the name Claudius, which is roman, and Ptolemy, which is Greek. Some historians believe he was born in town of Ptolmais Hermiou, instead of Alexandria, and later moved to Egypt.

Fact 4-He wrote an edition of five books called Optica which dealt with the studies of optics. He was one of the first people ever to study phenomenon of refraction and effect of large bodies on light.

Fact 5-A few people know that he also wrote a book on music called Harmonica.

Fact 6-He wrote an eight volume book on geography called Geographike hyphegesis (guide to geographic). It contains knowledge about latitude, longitude, climate etc. about areas of Asia, Africa but this is not completely correct as at that time much was undiscovered about this planet.

Fact 7-He worked on astrology and most known book of his, is Tetrabiblos syntaxis. There were minimum diagrams in this books and the content was actually taken from works of authors earlier to his time, what Ptolemy did was , make the content more understandable for general pupil and added more logical explanations to it. This books importance lead it to be called the bible of astrology

Fact 8-Despite being a polymath, Ptolemy is most known for his work on astronomy. He found nearly 300 new stars and worked on over a 1000.

Fact 9-His astronomical scripture is called Almagest. This scripture contains the work and findings of earlier astronomers as well as his own.

Fact 10-Many recent scientists like newton claimed Ptolemy a fabricator of others work. He said’ ‘œThis is the story of a scientific crime. … I mean a crime committed by a scientist against fellow scientists and scholars, a betrayal of the ethics and integrity of his profession that has forever deprived mankind of fundamental information about an important area of astronomy and history.’ In another view he says, ‘œPtolemy developed certain astronomical theories and discovered that they were not consistent with observation. Instead of abandoning the theories, he deliberately fabricated observations from the theories so that he could claim that the observations prove the validity of his theories. In every scientific or scholarly setting known, this practice is called fraud, and it is a crime against science and scholarship.’

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