The Claudius Ptolemy biography is a mystery...
The Claudius Ptolemy biography
is kind of a tough one to write, because we don't know very much about his background or how he grew up. Claudius Ptolemy is generally thought of as the greatest and most influential person in ancient Greek astronomy. His ideas about how the universe worked were a mixture of the philosophies of the day, and the results of his own experiments and observations.
Where he came from
We don't know much about his family life, or his background, but we do know that he was born in Egypt in a town called Alexandria.
His many scholarly contributions
In addition to astronomy, Ptolemy also made contributions to other scientific fields as well. Ptolemy seems to have been a very curious man who was interested in figuring out how the world worked. His earliest and most important work was a collection of books called the Almagest
. In these thirteen books, he puts forth several mathematical theories which can be used to explain the movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets. These calculations, called kinetic models, could be used to predict the occurrences of lunar and solar eclipses.
Ptolemy wrote two other major scientific works as well. The second work he called Geography, and it dealt with the geography of the Greek/Roman world of his time. Ptolemy also published a work on the topic of astrology,which at that time was considered a serious scientific field of study.
Claudius Ptolemy on Astronomy
Ptolemy basically took the astronomical works of the ancient Greeks and Babylonians and added to and improved upon it. Ptolemy's astronomical works included a basic catalogue of stars and a partial map of constellations.
The greatest of the ancient astronomers
Any Claudius Ptolemy biography will be incomplete and sketchy, simply because no one knows much about his life. One thing we can say without a doubt is that he is the greatest of all the ancient astronomers. I'm sure every Claudius Ptolemy biography would agree on that.
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