The Almagest: Introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens

The Almagest is by far the greatest work in astronomy in ancient times. In a massive series of thirteen books, Ptolemy shows how every detail of the motions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars can be expressed using geometrical models that can be used to compute celestial positions with remarkable accuracy.

The present selection covers all the essential features of Ptolemy’s treatment of the heavens, omitting only more difficult and abstruse matters such as the moon’s motion and the calculation of eclipses. In the interest of conciseness, development of planetary theories is restricted to two planets, one inferior (Venus) and one superior (Mars).

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