Claudius Ptolemy

General Facts

Birth: around 90AD

Death: around 168AD

Lived in Egypt in the roman empire, however he was of Greek ethnicity, writing and recording in ancient Greek.

Believed to have attended the Alexandria academy in Egypt, studying under then the mathematician.

Major Discoveries and Contributions

Ptolemys first and possibly most influential work was the Almagest. The Almagest was a massive volume that Used geometric models to trck the movements of the sun, moon, and planets. His writings and works followed the geocentric theory.

He also used the handy tables, which helped him to arrange the data described in the Almagest. The handy tables would then serve as models for other astronomical Tables and organization.


Although at the time he and other astronomers were believed to be correct, the geocentric theory was soon replaced by the heliocentric theory.

Ptolemy is now believed to have stolen and to even have completely fabricated some of his data, ruining his reputation.

Interesting facts

One of Ptolemy's maps was actually used by christopher Columbus. Although it was incorrect, it helped to lead the famous explorer to America.


Ptolemy- "I know that I am mortal and the creature of a day; but when i search out the massed wheeling circles of the stars, my feet no longer touch the earth, but side by side with Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods. "