The History of Ptolemy’s Star Catalogue

  • Gerd Graßhoff

Part of the Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (HISTORY, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 1-5
  3. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 6-22
  4. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 23-33
  5. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 34-91
  6. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 92-128
  7. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 129-197
  8. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 198-216
  9. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 217-269
  10. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 270-316
  11. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 317-334
  12. Gerd Graßhoff
    Pages 335-342
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 343-348

About this book


Ptolemy's Almagest shares with Euclid's Elements the glory of being the scientific text longest in use. From its conception in the second century up to the late Renaissance, this work determined astronomy as a science. During this time the Almagest was not only a work on astronomy; the subject was defined as what is described in the Almagest. The cautious emancipation of the late middle ages and the revolutionary creation of the new science in the 16th century are not conceivable without reference to the Almagest. This text lifted European astronomy to the high standard of knowledge on which the new science flourished. Before, the Ptolemaic models of the orbits of the sun, the moon, and the planets had been refined by Arabic astronomers. They provided the structural elements with which Copernicus and Kepler ushered in the era of modern astronomy. The Almagest survived the destruction of its epicyclic representation of the planetary orbits in the conceptual traces left behind in the theories of its successors. The clear separation of the sidereal from the tropical year, the celestial coordinate systems, the concepts of time, the forms of the constellations, and brightness classifications of celestial objects are, among many other things, still part of the astronomical canon even today.


Glory Nicolaus Copernicus Renaissance astronomy history of mathematics moon planet star sun

Authors and affiliations

  • Gerd Graßhoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophisches SeminarUniversität HamburgHamburg 13Germany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1990
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-8788-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-4468-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-570X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site