Book compiled by the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy during the 2nd century, which included the idea of an Earth-centred universe; it was translated into Arabic in the 9th century. Some medieval books on astronomy, astrology, and alchemy were given the same title.
Each of the 13 sections of the book deals with a different branch of astronomy. The introduction describes the universe as spherical and contains arguments for the Earth being stationary at the centre. From this mistaken assumption, it goes on to describe the motions of the Sun, Moon, and planets; eclipses; and the positions, brightness, and precession of the ‘fixed stars’. The book drew on the work of earlier astronomers such as Hipparchus.
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Full text Article The Ptolemaic System, from 'Description de l'Univers' by Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) 1683 (engraving) (b/w photo)
Artist: French School, (17th century) Location: Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France Credit: The Ptolemaic System, from 'Description de l