Ptolemy's Almagest
Translated and annotated by G.J. Toomer

With a foreword by Owen Gingerich


Ptolemy's Almagest is one of the most influential scientific works in history. A masterpiece of technical exposition, it was the basic textbook of astronomy for more than a thousand years, and still is the main source for our knowledge of ancient astronomy. This translation, based on the standard Greek text of Heiberg, makes the work accessible to English readers in an intelligible and reliable form. It contains numerous corrections derived from medieval Arabic translations and extensive footnotes that take account of the great progress in understanding the work made in this century, due to the discovery of Babylonian records and other researches. It is designed to stand by itself as an interpretation of the original, but it will also be useful as an aid to reading the Greek text.

G.J. Toomer is Professor Emeritus of the History of Mathematics at Brown University. He is the author of Eastern Wisedome and Learning: The Study of Arabic in Seventeenth-Century England. He has also produced editions of the Arabic versions of Diocles' On Burning Mirrors and Apollonius's Conics, and, with Francis S. Benjamin Jr., produced an edition of Theorica planetarum by Campanus of Novara.