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Claudius Ptolemy's Contributions to Science

Claudius Ptolemy

The historical world can be followed back to times of strange and enigmatic people. Some mysteries, however, remained unfathomed till particular date. Life, during those times, was completely different; humans performed activities and responsibilities that offered a great deal of prominence to the Gods and were mainly predicated on the cycle of nature. On the contrary, today, life has taken 360 degrees convert. Our life today is nearly dependent on technological gadgets. The change from then to now has been extensive. There is a stark difference observed in the life-style of both ages. Which is not just the approach to life there's a huge difference even in the thinking. Since age groups, many questions have often been accumulating in the real human mind such as, what exactly are the dimensions of the planet earth, how many continents is there on the Earth, and what exactly are the functions of the Moon and sunlight in our day-to-day lives. Now, the answers to these questions are only a click away. But when a similar circumstance must have surfaced during old times, people may have associated it with some myth or a vintage wives' tale.

The transformation of people from an ancient era to the modern one really was a lengthy process where philosophers, thinkers, mathematicians, astronomers and geographers will need to have put across their observations and theories to the general public. However, change is never easy. Their ideas and principles were not accepted instantly. In fact, these were all declined outright plus they were ridiculed as well as humiliated because of their beliefs and concepts. But all of them stood their floor and fought for what they presumed was right. After some untiring efforts, they were rewarded and were proven right years once they passed away. It was the observation and contribution of these people that have now advanced into theories and concepts that help us simplify and demystify our lives.

Let us shed light on the life of one such person who made a significant contribution in changing our lives. His name was Claudius Ptolemy. He was a Greek-Roman citizen, who shown multiple skills of astronomy, mathematics, georgraphy, astrology and poetry.

Decoding the Enigma

In a faraway town of Ptolemais Hermiou in Thebaid, Egypt, a child was born in to the category of Ptolemies. The family was the descendant of Ptolemy Soter, a mighty Standard from the military of Alexander the fantastic in 90 AD. Even though family was rooted in Egypt, the Roman effect on the family was in a way that the infant was given a Roman name, Claudius. The name Claudius is a Roman nomen (Roman naming system) and the fact that Ptolemy bore it, signifies that he lived in Egypt under the guideline of Romans. Nothing much is well known about Claudius Ptolemy's upbringing or his family. "Where does Ptolemy come from?", "Where was he delivered?" will be the questions which are still asked today however the answers have been lost with time.

All that is well known is Ptolemy started becoming renowned as someone who had a keen mathematical and astronomical sense. He became popular in Thebaid and later, in Alexandria, where he began to reside in his adulthood.

Star Gazing

Nothing much is well known about Ptolemy's ancestry, aside from what can be deciphered from the details of his name. However, the modern researchers are certain of one truth, that it was Ptolemy who composed the great edict called Almagest at around 150 AD. Ptolemy wrote in Greek and utilised Babylonian astronomical data. In spite of being a Roman citizen, almost all of the scholars arrived to a common knowing that Ptolemy was ethnically Greek, although some others also experienced the view that he was a Hellenised Egyptian. In almost all of the later Arabic options, he is referred to as, 'the Upper Egyptian', which means that he may have belonged to southern Egypt. Hence, the Arabic geographers and physicists referred to him by his Arabic name Batlaymus. Ptolemy built his reputation owing to his astronomical works, wherein he previously recorded the lifetime of 1000 stars, out of which 300 were his sees. He's also acknowledged with coming up with the first sensible theory of Refraction of Light. He was specific in his discussions about the sizes of the earth. Ptolemy developed a compilation of the historical view of astronomy in an astronomical manual called Almagest. He used the 800-year-old astronomical observations by his predecessors as a guide point for this function. He also added his conclusions on the basis of this reference as his perspective of the universe. Ptolemy's successors considered the Almagest to be the Gospel of astronomy for most centuries throughout medieval Europe. The traditional Greeks believed in the theory that the road of the planets was completely spherical, were discarded later as it was proved later that the orbits of the planets are elliptical. Even Ptolemy had been convinced by this prior belief.

Going In to the Orbit

In Ptolemy's manual, it was plainly seen that he followed the steps of Aristotle, whom he considered his ideal. Aristotle had come up with a theory that the planets transferred in a continuing and uniform action in perfect circles. According to Ptolemy's observation he figured earth is a spherical subject which remains openly suspended in the centre of the World. One of the studies uncovered the celebrities to be systems which were set to a strong external of the Universe which place beyond the orbit of Saturn. A lot of these studies were based on Aristotle's beliefs but Ptolemy added his inputs by calculating the motion of every planet in great information and thus came up with his contribution to astronomy. One of his early on works, the 'Almagest' provided an in depth research of the Mathematical theory of the actions of sunlight, the Moon and other planets. Ptolemy's theory that the planets move in round epicycles along their orbits, which was well-received during those days.

The Almagest was preserved in Arabic manuscripts, like almost all of the Classical Greek Knowledge. Because of the 12th century, it gained the required reputation and was extensively sought after. Due to its acceptance, it was translated twice into Latin, once into Sicilian and then into Spanish.

Like Ptolemy's predecessors, his model was geocentric and received almost complete approval universally until simpler heliocentric models were released through the scientific revolution.

Ptolemy's theory of Planetary Hypotheses prolonged beyond the explanation given in the Numerical model of the Almagest. The Planetary Hypotheses depicted the physical realisation of the Universe in the form of nestled spheres and used the epicycles of the planetary model to portray the sizes of the Universe. Matching to his computations, the sun was at the average distance of 1 1, 210 globe radii, as the radius of the sphere of the resolved celebrities was 20, 000 times the radius of the planet earth.

To calculate astronomical computations in Handy Tables, Ptolemy introduced a competent tool which tabulated all the info required to assess the positions of the Sun, the Moon and the planets, as well as the increasing and setting up of the stars and the eclipses of sunlight and Moon. This Practical Tables became the essential model which was improvised later as astronomical dining tables or zijes. Ptolemy also worked on a star calendar or Almanac, which he ready with the aid of the positions of the hands and disappearances of personalities during the solar year. This was offered in the Phaseis (Risings of the Fixed Personalities).

His observations made a huge impact in those days and made Ptolemy slightly of any seer or scholar.

Mapping it Out

Apart from Ptolemy's marvelous contribution to the knowledge of astronomy throughout the world, he also laid down the groundwork to the future cartography or the study of maps. He composed another treatise on the lines of the Almagest, compiling his understanding of Geography, along using what was already known through the Roman Empire. An important source of information for the e book, Geographia, written by Marinos of Tyre, a youthful geographer and the gazetteers of Roman and ancient Persian Empire.

Ptolemy started out the publication with a conversation of the info and the methods utilized by him to jot down the publication. The book was written in a much organised routine on the lines of carrying out a grand system. He designated co-ordinates to all the places and geographic features he knew in a grid that spanned the globe that was quite similar to the work of Marinos. The Latitude that we know of today and it is measured from the equator was done by Ptolemy but he called it as climata, that was the length of the longest day rather than degrees of arc. For example, the space of the mid-summer day increased from 12 to a day as one transferred from the equator to the polar circle.

In books 2 through 7, Ptolemy used diplomas. He designated 0 levels longitude to the Blessed Islands or the Canary Islands, which was the most american land on the extreme left of blue sea of Ptolemy's map. This was identified by the six dots that were also labelled as Fortunata islands. Most middle ages mapmakers implemented the instructions that Ptolemy got devised and pointed out it in the Geographia.

The second part of the Geographia comprised Ptolemy's Oikoumene or the map of depends upon. The region of Oikoumene expanded from 180 degrees of longitude from the 'Blessed Islands' in the Atlantic Ocean to the middle of China and about 80 degrees of latitude from Shetland to anti-Meroe or the east seacoast of Africa. His map indicated he knew only about the 1 / 4 of the globe. He upgraded the projections of his maps than these were because the third century BC. However, Ptolemy's maps were inaccurate as compared to the modern maps because he required how big is the Earth to be only 500 stadia for a great group degree on the world.

The Bible of Astrology

Along with the Almagest which spoke at measures about astronomy, it is presumed by some that Ptolemy also composed a 4-part treatise on astrology called the Tetrabiblos, which in Greek terms means, Four Literature. But there are certainly others who think that Tetrabiblos wasn't compiled by Ptolemy. In fact, many scholars state that he will need to have just given the term Apotelesmatika, signifying Astrological Benefits, as it was within some Greek manuscripts.

It is said that Tetrabiblos was revered around the authority of an Bible by the astrological writers for more than thousand years. It is an extensive repository based on the ancient concepts of horoscopic astrology and as a result has been continually reprinted. However, it might not come up to the amount of Almagest as it didn't touch upon some popular regions of the topic such as medical astrology and event astrology that was interpreting astrological charts for a specific moment to look for the outcome of the course of action to be initiated in those days. However, these were later incorporated in to the treatise.

Ptolemy was of the belief that astrology was a research which tried to describe the physical effects of the heavenly systems on the terrestrial life but unsuccessfully. Although he had no issues with the essential validity of the traditional astrological doctrines but he performed at modifying the facts so that aligns with the Aristotelian conception of mother nature, matter and change. Ptolemy acquired a functional view of astrology. He presumed that astrology was conjectural like remedies as many variable factors needed to be taken into account. While to determine the necessity of the medicine factors including the competition, country and upbringing of an person have been taken into account for astrology the deciding factors were the position of the Sun, Moon and the planets at the complete moment of these birth.

So he considered astrology to be useful in life, however in no chance, relied after it completely. A later pseudepigraphical composition known as Centiloquium, a assortment of 100 aphorisms ascribed to Ptolemy, was commented upon by the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin scholars.

Striking a Chord

Ptolemy had resided in the Roman Empire, where music was presented with a high status as an art. His work called 'Harmonics', can be an observation on Music theory and mathematics of music. Ptolemy was very critical of his predecessors' method of the Musical theory. As per his theory he founded the musical intervals on mathematical ratios, which was unlike the belief followed by Aristoxenus and in sync with the belief accepted by the fans of Pythagoras.

Ptolemy further propounded the idea that was first spoken about by Pythagoras about the musical records being translated into mathematical equations and vice versa in Harmonics. He also composed at span about an intense diatonic scale, which was later contained by many music artists.

Another commendable contribution of Ptolemy's work is Optics. However today, really the only Optics that has survived is within poor Arabic translations and in around 20 manuscripts of an Latin version of the Arabic, translated by Eugene of Palermo, Circa 1154. Ptolemy published about the properties of light, including reflection, refraction and the color in it. . The task is a substantial part in the first history of optics. A lot more famous Eleventh Century Optics by Alhazn (Ibn al-Haytham) was majorly affected by this work.

It contained the initial surviving stand of refraction from air to water, that the principles (with the exception of the 60 level angle of incidence), although historically praised as experimentally produced, it appeared to have been from an arithmetic development. It had the initial surviving table of refraction from air to drinking water for the beliefs with the exception of the 60 level angle of incidence. It appeared to have been obtained from an arithematic development though it is said to be produced experimentally.

Ptolemy's work is dependant on the mixture of mathematical, philosophical and physiological practices. His theory of eyesight was predicated on extramission-intromission theory; the rays (or flux) from the attention developed a cone, the vertex being with the attention and the bottom defining the visible field. The rays were very sensitive and conveyed information back again to the observer's intellect about the distance and orientation of areas. The scale and shape of the thing get dependant on the visual viewpoint subtended at the attention, combined with identified distance and orientation. This was one of the original assertions of size-distance invariance as a cause of perceptual size and shape constancy, which was a view recognized by the stoics. Ptolemy provided explanations for most phenomena concerned with illumination, and shade, size, shape, movements and binocular perspective. He also categorized illusions according to prospects induced by factors such as physical, optical and judgmental. However, his justification of the Sun or Moon illusion was obscure (the enlarged size on the horizon) which was the issue of looking up-wards.

Footprints in the Sand

It is believed that Ptolemy passed on around 168 Advertisement in Alexandria, metropolis where his work flourished. He kept a long-term impression on the majority of the analysts existing throughout that time. Although his works were controversial, recently, it's been found out that his studies still contain important hints and observations that are functional.

Many things or people have been called after Ptolemy as a tribute to his huge contribution to the present day day Astronomy, Astrology and Geography. A few of them include, the crater Ptolemaeus on the Moon, the crater Ptolemaeus on Mars, the Asteroid 4001 Ptolemaeus, A Figure in the Illusion series, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Track quantity 10 on Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin, the Ptolemy Stone used in the Mathematics training at both St. John's College campus. Sir Patrick Moore, an British astronomer and Television presenter called his cat by the name of Ptolemy and the name of the music publication was called Ptolemaic Terrascope. With the information of Ptolemy's life being nearly unknown, it is only his work and legacy that do justice to his biography.

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