The Almagest

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by Claudius Ptolemy

The Almagest is by far the greatest work in astronomy in ancient times. In a massive series of thirteen books, Ptolemy shows how every detail of the motions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars can be expressed using geometrical models that can be used to compute celestial positions with remarkable accuracy

The present selection covers all the essential features of Ptolemy’s treatment of the heavens, omitting only more difficult and abstruse matters such as the moon’s motion and the calculation of eclipses. In the interest of conciseness, development of planetary theories is restricted to two planets, one inferior (Venus) and one superior (Mars).

Ptolemy’s text is accompanied by extensive notes and introductions that are aimed at making the book accessible to students encountering Ptolemy for the first time. This edition is designed to provide everything needed for a one-semester course, or it can be a component of a more general course on planetary theory or history of astronomy.

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— Claudius Ptolemy, The Almagest