from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A comprehensive treatise on astronomy, geography, and mathematics compiled by Ptolemy about AD 150.
  • noun Any of several medieval treatises concerned with astronomy or alchemy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The greatest work on astronomy before Copernicus, written in the second century a. d. by the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The celebrated work of Ptolemy of Alexandria, which contains nearly all that is known of the astronomical observations and theories of the ancients. The name was extended to other similar works.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English almageste, from Old French, from Arabic al-majisti : al-, the + Greek megistē (suntaxis), greatest (composition), feminine of megistos, greatest, superlative of megas, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots.]


  • From this it derived the word Almagest, by which Ptolemy's work continued to be known among the Arabs, and subsequently among Europeans when the book again became known in the West.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume I: The Beginnings of Science

  • The Almagest; the Astronomy or was probably so called to distinguish it from the or Mathematics of Ptolemy; it was preserved and communicated to Europe by the Arabs, and the name Almagest is formed of the Arabic article al, and the Greek.

    The Love of Books: the Philobiblon of Richard de Bury

  • 'Almagest' from Arabic into Latin was accomplished by order of the

    The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'

  • The famous "Almagest" of Ptolemy, the most important work of ancient astronomy, was translated from a Greek manuscript, as early as 1160, by a medical student of Salerno. 73

    The Evolution of Modern Medicine

  • He furnished one of the first translations of the famous "Almagest" of Ptolemy, which opened the eyes of his contemporaries to the value of the Alexandrian astronomy.

    The Evolution of Modern Medicine

  • The astronomy of the "Almagest" explained all astronomical phenomena with a precision which for a long time seemed satisfactory, accounting for them by combinations of circular motions; but, of the circles described, some were eccentric to the

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemæus of Pelusium) constituted a new astronomical system that claimed the Earth to be immovable in the centre of the universe; a system that seemed, as it were, to reach its completion when, between a.d. 142 and 146, Ptolemy wrote a work called Megale mathematike syntaxis tes astronomias, its Arabian title being transliterated by the Christians of the Middle Ages, who named it "Almagest".

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • "Almagest", but also the entire works of Avicenna, into Latin.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • The revelations of Greek thought on the nature of the exterior world ended with the "Almagest", which appeared about a.d. 145, and then began the decline of ancient learning.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • For instance, they compiled many abridgments of Ptolemy's "Almagest", made numerous observations, and constructed a great many astronomical tables, but added nothing essential to the theories of astronomical motion; their only innovation in this respect, and, by the way, quite an unfortunate one, was the doctrine of the oscillatory motion of the equinoctial points, which the Middle Ages ascribed to Thâbit ibn Kûrrah

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss


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