Ptolemy's "Almagest"

Ptolemy's Almagest - Ptolemy, Owen Gingerich, G.J. Toomer, Theon of Alexandria, Hypatia of Alexandria I can’t rate this book. Quite frankly, I didn’t understand most of it. The Almagest, a transliteration of the Arabic title meaning “The Greatest”, was the standard for astronomical calculations for over 1000 years. Written in Hellenistic Egypt around 150 AD by Claudius Ptolemaeus (not to be confused with the Ptolemic line of pharaohs from Alexander’s general Ptolemy to Cleopatra), the Almagest provides the astronomical data, geometry and trigonometry to explain a geocentric universe. Though initially lost to the West, the manuscript survived through Arabic translations for several hundred years.

The mathematics could be beautiful. I have heard others describe it as so. I simply just don’t have a strong enough background to appreciate it. Even the layman knows his model is wrong, but the impressive catalogue and proofs demonstrate a level of rigorous thinking that still escapes most of us today.