Ptolemy, Inventor of the Zodiac Wheel

Claudius Ptolemaeus, who is known in the English-speaking world as Ptolemy, was a Roman mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer. Ptolemy was also the author of the Almagest. Miraculously, the Almagest is the only ancient work on astronomy to survive the ravages of time.

He is also credited with originally discovering the four elements, the Zodiac wheel, and the signs of astrology in the second century.

In his “Handy Tables,” Ptolemy laid out all the data needed to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the solar and lunar eclipses. Ptolemy’s treatise on astrology is known as Apotelesmatika.

Ptolemy’s astrological outlook was quite practical: he thought that astrology was like medicine, that is conjectural, because of the many variable factors to be taken into account: the race, country, and upbringing of a person affects an individual’s personality as much as, if not more than, the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the precise moment of their birth, so Ptolemy saw astrology as something to be used in life but in no way relied on entirely.

 

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