Ptolemy, Claudius (100–178 C.E.)
Greek scholar and the father of Western astrology. Ptolemy
lived in the Greek community of Alexandria, Egypt, then one
of the major centers of learning in the Mediterranean basin.
He is most remembered as the author of Mathematiké Syntaxis.
In Mathematiké Syntaxis (also known as the Almegest,) Ptolemy
synthesized current knowledge of the solar system. His earthcentered
astronomy was accepted for centuries until finally
overthrown by the solar-centered view of Copernicus
(1473–1543).
From his earth-centered astronomy Ptolemy derived his
perspective on astrology (the two disciplines not then so rigidly
separated as they are today). In the Tetrabiblos, he organized the
astrological knowledge then available into a unified system and
tied it to a set of ethical principles that stress the proper function
of astrology and the ways in which it can be properly used.
Although his system has been modified in a number of ways in
modern astrology, its basic structure remains.
Sources
Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edwards, eds.
Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York New American Library,
1982.
Holden, James H., and Robert A. Hughes. Astrological Pioneers
of America. Tempe, Ariz. American Federation of Astrologers,
1988.
Lewis, James R. The Astrology Encyclopedia. Detroit Gale Research,
1994.