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Claudius Ptolemäus

Claudius Ptolemäus

*  100 Ptolemais
† 180 Canopus

Claudius Ptolemäus (around 100 - around 180 AD) worked as a cartographer, geographer and astronomer in Alexandria. Ptolemäus worked at the museum of Alexandria, the library of which offered him the best possible conditions for his comprehensive research in the fields of astronomy, geography, optics, etc. His Mathematike syntaxis can be listed among the most significant books about astronomy of the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern History (first printed in Venice in 1496). With his second major work, the Geographike Hyphegesis, he created an instruction on cartograhpy in eight volumes aiming to create a depiction of the earth's total surface as it was known to this date. The first volume explains an alternative projection procedure taking the vaulted shape of the meridians and the parallels into consideration. The volumes 2 - 8 offer a list of coordinates of more than 8,000 places known on earth back then. It was not until the emergence of Dutch cartographs by Ortelius and Mercator that the modern depiction of countries turned away from Ptolemäus's version. The first incunable edition of Ptolemäus's geography was published in Vicenza in 1475 (without any maps), in Bologna and together with engraved maps in Rome in 1477.