Mathematical tables in Ptolemy's Almagest

Nathan Sidoli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is a discussion of Ptolemy's use of mathematical tables in the Almagest. By focusing on Ptolemy's mathematical practice and terminology, I argue that Ptolemy used tables as part of an organized group of units of text, which I call the table nexus. In the context of this deductive structure, tables function in the Almagest in much the same way as theorems in a canonical work, such as the Elements, both as means of presenting acquired knowledge and as tools for producing further knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-37
Number of pages25
JournalHistoria Mathematica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb


  • Almagest
  • Greek astronomy
  • Greek mathematics
  • Mathematical functions
  • Mathematical tables
  • Ptolemy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • History


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