The title to this piece is Almagestum, which is a Latin name for arguably the most important scientific treatise written in the last two thousand years. All scholars across the globe in countless languages, and different regions studied the Almagestum to understand the nature of the spherical universe – which included the perfect celestial sphere endlessly rotating around the motionless spherical Earth. The book goes on to talk about the Moon, Eclipses, the inner and outer planets, and introduces spherical geometry. The fascinating thing about this wonderful tome is that it has almost all be disproven in the past couple of hundred years.
The originator of the treatise, and astronomer named Claudius Ptolemy knew that there was something wrong with his perfectly circular and spherical model of the universe. He knew it so well that he tried to explain some of the geometrical inconsistencies with yet another circular path planned into the orbits.
Basically, no educated scholar could deal with the fact that the heavens weren’t built with perfect circles and perfect spheres.
I guess I myself hold some these prejudices against ellipses and other ovular forms that ancient scholars held. There is something about the circle, and a spinning circle tracing out a spherical shape that just makes my heart sing… I think that Pythagoras would understand.
This piece in the second in a series that pays homage to the circle, and to the gumption to hold on to that idea of perfection in the simplest, yet most intriguing geometric form.
Almagestum is currently installed at the Patrick Heath Public Library, 451 N. Main Street, Boerne, TX