the theory, systematized by Ptolemy, postulating the earth as the center or fixed point of the universe, around which the celestial bodies move
The astronomical system of Ptolemy, in which the earth is at the center of the universe with the sun, moon, planets, and stars revolving about it in circular orbits at increasing distance. Some of the orbits have epicycles.
- 1902, Charles Kingsley, Alexandria and Her Schools, Lecture I, The Ptolemaic Era:
- [T]o Hipparchus we owe that theory of the heavens, commonly called the Ptolemaic system, which, starting from the assumption that the earth was the centre of the universe, attempted to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies by a complex system of supposed eccentrics and epicycles.
- 2005 Feb. 20, Owen Gingerich, "â€˜Big Bangâ€™: The Real Creation Science" (review of Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh), New York Times (retrieved 7 Nov 2012):
- Singh . . . criticizes the Ptolemaic system for its "inordinately complex" heaps of epicycles on epicycles, but declares that in some respects it was more accurate than the Copernican system.