(Residential Fellow, 2018-19)
The Epitome Almagesti: Critical Edition and Study
Henry Zepeda is a historian of science with his specialization in the medieval mathematical sciences, especially astronomy. He is a Teaching Fellow at Wyoming Catholic College. He received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma, and he worked in Munich for several years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus group at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. His first book, The First Latin Treatise on Ptolemy’s Astronomy: The Almagesti minor (c. 1200), provides an edition, translation, and study of an influential medieval summary of Ptolemy’s Almagest.
At the Linda Hall Library, Henry will be completing a critical edition and analysis of the Epitome Almagesti, written in the early 1460s by Georg Peurbach and Johannes Regiomontanus. The Epitome Almagesti is a summary of Ptolemy’s Almagest, and it can arguably be considered the high point of the Ptolemaic astronomical tradition because of its depth of comprehension of even the most technical aspects of Ptolemy’s astronomy, its clear explanations, and its incorporation of new findings made by both of its authors and by Arabic astronomers. Better knowledge of this work will help scholars better understand the state of astronomy at the time when Ptolemy’s system was challenged by Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and others.