• synonyms

Ptolemaic universe


The model for the universe, put forth by the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy, that had the Earth at the center, with the sun, moon, planets, and stars revolving around it.

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The Ptolemaic system prevailed in astronomy for nearly fifteen hundred years, until the model of the solar system proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus (with the sun, not the Earth, at the center) was accepted. Church authorities forced Galileo to declare belief in the Earth-centered universe.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.