By James M Gavin; United States. Army. Airborne Division, 82nd

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What is not disputed, however, is the mastery of mathematical analysis that Ptolemy exhibited. Ptolemy was pre-eminently responsible for the geocentric cosmology that prevailed in the Islamic world and in medieval Europe. This was not due to the Almagest so much as a later treatise, Hypotheseis ton planomenon ("Planetary Hypotheses"). In this work he proposed what is now called the Ptolemaic system - a unified system in which each heavenly body is attached to its own sphere and the set of spheres nested so that it extends without gaps from the Earth to the celestial sphere.

In retrospect, Pliny's influence is based on his ability to assemble in a methodical fashion a number of previously unrelated facts, his perceptiveness in recognizing details ignored by others, and his readable stories, in which he linked both factual and fictional data. Along with unsupported claims, fables, and exaggerations, Pliny's belief in magic and superstition helped shape scientific and medical theory in subsequent centuries. Perhaps the most important of the pseudoscientific methods advocated by him was the doctrine of signatures: a resemblance between the external appearance of a plant, animal, or mineral and the outward symptoms of a disease was thought to indicate the therapeutic usefulness of the organism or substance.

Euclid may not have been a first-class mathematician, but he set a standard for deductive reasoning and geometric instruction that persisted, practically unchanged, for more than 2,000 years. 16 THE 100 MOST INFLUENTI AL SCIENTISTS ARCHIMEDES (c. 28S-c. 212 Be) The most famous mathematician and inventor of Ancient Greece, Archimedes was born in Syracuse, the principal Greek citystate in Sicily. He probably spent some time in Egypt early in his career, but he resided for most of his life in Syracuse and was on intimate terms with its king, Hieron II (reigned c.

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