The Ptolemaic system, from 'Margarita Philosophica', 1535.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plantinotype print showing the structure of the world according to the Ptolemaic system that placed the Earth at the centre of the cosmos. Proposed by Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD it was accepted truth until Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) suggested an alternative Sun centred scheme in 1453. The print is taken from 'Margarita Philosophica' (Pearl of Wisdom), 1535 edition (p 521), written by the medieval philosopher, Gregor Reisch (1467-1525). This encyclopaedic work contains commentaries on the subjects of astronomy, geometry, anatomy and geography.