Gerald J. Toomer

Gerald James Toomer ( born November 23, 1934 in Aldershot, Hampshire ) is a British historian of mathematics and science.

Toomer attended from 1945 to 1953, the Clifton College in Bristol and studied classical philology at the University of Oxford, where he was a 1955-1959 Fellow of Corpus Christi College, and from 1961 to 1965 EP Warren Praelector after graduation. Since 1965 he was a professor at Brown University, the Otto Neugebauer made ​​it a center for science with ancient history and the ancient Near East, where he is Professor Emeritus today.

He has been dealing with ancient Greek mathematics and astronomy, was a new annotated translation of the Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy out and a transfer of Books 5-7 of the conic teaching of Apollonius, which are known only from the Arabic ( Banu Musa ) and of Diocles treatise on burning mirrors ( De speculis caustics ). He also edited with Frances Benjamin Theorica Planetarum of Campanus of Novara ( 1971). He wrote, inter alia, the biographies of Apollonius, Hipparchus and Ptolemy in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, and on the influence of Babylonian astronomy to Hipparchus.

Toomer wrote a history of the history of the study of Arabic in England in the 17th century and a biography of the English scholar John Selden universal.

Since 1984 he is member of the International Academy for the History of Science. He was 1985 Guggenheim Fellow.


  • Diocles: On burning mirrors. The arabic translation of the lost Greek original. Ed. , With Engl. transl. and commentary by GJ Toomer. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1976 ( Sources in the history of mathematics and physical sciences, 1). ISBN 3-540-07478-3.
  • Apollonius: Conics, books V to VII The Arabic translation of the lost Greek original in the version of the Banū Musa. In two volumes. Ed. with transl. and commentary by GJ Toomer. Springer, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer ( Sources in the history of mathematics and physical sciences, 9). ISBN 3-540-97216-1.
  • (Ed.): Ptolemy 's Almagest, Univ. Pr, Princeton, 1984, 1998, ISBN 0-691-00260-6 ( English translation ).
  • Hipparchus and Babylonian Astronomy. In: Erle Leichty, Maria de J. Ellis, Pamel Gerardi ( eds.): A Scientific Humanist: Studies in Memory of Abraham Sachs Philadelphia: Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 9, 1988.
  • Eastern Wisdom and Learning. The study of Arabic in 17th century England. Oxford University Press 1996.
  • John Selden. A life in scholarship. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Hugh Lloyd -Jones (1954-1960) | Gerald J. Toomer (1960-1965) | Ewen Bowie (1965-2007) | Tim Whitmarsh (since 2007)

  • Historian of mathematics
  • Historians of science
  • Classical scholar ( 21st century)
  • Classical scholar ( 20th century)
  • Arabist
  • University teachers (Brown University)
  • Briton
  • Graeco- Arabist
  • Born in 1934
  • Man