Severus Sebokht was one of the leading figures of ecclesiastical, philosophical, and scientific culture of late antique Syria.
It was in astronomical matters, however, that Severus was preeminent. Syrian astronomy was predominantly Ptolemaic, and Severus himself stands as an important figure in passing on Greek astronomical knowledge to Syrian scholars and thence to Islamic civilization. He was familiar with Ptolemy‘s Handy Tables, and there is some indication that he translated the Almagest into Syriac; in any case, he most certainly taught it in the school of Nisibis and then later in western Syria. Similarly, Severus was an important link in the transmission of the Greek tradition of the astrolabe to the east. In several passages in his astronomical works, he positions himself firmly on the side of scientific methodology and opposes speculative astrology.
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