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Encyclopedia > Flat earth
15th century adaptation of a T-O map. This kind of medieval mappa mundi illustrates only the reachable side of a round Earth, since it was thought that no one could cross a torrid clime near the equator to the other half of the globe.
15th century adaptation of a T-O map. This kind of medieval mappa mundi illustrates only the reachable side of a round Earth, since it was thought that no one could cross a torrid clime near the equator to the other half of the globe.

The idea of a flat Earth is that the surface of the Earth is flat (a plane), rather than the view that it is a very close approximation of the surface of a sphere. This was a common belief until the Classical Greeks began to discuss the Earth's shape about the 4th century BC. Flat Earth could refer to: Flat Earth, the theory that the Earth is flat The Flat Earth, a 1984 album by Thomas Dolby Flat Earth Records, a record label Flat Earth Crisps, a food product manufactured by Frito Lay Category: ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (519x663, 263 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Flat Earth ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (519x663, 263 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Flat Earth ... Earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae. ... The Hereford Mappa Mundi, about 1300, Hereford Cathedral, England. ... Medieval artistic representation of a spherical Earth - with compartments representing earth, air, and water (c. ... The seven climes (klima, plural klimata, meaning inclination, referring to the angle between the axis of the celestial sphere and the horizon) was a notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity. ... World map showing the equator in red For other uses, see Equator (disambiguation). ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... The intuitive idea of flatness is important in several fields. ... This article is about the mathematical construct. ... Medieval artistic representation of a spherical Earth - with compartments representing earth, air, and water (c. ... Parthenon This article is on the term Classical Greece itself. ...


Regardless of the Earth's actual shape, local regions of its surface can be considered approximately flat for many purposes. The large-scale shape of the Earth is only relevant when considering large distances. Consequently, in antiquity only sailors, astronomers, philosophers, and theologians would have been concerned about the Earth's large-scale shape.


The modern belief that especially medieval Christianity believed in a flat earth has been referred to as The Myth of the Flat Earth.[1] In 1945, it was listed by the Historical Association (of Britain) as the second of 20 in a pamphlet on common errors in history.[2] Several scholars[3] have argued that "with extraordinary [sic] few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat" and that the prevailing view was of a spherical earth.[1] Topics in Christianity Preaching Prayer Ecumenism Relation to other religions Movements Music Liturgy Calendar Symbols Art Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th century copy of LImage du monde (ca. ...


Jeffrey Russell states that the modern view that people of the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat is said to have entered the popular imagination in the 19th century, thanks largely to the publication of Washington Irving's fantasy The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828.[1] Although these writers reject the idea of a flat earth, others such as the Flat Earth Society accept or promote the hypothesis. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus is a novel about Christopher Columbus written by Washington Irving in 1838. ... A rendered picture of the Flat Earth model. ...

Contents

Validity and usefulness

Regardless of whether the entire earth is flat or not, the surface of the Earth can be approximated as flat over small distances. Assuming the whole earth to be flat was actually a sophisticated insight by primitive people: they realized that all the local accidents of geography: hills, valleys, rivers, and so on, were merely unevennesses of a surface which was on average flat as far as they could go. When surveying and direction-finding we assume that the angles of a triangle add up to 180°, which is not true for a triangle on the surface of a sphere.[4] Surveyor at work with a leveling instrument. ... Spherical geometry is the geometry of the two-dimensional surface of a sphere. ...


Antiquity

Belief in a flat Earth is found in mankind's oldest writings. In early Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean, and this forms the premise for early Greek maps such as those of Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus. Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Hecataeus (c. ...


Some theologians and biblical researchers maintain that writers of the Bible had a Babylonian world view, according to which Earth is flat[5] and stands on pillars, and is covered by a solid sky-dome[6][7] (the Firmament). The firmament was the heaven in which God set the sun (Psalm 19:5) and the stars (Gen 1:14).[8] However this is clarified in (Isaiah 40:22) where it spoke of god "dwelling above the circle of earth" but this means a literal circle, from the word chuwg. In Isaiah 22:18, the word duwr is used to describe a ball. Job 26:7)makes the meaning clear when it said god was "hanging the earth upon nothing" and the same verse also described the north (of the Earth) as hanging over nothing too. This in in conflict with the Babylonian world view and the non-biblical book of Enoch where the Sun and Moon were thought to move in and out of the Firmament dome through a series of openings (reflecting the apparent movement of their rising and setting points throughout the year). This is explained in considerable detail in the non-canonical Book of Enoch (the following is an excerpt):[citation needed] For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Babylon (disambiguation). ... Firmament is a name for the sky or the heavens, generally used in the context of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. ... Sol redirects here. ... This article is about the astronomical object. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

"This is the first commandment of the luminaries: The sun is a luminary whose egress is an opening of heaven, which is (located) in the direction of the east, and whose ingress is (another) opening of heaven, (located) in the west. I saw six openings through which the sun rises and six openings through which it sets. The moon also rises and sets through the same openings, and they are guided by the stars; together with those whom they lead, they are six in the east and six in the west heaven. All of them (are arranged) one after another in a constant order. There are many windows (both) to the right and the left of these openings. First there goes out the great light whose name is the sun; its roundness is like the roundness of the sky; and it is totally filled with light and heat. The chariot in which it ascends is (driven by) the blowing wind. The sun sets in the sky (in the west) and returns by the northeast in order to go to the east; it is guided so that it shall reach the eastern gate and shine in the face of the sky" (1 Enoch 72:2-5).

Classical Antiquity

By classical times the idea that Earth was spherical began to take hold in Ancient Greece. Pythagoras in the 6th century BC, apparently on aesthetic grounds, held that all the celestial bodies were spherical. However, most Presocratic Pythagoreans considered the world to be flat.[9] According to Aristotle, pre-Socratic philosophers, including Leucippus (c. 440 BC) and Democritus (c. 460-370 BC) believed in a flat earth.[10] Anaximander believed the Earth to be a short cylinder with a flat, circular top which remained stable because it is the same distance from all things.[11] It has been suggested that seafarers probably provided the first observational evidence that the Earth was not flat.[12] Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... See lists of astronomical objects for a list of the various lists of astronomical objects in Wikipedia. ... The Pythagoreans were a Hellenic organization of astronomers, musicians, mathematicians, and philosophers who believed that all things are, essentially, numeric. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ...


Around 330 BC, Aristotle provided observational evidence for the spherical Earth,[13] noting that travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon. He argued that this was only possible if their horizon was at an angle to northerners' horizon and thus the Earth's surface could not be flat.[14] He also noted that the border of the shadow of Earth on the Moon during the partial phase of a lunar eclipse is always circular, no matter how high the Moon is over the horizon. Only a sphere casts a circular shadow in every direction, whereas a circular disk casts an elliptical shadow in all directions apart from directly above and directly below.[15] Writing around 10 BC, the Greek geographer Strabo cited various phenomena observed at sea as suggesting that the Earth was spherical. He observed that elevated lights or areas of land were visible to sailors at greater distances than those which were less elevated, and stated that the curvature of the sea was obviously responsible for this.[16] He also remarked that observers can see further when their eyes are elevated, and cited a line from the Odyssey[17] as indicating that the poet Homer was already aware of this as early as the 7th or 8th century BC. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article is about the star grouping. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... Elliptical redirects here. ... The Greek geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving. ... This article is about Homers epic poem. ... This article is about the Greek poet Homer and the works attributed to him. ...


The Earth's circumference was first determined around 240 BC by Eratosthenes. Eratosthenes knew that in Syene, in Egypt, the Sun was directly overhead at the summer solstice, while he estimated that a shadow cast by the Sun at Alexandria was 1/50th of a circle. He estimated the distance from Syene to Alexandria as 5,000 stades, and estimated the Earth's circumference was 250,000 stades and a degree was 700 stades (implying a circumference of 252,000 stades).[18] Eratosthenes used rough estimates and round numbers, but depending on the length of the stadion, his result is within a margin of between 2% and 20% of the actual circumference, 40,008 kilometres. Note that Eratosthenes could only measure the circumference of the Earth by assuming that the distance to the Sun is so great that the rays of sunlight are essentially parallel. A similar measurement, reported in a Chinese mathematical treatise, the Zhoubi suanjing (1st c. BC), was used to measure the distance to the Sun– albeit by assuming that the Earth was flat.[19] The circumference is the distance around a closed curve. ... This article is about the Greek scholar of the third century BC. For the ancient Athenian statesman of the fifth century BC, see Eratosthenes (statesman). ... Egypt: Site of Aswan (bottom). ... For other uses, see Solstice (disambiguation). ... Introduction Many systems of weights and measures have existed throughout history in different civilisations. ... Introduction Many systems of weights and measures have existed throughout history in different civilisations. ... Prism splitting light High Resolution Solar Spectrum Sunlight in the broad sense is the total spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. ... Parallel may refer to: Parallel (geometry) Parallel (latitude), an imaginary east-west line circling a globe Parallelism (grammar), a balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses Parallel (manga), a shōnen manga by Toshihiko Kobayashi Parallel (video), a video album by R.E.M. The Parallel, an...


Lucretius (1st. c. BC) opposed the concept of a spherical Earth, because he considered the idea of antipodes absurd. But by the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder was in a position to claim that everyone agrees on the spherical shape of Earth,[20] although there continued to be disputes regarding the nature of the antipodes, and how it is possible to keep the ocean in a curved shape. Pliny also considers the possibility of an imperfect sphere, "shaped like a pinecone".[20] Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... This map shows the antipodes of each point on the Earths surface – the points where the blue and pink overlap are land antipodes. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... A cone (in formal botanical usage: strobilus, plural strobili) is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta (conifers) that contains the reproductive structures. ...


In the Second century the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy advanced many arguments for the sphericity of the Earth. Among them was the observation that when sailing towards mountains, they seem to rise from the sea, indicating that they were hidden by the curved surface of the sea. He also gives separate arguments that the Earth is curved north-south and that it is curved east-west.[21] Ptolemy derived his maps from a curved globe and developed the system of latitude, longitude, and climes. His writings remained the basis of European astronomy throughout the Middle Ages, although Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 3rd to 7th centuries) saw occasional arguments in favor of a flat Earth. This article is about the geographer, mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy. ... For other uses, see Mountain (disambiguation). ... This article is about the geographer, mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy. ... This article is about the geographical term. ... Longitude is the east-west geographic coordinate measurement most commonly utilized in cartography and global navigation. ... The seven climes (klima, plural klimata, meaning inclination, referring to the angle between the axis of the celestial sphere and the horizon) was a notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Late Antiquity is a rough periodization (c. ... Justinians wife Theodora and her retinue, in a 6th century mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. ...


In late antiquity such widely read encyclopedists as Macrobius (4th c.) and Martianus Capella (5th c.) discussed the circumference of the sphere of the Earth, its central position in the universe, the difference of the seasons in northern and southern hemispheres, and many other geographical details.[22] In his commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio, Macrobius described the Earth as a globe of insignificant size in comparison to the remainder of the cosmos.[22] Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, Roman grammarian and philosopher, flourished during the reigns of Honorius and Arcadius (395-423). ... Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a writer of the late Latin period, whose career flourished some time during the 5th century, before the year 439. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... For other uses, see Cicero (disambiguation). ... The Dream of Scipio (Latin, Somnium Scipionis) is a dream-vision by the Roman philosopher Cicero in which Scipio Aemilianus Africanus meets his grandfather by adoption, Scipio Africanus Major (236 BC - 184 BC), hero of the Second Punic War against Hannibals Carthage. ...


India

Further information: Indian astronomy

From antiquity, a cosmological view prevailed in India that held the Earth to consist of four continents grouped around the central mountain Meru like the petals of a flower; surrounding these continents was the outer ocean. This view was elaborated in traditional Buddhist cosmology, which depicts the world as a vast, flat oceanic disk (of the magnitude of a small planetary system), bounded by mountains, in which the continents are set as small islands.[citation needed] In the center of this disk is the immense Mount Sumeru, the linchpin of the world, around which the stars, the Sun, and the Moon revolve; the change of day and night is caused by the occultation of the Sun by this mountain. This world is only one of an infinite number of similar worlds, which extend in all directions.[citation needed] The astronomy and the astrology of Ancient India (Jyotisha) is based upon sidereal calculations. ... For the mountain in Tanzania, see Mount Meru, Tanzania. ... Buddhist cosmology is the description of the shape and evolution of the universe according to the canonical Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Mount Meru (Mythology). ...


During the later Vedic period (in the Shatapatha Brahmana, ca. 6th century BC), the idea that Earth was spherical appeared in ancient India.[23] This is also recognized in another Vedic Sanskrit text Aitareya Brahmana composed around the same time, and in a later Sanskrit commentary Vishnu Purana.[24][23] Map of early Iron Age Vedic India after Witzel (1989). ... Shatapatha Brahmana (Brahmana of one-hundred paths) is one of the prose texts describing the Vedic ritual. ... The astronomy and the astrology of Ancient India (Jyotisha) is based upon sidereal calculations. ... Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, which are the earliest sacred texts of India,. The Vedas were first passed down orally and therefore have no known date. ... The Aitareya Brahmana is the Brahmana associated with the Rigveda in the Shakala school. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The Vishnu Purana is one of the oldest of the Puranas (dating to maybe the 5th century), containing some 23,000 shlokas, presented as a dialogue between Parasara with his disciple Maitreya. ...


China and the Far East

Further information: Chinese astronomy

In ancient China, the prevailing belief was that the earth was flat and square, while the Heavens were round,[25] an assumption which remained dominant until the introduction of European astronomy in the 17th century.[26][27] The Dunhuang map from the Tang Dynasty (North Polar region). ... China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ...


In the Mo Jing, compiled by the followers of Mozi the 4th century BC during the Warring States Period, there are a two passages which deal with space time continuum.[28] Historians Hu Shi and Joseph Needham points out that the followers of Mozi's philosophical school of Mohism perhaps recognized the sphericity and some form of movement of the earth.[29] Needham outlines these two propositions as given by Hu Shi's translation into English of chapters 13 and 33 of the Mo Jing: Mozi (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Mo Tzu, Lat. ... Warring States redirects here. ... In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single construct called the space-time continuum. ... Mohism (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally School of Mo) or Moism is a Chinese philosophy founded by Mozi. ...

  • Chapter 13.24.13, Space and time
    • The Boundaries of space (the spatial universe) are consistently shifting. The reason is given under 'extension'.[29]
    • There is the South and the North in the morning, and again in the evening. Space, however, has long changed its place.[29]
  • Chapter 33.63.24, Space and time
    • Spatial relationships are names for that which is already past. The reason is given under 'reality'.[29]
    • Knowing that 'this' is no longer 'this', and that 'this' is no longer 'here', we still call it South and North. That is, what is already past is regarded as if it were still present. We called it South then and therefore we continue to call it South now.[29]

In the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) text of the Da Dai Li Ji (大戴禮記) (Records of Ritual Matters by Dai Senior), it quotes the earlier Zeng Shen (505 BC-436 BC) replying to a question of Shanchu Li, admitting that it was hard to conceptualize the orthodox Chinese view of the four corners of the earth and how they could be properly covered.[25] According to the historian Needham, Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) theorized that the universe was in the oval shape of a hen's egg, while the earth itself was like the curved yolk within (in a geocentric model of thinking similar to Europe before Galileo).[25] However, the English sinologist Cullen objects that Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (206 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–220 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication... Zengzi (曾子; also called Zeng Shen, 曾參; or Ziyu, 子輿) (505 BCE - 436 BCE) was a philosopher and student of Confucius. ... Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham (December 9, 1900 – March 24, 1995) was a British biochemist and pre-eminent authority on the history of Chinese science. ... For other uses, see Zhang Heng (disambiguation). ... Galileo can refer to: Galileo Galilei, astronomer, philosopher, and physicist (1564 - 1642) the Galileo spacecraft, a NASA space probe that visited Jupiter and its moons the Galileo positioning system Life of Galileo, a play by Bertolt Brecht Galileo (1975) - screen adaptation of the play Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht...

In a passage of Zhang Heng's cosmogony not translated by Needham, Chang himself says: "Heaven takes its body from the Yang, so it is round and in motion. Earth takes its body from the Yin, so it is flat and quiescent". The point of the egg analogy is simply to stress that the earth is completely enclosed by heaven, rather than merely covered from above as the kai t'ien describes. Chinese astronomers, many of them brilliant men by any standards, continued to think in flat-earth terms until the seventeenth century; this surprising fact might be the starting-point for a re-examination of the apparent facility with which the idea of a spherical earth found acceptance in fifth-century B.C. Greece.[30]

Yu Xi (c. 330 AD) influenced many Chinese thinkers afterwards when he expressed his own criticisms about the square and flat earth, while Li Ye wrote of similar ideas, arguing that the movements of the round heaven would be hindered by a square earth.[25] Li Ye argued that it was spherical like the heavens, only much smaller, a belief that was shared by the followers of the Hun Tian theory.[25] Li Ye (born 26 December 1983) is a Chinese short track speed skater. ...


Shortly after the collapse of the Ming Dynasty, the Ge Chi Cao treatise of Xiong Ming-yu was written (1648 AD), and showed a printed picture of the earth as a spherical globe, with the text stating that "The Round Earth certainly has no Square Corners".[31] The text also pointed out that sailing ships could return to their port of origin after circumnavigating the waters of the earth.[31] Xiong Ming-yu, in order to persuade the elite class of his time, harkened back to ideas of the Hun Tian theorists to defend his ideas, with the earth 'as round as a crossbow bullet' ('yuan ru dan wan').[31] For other uses, see Ming. ...


However, the influence of the map is distinctly Western, as traditional maps of Chinese cartography held the graduation of the sphere at 365.25 degrees, while the Western graduation was of 360 degrees. Also of interest to note is on one side of the world, there is seen towering Chinese pagodas, while on the opposite side (upside-down) there were European cathedrals.[31] Western influence of geographical knowledge was used by Xiong to enforce what he believed had already been argued by earlier Chinese astronomers, something which the French sinologist Jean-Claude Martzloff regards as a retrospective interpretation: The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham. ... For other uses, see Cathedral (disambiguation). ... For the books called Geography by Ancient Greek authors, see Geographia (Ptolemy) and Geographica (Strabo) For the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, see Geographical (magazine) Geography is the study of the earth and its features, inhabitants, and phenomena. ...

European astronomy was so much judged worth consideration that numerous Chinese authors developed the idea that the Chinese of antiquity had anticipated most of the novelties presented by the missionaries as European discoveries, for example, the rotundity of the earth and the “heavenly spherical star carrier model.” Making skillful use of philology, these authors cleverly reinterpreted the greatest technical and literary works of Chinese antiquity. From this sprang a new science wholly dedicated to the demonstration of the Chinese origin of astronomy and more generally of all European science and technology.[26]

Nevertheless, the Chinese, through observation of lunar eclipse and solar eclipse, understood that the celestial bodies (if not the earth) were spherical in shape. The polymath Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD) once wrote: Time lapse movie of the 3 March 2007 lunar eclipse A lunar eclipse occurs whenever the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s shadow. ... Photo taken during the 1999 eclipse. ... Leonardo da Vinci is regarded in many Western cultures as the archetypal Renaissance Man. A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, having learned much)[1][2] is a person with encyclopedic, broad, or varied knowledge or learning. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Shen Shen Kuo or Shen Kua (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (1031–1095) was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). ...

The Director of the Astronomical Observatory asked me about the shapes of the sun and moon; whether they were like balls or (flat) fans. If they were like balls they would surely obstruct (ai) each other when they met. I replied that these celestial bodies were certainly like balls. How do we know this? By the waxing and waning (ying khuei) of the moon. The moon itself gives forth no light, but is like a ball of silver; the light is the light of the sun (reflected). When the brightness is first seen, the sun(-light passes almost) alongside, so the side only is illuminated and looks like a crescent. When the sun gradually gets further away, the light shines slanting, and the moon is full, round like a bullet. If half of a sphere is covered with (white) powder and looked at from the side, the covered part will look like a crescent; if looked at from the front, it will appear round. Thus we know that the celestial bodies are spherical.[32]

Writing more than a thousand years before Shen, however, Jing Fang of the Han Dynasty wrote in the 1st century BC: For other uses, see Zhang Heng (disambiguation). ...

The moon and the planets are Yin; they have shape but no light. This they receive only when the sun illuminates them. The former masters regarded the sun as round like a crossbow bullet, and they thought the moon had the nature of a mirror. Some of them recognized the moon as a ball too. Those parts of the moon which the sun illuminates look bright, those parts which it does not, remain dark.[33] This article is about the weapon. ...

Apparently this idea of spherical celestial bodies had become the dominant accepted theory even by the ancient Han Dynasty, since it was the philosopher Wang Chong (27-97 AD) who was ardently opposed to this idea that the mainstream 'Confucian scholars' were propagating.[34] Wang Chung (27 – 97 C.E.) (Traditional Chinese: 王充; Simplified Chinese: 王充; pinyin: Wáng Chōng) was a Chinese philosopher during the Han Dynasty who developed a rational, secular, naturalistic, and mechanistic account of the world and of human beings. ... Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā The School of the Scholars), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical, religious and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ...


However, in a more recent work reviewing Needham's hypotheses, the English scholar Cullen emphasizes the point that there was actually no concept of a round earth in ancient Chinese astronomy:

A century later Chiang Chi attempted to meet the objection with a hypothesis of the curvilinear propagation of light along the celestial sphere. Here, if at all, we might have expected to find some reference to the sphericity of the earth, but, as already noted, Chinese astronomy shows no trace of this idea.[35]

Early Christian Church

From Late Antiquity, and from the beginnings of Christian theology, knowledge of the sphericity of the Earth had become widespread.[36] There was some debate concerning the possibility of the inhabitants of the antipodes: people imagined as separated by an impassable torrid clime were difficult to reconcile with the Christian view of a unified human race descended from one couple and redeemed by a single Christ. Late Antiquity is a rough periodization (c. ... Christian doctrine redirects here. ... The seven climes (klima, plural klimata, meaning inclination, referring to the angle between the axis of the celestial sphere and the horizon) was a notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ...


Saint Augustine (354–430) argued against assuming people inhabited the antipodes: Augustinus redirects here. ...

But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they say that the part which is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even, though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled.[37]

Since these people would have to be descended from Adam, they would have had to travel to the other side of the Earth at some point; Augustine continues: Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ...

It is too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are descended from that one first man.

Scholars of Augustine's work have traditionally assumed that he would have shared the common view of his educated contemporaries that the earth is spherical. That assumption has recently been challenged, however.[38][39]


Some authors and artists less prominent in the Church's history directly opposed the round Earth. After his conversion to Christianity, Lactantius (245–325) became a trenchant critic of all pagan philosophy. In Book III of The Divine Institutes[40] he ridicules the notion that there could be inhabitants of the antipodes "whose footsteps are higher than their heads". After presenting some arguments which he claims advocates for a spherical heaven and earth had advanced to support their views, he writes: Lucius Caelius (or Caecilius?) Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who wrote in Latin (c. ...

Cosmas Indicopleustes' world picture - flat earth in a Tabernacle.
Cosmas Indicopleustes' world picture - flat earth in a Tabernacle.

But if you inquire from those who defend these marvellous fictions, why all things do not fall into that lower part of the heaven, they reply that such is the nature of things, that heavy bodies are borne to the middle, and that they are all joined together towards the middle, as we see spokes in a wheel; but that the bodies which are light, as mist, smoke, and fire, are borne away from the middle, so as to seek the heaven. I am at a loss what to say respecting those who, when they have once erred, consistently persevere in their folly, and defend one vain thing by another; Image File history File links Cosmas_Indicopleustes_-_Topographia_Christiana_1. ... Image File history File links Cosmas_Indicopleustes_-_Topographia_Christiana_1. ...

In his Homilies Concerning the Statutes[41] St.John Chrysostom (344–408) explicitly espoused the idea, based on his reading of Scripture, that the Earth floated on the waters gathered below the firmament, and St. Athanasius (c.293–373) expressed similar views in Against the Heathen, though in context he is clearly speaking of the landmasses of the earth floating upon the ocean. As he supports the assumption in chapter 27 that the Sun revolves around the earth, this is unlikely to be support for a flat earth.[42] Diodorus of Tarsus (d. 394) also argued for a flat Earth based on scriptures; however, Diodorus' opinion on the matter is known to us only by a criticism of it by Photius.[43] Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d. 408), wrote: "The earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall".[44] The Egyptian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes (547) in his Topographia Christiana, where the Covenant Ark was meant to represent the whole universe, argued on theological grounds that the Earth was flat, a parallelogram enclosed by four oceans. This article refers to the Christian saint. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (Greek: Αθανάσιος, Athanásios; c 293 – May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... After the early School of Antioch came into decline, the presbyter Diodore of Tarsus re-founded it in the middle of the fourth century as a semi-monastic community. ... Photius (b. ... Cosmas Indicopleustes (literally Mr. ... A parallelogram. ...


At least one early Christian writer, Basil of Caesarea (329–379), believed the matter to be theologically irrelevant.[45] Basil (ca. ...


In the Middle Ages

Early Medieval Europe

9th century Macrobian cosmic diagram showing the sphere of the Earth at the center, (globus terrae).
9th century Macrobian cosmic diagram showing the sphere of the Earth at the center, (globus terrae).
12th century T-O map representing the inhabitated world as described by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae. (chapter 14, de terra et partibus).
12th century T-O map representing the inhabitated world as described by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae. (chapter 14, de terra et partibus).
12th century depiction of a spherical earth with the four seasons (book "Liber Divinorum Operum" by Hildegard of Bingen).
12th century depiction of a spherical earth with the four seasons (book "Liber Divinorum Operum" by Hildegard of Bingen).

With the end of Roman civilization, Western Europe entered the Middle Ages with great difficulties that affected the continent's intellectual production. Most scientific treatises of classical antiquity (in Greek) were unavailable, leaving only simplified summaries and compilations. Still, the dominant textbooks of the Early Middle Ages supported the sphericity of the Earth. For example: many early medieval manuscripts of Macrobius include maps of the Earth, including the antipodes, zonal maps showing the Ptolemaic climates derived from the concept of a spherical Earth and a diagram showing the Earth (labeled as globus terrae, the sphere of the Earth) at the center of the hierarchically ordered planetary spheres.[46] Further examples of such medieval diagrams can be found in medieval manuscripts of the Dream of Scipio. In the Carolingian era, scholars discussed Macrobius's view of the antipodes. One of them, the Irish monk Dungal, asserted that the tropical gap between our habitable region and the other habitable region to the south was smaller than Macrobius had believed.[47] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2272x2264, 438 KB) Summary Macrobian Diagram of the Planets. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2272x2264, 438 KB) Summary Macrobian Diagram of the Planets. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (608x767, 93 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Flat Earth Isidore of Seville ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (608x767, 93 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Flat Earth Isidore of Seville ... earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae. ... Saint Isidore of Seville (Spanish: or , Latin: ) (c. ... First printed edition of 1472 (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg), title page of chapter 14 (de terra et partibus), illustrated with a T and O map. ... Illumination from the Liber Scivias showing Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary Hildegard of Bingen (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis; 1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Blessed Hildegard and Saint Hildegard, was a German magistra who later founded convents (Rupertsberg in 1150... A current understanding of Western Europe. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... The Hereford Mappa Mundi, about 1300, Hereford Cathedral, England. ... The Dream of Scipio (Latin, Somnium Scipionis) is a dream-vision by the Roman philosopher Cicero in which Scipio Aemilianus Africanus meets his grandfather by adoption, Scipio Africanus Major (236 BC - 184 BC), hero of the Second Punic War against Hannibals Carthage. ... Sample of Carolingian minuscule, one of the products of the Carolingian Renaissance. ... Saint Dungal, born in Ireland and died after 827, was an Irish monk, who served Charlemagne as an astronomer. ...


Europe's view of the shape of the Earth in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages may be best expressed by the writings of early Christian scholars: Late Antiquity is a rough periodization (c. ... Justinians wife Theodora and her retinue, in a 6th century mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. ...

  • Boethius (c. 480 – 524), who also wrote a theological treatise On the Trinity, repeated the Macrobian model of the Earth as an insignificant point in the center of a spherical cosmos in his influential, and widely translated, Consolation of Philosophy.[48]
  • Bishop Isidore of Seville (560 – 636) taught in his widely read encyclopedia, the Etymologies, that the Earth was round. His meaning was ambiguous and some writers think he referred to a disc-shaped Earth; his other writings make it clear, however, that he considered the Earth to be globular.[49] He also admitted the possibility of people dwelling at the antipodes, considering them as legendary[50] and noting that there was no evidence for their existence.[51] Isidore's disc-shaped analogy continued to be used through the Middle Ages by authors clearly favouring a spherical Earth, e.g. the 9th century bishop Rabanus Maurus who compared the habitable part of the northern hemisphere (Aristotle's northern temperate clime) with a wheel, imagined as a slice of the whole sphere.
  • The monk Bede (c.672 – 735) wrote in his influential treatise on computus, The Reckoning of Time, that the Earth was round, explaining the unequal length of daylight from "the roundness of the Earth, for not without reason is it called 'the orb of the world' on the pages of Holy Scripture and of ordinary literature. It is, in fact, set like a sphere in the middle of the whole universe." (De temporum ratione, 32). The large number of surviving manuscripts of The Reckoning of Time, copied to meet the Carolingian requirement that all priests should study the computus, indicates that many, if not most, priests were exposed to the idea of the sphericity of the Earth.[52] Ælfric of Eynsham paraphrased Bede into Old English, saying "Now the Earth's roundness and the Sun's orbit constitute the obstacle to the day's being equally long in every land."[53]
  • Bishop Vergilius of Salzburg (c.700 – 784) is sometimes cited as having been persecuted for teaching "a perverse and sinful doctrine ... against God and his own soul" regarding the sphericity of the earth. Pope Zachary decided that "if it shall be clearly established that he professes belief in another world and other people existing beneath the earth, or in another sun and moon there, thou art to hold a council, and deprive him of his sacerdotal rank, and expel him from the church."[54] The issue involved was not the sphericity of the Earth itself, but whether people living in the antipodes were not descended from Adam and hence were not in need of redemption. Vergilius succeeded in freeing himself from that charge; he later became a bishop and was canonised in the thirteenth century.[55]

A non-literary but graphic indication that people in the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was a sphere, is the use of the orb (globus cruciger) in the regalia of many kingdoms and of the Holy Roman Empire. It is attested from the time of the Christian late-Roman emperor Theodosius II (423) throughout the Middle Ages; the Reichsapfel was used in 1191 at the coronation of emperor Henry VI. There are several persons called Bo thius: Philosophers: Anicius Manlius Severinus thius - to many scholars this is the Bo thius, a late-Roman writer best known for his works in philosophy and theology. ... This early printed book has many hand-painted illustrations depicting Lady Philosophy and scenes of daily life in fifteenth-century Ghent (1485) Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: Consolatio Philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius written in about the year 524 AD. It has been described as the single most important... Saint Isidore of Seville (Spanish: or , Latin: ) (c. ... First printed edition of 1472 (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg), title page of chapter 14 (de terra et partibus), illustrated with a T and O map. ... Rabanus Maurus (left) presents his work to Otgar of Mainz Rabanus Maurus Magnentius (c. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bede (disambiguation). ... Computus (Latin for computation) is the calculation of the date of Easter in the Christian calendar. ... De Temporum Ratione is a treatise on the reckoning of time written in Latin by the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon monk Bede. ... Also see: France in the Middle Ages. ... Wikisource has original works written by or about: Ælfric of Eynsham Ælfric of Eynsham (the Grammarian) (c. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Vergilius of Salzburg (born about 700 in Ireland; died 784 November 27 in Salzburg) was a holy bishop of the Diocese Salzburg. ... Pope Saint Zachary (Greek Zacharias), pope (741-752). ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article... ... Queen Elizabeth II held a globus cruciger, called the Sovereigns Orb, for her coronation portrait in 1953. ... Theodosius II Flavius Theodosius II (April, 401 - July 28, 450 ). The eldest son of Eudoxia and Arcadius who at the age of 7 became the Roman Emperor of the East. ... Henry VI (November 1165 – 28 September 1197) was King of Germany from 1190 to 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 to 1197 and King of Sicily from 1194 to 1197. ...


A recent study of medieval concepts of the sphericity of the Earth noted that "since the eighth century, no cosmographer worthy of note has called into question the sphericity of the Earth."[56] However, the work of these intellectuals may not have had significant influence on public opinion, and it is difficult to tell what the wider population may have thought of the shape of the Earth, if they considered the question at all.


Later Medieval Europe

Picture from a 1550 edition of On the Sphere of the World, the most influential astronomy textbook of the 13th century.
Picture from a 1550 edition of On the Sphere of the World, the most influential astronomy textbook of the 13th century.
Illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th century copy of L'Image du monde (ca. 1246).
Illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th century copy of L'Image du monde (ca. 1246).
John Gower prepares to shoot the world, a sphere with compartments representing earth, air, and water (Vox Clamantis, around 1400).
John Gower prepares to shoot the world, a sphere with compartments representing earth, air, and water (Vox Clamantis, around 1400).

Some historians consider that the early advocates of the flat Earth were influential (19th century view typified by Andrew Dickson White); others that they were relatively unimportant (typified by Religious Studies Scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell in the 1990s[1]) in the later Middle Ages. Image File history File links Sacrobosco-1550-B3r-detail01. ... Image File history File links Sacrobosco-1550-B3r-detail01. ... De sphaera mundi (Latin meaning Of the Spheres of Worlds, sometimes rendered The Sphere of the Cosmos; the Latin title is also given as Tractatus de sphaera, or simply De sphaera) is a medieval astronomy textbook written by Johannes de Sacrobosco c. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Medieval artistic representation of a spherical Earth - with compartments representing earth, air, and water (c. ... Illustration of the spherical Earth in a copy of LImage du monde. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (757x1171, 164 KB) Summary John Gower in a portrait from a book with his Vox Clamantis and Chronica Tripertita MS Hunter 59 (T.2. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (757x1171, 164 KB) Summary John Gower in a portrait from a book with his Vox Clamantis and Chronica Tripertita MS Hunter 59 (T.2. ... John Gower shooting the world, a sphere of earth, air, and water (from an edition of his works c. ... An illustration from a manuscript of Vox Clamantis, showing Gower shooting the world: I throw my darts and shoot my arrows at the world. ... Andrew Dickson White in 1885 Andrew Dickson White (November 7, 1832 – November 4, 1918) was a U.S. diplomat, author, and educator, best known as the co-founder of Cornell University. ... http://id-www. ...


By the 11th century Europe had learned of Islamic astronomy. The Renaissance of the 12th century from about 1070 started an intellectual revitalization of Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots, and increased appetite for the study of nature. Abundant records suggest that by then Europeans generally believed that the Earth was spherical. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... This is a sub-article of Islamic science and astronomy. ... New technological discoveries allowed the development of the gothic style. ... Philosophy (from the Greek words philos and sophia meaning love of wisdom) is understood in different ways historically and by different philosophers. ... For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ...


Hermannus Contractus (1013–1054) was among the earliest Christian scholars to estimate the circumference of Earth with Eratosthenes' method. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), the most important and widely taught theologian of the Middle Ages, believed in a spherical Earth; and he even took for granted his readers also knew the Earth is round.[57] Lectures in the medieval universities commonly advanced evidence in favor of the idea that the Earth was a sphere.[58] Also, "On the Sphere of the World", the most influential astronomy textbook of the 13th century and required reading by students in all Western European universities, described the world as a sphere. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, wrote, "The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth."[59] Hermannus Contractus (also called Hermannus Augiensis, Hermann of Reichenau) (1013 July 18 – 1054 September 24) was an 11th century scholar, composer, and music theorist. ... This article is about the Greek scholar of the third century BC. For the ancient Athenian statesman of the fifth century BC, see Eratosthenes (statesman). ... Aquinas redirects here. ... The first European medieval universities were established in Italy and France in the late 12th and early 13th Century for the study of arts, law, medicine, and theology. ... De sphaera mundi (Latin meaning Of the Spheres of Worlds, sometimes rendered The Sphere of the Cosmos; the Latin title is also given as Tractatus de sphaera, or simply De sphaera) is a medieval astronomy textbook written by Johannes de Sacrobosco c. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Summa theologiae, Pars secunda, prima pars. ...


The shape of the Earth was not only discussed in scholarly works written in Latin; it was also treated in works written in vernacular languages or dialects and intended for wider audiences. The Norwegian book Konungs Skuggsjá, from around 1250, states clearly that the Earth is round - and that it is night on the other side of the Earth when it is daytime in Norway. The author also discusses the existence of antipodes - and he notes that they (if they exist) will see the Sun in the north of the middle of the day, and that they will have opposite seasons of the people living in the Northern Hemisphere. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Look up Vernacular in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A page from Konungs skuggsjá. Konungs skuggsjá (Old Norse for Kings mirror; Latin: Speculum regale, modern Norwegian: Kongespeilet) is a Norwegian educational scripture from around 1250, dealing with politics and moral. ...


Dante's Divine Comedy, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages, written in Italian, portrays Earth as a sphere, discussing implications such as the different stars visible in the southern hemisphere, the altered position of the sun, and the various timezones of the Earth. Also, the Elucidarium of Honorius Augustodunensis (c. 1120), an important manual for the instruction of lesser clergy which was translated into Middle English, Old French, Middle High German, Old Russian, Middle Dutch, Old Norse, Icelandic, Spanish, and several Italian dialects, explicitly refers to a spherical Earth. Likewise, the fact that Bertold von Regensburg (mid-13th century) used the spherical Earth as a sermonic illustration shows that he could assume this knowledge among his congregation. The sermon was held in the vernacular German, and thus was not intended for a learned audience. Dante shown holding a copy of the Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelinos fresco. ... This article is about (usually written) works. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... Sol redirects here. ... TimeZone is an Internet forum for discussion of watches and horology. ... Honorius Augustodunensis (Commonly known as Honorius of Autun; died c. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from around 1000 to 1300. ... Middle High German (MHG, German Mittelhochdeutsch) is the term used for the period in the history of the German language between 1050 and 1350. ... The name Old Russian language has been applied to different things. ... Linguistically speaking, Middle Dutch is no more than a collective name for closely related languages or dialects which were spoken and written between about 1150 and 1500 in the present-day Dutch-speaking region. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Bertold von Regensburg (c. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A sermon is an oration by...


Reinhard Krüger, a professor for Romance literature at the University of Stuttgart (Germany), has discovered more than 100 medieval Latin and vernacular writers - 79 known by name - from the late antiquity to the 15th century who were all convinced that the earth was round like a ball:[60]


Authors between late antiquity and Columbus' voyage (1492) who argued for a spherical earth:[61]

  • Kings and politicians

Brunetto Latini, Visigoth king Sisebut, King Alfred of the Anglo-Saxons, Alfonso X of Castile Brunetto Latini (c. ... Golden tremissis of Sisebutus rex Sisebut (also Sisebuth, Sisebuto, Sisebur or Sisebod; died 620 or 621) was Visigothic King of Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula) from 612 until his death. ... For the 10th century Bishop of Sherborne, see Alfred (bishop). ... Alfonso X and his court. ...

  • Church fathers, popes, bishops, priests, members of religious orders

Basil of Caesarea, Ambrose of Milan, Aurelius Augustinus, Paulus Orosius, Jordanes, Cassiodorus, Isidore of Seville, Beda Venerabilis, Theodulf of Orléans, Vergilius of Salzburg, Irish monk Dicuil, Rabanus Maurus, Remigius of Auxerre, Johannes Scotus Eriugena, Leo of Naples, Gerbert d’Aurillac (Pope Sylvester II), Notker the German of Sankt-Gallen, Hermann the lame, Hildegard von Bingen, Petrus Abaelardus, Honorius Augustodunensis, Gautier de Metz, Adam of Bremen, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Berthold of Regensburg, Meister Eckhart, Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) Basil (ca. ... For other uses, see Ambrose (disambiguation). ... Paulus Orosius (c. ... Cassiodorus at his Vivarium library ( in Codex Amiatinus, 8th century). ... Saint Isidore of Seville (Spanish: or , Latin: ) (c. ... Bede depicted in an early medieval manuscript Depiction of Bede from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493 Bede (Latin Beda), also known as Saint Bede or, more commonly, the Venerable Bede (ca. ... Theodulf of Orleans (also Theodulfus, Theodulfe) was a medieval Bishop of Orléans, a writer skilled in poetic forms and a learned theologian He was born in Spain about 760. ... Vergilius of Salzburg (born about 700 in Ireland; died 784 November 27 in Salzburg) was a holy bishop of the Diocese Salzburg. ... Dicuil was an Irish monk and geographer, born in the second half of the 8th century; date of death unknown. ... Rabanus Maurus (left) presents his work to Otgar of Mainz Rabanus Maurus Magnentius (c. ... Remigius (Remi) of Auxerre (ca. ... J. Scotus Eriugena commemorated on a Irish banknote, issued 1976-1993 Johannes Scotus Eriugena (ca. ... Sylvester II, or Silvester II (c. ... Notker Labeo, also known as Notker Teutonicus i. ... Hermannus Contractus (also called Hermannus Augiensis, Hermann of Reichenau) (1013 – 1054) was an 11th century scholar, composer, and music theorist. ... A medieval illumination showing Hildegard von Bingen and the monk Volmar Hildegard von Bingen or Hildegard of Bingen (September 16, 1098 – September 17, 1179) was a German abbess, monastic leader, mystic, author, and composer of music. ... ... Honorius Augustodunensis (Commonly known as Honorius of Autun; died c. ... Illustration of the spherical Earth in a copy of LImage du monde. ... Adam of Bremen (also: Adam Bremensis) was one of the most important German medieval chroniclers. ... Albertus Magnus (b. ... Aquinas redirects here. ... The Meister Eckhart portal of the Erfurt Church. ... Pope Pius II. Pius II, né Enea Silvio Piccolomini, in Latin Aeneas Sylvius (October 18, 1405 - August 14, 1464) was pope from 1458 to 1464. ...

  • Theologians, philosophers and encyclopedists

Ampelius, Chalcidius, Macrobius, Martianus Capella, Boethius, Guillaume de Conches, Philippe de Thaon, Abu-Idrisi, Bernardus Silvestris, Petrus Comestor, Thierry de Chartres, Gautier de Châtillon, Alexander Neckam, Alain de Lille, Averroes, Moshe ben Maimon, Lambert de Saint-Omer, Gervasius of Tilbury, Robert Grosseteste, Johannes de Sacrobosco, Thomas de Cantimpré, Peire de Corbian, Vincent de Beauvais, Robertus Anglicus, Juan Gil de Zámora, Perot de Garbelei, Roger Bacon, Ristoro d'Arezzo, Cecco d'Ascoli, Fazio degli Uberti, Levi ben Gershon, Konrad of Megenberg, Nicole Oresme, Petrus Aliacensis, Alfonso de la Torre, Toscanelli Lucius Ampelius, possibly a tutor or schoolmaster, authored the Liber Memorialis, an ancient text in Latin featuring an extremely concise summary—a kind of index—of universal history from earliest times to the reign of Trajan. ... Calcidius was a 4th-century Christian who translated the first part (to 53c) of Platos Timaeus from Greek into Latin around the year 321 and provided with it an extensive commentary. ... Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, Roman grammarian and philosopher, flourished during the reigns of Honorius and Arcadius (395-423). ... Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a writer of the late Latin period, whose career flourished some time during the 5th century, before the year 439. ... There are several persons called Bo thius: Philosophers: Anicius Manlius Severinus thius - to many scholars this is the Bo thius, a late-Roman writer best known for his works in philosophy and theology. ... Al-Idrisis world map from 1154. ... Bernard Silvestris, also known as Bernardus Silvestris, was a Medieval platonist philosopher and poet of the 12th century. ... Alexander of Neckam (sometimes spelled Necham or Nequam) (September 8, 1157 – 1217), was an English scholar and teacher. ... Alain de Lille (Alanus de Insulis) (c. ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... A 13th century portrait of Grosseteste. ... Johannes de Sacrobosco or Sacro Bosco (John of Holywood, c. ... The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (ca 1190 - 1264?) wrote the main encyclopedia that was used in the middle ages. ... For the Nova Scotia premier see Roger Bacon (politician). ... Cecco dAscoli (1257-1327), the popular name of Francesco degli Stabili (sometimes given as Franceso degli Stabili Cichus), a famous Italian encyclopaedist, physician and poet, Cecco (in Latin, Cichus) being the diminutive of Francesco, and Ascoli, in the marshes of Ancona, the place of the philosophers birth. ... Rabbi Levi ben Gerson (Gershon), better known as Gersonides or the Ralbag (1288—1344 CE), was a Jewish philosopher and commentator, was born at Bagnols in Languedoc. ... Portrait of Nicole Oresme: Miniature of Nicole Oresmes Traité de l’espere, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France, fonds français 565, fol. ... Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. ...

  • Poets, travellers, printers, seafarers, merchants

Snorri Sturluson, Marco Polo, Dante Alighieri, Brochard the German, Jean de Meung, Jean de Mandeville, Christine de Pizan, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Caxton, Martin Behaim, Christopher Columbus A statue of Snorri Sturluson by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland was erected at Reykholt in 1947. ... Marco Polo (September 15, 1254[1] – January 9, 1324 at earliest but no later than June 1325[2]) was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione (The Million or The Travels of Marco Polo). ... Dante redirects here. ... Jean de Meun or Jean de Meung (c. ... Jehan de Mandeville (Sir John Mandeville), the name claimed by the compiler of a singular book of travels, written in French, and published between 1357 and 1371. ... Christine de Pizan instructing her son. ... Chaucer redirects here. ... “Caxton” redirects here. ... Martin Behaim (October 6, 1459 – July 29, 1507), or Behem, was a navigator and geographer of great pretensions. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator, colonizer, and explorer and one of the first Europeans to explore the Americas after the Vikings. ...


Portuguese exploration of Africa and Asia, Columbus voyage to the Americas (1492) and finally Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation of the earth (1519-21) provided the final, practical proofs for the global shape of the earth. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... For the Presidential railcar named Ferdinand Magellan, see Ferdinand Magellan Railcar. ...


Islamic World

Further information: Islamic astronomy

Around 830 CE, Caliph al-Ma'mun commissioned a group of astronomers to measure the distance from Tadmur (Palmyra) to al-Raqqah, in modern Syria. They found the cities to be separated by one degree of latitude and the distance between them to be 66 2/3 miles and thus calculated the Earth's circumference to be 24,000 miles (about 38,600 km), a value which differs from modern estimates by about 3.6%.[62] This is a sub-article of Islamic science and astronomy. ... Abu Jafar al-Mamun ibn Harun (also spelled Almanon and el-Mâmoûn) (786 – October 10, 833) (المأمون) was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. ... Early morning panorama of Palmyra. ... Ar Raqqah (ﺍﻟﺮﻗﺔ; also spelled Rakka), city in north central Syria, capital of the Raqqah province, located on the north bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 km east of Aleppo. ...


Many Muslim scholars declared a mutual agreement (Ijma) that celestial bodies are round, among them Ibn Hazm (d. 1069), Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 1200), and Ibn Taymiya (d. 1328).[63] Ibn Taymiya said, "Celestial bodies are round—as it is the statement of astronomers and mathematicians—it is likewise the statement of the scholars of Islam". Abul-Hasan ibn al-Manaadi, Abu Muhammad Ibn Hazm, and Abul-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi have said that the Muslim scholars are in agreement that all celestial bodies are round. Ibn Taymiyah also remarked that Allah has said, "And He (Allah) it is Who created the night and the day, the sun and the moon. They float, each in a Falak." Ibn Abbas says, "A Falaka like that of a spinning wheel." The word 'Falak' (in the Arabic language) means "that which is round."[63][64] Ijmāʿ (إجماع) is an Arabic tern referring to the consensus of the ummah, the community of Muslims, those practicing Islam, or of the ulema, those learned in the relevant topic. ... Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Sa`id ibn Hazm (أبو محمد علي بن احمد بن سعيد بن حزم) (November 7, 994 – August 15, 1069) was an Andalusian Muslim philosopher and theologian of Persian descent [1] born in Córdoba, present day Spain. ... Abd-al-Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad (508-597H) (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن علي بن محمد) also known as Abu-al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi was a scholar whose family traces their lineage back to that of Abu Bakr, the famous companion of the prophet Muhammad. ... Taqi Ad-din Abu Al-abbas Ahmad Ibn abd As-salam Ibn abd Allah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Taymiya (Arabic: أبو عباس تقي الدين أحمد بن عبد السلام بن عبد الله ابن تيمية الحراني) (January 22, 1263 - 1328), was an Islamic scholar born in Harran, located in what is now Turkey, close to the Syrian border. ... Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Sa`id ibn Hazm (أبو محمد علي بن احمد بن سعيد بن حزم) (November 7, 994 – August 15, 1069) was an Andalusian Muslim philosopher and theologian of Persian descent [1] born in Córdoba, present day Spain. ... Abd-al-Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad (508-597H) (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن علي بن محمد) also known as Abu-al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi was a scholar whose family traces their lineage back to that of Abu Bakr, the famous companion of the prophet Muhammad. ... Abdullah ibn Abbas was a cousin of the prophet Muhammad. ... Arabic redirects here. ...


The Muslim scholars who held to the round earth theory used it in an impeccably Islamic manner, to calculate the distance and direction from any given point on the earth to Makkah (Mecca). This determined the Qibla, or Muslim direction of prayer. Muslim mathematicians developed spherical trigonometry which was used in these calculations.[65] Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), in his Muqaddimah, also identified the world as spherical. The later belief of Muslim scholars, like Suyuti (d. 1505) that the earth is flat represents a deviation from this earlier opinion.[63] This article is about the city in Saudi Arabia. ... Facing the Qibla at a prayer in Damascus The geometrical calculation of Qibla Qibla () is an Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays. ... Spherical triangle Spherical trigonometry is a part of spherical geometry that deals with polygons (especially triangles) on the sphere and explains how to find relations between the involved angles. ... Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun (full name, Arabic: , ) (May 27, 1332 AD/732 AH – March 19, 1406 AD/808 AH), was a famous Berber Muslim polymath: a historian, historiographer, demographer, economist, philosopher, political theorist, sociologist and social scientist born in present-day Tunisia. ... The Muqaddimah, or the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun (Arabic: مقدّمة ابن خلدون), records an early Muslim view of universal history. Many modern thinkers view it as one of the first works of sociology. ... Imam Al-Suyuti (c. ...


Modern times

Myth of the Flat Earth

Main article: Myth of the Flat Earth

The common misconception that people before the age of exploration believed that Earth was flat entered the popular imagination after Washington Irving's publication of The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828. This belief is even repeated in some widely read textbooks. Previous editions of Thomas Bailey's The American Pageant stated that "The superstitious sailors [of Columbus' crew]  ... grew increasingly mutinous...because they were fearful of sailing over the edge of the world"; however, no such historical account is known.[66] Actually, sailors were probably among the first to know of the curvature of Earth from everyday observations, for example seeing how mountains vanish below the horizon on sailing far from shore. The so-called Age of Exploration was a period from the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century, during which European ships were traveled around the world to search for new trading routes and partners to feed burgeoning capitalism in Europe. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... Thomas Andrew Bailey (December 14, 1902 - July 26, 1983) was a professor of history at Stanford University and authored many historical tomes, including the widely-used American history textbook, The American Pageant. ... The American Pageant, Seventh Edition (Brief), by Thomas Bailey and David Kennedy. ...

The Flammarion woodcut. Flammarion's caption translates to "A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet..."
The Flammarion woodcut. Flammarion's caption translates to "A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet..."

During the 19th century, the Romantic conception of a European "Dark Age" gave much more prominence to the Flat Earth model than it ever possessed historically. Image File history File links Camille Flammarion, LAtmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), p. ... Image File history File links Camille Flammarion, LAtmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), p. ... Image and text from page 163 of Latmosphère: météorologie populaire, by Camille Flammarion, 1888. ... Romantics redirects here. ... Petrarch, who conceived the idea of a European Dark Age. ...


The widely circulated woodcut of a man poking his head through the firmament of a flat Earth to view the mechanics of the spheres, executed in the style of the 16th century cannot be traced to an earlier source than Camille Flammarion's L'Atmosphère: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888, p. 163).[67] The woodcut illustrates the statement in the text that a medieval missionary claimed that "he reached the horizon where the Earth and the heavens met", an anecdote that may be traced back to Voltaire, but not to any known medieval source. In its original form, the woodcut included a decorative border that places it in the 19th century; in later publications, some claiming that the woodcut dated from the 16th century, the border was removed. According to anecdotal evidence Flammarion had commissioned the woodcut himself; certainly no source of the image earlier than Flammarion's book is known. Camille Flammarion Camille Flammarion (February 26, 1842 – June 3, 1925) was a French astronomer and author. ... For other uses, see Voltaire (disambiguation). ...


In Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians, Jeffrey Russell (professor of history at University of California, Santa Barbara) claims that the Flat Earth theory is a fable used to impugn pre-modern civilization, especially that of the Middle Ages in Europe. Today many scholars agree with Russell that the "medieval flat Earth" was an exaggeration of Medieval beliefs, which became popular in the nineteenth-century. http://id-www. ...


It should be noted, however, that Cyrano de Bergerac in chapter 5 of his The Other World The Societies and Governments of the Moon quotes St. Augustine as saying "that in his day and age the earth was as flat as a stove lid and that it floated on water like half of a sliced orange."[68] Robert Burton, in his The Anatomy of Melancholy[69] wrote: "Virgil, sometimes bishop of Saltburg (as Aventinus anno 745 relates) by Bonifacius bishop of Mentz was therefore called in question, because he held antipodes (which they made a doubt whether Christ died for) and so by that means took away the seat of hell,or so contracted it, that it could bear no proportion to heaven, and contradicted that opinion of Austin [=St. Augustine], Basil, Lactantius that held the earth round as a trencher (whom Acosta and common experience more largely confute) but not as a ball;" Thus, there is evidence that accusations of flatearthism, though somewhat whimsical (Burton ends his digression with a legitimate quotation of St. Augustine: "Better doubt of things concealed, than to contend about uncertainties, where Abraham's bosom is, and hell fire:"[citation needed]) were used to discredit opposing authorities several centuries before the 19th. This article is about the historical figure. ... Robert Burton Robert Burton (February 8, 1577 – January 25, 1640) was an English scholar and vicar at Oxford University, best known for writing The Anatomy of Melancholy. ... Front page of The Anatomy of Melancholy The Anatomy of Melancholy (Full title The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. ... Vergilius of Salzburg (born about 700 in Ireland; died 784 November 27 in Salzburg) was a holy bishop of the Diocese Salzburg. ... For the Roman general of this name, see Bonifacius. ... José de Acosta (1539–1600) was a Spanish 16th-century Jesuit missionary and naturalist in Latin America. ...


Transvaal perspective

In 1898 during his solo circumnavigation of the world Joshua Slocum encountered such a group in Durban. Three Boers, one of them a clergyman, presented Slocum with a pamphlet in which they set out to prove that the world was flat. President Kruger of the Transvaal Republic advanced the same view: "You don't mean round the world, it is impossible! You mean in the world. Impossible!"[70] “Round the world” redirects here. ... Joshua Slocum (February 20, 1844 – on or shortly after 14 November 1909) was a Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, a noted writer, and the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. ... Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904), better known as Paul Kruger and fondly known as Oom Paul (Afrikaans for Uncle Paul) was a prominent Boer resistance leader against British rule and president of the Transvaal Republic in South Africa. ... Flag of Transvaal For the Russian theme park, see Transvaal Park. ...


The Flat Earth Society

Main article: Flat Earth Society
Final Frontier Voyager or Flat Earth Society, George Grie
Final Frontier Voyager or Flat Earth Society, George Grie

The last known group of Flat Earth proponents, the Flat Earth Society, kept the concept alive and at one time claimed a few thousand followers. The last president of the Society, Charles K. Johnson, spent years examining the studies of flat and round earth theories and proposed evidence of a conspiracy against flat-earth: "The idea of a spinning globe is only a conspiracy of error that Moses, Columbus, and FDR all fought…" His article was published in the magazine Science Digest, 1980. It goes on to state, "If it is a sphere, the surface of a large body of water must be curved. The Johnsons have checked the surfaces of Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea (a shallow salt lake in southern California near the Mexican border) without detecting any curvature."[71] A rendered picture of the Flat Earth model. ... Flying-Dutchman (2006). ... A rendered picture of the Flat Earth model. ... Charles Kenneth Johnson (July 24, 1924, San Angelo, Texas - March 19, 2001, Lancaster, California) was, from 1972 until his death, the president and energetic promoter of the International Flat Earth Society, which he and his wife ran from their home in California. ... For other uses, see Conspiracy theory (disambiguation). ... Science Digest was a monthly American magazine published by the Hearst Corporation from 1937 through 1986. ...


The Society declined in the 1990s following a fire at its headquarters in California and the death of Charles K. Johnson in 2001.[72]


In 2004, a new Flat Earth Society (not directly connected to Charles K. Johnson's) was founded and currently maintains the Flat Earth Society website and forum.[73]


Other modern flat-earthers

William Carpenter (1830-1896) published "A hundred proofs the Earth is not a Globe".[74] For example, he argues that "there are rivers that flow for hundreds of miles towards the level of the sea without falling more than a few feet — notably, the Nile, which, in a thousand miles, falls but a foot. A level expanse of this extent is quite incompatible with the idea of the Earth's 'convexity'"; and that an aeronaut at the highest possible altitude will see what appears to be a concave surface "this being exactly what is to be expected of a surface that is truly level, since it is the nature of level surfaces to appear to rise to a level with the eye of the observer". For alternative meanings of Nile, see Nile (disambiguation) The Nile (Arabic: النيل an-nÄ«l), in Africa, is one of the two longest rivers on Earth. ...


English scientist Samuel Rowbotham (1816-1885), writing under the pseudonym "Parallax," published results of many experiments which tested the curvatures of water over lakes. He also produced studies which purported to show the effects of ships disappearing below the horizon can be explained by the laws of perspective in relation to the human eye.[75] Samuel Birley Rowbotham (1816 – 1864), was an English inventor and writer who wrote Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe, based on his literal interpretation of certain biblical passages, published a 16-page pamphlet (1849), which he later expanded into a 430 page book (1881) expounding his views. ...


Ibn Baz controversy

One influential modern Muslim jurist has been said to have claimed that the earth is flat, and that anyone who denies this is an unbeliever. Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz (Ibn Baz), the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was a traditionally educated cleric who suffered from blindness. In 1993, he is said to have issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, declaring, "The Earth is flat. Whoever claims it is round is an atheist deserving of punishment."[76] While the edict reportedly caused embarrassment for many Saudis, Ibn Baz issued a statement maintaining that the earth was spherical but expansive enough to be flat[77] and saying that he "only" denied Earth's rotation.[78][79] Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz (Arabic: ) was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999. ... The title of Grand Mufti (Arabic: ‎) refers to the highest official of religious law in a Sunni Muslim country. ... This article is about the visual condition. ... A fatwā (Arabic: ; plural fatāwā Arabic: ), is a considered opinion in Islam made by a mufti, a scholar capable of issuing judgments on Sharia (Islamic law). ... An animation showing the rotation of the Earth. ...


Supporters of Ibn Baz said that the book in which the flat earth claim was supposed to have been laid out does not exist, and that the entire controversy was based on one interview with Egyptian journalists. They said that Ibn Baz, as he clarified later, was referring to the surface of earth that we walk on being flat although he believed the Earth to be spherical. In Arabic, the same word is commonly used for both the earth as well as the ground. The journalist, having not paid attention to this distinction, misquoted Ibn Baz and created a story; the story was picked up by a Kuwaiti magazine (Assiyasah) and from there spread around the world. Ibn Baz was an admirer and a scholar of the works of Ibn Taymiyyah, who did not support the flat earth theory.[80] Arabic redirects here. ... Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (Arabic: )(January 22, 1263 - 1328), was a Sunni Islamic scholar born in Harran, located in what is now Turkey, close to the Syrian border. ...


Cultural references

The notion of a flat Earth continues to be referred to in a wide range of contexts.


An early mention in literature was Ludvig Holberg's comedy Erasmus Montanus (1723). Erasmus Montanus meets considerable opposition when he claims the Earth is round, since all the peasants hold it to be flat. He is not allowed to marry his fiancée until he cries "The earth is flat as a pancake". In Rudyard Kipling's The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat, the protagonists spread the rumor that a Parish Council meeting had voted in favor of a flat Earth. This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article is about the British author. ...


Fantasy fiction is particularly rich in references to the flat Earth. In C. S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader the fictional world of Narnia is "round like a table" (i.e., flat), not "round like a ball", and the characters sail toward the edge of this world. Terry Pratchett's Strata and Discworld novels (1983 onwards) are set on a flat, disc-shaped world resting on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle. For other definitions of fantasy see fantasy (psychology). ... Clive Staples Jack Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Irish author and scholar. ... The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a fantasy novel by C. S. Lewis. ... For other uses of Narnia, see Narnia (disambiguation). ... Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (born 28 April 1948) is a British fantasy and science fiction author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Strata is a comic science fiction novel by Terry Pratchett. ... This article is about the novels. ... The Discworld is the fictional setting for all of Terry Pratchetts Discworld fantasy novels. ...


See also

The Bedford Level Experiment was a series of observations carried out along a six-mile length of the Bedford Level (the Old Bedford River), Norfolk, England, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ... A Hollow Earth theory posits that the planet Earth has a hollow interior and, possibly, a habitable inner surface. ... There are many stories that inform our understanding of the history of science and technology. ... This article is about the psychological term. ... Earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae. ...

Further reading

  • Raymond Fraser (2007). When The Earth Was Flat: Remembering Leonard Cohen, Alden Nowlan, the Flat Earth Society, the King James monarchy hoax, the Montreal Story Tellers and other curious matters. Black Moss Press, ISBN 978-0-88753-439-3

Raymond Fraser is a Canadian novelist and poet. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d Russell, Jeffrey B.. The Myth of the Flat Earth. American Scientific Affiliation. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
  2. ^ Members of the Historical Association (1945). Common errors in history, General Series, G.1, London: P.S. King & Staples for the Historical Association. , pp.4–5. The Historical Association published a second list of 17 other common errors in 1947.
  3. ^ See sources quoted in this article, e.g. Klaus Anselm Vogel (1995), Jeffrey Burton Russell (1997), Reinhard Krüger (1998), also Edward Grant, David Lindberg, Daniel Woodward, and Robert S. Westman
  4. ^ http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/FlatWhyFlat.htm
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopaedia: "That the Hebrews entertained similar ideas appears from numerous biblical passages..." etc.
  6. ^ Strong's (H)7549 "considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting 'waters' above"
  7. ^ Jewish Encyclopaedia: "The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plain or a hill figured like a hemisphere, swimming on water. Over this is arched the solid vault of heaven. To this vault are fastened the lights, the stars. So slight is this elevation that birds may rise to it and fly along its expanse."
  8. ^ Browning, W.R.F. Dictionary of the Bible. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)
  9. ^ Burch, George Bosworth (1954). "The Counter-Earth". Osirus 11: 267–294. Saint Catherines Press. doi:10.1086/368583. 
  10. ^ De Fontaine, Didier (2002). "Flat worlds: Today and in antiquity". Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana, special issue 1 (3): 257–62. Retrieved on 2007-08-03. 
  11. ^ Anaximander; Fairbanks (editor and translator), Arthur, “Fragments and Commentary”, The Hanover Historical Texts Project, <http://history.hanover.edu/texts/presoc/anaximan.htm>  (Plut., Strom. 2 ; Dox. 579).
  12. ^ Hugh Thurston, Early Astronomy, (New York: Springer-Verlag), p. 118. ISBN 0-387-94107-X.
  13. ^ Lloyd, G.E.R. (1968). Aristotle: The Growth and Structure of His Thought. Cambridge Univ. Press, 162-164. 
  14. ^ Aristotle, De caelo, 297b24-31
  15. ^ Aristotle, De caelo, 297b31-298a10
  16. ^ Strabo [1917] (1960). The Geography of Strabo, in Eight Volumes, Loeb Classical Library edition, translated by Horace Leonard Jones, A.M., Ph.D., London: William Heinemann. , Vol.I Bk. I para. 20, pp.41, 43. An earlier edition is available online.
  17. ^ Odyssey, Bk. 5 393: "As he rose on the swell he looked eagerly ahead, and could see land quite near." Samuel Butler's translation is available online.
  18. ^ Van Helden, Albert (1985). Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley. University of Chicago Press, 4-5. ISBN 0-226-84882-5. 
  19. ^ Lloyd, G. E. R. (1996). Adversaries and Authorities: Investigations into Ancient Greek and Chinese Science. Cambridge University Press, 59-60. 
  20. ^ a b Natural History, 2.64
  21. ^ Ptolemy. Almagest, I.4.  as quoted in Grant, Edward (1974). A Source Book in Medieval Science. Harvard University Press, 63-4. 
  22. ^ a b Macrobius. Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, V.9-VI.7, XX., 18-24. , translated in Stahl, W. H. (1952). Martianus Capella, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury. Columbia University Press. 
  23. ^ a b Joseph, George G. (2000). The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics, 2nd edition. Penguin Books, London. ISBN 0691006598.
  24. ^ Haug, Martin and Basu, Major B. D. (1974). The Aitareya Brahmanam of the Rigveda, Containing the Earliest Speculations of the Brahmans on the Meaning of the Sacrifical Prayers. ISBN 0-404-57848-9.
  25. ^ a b c d e Needham, Volume 3, 498.
  26. ^ a b Jean-Claude Martzloff, “Space and Time in Chinese Texts of Astronomy and of Mathematical Astronomy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”, Chinese Science 11 (1993-94): 66-92 (69) (PDF).
  27. ^ Christopher Cullen, “Joseph Needham on Chinese Astronomy”, Past and Present, No. 87. (May, 1980), pp. 39-53 (42 & 49)
  28. ^ Needham, Volume 2, 193–194.
  29. ^ a b c d e Needham, Volume 2, 193.
  30. ^ Christopher Cullen, “Joseph Needham on Chinese Astronomy”, Past and Present, No. 87. (May, 1980), pp. 39-53 (42)
  31. ^ a b c d Needham, Volume 3, 499.
  32. ^ Needham, Volume 3, 415.
  33. ^ Needham, Volume 3, 227.
  34. ^ Needham, Volume 3, 413.
  35. ^ Christopher Cullen, “Joseph Needham on Chinese Astronomy”, Past and Present, No. 87. (May, 1980), pp. 39-53 (49)
  36. ^ As depicted by the (spherical) globus cruciger, on coins by Theodosius II
  37. ^ De Civitate Dei, Book XVI, Chapter 9 — Whether We are to Believe in the Antipodes, translated by Rev. Marcus Dods, D.D.; from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College
  38. ^ Cosmography, in Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids MI, 1999, p.246
  39. ^ Leo Ferrari, Augustine's Cosmography, Augustinian Studies, 27:2 (1996), 129-177. Ferrari undertook a detailed analysis of Augustine's references to the physical features of the universe and concluded that he viewed the earth as an essentially flat disc surrounded by a vast ocean.
  40. ^ Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, Book III [1], Chapter XXIV, THE ANTE-NICENE FATHERS, Vol VII, ed. Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D., American reprint of the Edinburgh edition (1979), W.B.Eerdmans Publishing Co.,Grand Rapids, MI, pp.94-95.
  41. ^ St. John Chrysostom, Homilies Concerning the Statutes, Homily IX [2], paras.7-8, in A SELECT LIBRARY OF THE NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Series I, Vol IX, ed. Philip Schaff, D.D.,LL.D., American reprint of the Edinburgh edition (1978), W.B.Eerdmans Publishing Co.,Grand Rapids, MI, pp.403-404.
  42. ^ St.Athanasius, Against the Heathen, Ch.27 [3], Ch 36 [4], in A SELECT LIBRARY OF THE NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Series II, Vol IV, ed. Philip Schaff, D.D.,LL.D., American reprint of the Edinburgh edition (1978), W.B.Eerdmans Publishing Co.,Grand Rapids, MI.
  43. ^ J. L. E. Dreyer, A History of Planetary Systems from Thales to Kepler. (1906); unabridged republication as A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler (New York: Dover Publications, 1953).
  44. ^ J.L.E. Dreyer, A History of Planetary Systems, (1906)
  45. ^ Saint Basil the Great, Hexaemeron 9 - HOMILY IX - "The creation of terrestrial animals", Holy Inocents Orthodox Church.[5]
  46. ^ B. Eastwood and G. Graßhoff, Planetary Diagrams for Roman Astronomy in Medieval Europe, ca. 800-1500, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 94, 3 (Philadelphia, 2004), pp. 49-50.
  47. ^ Bruce S. Eastwood, Ordering the Heavens: Roman Astronomy and Cosmology in the Carolingian Renaissance, (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 62-3.
  48. ^ S. C. McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1998), pp. 114, 123.
  49. ^ Isidore, Etymologiae, XIV.ii.1[6]; Wesley M. Stevens, "The Figure of the Earth in Isidore's De natura rerum", Isis, 71(1980): 268-277.
  50. ^ Isidore, Etymologiae, XIV.v.17[7].
  51. ^ Isidore, Etymologiae, IX.ii.133[8].
  52. ^ Faith Wallis, trans., Bede: The Reckoning of Time, (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Pr., 2004), pp. lxxxv-lxxxix.
  53. ^ Ælfric of Eynsham, On the Seasons of the Year, Peter Baker, trans. [9]
  54. ^ MGH, Epistolae Selectae 1, 80, pp. 178-9.[10]; translation in M. L. W. Laistner, Thought and Letters in Western Europe: A.D. 500 to 900, 2nd. ed., (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Pr., 1955), pp. 184-5.
  55. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia.[11]
  56. ^ Klaus Anselm Vogel, "Sphaera terrae - das mittelalterliche Bild der Erde und die kosmographische Revolution," PhD dissertation Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 1995, p. 19.[12]
  57. ^ When Aquinas wrote his Summa, at the very beginning (Summa Theologica Ia, q. 1, a. 1; see also Summa Theologica IIa Iae, q. 54, a. 2), the idea of a round earth was the example used when he wanted to show that fields of science are distinguished by their methods rather than their subject matter... "Sciences are distinguished by the different methods they use. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion - that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer proves it by means of mathematics, but the physicist proves it by the nature of matter. [13]"
  58. ^ E. Grant, Planets. Stars, & Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1994), pp. 626-630.
  59. ^ Summa Theologica IIa Iae, q. 54, a. 2.
  60. ^ Reinhard Krüger, Materialien und Dokumente zur mittelalterlichen Erdkugeltheorie von der Spätantike bis zur Kolumbusfahrt (1492) [14]
  61. ^ Reinhard Krüger: Zur Archäologie des globalen Raumbewußtseins)
  62. ^ Gharā'ib al-funūn wa-mulah al-`uyūn (The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes), 2.1 "On the mensuration of the Earth and its division into seven climes, as related by Ptolemy and others," (ff. 22b-23a)[15]
  63. ^ a b c History, Science and Civilization: Early Muslim Consensus: The Earth is Round.
  64. ^ Majmu'ul-Fatawa, Vol. 6, pp. 566. (In Arabic.)
  65. ^ David A. King, Astronomy in the Service of Islam, (Aldershot (U.K.): Variorum), 1993.
  66. ^ James. W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong, (Touchstone Books, 1996), p. 56
  67. ^ homepage.mac.com/kvmagruder/flatEarth/source.html.
  68. ^ The Other World The Societies and Governments of the Moon, translated by Donald Webb
  69. ^ Second Partition, Section 2, Member 3 "Air Rectified. With a Digression of the Air" The Anatomy of Melancholy
  70. ^ Joshua Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World, (New York: The Century Company, 1900), chaps. 17-18.[16]
  71. ^ The Flat-out Truth. Retrieved on 2007-09-15.
  72. ^ Donad E. Simanek, The Flat Earth.[17]
  73. ^ Flat Earth Society website and forum. Accessed April 10, 2008.
  74. ^ William Carpenter, One hundred proofs that the earth is not a globe, (Baltimore: The author, 1885).[18]
  75. ^ Parallax (Samuel Birley Rowbotham), Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe, Third edition, (London:Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.,1881).[19]
  76. ^ Youssef M. Ibrahim, "Muslim Edicts Take on New Force", New York Times, February 12, 1995.
  77. ^ Audio recording of Ibn Baz - Binbaz.org. Translation provided below.
  78. ^ [20]
  79. ^ MISCELLANEOUS Miscellaneous Is the Earth round or flat?
  80. ^ Shaykh Bin Baz on the Roundness of the Earth (with Sound) on the Shaykhs website The audio is played automatically as the page is opened: http://binbaz.org.sa/RecDisplay.asp?f=n-04-1407-0300007.htm translated... -The question and answer was translated by Aqeel Walker, a former translator for Darussalam Publications in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Introduction: The following letter reached the program (broadcast program) from Kenya, sent by our brother, the student, Ibraheem Muhammad Al-Awwal. The brother says, "I heard the program Nurun 'alad-Darb (A Light upon the Path) and I benefited greatly from it. Therefore, I wanted to send these questions to you all because their topics are very perplexing to me. The first is: Is the earth round or flat?" Shaikh Bin Baz: According to the people knowledge (scholars of Islaam) the earth is round, for indeed Ibn Hazim and a group of other scholars mentioned that there is a consensus (unanimous agreement, Ijmaa') among the people of knowledge that it is round. This means that all of it is connected together thus making the form of the entire planet like a ball. However, Allaah has spread out surface for us and He has placed firm mountains upon it and placed the animals and the seas upon it as a mercy for us. For this reason, Allaah said: "And (do they not look) at the Earth, how it was made FLAT (Sutihat)." [Al-Ghaashiyyah (88):20] Therefore, it (the Earth) has been made flat for us in regards to its surface, so that people can live on it and so that people can be comfortable upon it. The fact that it is round does not prevent that its surface has been made flat. This is because something that is round and very large, if it is made flat (its surface), then its surface will become very vast or broad (i.e. having a flat appearance). Yes."
Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Professor Sir Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd (born 1933) is a Historian of Ancient Science and Medicine at the University of Cambridge. ... Erewhon Hudibras, see Samuel Butler (poet). ... Professor Sir Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd (born 1933) is a Historian of Ancient Science and Medicine at the University of Cambridge. ... Naturalis Historia, 1669 edition, title page. ... Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, Roman grammarian and philosopher, flourished during the reigns of Honorius and Arcadius (395-423). ... Queen Elizabeth II held a globus cruciger, called the Sovereigns Orb, for her coronation portrait in 1953. ... Theodosius II Flavius Theodosius II (April, 401 - July 28, 450 ). The eldest son of Eudoxia and Arcadius who at the age of 7 became the Roman Emperor of the East. ... Marcus Dods (April 11, 1834 - April 26, 1909) was a Scottish divine and biblical scholar. ... John Louis Emil Dreyer (February 13, 1852 – September 14, 1926) was a Danish-Irish astronomer. ... The Monumenta Germaniae Historica (frequently abbreviated MGH in bibliographies and lists of sources) is a comprehensive series of carefully edited and published sources for the study of German history (broadly conceived) from the end of the Roman Empire to 1500. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Myth of the Flat Earth / Compiled by Norman Swartz (3190 words)
The physicist and the astolog both prove that the earth is round; the physicist by reference to gravity.
One is from the shape of the earth's shadow on the moon during an eclipse of the moon.
On the other hand, the ancient Hebrews, like all of their contemporaries, were flat earthers, and their flat earth cosmology is written between the lines in numerous passages of the Hebrew Bible.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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