Stephen C. Carlson
scarlson at mindspring.com
Fri Jul 19 00:50:44 EDT 2002
At 10:48 PM 7/18/02 +0200, Peter Kirk wrote:
>Well, certainly some of the (relatively) ancients knew that the earth was
>round, i.e. spherical. One of the Greek philosophers calculated its size
>quite accurately by noting the difference in the height of the sun between
>Alexandria and Aswan. Augustine of Hippo and Dante both clearly taught that
>the earth was spherical. If Columbus' contemporaries really believed that
>the earth was flat, they were almost as out of touch as today's flat-earthers.
It is my understanding that the source of the misinformation that
Columbus's educated contemporaries thought the earth was flat goes
back to no further than Washington Irving's biography of Columbus
in 1828. One can read more about it in Jeffrey Burton Russell,
INVENTING THE FLAT EARTH (New York, 1991).
The actual dispute was about the size of the earth and whether it
was small enough to sail from Spain to the Indies across the
Now, back to your regularly scheduled Hebrew.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson at mindspring.com
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
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