Christopher Columbus -- and a Flat World
Posted by: Rose Red
N 47° 36.395 W 122° 20.483
10T E 549502 N 5272784
Quick Description: The notion that most people in Christopher Columbus’s day believed that the world was flat is quite nonsensical. It is "widely dispersed misinformation" -- a legend.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 2:34:38 PM
Waymark Code: WM53CY
According to Tom Burnam in “The Dictionary of Misinformation,” the notion that most people in Christopher Columbus’s day believed that the world was flat is quite nonsensical. Not since the days of ancient Greece had anyone of consequence proposed that the earth was not a sphere.
First advanced by the Pythagoreans in the 6th Century B.C., the theory that the world was round was proved by Ptolemy in the 2nd Century A.D. He pointed out that the shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse is invariably rounded. He further adduced that the mast of an ship approaching from the sea is visible before the hull.
Medieval theologians readily accepted the classic theory. The sphere is regarded as the most nearly perfect form; therefore, God would most certainly have made the world in this shape.
According to Wikipedia, "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."
The statue of Christopher Columbus by sculptor Douglas Bennett is located on the Seattle Waterfront.
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