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Evidence for knowledge of the Earth as a globe (& its orbit) from the 3rd Century AD (Tertullian)

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posted on May, 23 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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I've been fascinated, reading through some of the early church fathers' writings, as well as the Gnostics, and came across evidence which surprised me greatly, being proof that early in the Third Century AD, it was known to the learned that the Earth was a globe (described as an 'orb'), and that it has an orbit (described as a 'circuit').

The quotes come from Tertullian, in the essay he composed titled "The Law of Change, or Mutation, Universal." I include several quotes below. It's quite amazing also, to see the seeds of thought concerning evolution, in the document overall - he stresses that the world by definition is in flux, always changing, and that mutation occurs quite naturally in all aspects of nature. In places he seems to refer to plate tectonics, along with references to immense changes in sea levels.

I really didn't realise that such wisdom was available to the folk of the Third Century, but here it is. I've literally only just started reading this stuff - I expect there will be more surprises along the way! (There are dozens upon dozens of documents to go through)



To change her habit is, at all events, the stated function of entire nature.




Things which, in diversity, tend to unity, are diverse by demutation. In short, it is their vicissitudes which federate the discord of their diversity. Thus it will be by mutation that every “world” will exist whose corporate structure is the result of diversities, and whose attemperation is the result of vicissitudes.




There was a time when her whole orb, withal, underwent mutation, overrun by all waters. To this day marine conchs and tritons’ horns sojourn as foreigners on the mountains, eager to prove to Plato that even the heights have undulated. But withal, by ebbing out, her orb again underwent a formal mutation; another, but the same.




Many other such detriments besides have made innovations upon the fashion of our orb, and moved (particular) spots (in it).




For in primitive days not only was the earth, for the greater part of her circuit, empty and uninhabited; but if any particular race had seized upon any part, it existed for itself alone.




How large a portion of our orb has the present age reformed!




In truth, our orb is the admirably cultivated estate of this empire; every aconite of hostility eradicated; and the cactus and bramble of clandestinely crafty familiarity31 wholly uptorn; and (the orb itself) delightsome beyond the orchard of Alcinoüs and the rosary of Midas. Praising, therefore, our orb in its mutations, why do you point the finger of scorn at a man?




SOURCE




edit on MayMonday1615CDT02America/Chicago-050007 by FlyInTheOintment because: clarification, phraseology




posted on May, 23 2016 @ 02:13 PM
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Eratosthenes, a Greek, (276-198 BC) worked out that the earth is a globe, using a stick and a deep well! in miles his earth's diameter came to 25,000, its actually 24,901.55 miles, not bad for a man of his time. (google)



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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Wait...I thought it was flat?!? I saw it on YouTube, dammit!



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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Even the Sumerians knew the earth was a sphere.

Tertullian was a learned man, even if he was a hateful misogynist.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: pikestaff

Well clearly I don't know my history then!


I suppose ths information travelled about the circles of 'wise men', and of course there are always genii who can devise experiments independently. I suppose one has to wonder why there was such a massive deterioration in the generally appreciated levels of knowledge in society over the next thousand years or so.

Oh wait, it was corruption in the church that caused that. I almost forgot!


PS - I'm not anti-religion, just anti-corruption.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

answersingenesis.org... ng-back-astronomy/the-universe-confirms-the-bible/



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 04:24 PM
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originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
I suppose one has to wonder why there was such a massive deterioration in the generally appreciated levels of knowledge in society over the next thousand years or so.

Perhaps there wasn't. Educated people in the Middle Ages knew that the world was round.
The fact plays an important part in Dante's Divine Comedy. The poet is taken to the centre of the earth at the end of the Inferno. Then, in the Purgatorio, he carries on past the centre and suddenly finds himself climbing upwards, ending up at the antipodes to Jerusalem.
When Columbus proposed his voyage, the most serious opposition did not come from people who thought the world was flat. It came from people who knew the world was a globe and believed (quite rightly) that Columbus was seriously underestimating its diameter and the distance between western Europe and the coast of China.


edit on 23-5-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 04:34 PM
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originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
IThe quotes come from Tertullian, in the essay he composed titled "The Law of Change, or Mutation, Universal."

In fact that was a chapter in his work "On the pallium".
Here is a less confusing source; On the pallium


edit on 23-5-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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a reply to: Klassified


Tertullian was a learned man, even if he was a hateful misogynist.


Good to hear you knew him personally, always nice to be in the loop. Mysoginist? Ah, by that you mean, "He was a product of his time"...?

I understand your prejudices Klassified, but I can't believe how far out you've gone.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 05:11 PM
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we believe what we hear but i have to ask the question why would anyone believe the world was flat when the evidence was right there in front of everyone all the time?

that will be the moon.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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pythagoras knew more in the 5th century BC

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

well...not really.

Mesopotamian culture first saw the earth as a disk on the ocean, enclosed in a spherical sky. Later on they used various 3 dimensional shapes to describe the Earth, including ziggurats. Their cosmology seemed to represent more of a religious/political system.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 07:15 PM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
Wait...I thought it was flat?!? I saw it on YouTube, dammit!


Shhhh. Let the OP run with it....We all saw those videos. Dang flat earth deniers . Even the Greeks were into the fake "globe" . Read : oblate spheroid.
Peace.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 07:32 PM
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Good to hear you knew him personally, always nice to be in the loop. Mysoginist? Ah, by that you mean, "He was a product of his time"...?

I understand your prejudices Klassified, but I can't believe how far out you've gone.


In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die… Woman, you are the gate to hell. - Tertullian

I don't need to know him personally. All I need do is read what he wrote.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 07:36 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Klassified

well...not really.

Mesopotamian culture first saw the earth as a disk on the ocean, enclosed in a spherical sky. Later on they used various 3 dimensional shapes to describe the Earth, including ziggurats. Their cosmology seemed to represent more of a religious/political system.

Maybe I should say the general consensus in what I've read about them is, they understood the earth was not flat, and "seemed" to understand it had an orbit.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 11:55 PM
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Kantzveldt had an intriguing theory that Akhenaten's cult knew the earth was round and expressed it in religious artwork.



a reply to: Klassified
However, the Sumerians (and their cultural descendents) believed that the earth was inside of a sphere. The sky was held up by mountains.



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 12:29 AM
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www.loc.gov...

That was published in 1513, most of Astronomers during that time accepted that Earth did not move, and was the center of all orbits as it seems.



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: SargonThrall


However, the Sumerians (and their cultural descendents) believed that the earth was inside of a sphere. The sky was held up by mountains.

Point taken, and nod to BFFT as well. I've often wondered how much of that is more allegory, rather than their actual cosmogony. The bible for instance, has some interesting ways of explaining things(see book of Job), yet reading those in context it's not hard to understand much of it is metaphorical. I think the Sumerians writings are similar. I think they did understand our solar system better than we think. But alas, it is just my opinion. I should have qualified my original statement.

edit on 5/24/2016 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 12:28 PM
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originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment
a reply to: pikestaff

Well clearly I don't know my history then!


I suppose ths information travelled about the circles of 'wise men', and of course there are always genii who can devise experiments independently. I suppose one has to wonder why there was such a massive deterioration in the generally appreciated levels of knowledge in society over the next thousand years or so.

Oh wait, it was corruption in the church that caused that. I almost forgot!


PS - I'm not anti-religion, just anti-corruption.



Not bubble bursting as others have since covered, but it's not even the church. in fact if you are in America you probably thought everyone thought it was flat due to some really shoddy words in a school textbook.

en.wikipedia.org...


Although the misconception was frequently refuted in historical scholarship since at least 1920, it persisted in popular culture and in some school textbooks into the 21st century. An American schoolbook by Emma Miller Bolenius published in 1919 has this introduction to the suggested reading for Columbus Day (12 October):

When Columbus lived, people thought that the earth was flat. They believed the Atlantic Ocean to be filled with monsters large enough to devour their ships, and with fearful waterfalls over which their frail vessels would plunge to destruction. Columbus had to fight these foolish beliefs in order to get men to sail with him. He felt sure the earth was round.[34]

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.[35]



posted on May, 24 2016 @ 12:34 PM
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Interesting thread, i read about this a few mths ago, that the world could be concave.


www.wildheretic.com...


There are six pieces of direct evidence, that I know of, which purport to show that we live inside a concave Earth (Dyson sphere). None of this evidence is 100% conclusive at the moment, but one item is very close. There are also three pieces of indirect evidence which by process of elimination usually rule out the three other models – convex heliocentric, convex geocentric, and flat earth.



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