Who proved that the Earth is round?

shape of the Earth - our home - worried humanity for a long time.Today, every schoolchild has no doubt that the planet is spherical.But this knowledge went a long time, went through the church anathema and the courts of the Inquisition.Today, people wonder who proved that the Earth is round.After all, the lessons of history and geography are not liked everyone.Let's try to find the answer to this intriguing question.


Many research papers have claimed the idea that the famous discovery of America by Christopher Columbus mankind believed that living on a flat earth.However, this hypothesis does not hold for two reasons.

  1. great explorer discovered a new continent, instead sailed to Asia.If he had dropped anchor off the coast of present India, it could be called a man who proved sphericity of the planet.The discovery of the New World is not a confirmation of the round shape of the earth.
  2. Long before the epoch-making voyages of Columbus there were people who doubted that the planet is fla
    t, and they brought their arguments as proof.It is likely that the sailor was familiar with the works of some ancient authors, and the knowledge of the ancient sages were not lost.

Round Is the Earth?

Different people have their own ideas about the structure of the world and the cosmos.Before answering the question of who proved that the Earth is round, should be familiar with other versions.The earliest theory mirostroeniya argued that the earth was flat (as she saw people).The movement of the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars) are explained by the fact that their planet was the center of the cosmos and the universe.

In ancient Egypt, the earth is a disk lying on four elephants.They, in turn, standing on a giant turtle floating in the sea.It is not yet born who discovered that the Earth is round, but the theory of the wise men of Pharaoh could explain the causes of earthquakes and floods, sunrise and sunset.

Greeks also had their own ideas about the world.Earth disk in their understanding was laid celestial spheres, which were bound by invisible threads of the star.The moon and the sun are considered gods - Selene and Helios.Yet in books Pannekoek and Dreyer's collected writings of the ancient Greek sages who contradicted then accepted views.Eratosthenes and Aristotle were the ones who discovered that the Earth is round.

Arab scholars also famous for accurate knowledge of astronomy.They have created a table motions of the stars are so accurate that even caused doubts about the authenticity.Arabs pushed their observations society change of the structure of the world and the universe.

Evidence nodularity celestial bodies

wonder what guided scientists, denying observations of the people around them?Anyone who proved that the Earth is round, drew attention to the fact that if it were flat, the light would have been visible in the sky at the same time for everyone.But in practice, all knew that many of the stars that are visible in the valley of the Nile, it is impossible to make out over Athens.Sunny day in the Greek capital is longer than, for example, in Alexandria (This is due to the curvature in the direction of north-south and east-west).

scientist who proved that the Earth is round, noticed that the object while moving away, leaving visible only the upper part of his (for example, on the shore noticed the mast of the ship, not the body).It is only logical that if the planet is a ball shape instead of a flat object.And Plato considered a strong argument in favor of the sphericity of the fact that the ball - is the ideal form.

Modern evidence nodularity

Today we have the technical tools that allow you to not only watch the heavenly bodies, but up into the sky and see our planet from outside.Here are some more evidence that it is not flat.It is known that during a lunar eclipse blue planet closes a night light.A shadow - round.A still different masses consisting Earth seek down, giving it a spherical shape.

Science and church

Vatican admitted that the Earth is round, quite late.Then, when it was impossible to deny the obvious.Early European writers initially rejected this theory as one that is contrary to Scripture.In times of persecution of Christianity succumbed not only to other religions and pagan cults.All the scientists who carried out various experiments, observations made, but did not believe in one God, were considered heretics.While manuscripts were destroyed and entire libraries, destroyed temples and statues, art.The holy fathers thought that people do not need science, only Jesus Christ - the greatest source of wisdom, and in the holy books with enough information to life.Geocentric theory of the structure of the world as the church was considered incorrect and dangerous.

Kozma Indicopleustes described the Earth as a kind of box, which rests on the bottom of the rock, inhabited by people.The sky is the "cover", but it was fixed.The moon, the stars and the sun moved across the sky and angels hid behind a high mountain.Above this complex structure rested the kingdom of heaven.

some unknown geographer from Ravenna described our planet as a flat object, surrounded by the ocean, endless desert and mountains, behind which hides the sun, moon and stars.Isidore (bishop of Seville) in 600 AD in his work did not rule out the spherical shape of the Earth.Bede was based on the works of Pliny, therefore declared that the sun over the earth, that they have the shape of a sphere, and that space is not geocentric.


So, going back to Columbus, we can say that his way was not based solely on intuition.Not wanting to diminish the merits of the great traveler, we can say that in India, it would lead the knowledge of his era.But society has not rejected the spherical shape of our house.

first thought about the Earth sphere expressed the Greek philosopher Eratosthenes, who in the fourth century BC, measured the radius of the planet.Accuracy of calculations it was only one percent!I check it guesses Ferdinand Magellan in the sixteenth century, having made his famous voyage around the world.Who proved that the Earth is round?Theoretically it did Galileo Galilei, who, incidentally, was convinced that it was she who revolves around the sun and not vice versa.