The Globe: How the Earth Became Round by James Hannam

The Globe: How the Earth Became Round by James Hannam
English | 2023 | History | 7 MB

From Babylon to Columbus and beyond, a journey across millennia and—yes—the globe exploring how we came to understand our spherical planet.


The Globe tells the story of humanity’s quest to discover the form of the world: that the Earth is round and not flat. Philosophers in ancient Greece deduced the true shape of the Earth in the fourth century BCE; the Romans passed the knowledge to India, from where it spread to Baghdad and Central Asia. In early medieval Europe, Christians debated the matter, but long before the time of Columbus, the Catholic Church had accepted that Earth is a ball.

However, it wasn’t until the seventeenth century that Jesuit missionaries finally convinced the Chinese that their traditional square-earth cosmology was mistaken. An accessible challenge to long-established beliefs about the history of ideas, The Globe shows how the realization that our planet is a sphere deserves to be considered the first great scientific achievement.

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