Flat Earthism in Columbus’s Time

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17 November

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Flat Earthism in Columbus’s Time
« on: July 26, 2019, 10:53:10 PM »
‘Bottom of the Universe’
By James J Allegro

Approximately 23 page learned treatise gives considerable evidence that flat earthism was alive and well in Western European scholarship at the time of Columbus, particularly in Catholic areas including Italy and Spain.

Zacaria Lilio, the rector of Saint John Lateran Church in Rome in the 1490’s is the centrepiece of the article. He wrote a flat earth book entitled ‘Contra Antipodes’ published in Florence in 1496 to refute the propaganda accompanying Columbus’s voyages.

Lilio had an international network of allies including the human rights activist Girolomo Savonarola who was mayor of Florence when Lilio’s book was published there. Savonarola and Lilio were both critical of Pope Alexander III who was an ally of the colonialists and famously condoned the division of the Atlantic realm between the Spanish and Portuguese empires and also had Savonarola put to death.

Another ally of Lilio was his mentor Tostado in Spain, a member of the Inquisition who was an enemy of the Torquemada family who is famous for opposing sponsorship of Columbus’s voyage as the flat earthers including both Tostado and Lilio were against colonialism and for human rights. Tostado was a predecessor of Bishop Bartolommeo de las Casas who wrote a pro-indigenous history of the colonisation of Mexico in the 1500’s that severely criticised the colonisation.

Note: This link gives an abstract describing the article, but one might have to visit a library with subscriptions to read the entire article.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0073275316681799?fbclid=IwAR1KecOQufbc-6lCibADzQi_4_AJl6pjTGSdWeaNUWAtdC1oAcdWtiYSIKg&journalCode=hosa
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 12:47:09 AM by 17 November »

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17 November

  • Flat Earth Believer
  • 1318
Re: Flat Earthism in Columbus’s Time
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 12:18:48 AM »
Professor Allegro’s article is essentially a concise and sharp summary of research by William Randles who was an expert on geography in the renaissance.  This book published in 2000 contains the highlights of Randles’s 50 year career.

‘Geography, Cartography, and Nautical Science in the Renaissance’
By William Randles

Review: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Geography%2C+Cartography+and+Nautical+Science+in+the+Renaissance%3A+The...-a099012029

Table of Contents:
http://opac.regesta-imperii.de/lang_en/anzeige.php?sammelwerk=Randles%2C+Geography%2C+cartography+and+nautical+science+in+the+Renaissance

The lead and longest article is a history of geography in the West from Ancient Greece to about 1500 which states that four models of geography which coexisted throughout the Middle Ages were active in Western Europe in the 1400’s and 1500’s. One was the flat earth concept that Randles calls Homeric, and the other  three were different schools of globularism including Ptolemy and also the ancient theory of Crates of four continents on a globe.

The essay ends by describing how the currently dominant theory of a terraqueous globe rose in popularity during the 1400’s concomitant with the rise of Portuguese colonialism.

Randles’s book shows that early Christian flat earthism survived intact in Western Europe until the 1500’s, particularly within Catholic countries of southwestern Europe like Italy and Spain.


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A logical follow up to this is William Randles’s book:

‘The Unmaking of the Medieval Christian Cosmos: 1500-1760’

Review:
https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/385085?mobileUi=0&

Significantly this book contains a chapter stating that the two leading forces against flat earthism during the renaissance of Western Europe were renaissance humanists and Protestant Reformers. These latter were spherical geocentrists, but their geocentrism was close to heliocentrism in that Calvin’s commentary on Genesis (for example) explicitly calls the earth “a small globe” which makes it a mere object in space instead of the bottom half of the cosmos.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 12:48:04 AM by 17 November »

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17 November

  • Flat Earth Believer
  • 1318
Re: Flat Earthism in Columbus’s Time
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 12:50:10 AM »
‘Contra Antipodes’
By Zacaria Lilio
(1496)

(text in untranslated Latin)

https://archive.org/details/ita-bnc-in2-00001445-001