When did we first understand the world was not flat?

flat_earth2Most of us have heard of flat-earth beliefs. It is commonly understood that the early explorers were always fearful of falling off the edge of the earth. I certainly “knew” that everyone, with the exception of some early sceptics, believed in the flat-earth model until the last couple of centuries.

Well, it turns out that is bunkum.

When Columbus embarked on his epic voyage in 1492, the only question-mark was how big the globe was, not whether it was a globe. In fact, for the past 2,500 years or so philosophers and scientists have believed earth was a globe.

The flat-earth fiction was actually started in the 1800s as part of an ideological conflict between science and religion.

You might like to have a look at these references:

 

Did Medieval People Believe in a Flat Earth? http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/historicalmyths/a/histmyths7.htm
How the Myth of the Flat-Earth Dogma Started the Religion-Science War http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-j-rossano/starting-a-war-with-a-fla_b_707471.html
Flat Earth Theory http://www.universetoday.com/48753/flat-earth-theory/
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