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When the Earth Was Flat - 
      Dirk L. Couprie

When the Earth Was Flat

Studies in Ancient Greek and Chinese Cosmology

This book is a sequel to Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology (Springer 2011). With the help of many pictures, the reader is introduced into the way of thinking of ancient believers in a flat earth. Les mer
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This book is a sequel to Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology (Springer 2011). With the help of many pictures, the reader is introduced into the way of thinking of ancient believers in a flat earth. The first part offers new interpretations of several Presocratic cosmologists and a critical discussion of Aristotle's proofs that the earth is spherical. The second part explains and discusses the ancient Chinese system called gai tian. The last chapter shows that, inadvertently, ancient arguments and ideas return in the curious modern flat earth cosmologies.
FAKTA
Utgitt:
Forlag: Springer International Publishing AG
Innbinding: Innbundet
Språk: Engelsk
Sider: 361
ISBN: 9783319970516
Utgave: 1st ed. 2018
Format: 24 x 16 cm
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VURDERING
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Spherical versus Flat

Foreword

Acknowledgements

References

Introduction

Chapter 1 Preliminaries on Sources and Methodology

Sources

Methodology

References

Part One Ancient Greece

Chapter 2 Peculiarities of Presocratic Flat Earth Cosmology

The shape of the earth

Arguments concerning the shape of the earth

Geographical issues

The tilt of the celestial axis

The alleged tilt of the earth

Climatological issues

Falling on a flat earth

Distance of the heavens

Temporal issues

References

Chapter 3 Anaximander's Images

Introduction

The cosmic tree

The tilted tree

The reversal in the relationship between air and fire

Tamed fire

Turning wheels

Two images for escaping fire

Tilted wheels

References

Chapter 4 Anaximander's Phenomenological Astronomy

Closing fire spots

Phases of the moon

Lunar eclipses

Solar eclipses

References

Chapter 5 Anaximander's Numbers

Introduction

An ordered universe

Anaximander's numbers of the heavenly bodies

Tannery and the standard interpretation

The problem of the sun's distance

Attempts to explain the origin of Anaximander's cosmological numbers

An interpretation dating from before Tannery

The sun's angular diameter

Skeptical conclusions and a possible way out

A new interpretation: the numbers as a calculator for the lunar cycle

Conclusions

References

Chapter 6 Anaximenes' Cosmology

The cap simile; Graham and the top hat

The tilted earth interpretation of the cap simile

Bicknell's interpretation of the cap simile

McKirahan's interpretation of the cap simile

Fehling and the flat heaven

A fresh look at the doxography

Anonymous texts and Kirk's interpretation

Towards an interpretation of Anaximenes' cosmology

Concluding remarks

References

Chapter 7 Xenophanes' Cosmology

A cosmological quotation from Xenophanes' poem

Xenophanes' text in the interpretation of Aristotle, Achilles Tatius, Empedocles, pseudo-Aristotle, and Simplicius

Xenophanes' text in the interpretation of Aetius, Strabo, and Cicero

Xenophanes' text in the interpretation of Diogenes of Oinoanda, Hippolytus, and pseudo-Plutarch

Xenophanes' text in the interpretation of some recent authors

Xenophanes' text in the interpretation of Mourelatos

The nature and movements of the celestial bodies

The interpretation of an enigmatic text: Drozdek and Mourelatos

Mourelatos' interpretation illustrated by Graham

A cosmic railway system and a cosmic ballet

The different paths of the heavenly bodies according to Mourelatos and Graham

Some more textual and conceptual problems

The earth not infinitely extended, neither in surface nor in depth

The two meanings of

A spherical cosmos and a hemispherical heaven

The "many suns"

The curved paths of the celestial bodies

All disappearances of heavenly bodies are quenchings

Final remarks

References

Chapter 8 Anaxagoras on The Milky Way and Lunar Eclipses

Introduction

The Milky Way

Anaxagoras on the Milky Way

Introductory remarks on eclipses

Anaxagoras' alleged explanation of lunar eclipses

The incompatibility of Anaxagoras' theory of the Milky Way with his alleged explanation of lunar eclipses

Invisible heavenly bodies below the moon

Attempts to understand the invisible bodies as an additional cause of lunar eclipses

Invisible bodies as Anaxagoras' only theory of lunar eclipses

The possible origin of a misunderstanding

Concluding remarks

References

Addendum to Chapter 8: "Crepuscular" Lunar Eclipses During Anaxagoras' Lifetime

References

Chapter 9 Anaxagoras on The Light and Phases of the Moon

Introduction

Could Anaxagoras have given the correct explanation of the moon's phases?

Anaxagoras on the light of the moon in Aetius 2.25 and analogous texts

Anaxagoras on the light of the moon in Aetius 2.28 and analogous texts

Anaxagoras on the light of the moon in Aetius 2.29 and analogous texts

Anaxagoras on the light of the moon in Aetius 2.30 and analogous texts

Problems and past suggestions to solve them

The ambiguity of "received light"

The moon's light and phases according to Anaxagoras' suggestions for a new interpretation

Conclusion

References

Chapter 10 Anaxagoras and the Measurement of the Sun and Moon

The doxographical evidence

Did Anaxagoras measure the size of the sun and moon with the help of a solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses; umbra, penumbra, and antumbra

Graham and Hintz on the eclipse of February 17, 478 BC

Further critical remarks on Graham and Hintz' attempt

Fehling's attempt

An extrapolation of Thales' method to measure the height of a pyramid

References

Chapter 11 Aristotle's Arguments for the Sphericity of the Earth

Introduction

The first empirical argument

The second empirical argument

The third empirical argument

Empirical arguments that Aristotle did not use

Aristotle on empirical arguments for a flat earth

Theoretical arguments for a spherical earth

Final remarks

References

Part Two Ancient China

Chapter 12 An Ancient Chinese Flat Earth Cosmology. Main Features

The gai tian model of a flat earth and a flat heaven

The movements of the heavenly bodies and the location of Zhou

The shadow rule and the fundamental cosmic measurements

Some more calculations

The incorrectness of the shadow rule

The horizon and the rising and setting sun as optical illusions

Questionable interpretations of the heavens as an optical illusion

The heaven as an optical illusion and the range of visibility

The interrelation of the range of visibility and the area of sunlight

Another interpretation of the three-dimensional shape of sunlight

The size of the area of sunlight (first approach); the circle of the equinox

The size of the area of sunlight (second approach); the xuan ji

How we see the sun; the shadow rule once again

The limited applicability of the shadow rule

The cardinal directions

References

Chapter 13 An Ancient Chinese Flat Earth Cosmology. Details and Calculations

The location of Zhou

Measuring the sun's diameter

The extension of the solar illumination

Geographical measurements

Sunrise and sunset seen from Zhou

The seven heng and the limit of the cosmos

An extrapolation: the southern pole

The heaven shaped like a truncated conical rain hat?

A short evaluation of the gai tian system in the Zhou bi

References

Chapter 14 Ancient Chinese Versus Greek Flat Earth Cosmology

Two kinds of flat earth cosmology compared

Greek influence on the gai tian flat earth cosmology?

References

Chapter 15 Two Appendices: Cosmas Indicopleustes and Samuel Birley Rowbotham

Cosmas Indicopleustes and the shadow rule

Rowbotham: the world not a globe

References

List of Abbreviations

List of Illustrations

Quotations from Ancient Greek and Roman Authors

Quotations from the Zhou bi and Ancient Chinese Authors

Bibliography
Dirk L. Couprie is a retired scholar (University of Leiden). Doctoral dissertation at University of Amsterdam with a thesis on Anaximander.Current position: leader of a project on Presocratic Philosophy at the philosophical department of the faculty of philosophy and arts, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.Areas of work: Presocratic philosophy, more especially Presocratic cosmology; also ancient cosmology in a broader perspective (ancient Egyptian, ancient Jewish, ancient Chinese).