“What is the truth of the matter regarding the claim that people in the Middle Ages thought the earth was flat?”
You want the truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
I kid, I kid. The truth is that no one believed the earth was flat. No one. And yet, that’s what we were taught growing up. Our little impressionable minds were taught that the Europeans didn’t want Christopher Columbus to fall off the side of the world, so they tried to keep him from leaving. You know, to save his life! Aww, how sweet and innocent those poor Europeans were. Yeah–no. That’s not what happened. Actually, they knew the world was spherical because a philosopher proved it to be so. So, how did the myth come about? A few people claimed, by the work of so called ‘famous and well respected’ men, that everyone believed the world was flat. Eventually the thought caught on and men who actually had followers and a lot of respect claimed the idea was true. And the people started believing. But, keep in mind, this is way past the time of Columbus. People did eventually believe the world was flat–but only because it was shoved down their throats, and no one bothered to do any research. And that’s how the myth is now in most student textbooks. The sad thing is, that even with the availability to research at our fingertips, we’d rather just look at some words on a piece of paper (or screen) and believe it to be true. I fell for the myth all my life–that is until I watched lesson 177 in the Western Civilization on the Ron Paul Curriculum. And since I’ve now finished the first part of the course, I’m looking forward to the second part.
Western Civ. 180