How the Greeks demonstrated that Earth was round more than 2,000 years ago

“Flat-earthers” will live and die by their beliefs, believing that Planet Earth is utterly false, even though it is evident that the planet is round and spherical.

Even while it could seem pointless to participate in such discussions if you are pulled into one that causes you to doubt your own reasoning or common sense, keep in mind that the Greeks established that the Earth was around 2000 years ago.

They accomplished it all while remaining cozy in their own house.

The circumference of the Earth was found to be precisely 40,030 km by the middle of the 20th century, but more than 2,000 years earlier, in ancient Greece, a mathematician by the name of Eratosthenes arrived at the same exact figure using nothing more than a stick.

Eratosthenes, in addition to being a mathematical genius, oversaw the library in Alexandria, the capital of the Greek empire. He made this discovery when he learned that Syene, a nearby metropolis to the south, did not throw any vertical shadows at noon on the summer solstice.

This was due to the sun being squarely overhead, or at its zenith, as it were. In order to determine whether this also applied to Alexandria, Eratosthenes put a stick in the ground on June 21 and watched to see if a shadow appeared at noon. One shadow, with a measurement of seven degrees, was visible.

Based on this reasoning, the Earth must be curved if sunrays are falling at the same angle and time of day on a stick that casts a shadow in Alexandria but not in Syene. Eratosthenes and later his contemporaries were already aware of this.

The renowned philosopher Aristotle confirmed the idea of a “spherical Earth” several centuries after the Greek philosopher Pythagoras first proposed it in 500 BC.

This is where the rigorous mathematics come into play: Eratosthenes could calculate the “circumference of the entire planet” using his discovery that the Earth was round.

Alexandria and Syene are located seven degrees apart on the 360-degree surface of Earth because of the seven-degree variation in shadow length between the two cities. Eratosthenes employed a man to travel the distance between Alexandria and Syene in order to verify this; he subsequently discovered that “they were 5,000 stadia apart,” or 800 kilometers, apart.

Earth’s circumference, which The Independent states is “7.2 degrees is 1/50 of 360 degrees,” could have been determined by Eratosthenes with a few basic measurements. Eight hundred times fifty is forty thousand kilometers.

Thus, the circumference of our small green globe was found by a man from Ancient Greece without the need of sophisticated equipment or substantial government financing. He only needed a stick and his thoughts.

Would you like to help Greece High Definition achieve its goals? Would you please think about contributing to our website? It’s difficult to rely just on advertisements, so your donations will enable us to keep giving students everywhere access to the greatest free cultural, tourist, and educational resources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *