Flat Earth

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The Flat Earth model is a view that the Earth's shape is a flat plane or disk. Most pre-modern cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including ancient Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Ancient Near East until the Hellenistic period, Ancient India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD) and China until the 17th century. It was also typically held in the cultures of the New World until the time of European contact, and a flat Earth domed by the firmament in the shape of an inverted bowl is common in pre-scientific societies.[1]

The paradigm of a spherical Earth was developed in ancient Greek astronomy, beginning with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most Pre-Socratics retained the flat Earth model. Aristotle accepted the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds around 330 BC, and knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on.[2][3][4][5]

The misconception that educated people at the time of Columbus believed in a flat Earth has been referred to as "The Myth of the Flat Earth".[6] In 1945, it was listed by the Historical Association (of Britain) as the second of 20 in a pamphlet on common errors in history.[7]

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