When did people stop believing the earth was flat?

16 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    when my marbles rolled away... without the sail up...

  • Tom
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Lots of primitive people thought so too.  American Indians noted on the flat desert how mountain peaks and tall rock formation tops were seen first as a traveler approached them. 

  • wereq
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    It was confirmed by Eratosthenes in like.. 238 BCE? Something like that, I'd have to go look the date up, but it had been suspected it was round for thousands of years before that. This whole flat Earth crap is actually a very recent phenomenon. 

  • 3 months ago

    "people" mostly didn't even worry about it one way or the other.  People who did, though, mostly realized its roundness, going back as far as you can go in human history.  It was never the dominant idea among people in total that the earth is flat.

    Even the ancients did not claim the earth is flat.  They might not have claimed it was round either, but they did not call it flat.  They didn't really think that big about the earth.

    It is part of the big lie, the "Myth" that Columbus was a radical thinker to believe in a round earth contrary to common belief of the time.  Makes a nice story, but it isn't true.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 3 months ago

    The earliest documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 5th century BC, when it was mentioned by ancient Greek philosophers. In the 3rd century BC, Hellenistic astronomy established the roughly spherical shape of the Earth as a physical fact and calculated the Earth's circumference. This knowledge was gradually adopted throughout the Old World during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

  • 3 months ago

    That question can't really be answered.  For one, the term "people" is ambiguous.  There was one person who actually wrote something about a non-flat planet, but that hardly constitutes "people."  Check this out:

    "The idea of a spherical Earth appeared in ancient Greek philosophy with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most pre-Socratics (6th–5th century BC) retained the flat Earth model. In the early 4th century BC Plato wrote about a spherical Earth, and by about 330 BC his former student Aristotle provided evidence for the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds. Knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on." [Wiki]

    This speaks about western civilization.  The Far East did not adapt the global Earth model until very late.  Read this:

    "In ancient China, the prevailing belief was that the Earth was flat and square, while the heavens were round,[46] an assumption virtually unquestioned until the introduction of European astronomy in the 17th century.[47][48][49] The English sinologist Cullen emphasizes the point that there was no concept of a round Earth in ancient Chinese astronomy:" [Wiki]

    And finally, there are still people who believe the Earth is flat.  Check this:

    "Members of the Flat Earth Society and other flat-Earthers claim that NASA and other government agencies conspire to delude the public into believing the Earth is spherical.[160] According to the most widely spread version of current flat-Earth theory, NASA is guarding the Antarctic ice wall that surrounds Earth.[160] Flat-Earthers argue that NASA photoshops its satellite images, based on observations that the color of the oceans changes from image to image and that continents seem to be in different places.[161] The publicly perpetuated image is kept up through a large-scale practice of "compartmentalization", according to which only a select number of individuals have knowledge about the truth."  [Wiki]

  • 3 months ago

    Educated people and those who actually observed and thought about what they saw knew it was not flat.    As a simple proof.     When you see a ship coming at you,  you see the top of the ship first,   then it gets bigger and you see lower and lower on the ship until you see it all.  You can see objects farther away the higher you are,  which is why they put a guy in the crow's nest at the top of the ship.   Same reason you can see farther on land from the top of a mountain vs on a flat plain.      If the world was flat you would see the entire ship as a tiny dot and it would gradually get bigger and bigger.   You would see it the same way even if you were standing on a dock on shore or on the top of a mast on a ship or on a mountain.    A second proof is the shadow of the earth on the moon during a lunar eclipse,  it is rounded.     A third proof is the angle of the sun as you travel north and south.    By measuring the angle and the distances you can calculate the circumference of the earth,  which was done over 2000 years ago.   Only the idiots thought the earth was flat.  

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Some where around the sixth century BC.

    George Washington Erving perpetuated the myth that in the days of Columbus that most of Europe believed the earth was flat. But by that time those who were not pheasants (slaves in our terminology) knew the earth was round. The pheasants did not worry or think about it. All they knew was the horizon was at eye level giving the impression the earth was like a shallow dish.

    So what it depended on was just how far a person planned on traveling. If you had no inclination to travel around the world it appeared to be flat and this was all the more model they needed to get where they were going.

  • 3 months ago

    Magellan or one of  those early guys who sailed around the earth figured it out. 

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.