Christian Dark ages: A medieval flat earth?


I just uploaded a video dealing with the question whether or not the people in medieval Christian Europe believed the earth was flat.

I would be grateful if you watched it and gave your own thoughts on the historical subject in the forums comment section.

Good video, my favorite thing about it is the frequent citation of “Galileo Goes to Jail.” That encourages people to read the book, where they can get more details. As somebody who likes details, I would have appreciated more quotations from medieval writers (quotations from their actual writings) demonstrating that they believed in a round earth. It’s one thing to just claim, gratuitiously, “Thomas Aquinas believed in a round earth.” It’s a lot more powerful (in my opinion) to show them his words on the subject: “the astronomer and the physicist…[both] prove the same conclusion - that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer proves it by means of mathematics, but the physicist proves it by the nature of matter.” These are very nearly the first words of the Summa Theologiae, his greatest work: And also notice: he gives that as a “for instance,” which means he expected his readers to already know this as a given. This is very good evidence that medieval Catholics knew the world was round.

I also think it’s noteworthy that the round earth appears on early Catholic imagery. For example, this coin is from the time period when Rome was Catholic, and it depicts a cross intersecting a round globe (next to the emperor’s head). We’re talking the mid-to-late 300s here, and Catholics knew so well that the earth was round, it showed up on our coins!

The serious history I have read says about the same thing as the video.

Hi again Daniel!

Hope your well and thx for the tips. I agree that using the primary sources like Aquinas texts would have given a more convicing impact. I should probably tell that I made this video out of desperation after having to put my Galileo video on ice for a time. This is why I almost only use Galileo goes to jail as source material in the video.

And btw if you´t know, heres video on things that im planning to post the comming weeks.

Btw when are you going to post your next youtube video? U havent posted anything in a while.

Best wishes and hope you have a great weekend.


Great video. Well made and very clear. I subscribed to your channel :slight_smile:

I’m not sure. I tend to do my projects in spurts, and right now my project is getting all "A"s in my final semester of college. I was thinking about doing a slightly more in-depth video about early English bible translations, though. I’ve done a lot more research since I made my video “Myths that Protestants Tell About the Bible,” which is partly about this subject, and I would like to make my research available. In that video, I busted a myth that some Protestants tell, which goes something like this: the Catholic Church used to forbid having the Bible in English, and it is only due to a non-Catholic guy named John Wycliffe that the Bible first got translated. Well, in my video on this subject, I named one Catholic translator from before the Wycliffe, a guy named Richard Rolle, and I quoted from his version of the Psalms. But it’s been six years and I know a lot more now than I knew then. (Hopefully I’ll know even more six More years from now!) I think I could make a better video now, and name more English Bible translators from before Wycliffe, such as St. Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, Aelfric of Eynsham, and Aelfric of Bath.

I could also name some pre-Wycliffite translations of the New Testament, such as the Powell Version (containing all of St. Paul’s letters), the Paues Version (containing all the other letters plus Acts of the Apostles), the Rewle Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the Pepysian Harmony, the Midland Psalter, and more than one Catholic translation of the Book of Revelation, all of which were Catholic translations from the New and Old Testaments from before the Wycliffe Bible. I could not only name these versions, but quote from them and discuss evidence that these translations were published and in use before Wycliffe’s bible existed. So that’s what I’m Thinking about doing, but I’ll probably put something up about it on my website first. Thanks for urging me to keep it up!

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