[Milton-L] Thinking or Rehearsing?

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Feb 22 17:33:50 EST 2008

Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> Carol Barton <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net> wrote:
> >>The world has "turned upside down" at this point in history--none of
> the old truths about the physical universe or kingly divinity or the
> flatness of the world or even the contents of the Bible (as
> "translated" by the clerisy) can be relied upon, and all one can know
> is what his own right reason tells him, as informed by the Holy
> Spirit.<<
> Just a minor point. The flatness of the world was not an old truth.
> Since at least the Greeks, educated people had known of the earth's
> sphericity.

Not a minor point _at all_. It is just one of many widespread confusions
re ancient & medieval 'worlds' that contributes to the vulgarization of
what is and what is not modern. For example, this assumption badly
distorts understanding of Columbus's 'discovery' of the 'New' World. He
everyone who knew anything knew perfectly well that the earth was a
sphere, but Columbus had accepted a minority position as to the
diameter; thus he assumed  that the boyage to the 'other' side of the
world was much shorter than it is. Another example: all the
_Renaissance_ superstitions that are by so many ascribed fallaciously to
medieval thought. Witch burning, for example, and _serous_ belief in
astrology are pretty much modern (Renaissance or post-Renaissance)


But my father, who taught in arural elementary school, once had a parent
come in really enraged that my father was teaching such blasphemy as a
spherical earth. That would have been around 1955.

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