Already in antiquity, Greek mathematicians realized that the Earth is round, and the idea was operative in Europe ever since. But how widespread was this belief in the centuries until the Renaissance?

It was suggested that my question may be a duplicate of this question. That is not so.

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of answer do you expect to "how widespread"? There were no statistical polls back then. It was Aristotelian orthodoxy supported by Ptolemaic astronomy, so the Church and the learned accepted it. It is likely that the rest of the populace had more naive beliefs. See also Why was China slow to recognise the sphericity of Earth? $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment. If some would venture answers, I would expect them to take into account that there were no poll - as you point out. It would be in accordance with my own expectations if any answers agreed with your comment that "it is likely that the rest of the populace had more naive beliefs." $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of When was it discovered that the Earth wasn't round? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ You can see the post : Did medieval scholars believe the Earth was round ? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ My inference was from the fact that in the Chinese tradition even scholars accepted flat Earth for a long time, so it did not conflict with everyday beliefs and activities. European peasants, who did not attend schools or read Aristotle, simply had no reason to revise naive intuitions. Sailors and merchants, on the other hand, did have such reasons. And among medieval Christian scholars a Byzantine Cosmas Indicopleustes was the only defender of flat Earth. In the West medieval flat Earth is a modern myth. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 21:42


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