Cosmas Indicopleustes, Topographia Christiana. Sixth-century manuscript.

Cosmas Indicopleustes, Topographia Christiana. Sixth-century manuscript.

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Not a few early twentieth-century cultural histories conceive of the development of humanity in modern times as a northward shift of the civilizational centre. In this thinking, they transform into narrative and geography the static image of a cosmos constructed along one axis of the globe, based on the Christian story of salvation. In this notion...

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Context 1
... at its foot lay the peaks of all (other) mountains. The Flood rose only to the foot of this mountain, although it covered the peaks of other mountains" (Beck 1951, 36-37). In Late Antiquity, the Alexandrian travel author Cosmas Indicopleustes had plausible explanations for the conception of the world as a disc with a holy mountain at its centre ( fig. 4). In his Topographia Christiana (550), which polemicized against the Ptolemaic worldview, he explained natural phenomena like, for example, the shortness of summer nights thus: the sun is higher in the sky in the summer and the world-mountain is tapered towards its top, allowing for more sun. Later, Dante's Divina Commedia (1307-1321) ...


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