Who Invented The Globe

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Who Invented The Globe
Who Invented The Globe

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Video: Globe Making: How the World is Made (1955) | British Pathé 2023, January

For a long time, humanity hesitated: is the Earth a plate on three whales, or, according to the opinion of the progressive minds of that era, does it have the shape of a ball? But already in the third century BC, after the proofs given by Aristotle and Eratosthenes, all doubts about the three-dimensionality of the planet disappeared.

Who invented the globe
Who invented the globe

Praglobus Crateta

The first who tried to create a three-dimensional model of the Earth was the ancient Greek philosopher Cratet Mullsky. In 150 BC, he presented his vision of the world order to the judgment of society: on his globe, two oceans divided the earth's sphere along and across the equator, washing the shores of four continents.

The globe has not survived to this day, but Cratet's hypothesis was one of the most authoritative for a very long time - more than a thousand years, until the research of scientists and the experience of travelers led cartographers to understand that the world does not look so schematic. Clearer ideas about the boundaries of continents, poles, climatic zones led to the creation of a new model of the Earth.

Earth apple

Martin Beheim was a prominent scientist in 14th century Germany. He drew his knowledge of the world from the great astronomers of his time and from long sea expeditions. So, in 1484, he, together with a team of Portuguese sailors, participated in a journey that opened the lands of West Africa to the world. Subsequently, Beheim received the position of court cartographer and astronomer in Lisbon, and it was to him, before his main discovery in life, that Christopher Columbus came for advice.

Once in his native Nuremberg in 1490, the scientist met with a passionate lover of travel and geographical science, Georg Holzschuer, a member of the local city council. Inspired by Beheim's stories about the African expedition, the official persuaded him to start creating a globe on which all the knowledge of modern cartography would be displayed.

Work on the half-meter "Earth apple", as the scientist called it, dragged on for four long years. A clay ball covered with parchment was painted by a local artist from maps provided to him by Beheim. In addition to the borders of states and seas, drawings of coats of arms, flags and even images of African aborigines, exotic for a European, were applied to the globe. For the convenience of sailors and travelers, the elements of the starry sky, meridians, the equator, the south and north poles were depicted.

It is not necessary to judge the accuracy of this globe - it was largely based on ancient Greek knowledge about the world, which is why the location of land objects on it is very approximate. In addition, ironically, by the time this model was created, Beheim's friend Columbus had not yet returned from his western expedition, so of all the existing continents, only Eurasia and Africa were designated on the globe.

Nevertheless, the "Earth Apple" is a unique exhibit of interest to both historians and geographers, and for everyone who is interested in learning about medieval science. To this day, the Beheim Globe is the main attraction of the Nuremberg German National Museum.

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