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Did the Romans know the world was a round blue sphere before the rest of the world?

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman fresco showing Zeus on a throne with a globe
Roman fresco showing Zeus on a throne with a globe

There is strong evidence that the ancient Greeks and Romans knew the world was a round globe before the rest of the world learned of it.

The first visual evidence found comes from a wall painting in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The painting depicts Jupiter Zeus seated on his throne with the world at his feet. What is amazing is that the earth is painted as a round blue globe, just as our astronauts have seen from space. How did the Roman artist know that our earth was round and that it appears as a blue sphere?

The second evidence is the giant statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine. He’s holding a sphere of the world in his left hand and a scepter in his right.

The third evidence shows the goddess Urania holding the earth in her hand. This statue is a Roman copy of the Greek original dated from the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE. It was found in Emperor Hadrian’s villa.
Urania or ‘Ourania’ is the Greek goddess of astronomy and a daughter of Zeus. Her name literally means “Heavenly” and describes her role as the goddess of the Stars. She claimed the ability to inspire and guide men while having the power to predict the future. She is usually depicted as having a crown of stars on her head while wearing a robe covered with stars and holding the world globe in one hand.

Author: Lawrence

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