badgerbag: (Default)
Idly reading in the bathtub. Did you know that in Columbus's accounts of his third voyage, right around the bits wehre he is hanging out at the mouth of the Orinoco, he spends pages and pages talking about his theories of the earth's shape? He thought he was disproving Ptolemy & etc by proving the world was pear shaped, or like a woman's breast with a pointy nipple. At the tip of the pear where the stalk is, or the pointy bit of the nipple, was the Earthly Paradise.

My version has brackets and says, "Here several pages of Ptolemaic, Aristotelian, and Biblical speculation are omitted." Then it goes on to put in some juicy details of how the stalk of the pear is to the extreme east, below the equinoctal line.

Nice!

Here's a little bit of it:

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~rb137/teach/0230/anthology/columbusthirdvoyage.htm

and then in my version a bunch more, and,

"I have already said that which I hold concerning this hemisphere and its shape, and I believe that if I were to pass beneath the equinoctal line, then, arriving there at the highest point, I should find an even more temperate climate and difference in the stars and waters. Not that I believe that to the summit of the extreme point is navigable, or water, or that it is possible to ascend there, for I believe that the earthly paradise is there and to it, save by the will of God, no man can come."

Ah, the humility!

.

September 2016

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