My friend, David, mentioned in a post that the Roman poet Ovid knew that the world was round, long before science thought so. I found that interesting, because the oldest book in the Bible (Job) speaks of the earth as being round, Job 26:7,10 “…He hangs the earth on nothing.” “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, At the boundary of light and darkness.” which caused David to wonder when the Scriptures became readily available vs. when Ovid lived and when people started to read the Old Testament, so I decided to do a bit of research.

In the Hebrew Bible, which is still very much intact as the Old Testament, the Book of Job is the first of five books commonly called “The Books of Poetry”, and most scholars agree that the Hebrew Bible was composed and compiled between the 12th and the 2nd century B.C. 

Ovid was born in 43 B.C., in Italy, and lived until 17 or 18 A.D., and during that time he would have had exposure to those of Jewish faith. The earliest account of Jews in Italy came when Judah Maccabee sent ambassadors to Italy in 161 B.C., and history mentions Jews in Rome at the time of Jesus’ ministry, somewhere between 23 and 33 A.D.

Ovid’s father, intended for him to become a lawyer and an official and gave him an excellent education. It’s possible his study of the law and love of poetry would cause him to read and/or study the Hebrew Bible.

David thinks Ovid’s idea of a round earth was a philosophical construct that just happened to be correct.  Since his research revealed that Ovid believed in a geocentric universe, and based on Archimedes’ research about physical qualities of a suspended sphere, Ovid figured that if the universe were geocentric, the earth would have to be a round ball, he’s probably right

But it’s still interesting. Can knowledge be lost, found, lost, and found again?

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