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Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago?

I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.

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related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/36845/… –  yEz Jun 10 '14 at 13:39
related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/22852 –  msh210 Jun 10 '14 at 22:16
Do you mean circular or spherical? –  Double AA Jun 11 '14 at 13:53
I dont mean to offensively psychoanalyze you, but why do you ask? If you are assuming that Chazal knew all science and seek support, be aware that even the relatively "right-wing" (no pejorative intent) book 'Torah, Chazal, & Science' makes no such assertion. [Rather his general thesis is that Chazal's definitive statements are true just as they are in halacha. That is , if they were sure enough of themselves to make a statement, we assume they are right. However, regarding something they didnt comment on, we dont need to assume that they were fully aware.] –  mevaqesh Feb 17 at 2:47
Wasn't this more or less generally known at the time of the gemara? –  Daniel Mar 16 at 12:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

See Gemara in Avoda Zara (41a) which says:

כדור שתופש את עצמו תחת כל העולם כולו ככדור

It [The Idol] holds a ball as if to say it rules over the entire world like a ball

Tosfos explains why a ball is used as the imagery of ruling over the world (S.V K'kadur) says:

ככדור. שהעולם עגול כדאיתא בירושלמי שאלכסנדרוס מוקדון עלה למעלה עד שראה כל העולם ככדור ואת הים כקערה פי' ים אוקינוס שמקיף את כל העולם:

"Because the World is round"

Tosfos references a Yerushalmi which echoes this point: "Alexander the Macedonian ascended on high until he saw the earth like a ball and the sea like a platter. The 'sea' refers to the ocean that encompasses the entire earth"

We see here that Chazal (as well as the Romans) had the knowledge that the world was round

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This is a good answer (and +1), but it would be greatly improved if it featured a translation into English. Especially of the passage in the Yerushalmi, since that's the part that best answers the question that was asked. –  Shimon bM Jun 10 '14 at 11:13
I haven't looked it up, but just from what you copied here of the tosafos I don't see it as difficult? "The world is spherical, as it says in the Yerushalmi: Alexander the Macedonian ascended on high until he saw the earth like a ball and the sea like a platter. The 'sea' refers to the ocean that encompasses the entire earth". –  Shimon bM Jun 10 '14 at 11:25
@Nafkamina Looks like an accurate translation to me. –  Scimonster Jun 10 '14 at 11:34
Could someone translate this for me please? –  user5523 Jun 10 '14 at 12:54
See also my discussion of this Yerushalmi, about a ball on a plate. parsha.blogspot.com/2010/11/… –  josh waxman Jun 11 '14 at 0:41

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