Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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.

share|improve this question
    
related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/36845/… – Y ez Jun 10 '14 at 13:39
    
related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/22852 – msh210 Jun 10 '14 at 22:16
2  
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 '15 at 2:47
1  
Wasn't this more or less generally known at the time of the gemara? – Daniel Mar 16 '15 at 12:14
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

share|improve this answer
2  
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
2  
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

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.