Full text: Wilkins, John: A discovery of a new world

2. Groſs abſurdities have been entertain’d
by general Opinion.

I ſhall give an Inſtance of each, that ſo I
may the better prepare the Reader to conſider
things without a Prejudice, when he ſhall ſee
that the common Oppoſition againſt this which
I affirm, cannot any way derogate from its

1. Other Truths have been formerly accoun-
ted as ridiculous as this. I ſhall ſpecifie that
of the Antipodes, which have been denyed,
and laught at by many wiſe Men and great
Scholars, ſuch as were Herodotus, Chryſoſtom,
Auſtin, Lactantius, the Venerable Bede, Lucre-
tius the Poet, Procopius, and the Voluminous
Abulenſis, together with all thoſe Fathers or
other Authors who denyed the roundneſs of
the Heavens. Herodotus counted it ſo horri-
ble abſurdity, that he could not forbear laugh-
ing to think of it. Γελῶ δρῶο γῆς {πρι}ύδ(ου}ς γ{ρἀ} ψαν-
τας, {πο}λλ{οὺ}ς ἤδη {καὶ} {οὐ} δένα νόον ἔ{χο}ντας {ὀξ}ηγ{οα} {μέν}ον ὂι
’Ωκεαοόντε ρεόντα γ{ρά} Φ{ου}σι, πέ{ρι}ξ τ{ὴν} τε γ{ὴν} ἐ{οῦ}οαν
κυκλοτ ερέα ὤς \’δπὸ τόρν{ου}. ‘I cannot chooſe but laugh
‘(ſaith he) to ſee ſo many Men venture to de-
‘ſcribe the Earths Compaſs, relating thoſe
‘things that are without Senſe, as that the Sea
‘flows about the World, and that the Earth it
‘ſelf is as round as an Orb. But this great Ig-
norance is not ſo much to be admired in him,
as in thoſe Learneder Men of later times, when
all Sciences began to flouriſh in the World. Such were St. Chryſoſtome, who in his 14 Ho-
mily upon the Hebrews, doth make a challenge
to any Man that ſhall dare to defend, that the
Heavens are Round, and not rather as a Tent.


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