Were they really that dumb in the dark ages?

Ran across this post over at Strange Maps.  I always wondered if they really underestimated the earth’s circumference or if that was an old wive’s tale on par with the one that assumes they all thought it was flat.  I mean, Eratosthenes of Cyrene estimated the earth’s circumference to be 25,000 miles in 250 BC!  (It’s actual circumference is 24,901.55 miles at the equator and 24,859.82 miles around the poles).  If it was true (which I assume it was) that Toscanelli severely underestimated the earth’s circumference, it was likely due to faulty – as in Aristotelean – reasoning.  And these boneheads want to take us back to that!


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