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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Humanity has always been interested in the Earth. During very early times this interest was limited, naturally, to the immediate vicinity of home and residency, and the fact that we live on a near spherical globe may or may not have been apparent. As humanity developed, so did its interest in understanding and mapping the size, shape, and composition of the Earth. Early ideas about the figure of the Earth held the Earth to be flat (see flat earth), and the heavens a physical dome spanning over it. Two early arguments for a spherical earth were that lunar eclipses were seen as circular shadows which could only be caused by a spherical Earth, and that Polaris is seen lower in the sky as one travels South. The early Greeks, in their speculation and theorizing, ranged from the flat disc advocated by Homer to the spherical body postulated by Pythagoras â€” an idea supported one hundred years later by Aristotle. Pythagoras was a mathematician and to him the most perfect figure was a sphere. He reasoned that the gods would create a perfect figure and therefore the earth was created to be spherical in shape.
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