When the Earth Was Flat

Studies in Ancient Greek and Chinese Cosmology

  • Dirk L. Couprie

Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxi
  2. Dirk L. Couprie
    Pages 1-4
  3. Dirk L. Couprie
    Pages 5-15
  4. Ancient Greece

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 47-61
    3. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 63-73
    4. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 75-98
    5. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 99-130
    6. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 131-166
    7. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 167-194
    8. Dirk L. Couprie
      Pages 195-219
  5. Ancient China

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 343-361

About this book


This book is a sequel to Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology (Springer 2011). With the help of many pictures, the reader is introduced into the way of thinking of ancient believers in a flat earth. The first part offers new interpretations of several Presocratic cosmologists and a critical discussion of Aristotle’s proofs that the earth is spherical. The second part explains and discusses the ancient Chinese system called gai tian. The last chapter shows that, inadvertently, ancient arguments and ideas return in the curious modern flat earth cosmologies.


Ancient Greek cosmology Ancient Chinese cosmology Flat Earth cosmology Comparative cosmology pre-Socratic cosmology Anaximander Anaximenes Xenophanes Anaxagoras canopy heaven gai tian

Authors and affiliations

  • Dirk L. Couprie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFaculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West BohemiaPilsenCzech Republic

Bibliographic information