Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Opus Magnus

Dante's Inferno describing Gravity 1300

112 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Opus Magnus

I just read the Divine Comedy of Dante's Inferno.  I noticed in the last few chapters he describes the force of gravity.  Also, in it, he describes the world as round, not flat, as they go through the center of the earth and end up on a different hemisphere and different time zone.  This was in 1300th century.  Dante, being an educated man, knew these things, but in school we are taught that Columbus proved the world round, and Newton discovered gravity in the 1700's.

https://scientificgems.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/science-in-dantes-inferno/

This is one thing that causes a lot of debate and confusion between people.  Not in science, but in the history of science, and how long we have known certain things, and who really discovered them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune
28 minutes ago, Opus Magnus said:

I just read the Divine Comedy of Dante's Inferno.  I noticed in the last few chapters he describes the force of gravity.  Also, in it, he describes the world as round, not flat, as they go through the center of the earth and end up on a different hemisphere and different time zone.  This was in 1300th century.  Dante, being an educated man, knew these things, but in school we are taught that Columbus proved the world round, and Newton discovered gravity in the 1700's.

https://scientificgems.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/science-in-dantes-inferno/

This is one thing that causes a lot of debate and confusion between people.  Not in science, but in the history of science, and how long we have known certain things, and who really discovered them.

No the Greeks (Eratosthenese of Cyrene) determined the earth was a globe in the third century BC.

What Dante wrote is below he was pretty close and was following what the Greeks had thought on the subject as known to Europeans in the 14th century

 

Quote

Dante correctly describes the shift in direction of gravity when passing through the centre of the Earth, and the effect of travelling to the Antipodes:

And he to me: You still believe you are
north of the center, where I grasped the hair
of the damned worm who pierces through the world.
And you were there as long as I descended;
but when I turned, that’s when you passed the point
to which, from every part, all weights are drawn.
And now you stand beneath the hemisphere
opposing that which cloaks the great dry lands
and underneath whose zenith died the Man
whose birth and life were sinless in this world.
” — Inferno, XXXIV, 106–115, tr. Mandelbaum

That is, by travelling through the centre of the Earth, Dante and Virgil arrive in the South Pacific, directly opposite Jerusalem, at about 32°S 145°W, around 460 km south of Rapa Iti.

Dante suggests here that the Southern Hemisphere is largely covered by water. There was an ancient belief in a Terra Australis, but Dante has rearranged geography so that the Southern Continent becomes a single, though extremely high, mountain. It was several centuries later that explorers like Abel Tasman and James Cook resolved the Terra Australis question.

https://scientificgems.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/science-in-dantes-inferno/

Edited by Hanslune
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Opus Magnus

Yeah, also in the chapter before that, he describes the 9th level of hell at Lucifer's body frozen in the lake.  He describes going towards the center of the lake and that the point where all gravity goes to.  I think it actually says the word gravity.  Although, he does call it the bottom of the universe, I guess geocentric, he describes the center of gravity, well before Newton.

I know there were people who have said these things before Dante, that's probably how he knew to write it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet

Dante was a very scholarly poet and indeed they knew about the round earth, gravity and many other things.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Opus Magnus

Also, at the beginning of the book, he is greeted by a hungry she-leopard, that when Virgil takes him down to hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenemet

Are you reading it in English?  Modern translation and some words may have been tweaked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Opus Magnus

Yeah, I read it in English.  That also made me wonder about the word gravity being used.  However, it described gravity.  Though, I'm pretty sure I've run into the word gravity being used in old books before, and I also wondered there if it was translation, i can't remember where though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Opus Magnus

Oh, I remember where, it was used in the Bible in one of Paul's writings, but it was spiritual gravity I think, but it had the same idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Opus Magnus

I remember when I read it in the bible, I though it might be a play off the word grave, gravity.  That all things are drawn down to the grave.  I think this goes somewhat along with aristotle's theory that all things go to their likeness, the predated the gravity theory.  That water seeks out water, air seeks out air, fire seeks out fire, and earth seeks out earth.  That we're bound to the grave, so we should remember that's where are likeness is drawn to.  That's the message I sort of reasoned out of it, because it made me wonder if they got the term gravity from the word grave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lightly

Which makes me wonder about the linguistic roots  of the word grave....and what those earlier words might have meant.

something like down? Or earth ?

  And In what language did "grave" first appear?   Greek? Latin? Roman?

who knows ...just wondering.   Jaylemurph might know ,if anyone does.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune

Gravity from the point of view of the ancients:

 

Quote

In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that there is no effect or motion without a cause. The cause of the downward motion of heavy bodies, such as the element earth, was related to their nature, which caused them to move downward toward the center of the universe, which was their natural place. Conversely, light bodies such as the element fire, move by their nature upward toward the inner surface of the sphere of the Moon. Thus in Aristotle's system heavy bodies are not attracted to the earth by an external force of gravity, but tend toward the center of the universe because of an inner gravitas or heaviness.[1][2]

In Book VII of his De Architectura, the Roman engineer and architect Vitruvius contends that gravity is not dependent on a substance's "weight" but rather on its "nature" (cf. specific gravity).

If the quicksilver is poured into a vessel, and a stone weighing one hundred pounds is laid upon it, the stone swims on the surface, and cannot depress the liquid, nor break through, nor separate it. If we remove the hundred pound weight, and put on a scruple of gold, it will not swim, but will sink to the bottom of its own accord. Hence, it is undeniable that the gravity of a substance depends not on the amount of its weight, but on its nature.[3]

Brahmagupta, the Indian astronomer and mathematician whose work influenced Arab mathematics in the 9th century, held the view that the earth was spherical and that it attracted objects. Al Hamdānī and Al Biruni quote Brahmagupta saying "Disregarding this, we say that the earth on all its sides is the same; all people on the earth stand upright, and all heavy things fall down to the earth by a law of nature, for it is the nature of the earth to attract and to keep things, as it is the nature of water to flow, that of fire to burn, and that of the wind to set in motion. If a thing wants to go deeper down than the earth, let it try. The earth is the only low thing, and seeds always return to it, in whatever direction you may throw them away, and never rise upwards from the earth."

More details here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gravitational_theory

Newton figured it all out mathematically - Harte could probably explain it in a more detailed way.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
1 hour ago, Opus Magnus said:

Yeah, I read it in English.  That also made me wonder about the word gravity being used.  However, it described gravity.  Though, I'm pretty sure I've run into the word gravity being used in old books before, and I also wondered there if it was translation, i can't remember where though.

Gravity is from a Latin word, through the intermediary of Old French (n. gravitas from the adjective gravis, grave). It means, literally, heaviness, and is formed from a regular pattern that gives rise to many, many other nouns (adjective root plus 'itas' = noun) in Latin and its daughter languages. It's recorded in the Old French form from at least  the 1200s.

Its use in Latin or any other pre-modern language isn't remarkable or unusual, not does it mean anyone "discovered" gravitational force before Newton.

--Jaylemurph

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
1 hour ago, lightly said:

Which makes me wonder about the linguistic roots  of the word grave....and what those earlier words might have meant.

something like down? Or earth ?

  And In what language did "grave" first appear?   Greek? Latin? Roman?

who knows ...just wondering.   Jaylemurph might know ,if anyone does.

I got you!

--Jaylemurph

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harte
10 hours ago, Hanslune said:

Gravity from the point of view of the ancients:

 

More details here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gravitational_theory

Newton figured it all out mathematically - Harte could probably explain it in a more detailed way.

Newton figured out how to actually calculate the force of gravity, and the consequences of mass in a gravitational field.

But that doesn't mean people hadn't already noticed that if you trip, you fall down.

Harte

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChaosRose
12 hours ago, Opus Magnus said:

I just read the Divine Comedy of Dante's Inferno.  I noticed in the last few chapters he describes the force of gravity.  Also, in it, he describes the world as round, not flat, as they go through the center of the earth and end up on a different hemisphere and different time zone.  This was in 1300th century.  Dante, being an educated man, knew these things, but in school we are taught that Columbus proved the world round, and Newton discovered gravity in the 1700's.

https://scientificgems.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/science-in-dantes-inferno/

This is one thing that causes a lot of debate and confusion between people.  Not in science, but in the history of science, and how long we have known certain things, and who really discovered them.

Wasn't that Magellan?

 

Edited by ChaosRose
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Noteverythingisaconspiracy
13 hours ago, Opus Magnus said:

but in school we are taught that Columbus proved the world round, and Newton discovered gravity in the 1700's.

Then you school is wrong. 

It was understood that the World was round for a long time before Columbus. In 240 BC Erastosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth to within a few % accuracy. 

Newton didn't discover gravity, what he did was to explain its effects mathematically. 

50 minutes ago, ChaosRose said:

Wasn't that Magellan?

He lead the expedition early on, but he died in the Phillipines so he never actually circumnavigated the World. That honour should in fact go to the man who took command of the expedition after Magellans death and finished the journey, Juan Sebastián Elcano.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stereologist

I believe it was Newton that realized that the same force that made things fall to the ground was also the force that kept the Moon in orbit about the Earth and the Earth around the Sun.

Even today people do not understand this basic idea that the planets move the way they do because of the forces acting upon them.  Some people think that planets circling an unseen binary can swoop into our solar system and wreak havoc on us without the planets moving out of their "tracks". This repeated behavior of repeated devastation only works if there are fixed paths for the planets to move on.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune
3 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Then you school is wrong. 

It was understood that the World was round for a long time before Columbus. In 240 BC Erastosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth to within a few % accuracy. 

Newton didn't discover gravity, what he did was to explain its effects mathematically. 

He lead the expedition early on, but he died in the Phillipines so he never actually circumnavigated the World. That honour should in fact go to the man who took command of the expedition after Magellans death and finished the journey, Juan Sebastián Elcano.

 

Actually the first person know to circumnavigate the world was (probably) Magellan's servant

 

Quote

If Magellan wasn’t the first person to circle the globe, then who was? The most obvious candidate is Juan Sebastian Elcano, a Basque mariner who took control of the expedition after Magellan’s death in 1521 and captained its lone surviving vessel, the “Victoria,” on its journey back to Spain. Elcano and his sailors stand as the first people to have successfully voyaged around the world as part of a single journey, but they might not be the first humans to have circumnavigated the globe over the course of a lifetime. Opinions differ, but many historians give the honor to Magellan’s Malay slave, Enrique. Magellan had seized Enrique from Malacca during an earlier 1511 voyage to the East Indies, and the Malay later served as the round-the-world expedition’s interpreter in the Pacific islands. Enrique had previously traveled west with Magellan from Asia to Europe before joining in the voyage across the Atlantic and Pacific, so by the time the mission reached Southeast Asia, he had very nearly circled the globe and returned to his homeland—albeit over the course of several years and multiple voyages. Enrique abandoned the expedition and disappeared shortly after Magellan’s death in the Philippines. By then, he was only a few hundred miles short of his point of origin in Malacca. If he ever returned to his homeland, then Enrique may deserve the true credit for being the first person to circumnavigate globe.

http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/was-magellan-the-first-person-to-circumnavigate-the-globe

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune
5 hours ago, Harte said:

But that doesn't mean people hadn't already noticed that if you trip, you fall down.

 

WELL, you might but Kmt_sesh never falls down he just tumbles forward in a perfect rolling dive followed by a planned for sprawl.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jarocal
54 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

WELL, you might but Kmt_sesh never falls down he just tumbles forward in a perfect rolling dive followed by a planned for sprawl.

Not to mention he only does that after a few pints...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune
1 minute ago, Jarocal said:

Not to mention he only does that after a few pints...

Pints? He has one of these filled with beer

F5FjBPW.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Noteverythingisaconspiracy
1 minute ago, Hanslune said:

Pints? He has one of these filled with beer

F5FjBPW.jpg

Maybe he waers all those bandages as a safety measure for when he have had a little too much to drink ?

Remember you need a lot of liquid when you are a dry mummy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanslune
5 minutes ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Maybe he waers all those bandages as a safety measure for when he have had a little too much to drink ?

Remember you need a lot of liquid when you are a dry mummy.

The bandages came about as he chipped off his skin and tried to draw beer into his body by osmosis. That didn't work to well....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sir Wearer of Hats

The problem with Newton and gravity in schools is that no matter how precise your language (e.g. “Newton was the first to describe scientifically the effects of gravity”) kids will always conflait “first to describe” with “discovered” and, often, “invented”. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jaylemurph
52 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

The problem with Newton and gravity in schools is that no matter how precise your language (e.g. “Newton was the first to describe scientifically the effects of gravity”) kids will always conflait “first to describe” with “discovered” and, often, “invented”. 

To be fair, gravity was invented by Our Past Basset Masters. I'm not sure how things worked before they did that, but we can all be thankful they did. 

--Jaylemurph 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.