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Quick question regarding orbis & the earth being a globe

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Quick question regarding orbis & the earth being a globe

Postby mataquileon » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:53 am

Hello, I have no latin knowledge. I picked up a copy of Ovid's love poems at the library and it had the latin on the left page, so I am introducing myself to it I suppose.

I came across the word 'orbis' and obviously it means orb, but also globe, sphere, eyeball, & other stuff, but I'm concerned with it translating to 'world' because this is the context Ovid's using it in.

"Haec habet" ut dicas "quicquid in orbe fuit."


So I was wondering: How could any latin speaking person [the masses? Lucretius?] not connect it with the Earth being a globe, or sphere? and how did it, if it is possible to know, come about to meaning both those things? How could there be any disputation of the world not being a sphere when they share the same word? [I would imagine something contained in the general language would be widely accepted as being true] I just wiki'd the myths of the flat earth & and it said that most intelligent people of almost every culture have never doubted the earth being a sphere, but up until the 1500's it was still disputed. How could that be possible if it was built into the latin, and thus from there, all the other languages?

Thanks.
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Re: Quick question regarding orbis & the earth being a globe

Postby Superavi » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:16 am

Just because it is built into Latin doesn't make it built into all other languages. Just the romance languages. As pitiful as it sounds, though, there are still a decent amount of people today who will answer yes if you ask them if the world is flat. Ignorance is rampant.

And as long as I'm not mistaken the world or globe is generally written as "orbis terrarum" in Latin meaning "sphere of land."
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Re: Quick question regarding orbis & the earth being a globe

Postby Alatius » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:00 am

Don't let the meaning of the English word "orb" fool you. An "orbis" is simply something round, either in two (a disc) or three dimensions (a ball). For example (quoting from Oxford Latin Dictionary), the word "orbis" is used to describe such things as a tray or pan, a mill-stone, a discus, a shield, a table, a mirror, a wheel, etc.
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