Cosmologies

Interpreted by J.B.Waskul

The Flat Earth

In this Ptolemaic view of the universe, the Earth is composed of the base or inferior elements which are subject to constant change and tranformation. Working out from the center are the elemental realms of earth, water, air, and fire. Beyond the realm of fire are the celestial spheres which are concidered superior and eternal. The planetary spheres move around the Earth in the following order, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Outside the sphere of the stars are the realms of heaven, angels and God. (see Ptolemy's Universe)

The T/O Map

In Medieval Europe (476A.D. to 1453A.D.), a T/O map represented a Flat Earth concept of the world. The T/O map divided the world up into three parts: Asia, Africa and Europe. Of particular interest is the fact that the "East" is depicted at the top half of the world and the "West" to the bottom two quarters.

 

This particular worldview places the Holy Lands (modern day Israel / Palestine) at the center of the universe, which most likely inspired many crusaders with the desire to gain control of this region.

Although this construct is now forgotten by most of the civilized world, it has given us the  modern geographic terms "Mid-East" for the areas closest to the Holy lands and "Far East" for China.

Dante's Cosmology

The Divine Comedy was a three-part epic poem written by Dante Alighieri from 1308 and up until his death in1321. It is a first-person account of his descent into Hell (in the Inferno), his passage up the mountain of Purgatory (in the Purgatorio), and his final ascent into Heaven (in the Paradiso). Although it is concidered to be an allegory, much of his storyline aligns with the beliefs of a majority of Medieval Europeans as to how the universe was stuctured. It is a Ptolemaic universe and Dante draws upon ancient Greek and Roman mythology (see Gods & Monsters of Ancient Greece) with great liberality while he gives an account of the Christian concept of God.

If you are curious as to how well you would fair against Dante's ideals, you can take the following test: 

 http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv 

Warning: This test asks questions that some people may find too personal and/or offensive. In addition, if you lie on any of your answers, it will count against you in the afterlife. On the bright side, if you have any feelings of guilt after taking the test, it's never too late to repent.

Masonic Meditation Box

Analysis of Biblical text by medieval scholars led them to the conclusion that if man was made in God's image, then human proportions may hold a divine code. The inch, foot, cubit, and many geometric forms found in the human body were a reflection of God and the inner workings of the universe. Whether as a symbolic gesture or not, the church represented the body of god, the masons and architects of this period applied human proportions to the floorplans of basillicas and cathedrals.

 

 

Such belief in the significance of an underlying numerical code to reality, inspired extensive studies and research into the nature of human existance and the universe to which we are bound. The mystical views of Numerology, Astrology, Alchemy and the Cabalah are still prevalent in our popular culture today through belief in lucky or unlucky numbers, astrological readings, and magical charms. Although the validity of the medieval mysticism and the devine nature of humanity remain in question, it was these early concepts that became the foundations of our current scientific disciplines in Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics.