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Looking at the land, we divide the surface of the earth into eastern and western hemispheres; but looking at the water, we make an opposite classification. Encircle the globe in your library with a rubber band, so that it cuts across South America from about Porto Alegre to Lima on one side, and through southern Siam and the northernmost of the Philippine Islands on the other, and you make hemispheres, the northern of which (with London at its center) contains almost all the land of the globe, while the southern (with New Zealand as its central point) is almost entirely water, Australia, and the narrow southern half of South America being the only lands of consequence in its whole area. Observing the map in this way, noticing that, besides nearly a complete half-world of water south of your rubber equator, much of the northern hemisphere also is afloat, you are willing to believe the assertion that there is almost three times as much of the outside of the earth hidden under the waves as appears above them. The estimate in round numbers is one hundred and fifty million square (statute) miles of ocean surface, as compared with about fifty million square miles of land on the globe. To the people whose speculations in geography are the oldest that have come down to us, the earth seemed to be an island around which was perpetually flowing a river with no further shore visible. Beyond it, they thought, lay the abodes of the dead. This river, as the source of all other rivers and waters, was deified by the early Greeks and placed among their highest gods as Oceanus, whence our word "ocean." Accompanying, or belonging to him, there grew up, in the fertile imagination of that poetic people, a large company of gods and goddesses, while men hid their absence of real knowledge by peopling the deep with quaint monsters. "The word for `ocean' (mare) in the Latin tongue means, by derivation, a desert, and the Greeks spoke of it as `the barren brine.'" Over these old fables we need not linger. All the myths and guesswork that went before history represented the sea as older than the land, and told how creation began by lifting the earth above the universal waste of waters. The story in Genesis is only one of many such stories.

Dettagli

Generi Storia e Biografie » Storia: opere generali » Storia: specifici argomenti , Romanzi e Letterature » Romanzi contemporanei , Salute Benessere Self Help » Mente, corpo, spirito

Editore Library Of Alexandria

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 08/03/2015

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9781465622198

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