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Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminology used today.

He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by applying a measuring system using stades, or the length of stadia during that time period. His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day. He created the first map of the world incorporating parallels and meridians, based on the available geographical knowledge of the era.

Seventeen hundred years after Eratosthenes' death, while Christopher Columbus studied what Eratosthenes had written about the size of the Earth, he chose to believe that the Earth's circumference was much smaller. Had Columbus set sail knowing that Eratosthenes' larger circumference value was more accurate, he would have known that the place where he made landfall was not Asia, but rather a New World.

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Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminology used today.

He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by applying a measuring system using stades, or the length of stadia during that time period. His calculation was remarkably accurate. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis (again with remarkable accuracy). Additionally, he may have accurately calculated the distance from the Earth to the Sun and invented the leap day. He created the first map of the world incorporating parallels and meridians, based on the available geographical knowledge of the era.

Seventeen hundred years after Eratosthenes' death, while Christopher Columbus studied what Eratosthenes had written about the size of the Earth, he chose to believe that the Earth's circumference was much smaller. Had Columbus set sail knowing that Eratosthenes' larger circumference value was more accurate, he would have known that the place where he made landfall was not Asia, but rather a New World. More

 
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