the first European festival on creativity

2013 Program

EVENT #38

Alessandro Barbero

Incredible Middle Ages: The flat Earth

 

Before he obtained his three caravels from Queen Isabel of Spain, Christopher Columbus had to persuade the wits in Salamanca that the Earth was round. Many thought he was insane, and that after reaching the confines of the world he would fall into the void as the Earth was flat. This story is universally known and it has been depicted in countless works of art in the past two centuries, ranging from the pompier paintings to Altan’s cartoons. But why can’t we find any traces of it in the art before the 19th century? And if people in the Middle Ages believed the Earth was flat, then why did all Medieval kings and emperors depicted in the period’s miniatures, frescoes and statues hold a globe in one of their hands to symbolize their rule of the world?

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Barbero

Alessandro Barbero is a historian and a writer and a tenured professor of Medieval History at Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale e Vercelli. He writes for La Stampa and Tuttolibri. He is a contributor on the television program Superquark and the shows Il tempo e la storia and a.C.d.C., broadcast by Rai Storia. His publications include: Benedette guerre. Crociate e jihad («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2009), Lepanto. La battaglia dei tre imperi («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2010), Donne, madonne, mercanti e cavalieri. Sei storie medievali («i Libri del Festival della Mente», 2013), published by Laterza; Gli occhi di Venezia (Mondadori, 2011); Il divano di Istanbul (Sellerio, 2011); Dietro le quinte della Storia. La vita quotidiana attraverso il tempo, written with P. Angela (Rizzoli, 2012); Le Ateniesi (Mondadori, 2015); Costantino il vincitore (Salerno Editrice, 2016).

All theevents2013


   

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EVENT #38

Alessandro Barbero

Incredible Middle Ages: The flat Earth

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