habitable, on the one side from excessive heat and on the other from excessive cold. "The habitable world was thus much longer from east to west than it was broad from north to south: whence come our terms longitude, whose degrees are counted in the former direction, and latitude, reckoned in the latter direction."
In the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries of the Christian era science made little progress in any direction, and, in regard to the ideas of the earth, the fathers of the Church contented themselves with pouring out their invective upon the idea that it is a globe, employing Scriptural reasons, which continued to be used even in the fifteenth century by the monks of Salamanca. In the year a. d. 535, Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, after his voyage to India, wrote a work entitled "Christian Topography," in which he propounded the system of a square earth, with solid walls for supporting the heavens. He undertook to bring the opinions of the fathers into a methodical
shape, and to explain the heavens and the earth in accordance with Scripture. We quote M. Flammarion's description of his system: