Tom Hodgkinson

Gazing heavenwards: the medieval monks who mapped the planetary motions

Far from being shrouded in superstition, the so-called Dark Ages were centuries of intense scholarly inquiry into nature’s laws, according to Seb Falk

Alamy

We can probably blame George and Ira Gershwin. It was that brilliant duo who, in 1937, penned the memorable lyric ‘They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round’. The song has been recorded by at least 15 artists over the years, from Fred Astaire to Lady Gaga, and is embedded in the consciousness of the West.

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