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Publié : 29 septembre 2015
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La Terre selon Cosmas

Au Vie siècle, le moine Cosmas, après avoir réfuté les savants de son siècle qui soutenaient que la terre était ronde, prétend démontrer que le tabernacle de Moïse est la véritable image du monde, que la terre est carrée et qu’elle est enfermée avec le soleil la lune et tous les autres astres dans une sorte de cage ou de grand coffre oblong dont la partie supérieure forme un double ciel...

Texte original et traduction anglaise, assortis de deux documents PDF (commentaire et traduction juxtalinéaire en français).

Le texte

Ὡς ἦν μὲν δυνατὸν διαγράψαι πεποιήκαμεν ἔσωθεν ἔχοντα τὸ στερέωμα καὶ τὰ ὕψη τῆς γῆς τῆς μεσοτάτης, ἧς νῦν κατοικοῦμεν, καὶ τὸν Ὠκεανὸν πέριξ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐν αὐτῆι τοὺς τέσσαρας κόλπους εἰσβάλλοντας τοὺς πλεομένους, Ῥωμαϊκόν, Ἀράβιον, Περσικόν, Κάσπιον, ἤτοι Ὑρκανόν. Πέριξ δὲ πάλιν τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ τὴν γῆν τὴν πέραν, ἔνθα καὶ ὁ παράδεισος κατὰ ἀνατολὰς κεῖται. Διαγράφομεν τοίνυν πάλιν τὸ πλάτος τέως τῆς γῆς καὶ τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ καὶ τῶν κόλπων καὶ τῆς πέραν γῆς καὶ τὸν παράδεισον...
Εἰς ταύτην τὴν γῆν τὴν πέραν τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ πανταχόθεν ἄκρα τοῖς ἄκροις ὁ οὐρανὸς πρῶτος ὁ καμαροειδὴς συνδέδεται· κατὰ μὲν τὸ δυτικὸν μέρος καὶ ἀνατολικόν, τοῖχος ὀρθὸς ὡς ἄνω ἐμβαίνων εὑρίσκεται, κατὰ δὲ τὸ νότιον καὶ βόρειον τοῖχος μὲν ἴσος τὸ κάτωθεν ἕως φανεροῦ κατὰ τὸν τύπον ὄντος καμάρας, ἄνωθεν δὲ ὑψηλότατος ἑλισσόμενος ὡς θόλος λουτροῦ μεγάλη, κάτωθεν πέλμα ἔχουσα τὴν γῆν, αὐτὸς δὲ τοῖχος καὶ καμάρα ὑπάρχων.
Εἶτα καθὰ καὶ πρώην ἔφημεν πολλάκις, τὸ στερέωμα μέσα μέσοις ἐξηπλωμένον κατὰ τὸ ὕψος συνδέδεται αὐτῶι τῶι οὐρανῶι, ἵνα γένηται δύο χῶροι, ἀνάγαιον καὶ κατάγαιον. Ἔστι δὲ ὁ χῶρος ὁ εἷς, τουτέστι τὸ κατάγαιον, ἔνθα εἰσὶν ἡ γῆ καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ στοιχεῖα καὶ ἄστρα, ὁ κόσμος οὗτος ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἕως τοῦ στερεώματος, γῆν μὲν ἔχων ἔδαφος, τοίχους δὲ ἐκ τοῦ πρώτου οὐρανοῦ, στέγην δὲ τὸ στερέωμα· καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ στερεώματος ἕως τῆς καμάρας τοῦ πρώτου οὐρανοῦ χῶρος δεύτερος, τουτέστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἔνθα καὶ ὁ Δεσπότης Χριστὸς ἀναστὰς ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν ἀνελήλυθε...

Traduction... anglaise !

To the best of our ability we have endeavoured to depict heaven having the firmament within it and the mountain peaks in the middle of the earth which we now inhabit, and the ocean surrounding it, and the four navigable gulfs which run into it : the Roman, the Arabian, the Persian and the Caspian or Hyrcanian. The ocean again we have depicted as surrounded by the land on its farther side, where also Paradise lies in the east. Then again we depict the breadth of the earth and of the ocean, and of the gulfs, and of the earth beyond, and Paradise...
With that earth which is situated beyond the ocean, the first heaven, which is like a vaulted chamber, is bound together at its extremities on all sides, and at its west and at its east side a wall is found rising straight upward, but at the south and at the north side there is a wall equal at the base until it takes what has evidently the form of a vaulted chamber, while at the top it rolls itself into a very lofty arch, like the spacious roof over a bath, with an arena-like floor below, so that the wall itself forms a vaulted roof. Then, as we have just stated over and over again, the firmament which is spread out in the middle is at a certain height bound together with the heaven itself in order that two places may be formed----an upper place and a lower. Now one of these places, namely, the lower, comprising the earth and the water and the other elements and the heavenly bodies, is this world which extends from the earth to the firmament, having the earth for its floor, the walls reaching down from the first heaven for its sides, and the firmament for its roof. The other place again which extends from the firmament to the vault of the first heaven is, to wit, the Kingdom of Heaven into which the Lord Christ, after he had risen from the dead, ascended...

Voir en ligne : "La terre est plate" ou la brève histoire d’une "vérité"

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