This is from an explanation of the six Ptolemaic statements, the one that concludes that the world is round (terram esse rotundam).

Terra tamen ob duritiem non potuit perfectam rotunditatem adipisci: sed montium eminentiae, aut valles ad tantam mollem collatae non sentiuntur.

Opuscula Mathematica (1625), Francesco Maurolico, bottom of p. 7

Here's what I have so far:

The land, however, because of its hardness, cannot acquire perfect roundness, but the prominences of mountains and valleys are not perceived...

...compared to such softness?

What softness? I don't see any softness mentioned in the paragraph. I know what it should mean: compared to the magnitude of the Earth's diameter. But how does mollis mean that?


1 Answer 1


Notice that it says molem, not mollem. Therefore I suggest this translation:

montium eminentiae aut valles ad tantam molem collatae non sentiuntur
valleys or eminences of mountains are not observed to be collapsed into such a shapeless mass
valleys or eminences of mountains combined are not observable in comparison to such a large mass

Thanks to the commenters for the improved translation!


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