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Showing posts from April, 2018

A Continent of Great Extent: Writing To The Fair Land

Some of you may remember Pythagoras and his theorem from maths lessons at school – and if like me you weren’t keen on maths, then I’m sure he didn’t endear himself to you. Pythagoras, who lived in the fifth century BC, had other ideas too. He believed that a great land mass lay in the southern hemisphere – the Great Southern Continent, the Great South Land, or Terra Australis Incognita. It had to exist, he argued, in order to balance the land masses of the north. 

For the next 2,000 years, men dreamed of the Great Southern Continent. They drew maps of it and they speculated about the people who lived there. One theory was that the inhabitants would have feet opposite to our own – antipodes. Others thought they had one huge foot and when they were sitting down they were able to raise the foot over their heads to keep the sun off their faces. 
Tantalised by tales of the Great Southern Continent, explorers from many nations went looking for it – Dutch, French, Portuguese, and British. In t…