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Such an argument was forwarded by the Spanish theologian Alonso Tostado as late as the 15th century and "St.

Augustine doubts" was a response to Columbus's proposal to sail westwards to the Indies.

In his letter, Boniface had apparently maintained that Vergilius of Salzburg held such a belief.

However, knowledge of the spherical Earth was widespread during the Middle Ages, only occasionally disputed — the medieval dispute surrounding the antipodes mainly concerned the question whether people could live on the opposite side of the earth: since the torrid clime was considered impassable, it would have been impossible to evangelize them.

This gave rise to the name of the Antipodes Islands of New Zealand, which are close to the antipode of London.

From the time of St Augustine, the Christian church was skeptical of the notion.

The earliest surviving account by a European who had visited the Southern Hemisphere is that of Marco Polo (who, on his way home in 1292, sailed south of the Malay Peninsula).

He noted that it was impossible to see the star Polaris from there.

This map shows the antipode of each point on Earth's surface—the points where the blue and yellow overlap are land antipodes; most land has its antipodes in the ocean.

This map uses the Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection.

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