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PRINCIPALLY ANCIENT :
SYSTEM OF THE WORLD,
AND ON THE BEST
MANNER OF TEACHING GEOGRAPHY.
Turpe videbatur propriam non noscere sedem.
BUCHANANUS, de Sphæra.
ADAM & CHARLES BLACK ;
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS, LONDON.
The following Introduction is not intended, as the intelligent reader will readily perceive, to supersede fuller information; but rather to serve as a text for the Teacher to employ, first, in explaining those general views of the System of the World, with which it has been customary, for the last sixty years, to commence the Course of Geographical Instruction in the Rector's Class of the High School of Edinburgh ; and, secondly, (p. 22. to the end,) in expounding certain principles and methods of teaching Geography, which, after being introduced into that Seminary in 1812, the experience of every succeeding year has confirmed me in regarding as the best.
COLLEGE OF EDINBURGH, 1st March 1847.
OUTLINES OF GEOGRAPHY.
Non aliud quis aut magnificentius quæsierit, aut didicerit utilius, quam de stellarum siderumque naturâ.
SENEC. Natur. Quæst. VII. 1.
THE Earth we inhabit is a body nearly globular, resembling in shape an orange, or a bias-bowl. It is one of thirteen opaque bodies, similar to it in form, which are called Planets. These bodies revolve round the Sun, all proceeding in the same direction from West to East, but with very different degrees of velocity, and all moving in orbits, whose planes coincide nearly with the plane of the Earth's orbit.* The Sun is a luminous body in the centre of this system, and is itself also of a spherical, or rather spheroidal form. In bulk it is nearly 600 (593) times that of all the planets taken together, and contains 780 times
The word plane, and the fact stated above, may be rendered intelligible to the young student, by placing before him a couple of hoops, one somewhat smaller than the other, and connected with it by a pin or strong wire running through them both, on which, as on a pivot, they are easily moveable. Each hoop will represent the orbit of a planet; and the space it encloses, the plane of the orbit. Suppose the two hoops to be both adjusted to the horizontal level, it will be necessary, in order to assist the learner in comprehending the planetary movements, to raise or depress one of them, so as to make an. angle more or less acute where it crosses the other at the wire.