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Augustine asserted that "it is too absurd to say that some men might have set sail from this side and, traversing the immense expanse of ocean, have propagated there a race of human beings descended from that one first man." In the Early Middle Ages, Isidore of Seville's widely read encyclopedia presented the term "antipodes" as referring to antichthones (people who lived on the opposite side of the Earth), as well as to a geographical place; these people came to play a role in medieval discussions about the shape of the Earth.
In 748, in reply to a letter from Saint Boniface, Pope Zachary declared the belief "that beneath the earth there was another world and other men, another sun and moon" to be heretical.
For example, the antipode of the point in China at from ἀντί (antí, “opposite”) πούς (poús, “foot”).
In spite of having been discovered relatively late by European explorers, Australia was inhabited very early in human history; the ancestors of the Indigenous Australians reached it at least 50,000 years ago.
The yellow areas are the reflections through the Earth's center of land masses of the opposite (Western) hemisphere.
Geographically, the antipodes of Britain and Ireland are in the Pacific Ocean, south of New Zealand.
This posed the problem that Christ told the apostles to evangelize all mankind; with regard to the unreachable antipodes, this would have been impossible.
Christ would either have appeared a second time, in the antipodes, or left the damned irredeemable.
In this sense, Antipodes first entered English in 1398 in a translation of the 13th century De Proprietatibus Rerum by Bartholomeus Anglicus, translated by John of Trevisa: (In Modern English: Yonder in Ethiopia are the Antipodes, men that have their feet against our feet.) Pomponius Mela, the first Roman geographer, asserted that the earth had two habitable zones, a North and South one, but that it would be impossible to get into contact with each other because of the unbearable heat at the Equator.