The concept of the earth as a sphere has been around for centuries, emerging around the time of Pythagoras in the sixth century BC.
The first record of an actual globe being made is found in verse, written by the poet Aratus of Soli, who describes a celestial sphere of the stars by Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (ca. 408–355 BC).
The oldest surviving globe—a celestial globe held up by Atlas’s shoulders—dates back to 150 AD, but in the West, globes were not made again for about a thousand years.
It was not until the fifteenth century that terrestrial globes gained importance, culminating when German geographer Martin Behaim created what is thought to be the oldest surviving terrestrial globe.