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Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus


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Author Topic: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus  (Read 1550 times)
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« on: February 06, 2009, 01:17:26 pm »

bodies which are fashioned with these figures, but the elements of these, viz. those small and invisible bodies from the congress of which these sensible natures, fire, water, air, and earth, are produced. But the wholes of the elements have a spherical figure, being on all sides assimilated to the heaven. For each of them has something better than its own characteristic property, from more divine natures, just as things which approximate to the heaven have a circular motion. It is evident, therefore, that the last of the pyramids which are with the circumambient, (i.e. which are in contact with the sphere of the moon, this being the sphere in which fire is proximately contained,) though they consist of plane triangles, yet, being compressed, they become convex, in order that they may be adapted to the cavity of the heaven. But the parts existing in other things, as in vessels, and receiving configuration together with them, do not destroy the figure of the elements. For the bodies which contain others are from right-lined elements, and nothing prevents them from concurring with each other. But we, expecting to see the superficies of the containing bodies to be cylindrical or spherical, in consequence of being ignorant that they also consist of right-lined elements, are involved in doubt. All the containing natures, therefore,

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were from the same things as the natures which they contain, and all are adapted to each other, according to planes."

In the eighth argument, Aristotle says, "that neither flesh nor bone, nor any other composite, can be generated from the elements themselves, because that which is continued is not generated from composition, nor from the conjunction of planes: for the elements are generated by composition, and not those things which consist of the elements."

Proclus, in objection to this, says, "that composition is not produced from air alone, nor from water alone. In these, therefore, things that have the smallest parts, being assumed between those that have great parts, fill place, and leave no void. But if this is opposition, and not union, you must not wonder; for it is necessary that they should be distant from each other. And if, when placed by each other, they are with difficulty separated, neither is this wonderful: bodies which consist of larger planes, not being naturally adapted to yield to those which consist of smaller, nor those which are composed of firmer, to those which derive their composition from easily movable planes."

Aristotle, in the ninth argument, says, "that if the earth is a cube, because it is stable and abides; and if it abides not casually, but in its proper

p. 21

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