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Meteorology By Aristotle

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Author Topic: Meteorology By Aristotle  (Read 1169 times)
Bathos
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« Reply #105 on: August 31, 2009, 12:12:27 am »

All bodies are combustible that dissolve into ashes, and all bodies
do this that solidify under the influence either of heat or of both
heat and cold; for we find that all these bodies are mastered by fire.
Of stones the precious stone called carbuncle is least amenable to
fire.

Of combustible bodies some are inflammable and some are not, and some
of the former are reduced to coals. Those are called 'inflammable'
which produce flame and those which do not are called 'non-inflammable'.
Those fumigable bodies that are not liquid are inflammable, but pitch,
oil, wax are inflammable in conjunction with other bodies rather than
by themselves. Most inflammable are those bodies that give off smoke.
Of bodies of this kind those that contain more earth than smoke are
apt to be reduced to coals. Some bodies that can be melted are not
inflammable, e.g. copper; and some bodies that cannot be melted are
inflammable, e.g. wood; and some bodies can be melted and are also
inflammable, e.g. frankincense. The reason is that wood has its moisture
all together and this is continuous throughout and so it burns up:
whereas copper has it in each part but not continuous, and insufficient
in quantity to give rise to flame. In frankincense it is disposed
in both of these ways. Fumigable bodies are inflammable when earth
predominates in them and they are consequently such as to be unable
to melt. These are inflammable because they are dry like fire. When
this dry comes to be hot there is fire. This is why flame is burning
smoke or dry exhalation. The fumes of wood are smoke, those of wax
and frankincense and such-like, and pitch and whatever contains pitch
or such-like are sooty smoke, while the fumes of oil and oily substances
are a greasy steam; so are those of all substances which are not at
all combustible by themselves because there is too little of the dry
in them (the dry being the means by which the transition to fire is
effected), but burn very readily in conjunction with something else.
(For the fat is just the conjunction of the oily with the dry.) So
those bodies that give off fumes, like oil and pitch, belong rather
to the moist, but those that burn to the dry.
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