Xenophanes of Colophon
!!!Plutarch: Of Those Sentiments Concerning Nature with Which Philosophers Were Delighted OF DIVINATION. Xenophanes and Epicurus utterly refuse any such art of foretelling future contingencies. OF COMETS AND SHOOTING FIRES, AND THOSE WHICH RESEMBLE BEAMS. Xenophanes, that all such fiery meteors are nothing else but the conglomeration of the enfired clouds, and the flashing motions of them. WHETHER THE WORLD IS ETERNAL AND INCORRUPTIBLE. Xenophanes, that the world never had a beginning, is eternal and incorruptible. WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE STARS, AND HOW THEY ARE COMPOSED. Xenophanes, that they are composed of inflamed clouds, which in the daytime are quenched, and in the night are kindled again. The like we see in coals; for the rising and setting of the stars is nothing else but the quenching and kindling of them. OF THE EARTH, WHAT IS ITS NATURE AND MAGNITUDE. Xenophanes, that the earth, being compacted of fire and air, in its lowest parts hath laid a foundation in an infinite depth. OF THE SITE AND POSITION OF THE EARTH. Xenophanes, that it is first, being rooted in the infinite space. WHAT ARE THOSE STARS WHICH ARE CALLED THE DIOSCURI, THE TWINS, OR CASTOR AND POLLUX? Xenophanes says that those which appear as stars in the tops of ships are little clouds shining by their peculiar motion. OF THE ESSENCE OF THE SUN. Xenophanes, that the sun is constituted of small bodies of fire compact together and raised from a moist exhalation, which collected together make the body of the sun; or that it is a cloud enfired. OF THE ECLIPSES OF THE SUN. Xenophanes, that the sun is eclipsed when it is extinguished; and that a new sun is created to rise in the east. He gives a farther account of an eclipse of the sun which remained for a whole month, and again of a total eclipse which changed the day into night. Some say that the cause of an eclipse is the invisible concourse of condensed clouds which cover the orb of the sun. Aristarchus placeth the sun amongst the fixed stars, and believeth that the earth (the moon?) is moved about the sun, and that by its inclination and vergency it intercepts its light and shadows its orb. Xenophanes, that there are many suns and many moons, according as the earth is distinguished by climates, circles, and zones. At some certain times the orb of the sun, falling upon some part of the world which is uninhabited, wanders in a vacuum and becomes eclipsed. The same person affirms that the sun, proceeding in its motion in the infinite space, appears to us to move orbicularly, receiving that representation from its infinite distance from us. OF THE ESSENCE OF THE MOON. Xenophanes, that it is a condensed cloud. Plutarch’s Morals. Translated from the Greek by Several Hands. Corrected and Revised by William W. Goodwin, with an Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 5 Volumes. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878).
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. Last changed: 2013/12/27 21:27