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And such a thing is most justly called a living creature?


On the most likely account there are to be reckoned five solid bodies,1 from which one might fashion things fairest and best; but all the rest of creation has a single shape,2 for there is nothing that could come to be without a body and never possessing any color at all, except only that really most divine creature, the soul. And this alone, one may say, has the business of fashioning and manufacturing,

1 i.e. the elements fire, water, air, earth, and ether. Plato(Tim.40 A, 81 E)does not allow ether as one of the elements: our author includes it, because he wishes to make it the source ofδαίμονες, or spirits that come midway between gods and men in the scale of existence; cf. 984 B, E.

2 i.e. the generality of things that have come to be have assumed a unity of shape resulting from the afore-mentioned combination of soul and body.

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