[40a] another the winged kind which traverses the air; thirdly, the class which inhabits the waters; and fourthly, that which goes on foot on dry land. The form of the divine class1 He wrought for the most part out of fire, that this kind might be as bright as possible to behold and as fair; and likening it to the All He made it truly spherical; and He placed it in the intelligence2 of the Supreme to follow therewith, distributing it round about over all the Heaven, to be unto it a veritable adornment3 cunningly traced over the whole. And each member of this class He endowed with two motions,4 whereof the one is uniform motion in the same spot, whereby it conceives always identical thoughts about the same objects, [40b] and the other is a forward motion due to its being dominated by the revolution of the Same and Similar; but in respect of the other five motions5 they are at rest and move not, so that each of them may attain the greatest possible perfection. From this cause, then, came into existence all those unwandering stars which are living creatures divine and eternal and abide for ever revolving uniformly in the same spot; and those which keep swerving and wandering have been generated in the fashion previously described. And Earth, our nurse, which is globed around6 the pole that stretches through all, [40c] He framed to be the wardress and fashioner of night and day, she being the first and eldest of all the gods which have come into existence within the Heaven. But the choric dances of these same stars and their crossings one of another, and the relative reversals and progressions of their orbits, and which of the gods meet in their conjunctions, and how many are in opposition, and behind which and at what times they severally pass before one another and are hidden from our view, and again re-appearing [40d] send upon men unable to calculate alarming portents of the things which shall come to pass hereafter,—to describe all this without an inspection of models7 of these movements would be labor in vain. Wherefore, let this account suffice us, and let our discourse concerning the nature of the visible and generated gods have an end.Concerning the other divinities, to discover and declare their origin is too great a task for us, and we must trust to those who have declared it aforetime, they being, as they affirmed, descendants of gods and knowing well, no doubt, their own forefathers.8 [40e] It is, as I say, impossible to disbelieve the children of gods, even though their statements lack either probable or necessary demonstration; and inasmuch as they profess to speak of family matters, we must follow custom and believe them. Therefore let the generation of these gods be stated by us, following their account, in this wise: Of Ge and Uranus were born the children Oceanus and Tethys; and of these, Phorkys, Cronos, Rhea, and all that go with them;
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1 i.e., the fixed stars, and their sphere which moves with the daily rotation of the spherical Cosmos (the motion proper to “intelligence,” Cf. 36 C,Cratyl. 411 D).
4 i.e.(1) the rotation of the star on its own axis; (2) the diurnal revolution of the sphere of fixed stars.
5 Cf. 34 A, 43 B.
6 The Word εἴλλεσθαι (or ἴλλεσθαι) is taken by some to imply “oscillation” or “rotation” (Cf. Aristot.De caeloii. 293 b 30); but it seems best to suppose that Plato is here regarding the Earth as stationary. Her potential motion (we may assume) is equal and opposite to that of the Universe, of which she is the center, and by thus neutralizing it she remains at rest.
7 i.e.such instruments as a celestial globe or planetarium.
8 This is, obviously, ironical; Cf. Cratyl. 402 B,Phileb. 66 C.
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