This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 Marcus conceives that our author must here mean, not the actual, but the apparent size of these bodies; Ajasson, ii. 295; but I do not perceive that the text authorizes this interpretation.
2 I have given the simple translation of the original as it now stands in the MSS.; whether these may have been corrupted, or the author reasoned incorrectly, I do not venture to decide. The commentators have, according to their usual custom, proposed various emendations and explanations, for which I may refer to the note of Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 252, with the judicious remarks of Alexandre, and to those of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 295–298, who appear to me to take a correct view of the subject.
3 Alexandre remarks, "Hinc tamen potius distantia quam magnitudo Solis colligi potest." Lemaire, ii. 252. And the same remark applies to the two next positions of our author.
4 Alexandre remarks on the argument of our author, perhaps a little too severely, "Absurde dictum; nam aliis oritur, aliis occidit, dum aliis est a vertice; quod vel pueri sentiunt." Lemaire, ii. 253. But we may suppose, that Pliny, in this passage, only meant to say, that as the sun became vertical to each successive part of the equinoctial district, no shadows were formed in it.
5 The commentators have thought it necessary to discuss the question, whether, in this passage, Pliny refers to the Ida of Crete or of Asia Minor. But the discussion is unnecessary, as the statement of the author is equally inapplicable to both of them. Mela appears to refer to this opinion in the following passage, where he is describing the Ida of Asia Minor; "ipse mens...orientem solem aiter quam in aliis terris solet aspici, ostentat." lib. i. cap. 18.
6 "Ut dictum est superiore capite, quo Plinius falso contendit Terram esse Luna minorem." Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 253. The words of the text, however, apply equally to the comparative size of the earth and the sun, as of the earth and the moon.
7 "turbo rectus;" literally an upright top.
9 This has been pointed out as one of our author's erroneous opinions on astronomy. The earth is really about 1/30 nearer the sun in our winters than in our summers. The greater degree of heat produced by his rays in the latter case depends upon their falling on the surface of the earth less obliquely. This is the principal cause of the different temperatures of the equatorial and polar regions.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.