But it is much the better way for us in the first place
to move forward upon those things which are perceptible
to sense, wherein Empedocles, Strato, and the Stoics
placed the substances of active qualities; the Stoics
ascribing primitive cold to the air, Empedocles and Strato
to the water; and perhaps there might be somebody else
who might affirm the earth to be the substance of cold.
But first let us consider the opinions of those already
Seeing then that fire is both hot and bright, therefore
there must be something opposite to fire which is cold and
dark. For as dark is opposite to light, so is cold to hot.
Besides, as dark confounds the sight, so cold confounds
the feeling. But heat diffuses the sense of feeling, as
light diffuses the sense of seeing. Therefore that which is
first dark in nature is first cold. Now that the air is first
dark, was not unknown to the poets; for that they call the
The thickened air the fleet with darkness covered,
Nor could the moonlight be from heaven discovered.
Then darkness scattered and the fog dispelled,
The sun brake forth, and all the fight beheld.
They also call the air, when it is without light κνεφας,
being as it were κενὸν φάους
(void of light.
) The air collected
and condensed into a cloud is called νέφος,
from its negation
of light (νή-φάος
). The words also ἀχλύς
and whatever else restrains the perception of light from the
sense, are but distinctions of the air; insomuch that the
same part of it which is invisible and without color (ἀειδές
) is called Hades and Acheron. So that, as
the air grows dark when the splendor of it fails, in like
manner when heat fails, that which is left is no more than
cold air, which by reason of its coldness is called Tartarus.
And this Hesiod makes manifest, when he calls it Τάρταρον
(or cloudy Tartarus
); and when a man quakes and
shivers for cold, he is said to tartarize. And so much for