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Chapter VI.THE natural philosophers pronounce that the forming of this world took its original from the earth, it being its centre, for the centre is the principal part of the globe. Pythagoras, from the fire and the fifth element. Empedocles determines, that the first and principal element separated from the rest was the ether, then fire, after that the earth, which earth being strongly compacted by the [p. 135] force of a violent revolution, water springs from it, the exhalations of which water produce the air; the heaven took its origin from the ether, and fire gave a being to the sun; those things that belong to the earth are condensed from the remainders. Plato, that the visible world was framed after the exemplar of the intellectual world; the soul of the visible world was first produced, then the corporeal figure, first that which came from fire and earth, afterwards that which came from air and water. Pythagoras, that the world was formed of five solid figures which are called mathematical; the earth was produced by the cube, the fire by the pyramid, the air by the octahedron, the water by the icosahedron, and the globe of the universe by the dodecahedron. In all these Plato hath the same sentiments with Pythagoras.
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