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Chapter XVI.
OF THE SEA, AND HOW IT IS COMPOSED, AND HOW IT BECOMES TO THE TASTE BITTER.

ANAXIMANDER affirms that the sea is the remainder of the primogenial humidity, the greatest part of which being dried up by the fire, the influence of the great heat altered its quality. Anaxagoras, that in the beginning water did not flow, but was as a standing pool; and that it was burnt by the motion of the sun about it, by which the oily part of the water being exhaled, the residue became salt and bitter. Empedocles, that the sea is the sweat of the earth burnt by the sun. Antiphon, that the sweat of that which was hot was separated from the other parts which were moist; these by seething and boiling became bitter, as happens in all sweats. Metrodorus, that the sea was strained through the earth, and retained some part of the [p. 159] density thereof; the same is observed in all those things which are strained through ashes. The schools of Plato, that the element of water being compacted by the rigor of the air became sweet, but that part which was exhaled from the earth, being enfired, became of a brackish taste.

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