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[32b] had had to come into existence as a plane surface, having no depth, one middle term would have sufficed to bind together both itself and its fellow-terms; but now it is otherwise: for it behoved it to be solid of shape, and what brings solids into unison is never one middle term alone but always two.1 Thus it was that in the midst between fire and earth God set water and air, and having bestowed upon them so far as possible a like ratio one towards another—air being to water as fire to air, and water being to earth as air to water, —he joined together and constructed a Heaven visible and tangible. For these reasons


1 Two mean terms are required for a continuous proportion of “solid” (or cubic) numbers, e.g. a3 :a2b :: a2b : ab2 :: ab2 : b3.

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