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[55c] when joined together, formed eight solid angles, each composed of three plane right angles; and the shape of the body thus constructed was cubic, having six plane equilateral quadrangular bases. And seeing that there still remained one other compound figure, the fifth,1 God used it up for the Universe in his decoration thereof.

Now in reasoning about all these things, a man might question whether he ought to affirm the existence of an infinite diversity of Universes or a limited number; and if he questioned aright he would conclude that the doctrine of an infinite diversity is that of a man unversed2


1 i.e., the dodecahedron. How God “used it up” is obscure: the reference may be to the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

2 There is a play here on the two senses of ἄπειρος, “unlimited” and “unskilled”; Cf. Phileb. 17 E. The doctrine of an infinite number of worlds was held by the Atomists.

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