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§§ 7‑17

This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Face in the Moon

by
Plutarch

published in Vol. XII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1957

The text is in the public domain.

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If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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§§ 26‑30

(Vol. XII) Plutarch, Moralia

p35 Concerning the Face
Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon

(Part 3 of 4 on this website)

18 1 With these remarks I was about to yield the floor to Lucius,116 since the proofs of our position were next in order; but Aristotle smiled and said: "The company is my witness that you have directed your entire refutation against those who suppose that the moon is for her part semi-igneous and yet assert of all bodies in common that of themselves they incline either upwards or downwards. Whether there is anyone, however, who says117 that the stars move naturally in a circle and are of a substance far superior to the four substances here118 did not even accidentally come to your notice, so that I at any rate have been spared trouble." And Lucius broke in and said" ". . . good friend, probably one would not for the moment quarrel with you and your friends, dispute the countless difficulties involved, when you ascribe to the other stars and the whole heaven a nature pure and undefiled and free from qualitative change and p99moving in a circle whereby it is possible to have the nature of endless revolution too; but let this doctrine descend and touch the moon, and in her it no longer preserves the impassivity and beauty of that body. Not to mention her other irregularities and divergencies, this very face which she displays is the result of some alteration of her substance or of the admixture somehow of another substance.119 That which is subjected to mixture, however, is the subject of some affection too, for it loses its purity, since it is perforce infected by what is inferior to it. The moon's sluggishness and slackness of speed and the feebleness and faintness of her heat which, in the words of Ion,

ripes not the grape to duskiness,120

to what shall we ascribe them except to her weakness and alteration, if an eternal and celestial121 body can have any part in alteration? The fact is in brief, my dear Aristotle, that regarded as earth the moon has the aspect of a very beautiful, august, and elegant object; but as a star or luminary or a divine and heavenly object she is, I am afraid, misshapen, ugly, and a disgrace to the noble title, if it is true p101that of all the host in heaven she alone goes about in need of alien light,122 as Parmenides says

Fixing her glance forever on the sun.123

Our comrade in his discourse124 won approval by his demonstration of this very proposition of Anaxagoras's that 'the sun imparts to the moon her brilliance';125 for my part, I shall not speak about these matters that I learned from you or in your company but gladly proceed to what remains. Well then, it is plausible that the moon is illuminated not by the sun's irradiating and shining through her in the manner of glass126 or ice127 nor again as the result of some sort of concentration of brilliance or aggregation of rays, the light increasing as in the case of torches.128 Were that true, we should see the moon at the full on the first of the month no less than in the middle of the month, if she does not conceal and obstruct the sun but because of her subtility let his light through or as a result of combining with it flashes forth and joins in kindling the light in herself.129 Certainly her deviations or aversions130 cannot be p103alleged as the cause of her invisibility when she is in conjunction, as they are when she is at the half and gibbous or crescent; then, rather, 'standing in a straight line with her illuminant,' says Democritus, 'she sustains and receives the sun,'131 so that it would be reasonable for her to be visible and to let him shine thru. Far from doing this, however, she is at that time invisible herself and often has concealed and obliterated him

His beams she put to flight,

as Empedocles says,

From heaven above as far as to the earth,

Whereof such breadth as had the bright-eyed moon

She cast in shade,132

just as if the light had fallen into night and darkness and not upon another star. As for the explanation of Posidonius that the profundity of the moon prevents the light of the sun from passing through her to us,133 this is obviously refuted by the fact that the air, though it is boundless and has many times the profundity of the moon, is in its entirety illumined and filled with sunshine by the rays. There remains then the theory of Empedocles that the moonlight which we see comes from the moon's reflection of p105the sun. That is why there is neither warmth134 nor brilliance in it when it reaches us, as we should expect there to be if there had been a kindling or mixture of the lights of sun and moon.135 To the contrary, just as voices when they are reflected produce an echo which is fainter than the original sound and the impact of missiles after a ricochet is weaker,

Thus, having struck the moon's broad disk, the ray136

comes to us in a refluence weak and faint because the deflection slackens its force."

17 1 Sulla then broke in and said: "No doubt this position has its plausible aspects; but what tells most strongly on the other side, did our comrade137 explain that away or did he fail to notice it?" "What's that?" said Lucius, "or do you mean the difficulty with respect to the half-moon?" "Exactly," said Sulla, "for there is some reason in the contention that, since all reflection occurs at equal angles,138 whenever p107the moon at the half is in mid-heaven the light cannot move earthwards from her but must glance off beyond the earth. The ray that then touches the moon comes from the sun on the horizon139 and therefore, being reflected at equal angles, would be produced to the point on the opposite horizon and would not shed its light upon us, or else there would be great distortion and aberration of the angle, which is opposite."140 "Yes, by Heaven," said Lucius, "there was talk of this too"; and, looking at Menelaus the mathematician as he spoke, he said: "In your presence, my dear Menelaus, I am ashamed to confute a mathematical proposition, the foundation, as it were, on which rests the subject of catoptrics. Yet it must be said that the proposition, 'all reflection occurs at equal angles,'141 is neither self-evident nor an admitted fact.142 It is refuted in the case of convex143 mirrors when the point of incidence of the visual ray produces images that are magnified in one respect; and it is refuted by folding mirrors,144 either p109plane of which, when they have been inclined to each other and have formed an inner angle, exhibits a double image, so that four likenesses of a single object are produced, two reversed on the outer surfaces and two dim ones not reversed in the depth of the mirrors. The reason for the production of these images Plato explains,145 for he has said that when the mirror is elevated on both sides the visual rays interchange their reflection because they shift from one side to the other. So, if of the visual rays some revert straight to us from the plane surfaces while others glance off to the opposite sides of the mirrors and thence return to us again, it is not possible that all reflections occur at equal angles.146 Consequently some people take direct issue with the mathematicians and maintain that they confute the equality of the angles of incidence and reflection by the very streams of light that flow from the moon upon the earth, for they deem this fact to be much more credible than that theory. Nevertheless, suppose that this147 must be conceded as a favour to p111geometry, the dearly beloved! In the first place, it is likely of the occur only in mirrors that have been polished to exact smoothness; but the moon is very uneven and rugged, with the result that the rays from a large body striking against considerable heights which receive reflections and diffusions of light from one another are multifariously reflected and intertwined and the refulgence itself combines with itself, coming to us, as it were, from many mirrors. In the second place, even if we assume that the reflections on the surface of the moon occur at equal angles, it is not impossible that the rays as they travel through such a great interval get fractured and deflected148 so as to be blurred and to bend their light. Some people even give a geometrical demonstration that the moon sheds many of her beams upon the earth along a line extended from the surface that is bent away from us;149 but I could not construct a geometrical diagram while talking, and talking to many people too.

18 1 Speaking generally," he said, "I marvel that they adduce against us the moon's shining upon the earth at the half and at the gibbous and the crescent phases too.150 After all, if the mass of the moon that is illumined by the sun were ethereal or fiery, the p113sun would not leave her151 a hemisphere that to our perception is ever in shadow and unilluminated; on the contrary, if as he revolves he grazed her ever so slightly, she should be saturated in her entirety and altered through and through by the light proceeding easily in all directions. Since wine that just touches water at its surface152 or a drop of blood fallen into liquid at the moment of contact stains all the liquid red,153 and since they say that the air itself is filled with sunshine not by having any effluences or rays commingled with it but by an alteration and change that results from impact or contact of the light,154 how do they imagine that a star can come in contact with a star or light with light and instead of blending and producing a thorough mixture and change merely illumine those portions of the surface which it touches?155 In fact, the circle which the sun in its revolution describes and causes to turn about the moon now coinciding with the circle that divides her visible and invisible parts and now standing at right p115angles to it so as to intersect it and be intersected by it, by different inclinations and relations of the bright part to the dark producing in her the gibbous and crescent phases,156 conclusively demonstrates that her illumination is the result not of combination but of contact, not of a concentration of light within her but of light shining upon her from without. In that she is not only illumined herself, however, but also transmits to us the semblance of her illumination, she gives us all the more confidence in our theory of her substance. There are no reflections from anything rarefied or tenuous in texture, and it is not easy even to imagine light rebounding from light or fire from fire; but whatever is to cause a repercussion or a reflection must be compact and solid,157 in order that it may stop a blow and repel it.158 At any rate, the same sunlight that the air lets pass without impediment or resistance is widely reflected and diffused from wood and stone and clothing exposed to its rays. The earth too we see illumined by the sun in this fashion. It does not let the light penetrate its depths as water does or pervade it through and through as air does; but such as is the circle of the sun that moves around the moon and so great as is the part of her that it intercepts, just such a circle in turn moves around the earth, always illuminating just so much and leaving another part unlimited,159 for p117the illumined portion of either body appears to be slightly greater than a hemisphere.160 Give me leave then to put it in geometrical fashion in terms of a proportion. Given three things approached by the light from the sun: earth, moon, air; if we see that the moon is illumined not as the air is rather than as the earth, the things upon which the same agent produces the same effects must be of a similar nature."161

19 1 When all had applauded Lucius, I said: "Congratulations upon having added to an elegant account an elegant proportion, for you must not be defrauded of what belongs to you." He smiled thereat and said: "Well then proportion must be used a second time, in order that we may prove the moon to be like the earth not only because the effects of the same agent are the same on both but also because the effects of both on the same patient are the same. Now, grant me that nothing that happens to the sun is so like its setting as a solar eclipse. You will if you call to mind this conjunction recently which, beginning just after noonday, made many stars shine out from my parts of the sky162 and tempered the air in the manner of twilight.163 If you do not recall it, Theon here will cite us Mimnermus164 and Cydias165 and p119Archilochus166 and Stesichorus besides and Pindar,167 who during eclipses bewail 'the brightest star bereft'168 and 'at midday falling'169 and say that the beam of the sun 'is sped the path of shade';170 and to crown all he will cite Homer, who says 'the faces of men are covered with night and gloom'171 and 'the sun has perished out of heaven'172 speaking with reference to the moon and hinting that this naturally occurs

When waning month to waxing month gives way.173

For the rest, I think that it has been reduced by the precision of mathematics to the clear and certain formula that night is the shadow of earth174 and the eclipse of the sun is the shadow of the moon175 whenever the visual ray encounters it. The fact is that in setting the sun is screened from our vision by the earth and in eclipse by the moon; but are cases of occultation, but the vespertine is occultation by the earth and the ecliptic by the moon with her shadow p121intercepting the visual ray.176 What follows from this is easy to perceive. If the effect is similar, the agents are similar, for it must be the same agents that cause the same things to happen to the same subject. Nor should we marvel if the darkness of eclipses is not so deep or so oppressive of the air as night is. The reason is that the body which produces night and that which produces the eclipse while the same in substance are not equal in size. In fact the Egyptians, I think, say that the moon is one seventy-second part (of the earth),177 and Anaxagoras that it is the size of the Peloponnesus;178 and Aristarchus demonstrates that the ratio of the earth's diameter to the diameter of the moon is smaller than 60 to 19 and greater than 108 to 43.179 Consequently the earth because of its size removes the sun from sight entirely, for the obstruction is large and its duration is that of the night. even if the moon, however, does sometimes cover the sun entirely, the eclipse does not have duration or extension; but a kind of light is visible about the rim which keeps the shadow from being profound and absolute.180 The ancient Aristotle gives this as a reason besides some others why the moon p123is observed in eclipse more frequently than the sun, saying that the sun is eclipse by interposition of the moon but the moon by that of the earth, which is much larger.181 Posidonius gave this definition: 'The following condition is an eclipse of the sun, conjunction of the moon's shadow with whatever parts of the earth it may obscure, for there is an eclipse only for those whose visual ray the shadow of the moon intercepts and screens from the sun';182 — since he concedes then that a shadow of the moon falls upon us, he has left himself nothing to say that I can see. Of a star there can be no shadow, for shadow means the unlighted and light does not produce shadow but naturally destroys it.183

20 1 Well now," he said, "which of the proofs came for this?" And I replied, "That the moon is subject to the same eclipse." "Thank you," he said, "for reminding me; but now shall I assume that you have been persuaded and do hold the moon to be eclipsed by being caught in the shadow and so p125turn straightway to my argument,184 or do you prefer that I give you a lecture and demonstration in which each of the arguments is enumerated?" "By heaven," said Theon, "do give these gentlemen a lecture. As for me, I want some persuasion as well, since I have only heard it put this way: when the three body, earth and sun and moon, get into a straight line, eclipses take place because the earth deprives the moon or the moon, on the other hand, deprives the earth of the sun, the sun being eclipsed when the moon and the moon when the earth takes the middle position of the three, the former of which cases occurs at conjunction and the latter at the middle of the month."185 Whereupon Lucius said, "Those soldier roughly the main points, though, of what is said on the subject. Add thereto first, if you will, the argument from the shape of the shadow. It is a cone, as is natural when a large fire or light that is spherical circumfuses a smaller but spherical mass.186 This is the reason why in eclipses of the moon the darkened parts are outlined against the bright in segments that are curved,187 for whenever two round bodies come into contact the lines by which either intersects the other turn out to be circular since they have everywhere a uniform tendency.188 Secondly, p127I think that you are aware that of the moon the eastward parts are first eclipsed and of the sun the westward parts and that, while the shadow of the earth moves from east to west, the sun and the moon move contrariwise towards the east.189 This is made visible to sense-perception by the phenomena and needs no very lengthy explanations to be understood, and these Philadelphia confirm the cause of the eclipse. Since the sun is eclipsed by being overtaken and the moon by encountering that which produces the eclipse, it is reasonable or rather it is necessary that the sun be caught first from behead and the moon from the front, for the obstruction begins from that point which the intercepting body first assails. The sun is assailed from the west by the moon that is striving after him, and she is assailed from the east by the earth's shadow that is sweeping down as it were in the opposite direction. Thirdly, moreover, consider the matter of the duration and the magnitude of lunar eclipses. If the moon is eclipsed when she is high and far from the earth, she is concealed for a little time; but, if the survey thing happens to her when she is low and near the earth, se is strongly curbed and is slow to get out of the shadow, although when she is low her exertions of motion are greatest and when she is high they are least. The reason for the difference lies in the shadow, which being broadest at the base, as cones are, and gradually contracting terminates at the vertex in a sharp and fine tip. Consequently the moon, if she has met the shadow when p129she is low, is involved by it in its largest circles190 and traverses its deep and darkest part; but above as it were in shallow water by reason of the fineness of the shadow she is just grazed and quickly gets clean away.191 I pass over all that was said besides with particular reference to the phases and variations,192 for these too, in so far as is possible,193 admit the cause alleged; and instead I revert to the argument before us194 which has its basis in the evidence of the senses. We see that from a shadowy place fire glows and shines forth more intensely,195 whether because the dark air being dense does not admit its effluences and diffusions but confines and concentrates the substance in a single place or because this is an affection of our senses that as hot things appear to be hotter in comparison p131with cold and pleasures more intense in comparison with pains so bright things appear conspicuous when compared with dark, their appearance being intensified by contrast to the different impressions.196 DThe former explanation seems to be the more plausible, for in sunlight fire of every kind not only loses its brilliance but by giving way becomes ineffective and less keen, the reason being that the heat of the sun disperses and dissipates its potency.197 If, then, as the Stoics themselves assert,198 the moon, being a rather turbid star, has a faint and feeble fire of her own, she ought to have none of the things happen to her that now obviously do but the very opposite; she ought to be revealed when she is hidden and hidden whenever she is now revealed, Ethat is hidden all the rest of the time when she is bedimmed by the circumambient ether199 but shining forth and becoming brilliantly clear at intervals of six months or again at intervals of five when she sinks under the shadow of the earth, since of 465 ecliptic full moons 404 occur in cycles of six months and the rest in cycles of five months.200 It ought to have been at such intervals of time then that the moon is revealed resplendent in the shadow, whereas in the shadow she is eclipsed and loses her light but regains p133it again as soon as she escapes the shadow201 and is revealed often even by day, which implies that she is anything but a fiery and star-like body."

21 1 When Lucius said this, almost while he was speaking Pharnaces and Apollonides sprang forth together. Then, Apollonides having yielded, Pharnaces said that this very point above all proves the moon to be a star or fire, since she is not entirely invisible in her eclipses but displays a colour smouldering and grim which is peculiar to her.202 Apollonides raised an objection concerning the "shadow" on the ground that the scientists always give this name to the region that is without light and the heaven does not admit shadow.203 "This," I said, "is the objection of one who speaks captiously to the name rather than like a natural scientist and mathematician to the fact. If one refuses to call the region screened by the earth 'shadow' and insists upon calling it 'lightless space,' nevertheless when the moon gets into it she must be obscured since she is deprived of the solar light. Speaking generally too, it is silly," I said, "to deny that the shadow of the earth reaches p135that point from which on its part the shadow of the moon by impinging upon the sight and extending to the earth produces an eclipse of the sun. Now I shall turn to you, Pharnaces. That smouldering and glowing colour of the moon which you say is peculiar to her is characteristic of a body that is compact and a solid, for no remnant or trace of flame will remain in tenuous things nor is incandescence possible unless there is a hard body that has been ignited through and through and sustains the ignition.204 So Homer too has somewhere said:

But when fire's bloom had flown and flame had ceased

He smoothed the embers. . . .205

The reason probably is that what is igneous206 is not fire but body that has been ignited and subjected to the action of fire, which adheres to a solid and stable mass and continues to occupy itself with it, whereas flames are the kindling and flux of tenuous nourishment or matter which because of its feebleness is swiftly dissolved. Consequently there would be no other proof of the moon's earthy and compact nature so manifest as the smouldering colour, if it p137really were her own. But it is not so, my dear Pharnaces, for as she is eclipsed she exhibits many changes of colour which scientists have distinguished as follows, delimiting them according to time or hour.207 If the eclipse occurs between eventide and half after the third hour, she appears terribly black; if at midnight, then she gives of this reddish and fiery colour; from half after the seventh hour a blush arises208 on her face; and finally, if she is eclipsed when the dawn is already near, she takes on a bluish or azure209 hue, from which especially it is that the poets and Empedocles give her the epithet 'bright-eyed.'210 Now, when one sees the moon take on so many hues in the shadow, it is a mistake to settle upon the smouldering colour alone, the very one that might especially be called alien to her and rather an admixture or remnant of the light shining round about through the shadow, while the black or earthy p139colour could be called her own.211 Since here on earth places near lakes and rivers open to the sun take on the colour and brilliance of the purple and red awnings that shade them, by reason of the reflections giving off many various effulgences, what wonder if a great flood of shade debouching as it were into a heavenly sea of light, not calm or at rest but undergoing all sorts of combinations and alterations as it is churned about by countless stars, takes from the moon at different times the stain of different hues and presents them to our sight?212 A star or fire could not in shadow shine out black or glaucous or bluish; but over mountains, plains, and sea flit many kinds of colours from the sun, and blended with the shadows and mists his brilliance213 induces such tints as brilliance does when blended with a painter's pigments. Those of the sea Homer has endeavoured somehow or other to designate, using the terms 'violet'214 and 'wine-dark deep'215 and again 'purple swell'216 and elsewhere 'glaucous sea'217 and 'white calm';218 but he passed over as being an endless multitude the variations of the colours that appear differently at different times about the land. It is likely, however, that the moon has not a single plane surface like the sea but closely resembles in constitution the earth that the ancient Socrates made the subject of a myth,219 p141whether he really was speaking in riddles about this earth or was giving a description of some other.220 It is in fact not incredible or wonderful that the moon, if she has nothing corrupted or slimy in her but garners pure light from heaven and is filled with width, which is fire not glowing or raging but moist221 and harmless and in its natural state, has got open regions of marvellous beauty and mountains flaming bright and has zones of royal purple with gold and silver not scattered in her depths but bursting forth in abundance on the plains or openly visible on the smooth heights.222 If through the shadow there comes to us a glimpse of these, different at different times because of some variation and difference of the atmosphere, the honourable repute of the moon is surely not impaired nor is her divinity because she is held by men to be a celestial and holy earth rather than, as the Stoics say, a fire turbid and dreggish.223 Fire, to be sure, is given barbaric honours among the Medes and Assyrians, who from fear by way of propitiation worship the maleficent rather than the reverend; but to every Greek, of course, the name of earth is dear and honourable, and it is our ancestral tradition to revere her like any other god. As men we are far from thinking that the p143moon, because she is a celestial224 earth, is a body without soul and mind and without share in the first-fruits that it beseems us to offer to the gods according to custom requiting them for the goods we have received and naturally revering what is better and more honourable in virtue and power. Consequently let us not think it an offence to suppose that she is earth and that for this which appears to be her face, just as our earth has certain great gulfs, so that earth yawns with great depths and clefts which contain water or murky air; the interior of these the light of the sun does not plumb or even touch, but it fails and the reflection which it sends back here is discontinuous."225

22 1 Here Apollonides broke in. "Then by the moon herself," he said, "do you people think it possible that any clefts and chasms cast shadows which from the moon reach our sight here' or do you not reckon the consequence and shall I tell you what it is? Please listen then, though it is not anything unknown to you. The diameter of the moon measures twelve digits in apparent size at her mean distance;226 and each of the black and shadowy spots appears greater than half a digit and consequently would be greater than one twenty-fourth of her diameter. Well then, if we should suppose that the circumference of the moon is only thirty thousand stades and her diameter ten thousand each of the shadowy spots on her would in accordance with the p145assumption measure not less than five hundred stades.227 Consider now in the first place whether it is possible for the moon to have depths and corrugations so great as to cast such a large shadow; in the second place why, if they are of such great magnitude, we do not see them." Then I said to him with a smile: "Congratulations for having discovered such a demonstration, Apollonides. It would enable you to prove that both you and I are taller than the famous sons of Aloeus,228 not at every time of day to be sure but early in the morning particularly and in late afternoon if, when the sun makes our shadows enormous, you intend to supply sensation with this lovely reasoning that, if the shadow cast is large, what casts the shadow is immense. I am well aware that neither of us has been in Lemnos; we have both, however, p147often heard this line that is on everyone's lips:

Athos will veil the Lemnian heifer's flank.229

The point of this apparently is that the shadow of the mountain, extending not less than seven hundred stades over the sea,230 falls upon a left bronze heifer; but it is not necessary, I presume, that what casts the shadow be size stades high, for the reason that shadows are made many times the size of the objects that cast them by the remoteness of the light from the objects.231 Come then, observe that, when the moon is at the full and because of the shadow's depth exhibits most articulately the appearance of the face, the sun is at his maximum distance from her. The reason is that the remoteness of the light alone and not the magnitude of the irregularities on the surface of the moon has made the shadow large. Besides, even in the case of mountains the dazzling beams of the sun prevent their crags from being discerned in broad daylight, although their depths and hollows and shadowy parts are visible from afar. So it is not at all strange that in the case of the moon too it is not possible to discern accurately the reflection and illumination, whereas the juxtapositions p149of the shadowy and brilliant parts by reason of the contrast do not escape our sight.

23 1 There is this, however," I said, "which seems to be a stronger objection to the alleged reflection from the moon. It happens that those who have placed themselves in the path of reflected rays see not only the object illumined but also what illuminates it. For example, if when a ray rebounds from water to a wall the eye is situated in the place that is itself illumined by the reflection, the eye discerns all three things, the reflected ray and the water that causes the reflection and the sun itself,232 the source of the light which has been reflected by impinging upon the water. On the basis of these admitted and apparent facts those who maintain that the moon illuminates the earth with reflected light are bidden (by their adversaries)233 to point out in the moon at night an appearance of the sun such as there is in water by day whenever there is a reflection of the sun from it. Since there is no such appearance, (these adversaries) think that the illumination comes about in another way and not by reflection and that, if there is not reflection, neither is the moon an earth." "What response must be made to them then?" said Apollonides, "for the characteristics of reflection seem to present us with a problem in common."234 p151"In common in a way certainly," said I, "but in another way not in common either. In the first place consider the matter of the image,235 how topsy-turvy and like 'rivers flowing uphill'236 they conceive it. The fact is that water is on earth and below, and the moon above the earth and on high; and hence the angles produced by the reflected rays are the converse of each other, the one having its apex above at the moon, the other below at the earth.237 So they must not demand that every kind of mirror or a mirror at every distance produce a similar reflection, since (in doing so) they are at variance with the manifest facts. Those, on the other hand, who declare that the moon is not a tenuous or smooth body as water is but a heavy and earthy one,238 I do not under why it is required of them that the sun be manifest to vision in her. For milk does not return such mirrorings either or produce reflections of the visual ray, and the reason is the irregularity and roughness of its particles;239 how in the world then is it possible for the moon to cast the visual ray back from herself in the way that the smoother mirrors do? Yet even these, of course, are occluded if a scratch or speck of dirt or roughness covers the point p153from which the visual ray is naturally reflected, and while the mirrors themselves are seen they do not return the customary reflection.240 One who demands that the moon either reflect our vision from herself to the sun as well or else not reflect the sun from herself to us either is naïve, for he is demanding that the eye be a sun, the vision light, and the human being a heaven. Since the light of the sun because of its intensity and brilliance arrives at the moon with a shock, it is reasonable that its reflection should reach to us; but the visual ray, since it is weak and tenuous and many times slighter, what wonder if it does not have an impact that produces recoil or if in rebounding it does not maintain its continuity but is dispersed and exhausted, not having light enough to keep it from being scattered about the irregularities and corrugations (of the moon)? From water, to be sure, and from mirrors of other kinds it is not impossible for the reflection (of the visual ray) to rebound to the sun, since it is still strong because it is near to its point of origin;241 but from the moon, even if the visual rays do in some cases glance off, they will be weak and dim and prematurely exhausted because of the magnitude of the distance.242 What is more too, whereas mirrors that are concave make p155the ray of light more intense after reflection than it was before so as often even to send off flames,243 convex and spherical mirrors244 by not exerting counter-pressure upon it from all points give it off weak and faint. You observe, I presume, whenever two rainbows appear, as one cloud encloses another, that the encompassing rainbow produces colours that are faint and indistinct. The reason for this is that the outer cloud, being situated further off from the eye, returns reflection that is not intense or strong.245 Nay, what need of further arguments? When the light of the sun by being reflected from the moon loses all its heat246 and of its brilliance there barely reaches us a slight and feeble remnant, is it really possible that of the visual ray travelling the same double-course247 any fraction of a remnant should from the moon arrive at the sun? For my part, I think not; and do you too," I said, "consider this. If the visual ray were affected in the same way by warm water and by the moon, the full moon ought to show such reflections of the earth and plants and human beings and stars as all other mirrors do; but, if there occur no reflections of the visual ray to these objects either p157because of the weakness of the ray or the ruggedness of the moon, let us not require that there be such reflection to the sun either.

24 1 So we for our part," said I, "have now reported as much of that conversation248 as has not slipped our mind; and it is high time to summon Sulla or rather to demand his narrative as the agreed condition upon which he was admitted as a listener. So, if it is agreeable, let us stop our promenade and sit down upon the benches, that we may provide him with a settled audience." To this then they agreed; and, when we had sat down, Theon said: "Though, as you know, Lamprias, I am as eager as any of you to hear what is going to be said, I should like before that to hear about that beings that are said to dwell on the moon249 — not whether any really do inhabit it but whether habitation there is possible. If it is not possible, the assertion that the moon is an earth is itself absurd, for she would then appear to have come into existence vainly and to no purpose, neither bringing forth fruit nor providing for men of some kind an origin, an abode, and a means of life, the purposes Efor which this earth of ours came into being, as we say with Plato, 'our nurse, strict guardian and artificer of day and night.'250 You see that there is p159much talk about these things both in jest and seriously. It is said that those who dwell under the moon have her suspended overhead like the stone of Tantalus251 and on the other hand that those who dwell upon her, fast bound like so many Ixions252 by such great velocity, Fare kept from falling by being whirled round in a circle. Yet it is not with a single motion that she moves; but she is, as somewhere she is in fact called, the goddess of three ways,253 for she moves on the zodiac against the signs in longitude and latitude and in depth at the same time. Of these movements the mathematicians call the first 'revolution,' the second 'spiral,' and the third, I know not why 'anomaly,' although they see that she has no motion at all that is uniform and fixed by regular recurrences.254 There is reason to wonder then not that the velocity caused a lion to fall on the Peloponnesus255 p161but how it is that we are not forever seeing countless

Men falling headlong and lives spurned away,256

tumbling off the moon, as it were, and turned head over heels. It is moreover ridiculous to raise the question how the inhabitants of the moon remain there, if they cannot come to be or exist. Now, when Egyptians and Troglodytes,257 for whom the sun stands in the zenith one moment of one day at the solstice and then departs, are all but burnt to a cinder by the dryness of the atmosphere, is it really likely that the men on the moon endure twelve summers every year, the sun standing fixed vertically above them each month at the full moon? Yet winds and clouds and rains, without which plants can neither arise nor having arisen be preserved, because of the heat and tenuousness of the atmosphere cannot possibly be imagined as forming there, for not even here on earth do the lofty mountains admit fierce and continual storms258 but the air, being tenuous already and having a rolling swell259 as a result of its lightness, escapes this compaction and condensation. otherwise, by Heaven, we shall have to say that, as Athena when Achilles was taking no food instilled into him p163some nectar and ambrosia,260 so the moon, which is Athena in name and fact,261 nourishes her men by sending up ambrosia for them day by day, the food of the gods themselves as the ancient Pherecydes believes.262 For even the Indian root which according to Megasthenes the Mouthless Men, who neither eat nor drink, kindle and cause to smoulder and inhale for their nourishment,263 how could it be supposed to grow there if the moon is not moistened by rain?"

25 1 When Theon had so spoken, I said "Bravo, you have most excellently smoothed our brows by the sport of your speech, wherefore we have been inspired with boldness to reply, since we anticipate no very sharp or bitter scrutiny. It is, moreover, a fact that there really is no difference between those who in such matters are firm believers and those who are violently annoyed by them and firmly disbelieve and refuse to examine calmly what can be and what might be.264 So, for example, in the first p165place, if the moon is not inhabited by men, it is not necessary that she have come to be in vain and to no purpose, for we see that this earth of ours is not productive and inhabited throughout its while extent either but only a small part of it is fruitful of animals and plants on the peaks, as it were, and peninsulas rising out of the dee, while of the rest some parts are desert and from less with winter-storms and summer-droughts and the most are sunk in the great sea. You, however, because of your constant fondness and admiration for Aristarchus, give no heed to the text that Crates read:

Ocean, that is the universal source

Of men and gods, spreads over most of earth.265

Yet it is by no means for nothing that these parts have come to be. The sea gives off gentle exhalations, and the most pleasant winds when summer is at its height are released and dispersed from the uninhabited and frozen region by the snows that are gradually melting there.266 'A strict guardian and artificer of day and night' has according to Plato267 p167been stationed in the centre. Nothing then prevents the moon too, while destitute of living beings, from providing reflections for the light that is diffused about her and for the rays of the stars a point of confluence in herself and a blending whereby she digests the exhalations from the earth and at the same time slackens the excessive torridity and harshness of the sun.268 Moreover, conceding a point perhaps to ancient tradition also, we shall say that she was held to be Artemis on the ground that she is a virgin and sterile but is helpful and beneficial to other females.269 In the second place, my dear Theon, nothing that has been said proves impossible the alleged inhabitation of the moon. As to the rotation, since it is very gentle and serene, it smooths the air and distributes it in settled order, so that there is no danger of falling and slipping off for those who stand there. And if it is not simple either,270 even this complication and variation of the motion is not attributable to irregularity or confusion; but in them astronomers demonstrate a marvellous order and progression, making her revolve with circles that unroll about other circles, some assuming that she is herself motion less and others that she retrogresses smoothly and regularly p169with ever constant velocity,271 for these superpositions of the circles and their rotations and relations to one another and to us combine most harmoniously to produce the apparent variations of her motion in altitude and the deviations in latitude at the same time as her revolutions in longitude.272 As to the great hear and continual scorching of the sun, you will cease to fear it, if first of all you set the conjunctions over against the universe summery full-moons273 and suppose that the continuousness of the change produces in the extremes, which do not last a long time, a suitable tempering and removes the excess from either. Between these then, as is likely, they have a season most nearly approaching spring. In the second place, upon us the sun sends, through air which is turbid and nourished by the exhalations, whereas there the air being tenuous and translucent scatters and diffuses the sun's light, which has no tinder or body to sustain it.274 p171The fruits of tree and field here in our region are nourished by rains; but elsewhere, as up in your home275 around Thebes and Syene, the land drinking water that springs from earth instead of rain-water and enjoying breezes and dews276 would refuse, I think, to adapt itself277 to the fruitfulness that attends the most abundant rainfall, and that because of a certain excellence and temperament that it has. Plants of the same kind, which in our region if sharply nipped in by winter bear good fruit in abundance, in Libya and in your home in Egypt are very sensitive to cold and afraid of winter.278 And, while Gedrosia and Ethiopia which comes down to the ocean is barren and entirely treeless because of the aridity, in the adjacent and surrounding sea there grow and thrive down in the deep plants of great magnitude, some of which are called olives, some laurels, and some p173tresses of Isis;279 and the plants here called 'love-restorers' when lifted out of the earth and hung up not only live as long as you wish but sprout280 <. . .>. Some plants are sown towards winter, and some at the height of summer as sesame and millet.281 Thyme or centaury, if sown in good, rich soil and wetted and watered, departs from its natural quality and loses its strength, whereas drought delights it and causes it to reach its proper stature;282 and some plants, as they say, cannot stand even dew, as is true of the majority of Arabian plants, but are blighted and destroyed by being moistened.283 What wonder t90 if on the moon there grow roots and seeds and trees that have no need of rain nor yet of snow but are naturally adapted to a summery and rarefied air? And why is it unlikely that winds arise warmed by the moon and that breezes steadily accompany the rolling swell of her revolution by scattering off and diffusing dews and light moisture suffice for the vegetation and that she herself is not fiery or dry in temperament but soft and humidifying? After all, no influence of dry and comes to us from her but much of p175moistness and femininity:284 the growth of plants, the decay of meats, the souring and flattening of wine, the softening of timbers, the easy delivery of women.285 Now that Pharnaces is quiet I am afraid of provoking and arousing him again if I cite, in the words of his own school, the flood-tides of Ocean and the swelling of the straits when they are increased and poured abroad by the liquefying action of the moon.286 Therefore I shall rather turn to you, my dear Theon, for when you expound these words of Alcman's,

Such as are nourished by Dew, daughter of Zeus and of divine Selene,287

you tell us that at this point he calls the air 'Zeus' and says that it is liquefied by the moon and turns to dew-drops.288 It is in fact probable, my friend, that the moon's nature is contrary to that of the sun, if of herself she not only naturally softens and dissolves all that he condenses and dries but liquefies and cools even the heat that he casts upon her and imbues her p177with. They err then who believe the moon to be a fiery and glowing body; and those who demand that living beings there be equipped just as those here are for generation, nourishment, and livelihood seem blind to the diversities of nature, among which one can discover more and greater differences and dissimilarities between living beings than between them and inanimate objects.289 Let there not be mouthless men nourished by odours who Megasthenes thinks do exist;290 yet the Hungerbane,291 the virtue of which he was himself trying to explain to us, Hesiod hinted at when he said

Nor what great profit mallow has and squill292

and Epimenides made manifest in fact when he showed that with a very little fuel nature kindles and sustains the living creature, which needs no further nourishment if it gets as much as the size of an olive.293 It is plausible that the men on the moon, if they do exist, are slight of body and capable of being nourished by whatever comes their way.294 After all, they say that the moon herself, like the sun which is an p179animate being of fire many times as large as the earth, is nourished by the moisture on the earth, as are the rest of the stars too, though they are countless; so light and frugal of requirements they do conceive the creatures to be that inhabit the upper region.295 We have no comprehension of these beings, however, nor of the king that a different place and nature and temperature are suitable to them. Just as, assuming that we were unable to approach the sea or touch it but only had a view of it from afar and the information that it is bitter, unpotable, and salty water, if someone said that it supports in its depths many large animals of multifarious shapes and is full of beasts that use water for all the ends that we use air, his statements would seem to us like a tissue of myths and marvels, such appears to be our relation to the moon and our attitude towards her is apparently the same when we disbelieve that any men dwell there. Those men, I think, would be much more amazed at the earth, when they look out at the sediment and dregs296 of the universe, as it were, obscurely visible in moisture, mists, and clouds as a light less, low, and motionless spot, to think that it engenders and nourishes animate beings which partake of motion, breath, and warmth. FIf they should chance to hear somewhere these Homeric words,

Dreadful and dank, which even gods abhor297

p181 and

Deep under Hell as far as Earth from Heaven,298

these you would say are simply a description of this place and Hell and Tartarus have been relegated hither while the moon alone is earth, since it is equally distant from those upper regions and these lower ones."


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

116 It was ostensibly in order to give Lucius time to collect his thoughts that Lamprias began the "remarks" which he has just concluded after ten paragraphs (see 923G supra).

117 This is Aristotle, of course: De Caelo, 269 A2‑18, 270 A12‑35 cf. [Aristotle], De Mundo, 392 5‑9 and De Placitis, 887D = Aëtius, II.7.5. (Dox. Graeci, p336).

118 I have added this word in the translation in order to make it clear that "the four" are the four sublunar substances, earth, water, air, and fire.

119 Cf. Aëtius, II.30.6 (Dox. Graeci, p362 B 1‑4): Ἀριστοτέλης μὴ εἶναι αὐτῆς (scil. σελήνης) ἀκήρατον τὸ σύγκριμα διὰ τὰ πρόσγεια ἀερώματα τοῦ αἰθέρος, ὃν προσαγορεύει σῶμα πέμπτον. In fact in De Gen. Animal. 761 B22 Aristotle does say that the moon shares in the fourth body, i.e. fire.

120 At Quaest. Conviv. 658C Plutarch quotes the whole line, Ion, frag. 57 (Nauck2).

121 For the epithet ὀλύμπιος used of the moon cf. 935C infra and De Defectu Oraculorum, 416E: οἱ δ᾽ ὀλυμπίαν γῆν (scil. σελήνην) . . . προσεῖπον, and for the meaning attached to it cf. the etymology in the pseudo-Plutarchian De Vita et Poesi Homeri, B, 95 [VII, p380, 17‑20, Bernardakis]; Pseudo-Plutarch in Stobaeus, Eclogae, I.22 (I, p198.10 ff., Wachsmuth); [Aristotle], De Mundo, 400 A6‑9; Eustathius, In Iliadem, 38.38.

122 At Adv. Coloten 1116A Plutarch quotes Parmenides as having called the moon ἀλλότριον φῶς (= Parmenides, frag. B 14 [I, p243.19, Diels-Kranz]); cf. Empedocles, frag. B 45 (I, p332.2 [Diels-Kranz]).

123 = Parmenides, frag. B 15 (I, p244.3 [Diels-Kranz]), quoted also at Quaest. Rom. 282B.

124 See note a on p48 supra.

125 = Anaxagoras, frag. B 18 (II, p41.5‑7 [Diels-Kranz]).

126 Cf. Aëtius, II.25.11 (Dox. Graeci, p356 b21) = Ion of Chios, frag. A 7 (I, p378.33‑34 [Diels-Kranz]).

127 see note c on 922C supra.

128 Cf. De Placitis, 891F = Aëtius, II.29.4 (Dox. Graeci, p360 A 3‑8 and B5‑11).

129 The latter was the theory of Posidonius as Plutarch indicates in 929D infra; cf. Cleomedes, II.4.101 (pp182.20‑184.3 [Ziegler]) and II.4.104‑105 (pp188.5‑190.16).

130 i.e. the various deflections of the moon in latitude and the varying portion of the lunar hemisphere turned away from the sun as the moon revolves in her orbit. For these two variations in the explanation of the lunar phases cf. Cleomedes, II.4.100 (pp180.26‑182.7 [Ziegler]), and Geminus, IX.5‑12 (p126.5 ff. [Manitius]).

131 = Democritus, frag. A 89A (II, p105.32‑34 [Diels-Kranz]). For the meaning of κατὰ στάθμην cf. De Placitis, 883A, 884C. The words ὑπολαμβάνει καὶ δέχεται have a sexual meaning here; cf. 944E infra, De Iside, 372D, Amatorius, 770A, and Roscher, Über Selene und Verwandtes, pp76 ff.

132 = Empedocles, frag. B42 (I, p330, 11‑13 [Diels-Kranz]).

133 See note h on 929C supra. In Cleomedes, II.4.105 (p190.4‑16 [Ziegler]) the refutation given by Plutarch here is answered or anticipated by the statement that the air does not have βάθος as the moon does, and from what follows it appears that by the βάθος of the moon Posidionius must have meant not mere spatial depth but a certain density as well.

134 At 937B infra and De Pythiae Oraculis, 404D it is said that in being reflected from the moon the sun's rays lose their heat entirely (cf. Macrobius, Somn. Scip. I.19.12‑13 [p560.30 ff., Eyssenhardt]). Just above, however, at 929A Plutarch ascribed to the moonlight a "feeble" heat, and so he does in Quaest. Nat. 918A (cf. Aristotle, De Part. Animal. 680 A33‑34; [Aristotle], Problemata, 92 = 42 A24‑26 ; Theophrastus, De Causis Plant. IV.14.3). Kepler (Somnium sive Astronomia Lunaris, note 200) asserts that he had felt the heat from the rays of the full moon concentrated in a concave parabolic mirror; but the first real evidence of the moon's heat was obtained by Melloni in 1846 by means of the newly invented thermopile. Cf. R. Pixis, Kepler als Geograph, p135; S. Günther, Vergleichende Mond- und Erdkunde, p82, n3; Nasmyth-Carpenter, The Moon (London, 1885), p184.

135 I have added the words "sun and moon" in the translation to make explicit the meaning of τῶν φώτων. For the theory referred to see note h on 929C supra.

136 = Empedocles, frag. B43 (I, p330.20 [Diels-Kranz]).

137 See 929B and note a on p48 supra.

138 This expression is intended to have the same sense as πρὸς ἴσας γίγνεσθαι γωνίας ἀνάκλασιν πᾶσαν (930A infra), and both of them mean (pace Raingeard, p100, and Kepler in note 28 to his translation) "the angle of reflection is always equal to the angle of incidence." Cf. [Euclid], Catoptrica a′ (= Euclid, Opera Omnia, VII, p286.21‑22 [Heiberg]) with Olympiodorus, In Meteor. p212.7 = Hero Alexandrinus, Opera, II.1, p368.5 (Nix-Schmidt) and [Ptolemy], De Speculis, ii = Hero Alexandrinus, Opera, II.1, p320.12‑13 (Nix-Schmidt); and contrast the more precise information of Philoponus, In Meteor. p27.34‑35.

139 Kepler in note 19 to his translation points out that this is true only is μεσουρανῇ "is in mid-heaven" refers not to the meridian but to the great circle at right-angles to the ecliptic.

140 Cleomedes, II.4.103 (p186.7‑14 [Ziegler]) introduces as σχεδὸν γνώριμον his summary of this argument against the theory that moonlight is merely reflected sunlight.

141 See note e on 929F supra.

142 It has been suggested that οὔθ᾽ ὁμολογούμενον is a direct denial of ὡμολογημένον ἐστὶ παρὰ πᾶσιν at the beginning of Hero's demonstration (Schmidt in Hero Alexandrinus, Opera [ed. Nix-Schmidt], II.1, p314. However that may be, the law is assumed in Proposition XIX of Euclid's Optics, where it is said to have been stated in the Catoptrics (Euclid, Opera Omnia, VII, p30.1‑3 [Heiberg]); and a demonstration of it is ascribed to Archimedes (Scholia in Catoptrica, 7 = Euclid, Opera Omnia, VII, p348.17‑22 [Heiberg]; cf. Lejeune, Isis, XXXVIII [1947], pp51 ff.). It is assumed by Aristotle in Meteorology, III.3‑5 and possibly also by Plato (cf. Cornford, Plato's Cosmology, pp154 f. on Timaeus, 46B); cf. also Lucretius, IV.322‑323 and [Aristotle], Problemata, 901 B21‑22 and 915 B30‑35. Proposition XIX of Euclid's Optics, referred to above, is supposed to be part of the "Dioptrics" of Euclid which Plutarch cites at Non Posse Suaviter Vivi, 1093E (cf. Schmidt, op. cit. p304).

143 i.e. cylindrical, not spherical, convex mirrors; cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951, pp142‑143 for the construction and meaning of this sentence.

144 For such mirrors cf. [Ptolemy], De SpeculisXII = Hero Alexandrinus, Opera, II.1, p342.7 ff.

145 Plutarch means Timaeus, 46B‑C, where Plato, however, describes a concave, cylindrical mirror, not a folding plane mirror. Plutarch apparently mistook the words ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν ὕψη λαβοῦσα, by which Plato describes the horizontal curvature of the mirror, to mean that the two planes of a folding mirror were raised to form an angle at the hinge which joined them.

146 See note e on 929F supra.

147 i.e. the "theory" that the angle of reflection is always equal to the angle of incidence.

148 With these words Plutarch means to refer to the effects of refraction; cf. De Placitis, 894C = Aëtius, III.5.5 (Dox. Graeci, p372.21‑26); Cleomedes, II.6.124‑125 (p224.8‑28 [Ziegler]); Alexander, In Meteor. p143.7‑10.

149 Cf. the argument given by Cleomedes, II.4.103 (pp186.14‑188.7 [Ziegler]) and especially: ὅτι δ᾽ ἀπὸ παντὸς τοῦ κύκλου αὐτῆς φωτίζεται ἡ γῆ, γνώριμον. εὐθέως γὰρ ἅμα τῷ τὴν πρώτην ἴτυν ἀνασχεῖν ἐκ τοῦ ὁρίζοντος φωτίζει τὴν γῆν, τούτων τῶν μερῶν αὐτῆς περικλινῶν ὄντων καὶ πρὸς τὸν οὐρανόν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχί, μὰ Δία, πρὸς τὴν γῆν ὁρώντων. For ἡ ἐκκεκλιμένη cf. Hippocrates, Art. 38 (IV, p168.81 [Littré]).

150 i.e. the moon at the half, gibbous, and crescent phases presents such a great difficulty for the Stoics themselves that it is strange for them to adduce these phenomena as refutation of the theory that the moon shines by reflected light. Wyttenbach's conjecture, ἐκπίπτουσαν for ἐμπίπτουσαν, approved by Purser and apparently adopted by Prickard in his translation of 1918, betrays a misapprehension of the meaning of the text.

151 For ἀπέλειπεν cf. 931C infra. The dative with the verb is unobjectionable, cf. e.g. [Reg. et Imp. Apophthegm.] 178D, 195F.

152 For κατὰ πέρας cf. De Communibus Notitiis, 1080E (= S. V. F. II, frag. 487): ψαύειν κατὰ πέρας τὰ σώματα . . . λέγουσι and S. V. F. II, frag. 433 cited in note d on 930F infra. The "emendations" of Emperius and Papabasileios are consequently ill-advised.

153 Cf. De Communibus Notitiis, 1078D‑E (= S. V. F. II, frag. 480) and S. V. F. II, frags. 473, 477, 479.

154 Cf. S. V. F. II, frag. 433 (Galen, In Hippocr. Epidem. VI Comment. IV, vol. XVIIB, p161 [Kühn], especially: τοῖς ἄνω πέρασιν αὖτοῦ (scil. τοῦ ἀέρος) προσπιπτούσης τῆς ἡλιακῆς αὐγῆς ὄλος ἀλλοιοῦταί τε καὶ μεταβάλλεται συνεχὴς ὢν ἑαυτῷ). Cf. also note a on 922E supra.

155 Cf. Cleomedes, II.4.101 (p182.20 ff. [Ziegler]) for the doctrine of Posidonius, which Plutarch here turns against him and the Stoics generally: τρίτη ἐσὶν αἵρεσις ἡ λέγουσα κιρωνᾶσθαι αὐτῆς (scil. τῆς σελήνης) τὸ φῶς ἔκ τε τοῦ οἰκείου καὶ τοῦ ἡλιακοῦ φωτὸς καὶ τοιοῦτον γίνεσθαι οὐκ ἀπαθοῦς μενούσης αὐτῆς . . . ἀλλ᾽ ἀλλοιουμένης ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλιακοῦ φωτὸς καὶ κατὰ τοιαύτην τὴν κρᾶσιν ἴδιον ἰσχούσης τὸ φῶς . . . . Cf. ibid. 104 (p188.4‑7).

156 Cf. Cleomedes, II.5.109‑111 (pp196.28‑200.23 [Ziegler]).

157 Here ἐμβριθές is used as the opposite of λεπτομερές (cf. Liddell and Scott, s.v. ἐμβρίθεια ii) as πυκνόν is of ἀραιόν.

158 Cf. Cleomedes, II.4.101‑102 (p184.9‑18 [Ziegler]). Cleomedes, assuming that the moon is μάνον, uses this as an argument against reflection; Plutarch, having established the necessity of reflection, uses the argument to support the contention that the moon is earthy.

159 Cf. Cleomedes, II.5.108 (p194.20 ff. [Ziegler]).

160 Cf. Cleomedes, II.5.109 (p198.6‑9 [Ziegler]).

161 I have tried to preserve the contorted form in which Plutarch expresses the point that the moon, since it is affected by sunlight as the earth is and not as air is, must have the consistency of earth and not of air.

162 Concerning this eclipse see the Introduction, § 3 supra on the date of the dialogue.

163 For λυκαυγές see 941D infra and Lucian, Vera Hist. II.12. Prickard takes the κρᾶσις to refer to the degree of heat; Raingeard, like Amyot and Wyttenbach, takes it to refer to colour or light. Either is possible, but I think a reference to colour the more probable; for κρᾶσις used of colour cf. Quaest. Conviv. 647C.

164 Cf. Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, ed. Diehl2, I.1, pp50‑57, and Edmonds, Elegy and IambusI, pp82‑103; Mimnermus is mentioned in the pseudo-Plutarchean De Musica, chap. 8, 1133F.

165 Cf. Plato, Charmides, 155D; Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, III, p68; Wilamowitz, Textgeschichte der griechischen Lyriker, p40, n1.

166 Cf. Archilochus, frag. 74 (antlyg, ed. Diehl2, I.3, p33 = Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, II, p134).

167 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.12, § 54: "quo in metu fuisse Stesichori et Pindari vatum sublimia ora palam est deliquio solis."

168 = Pindar, Paean, IX.2‑3: ἄστρον ὑπέρτατον ἐν ἁμέρᾳ κλεπτόμενον.

169 Possibly Stesichorus, cf. Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci4, III, p229 (frag. 73), and Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, I, p102, n1.

170 Cf. Pindar, Paean, IX.5: ἐπίκοτον ἀτραπὸν ἐσσυμένα. For the genitive σκότους cf. De Audiendis Poetis, 36E, and De Latenter Vivendo, 1130B.

171 Adapted from Odyssey, XX.351‑352.

172 Odyssey, XX.356‑357.

173 Odyssey, XIX.307. For this interpretation of the Homeric lines cf. De Vita et Poesi Homeri, chap. 108 (VII, p388.15 ff. [Bernardakis]), and Heraclitus, Quaestiones Homericae, § 75 (pp98.20‑99.18 [Oelmann]).

174 Cf. De Primo Frigido, 953A and Plat. Quaest. 1006F, where on Timaeus, 40C Plutarch quotes Empedocles to this effect. Aristotle refers to the definition, Topics, 146 B28 and Meteorology, 345 B7‑8.

175 Cf. the lines of Empedocles quoted at 929C‑D supra. In De Placitis, 890F = Aëtius, II.24.1 this explanation of solar eclipses is ascribed to thales — quite unhistorically, as the subsequent entries show.

176 Cf. Cleomedes, II.3.94‑95 (p172.6‑10 [Ziegler]) and II.4.06 (p192.16‑24); Geminus, X (pp130.11‑132.12 [Manitius]).

177 I know of no other reference to such an estimate.

178 According to Hippolytus, Refut. I.8.6‑10 (= Dox. Graeci, p562 = Anaxagoras, frag. A 42 [II, p16.16‑31, Diels-Kranz]), Anaxagoras said that the sun exceeds the Peloponnesian in size (cf. Aëtius, II.21.3 and Diogenes Laertius, II.8). The statement here concerning the moon is missing from Diels-Kranz.

179 This is Proposition 17 of Aristarchus's essay, "On the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon" (cf. Heath's edition and translation in his Aristarchus of Samos, pp351 ff.). Although Plutarch does not say that this contradicts Stoic doctrine, the older, orthodox Stoics held that the moon as well as the sun is larger than the earth (De Placitis, 891C - Aëtius, II.26.1 = S. V. F. II, frag. 666; cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.11 [8].49).

180 Cf. Cleomedes, II.4.105 (p190,17‑26).

181 = Aristotle, frag. 210 (Rose). The reference is not to De Caelo, 293 B20‑25, for in that passage Aristotle gives not his own opinion but that of some Pythagoreans (cf. Cherniss, Aristotle's Criticism of Presocratic Philosophy, pp198‑199, Aëtius, II.29.4 cited there). For the terminology σελήνης or γῆς ἀντίφραξις cf. Aristotle, Anal. Post. 90 A15‑18, and with the whole passage cf. Pseudo-Alexander, Problem. 2.46 (quoted by Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus, § 194, p222), and Philoponus, In Meteor. p15.21‑23.

182 Cf. Cleomedes, II.3.94‑95 (p172.6‑17 [Ziegler]) and 98 (p178.13‑24), II.4.106 (p192.14‑20).

183 Posidonius ranked the moon as a "star"; cf. Arius Didymus, Epitome, frag. 32 (Dox. Graeci, p466.18‑21), and Edelstein, A.J.P. LVII (1936), p297. For the theory that the light of the moon is a product of her own proper light and the solar light which produces an alteration in her cf. Cleomedes, II.4.101 (pp182.20‑184.3 [Ziegler]) and 104 (p188.5‑27), the latter of which indicates how the present contention of Plutarch could have been answered from the point of view of Posidonius.

184 The argument that the moon is earthy, which at the beginning of chap. 19 (931D) Lucius stated in the form of a proportion.

185 Cf. Cleomedes, II.6.115 (p208.9‑12 [Ziegler]) for the eclipse of the moon and II.4.106 (p192.14‑20) for the eclipse of the sun; cf. also Theon of Smyrna, p193, 23 ff. and p197.22 ff. (Hiller); Geminus, VIII.14 (p104.23 ff. [Manitius]).

186 See notes a and b on 923B supra.

187 Cf. Cleomedes, II.6.118 (p214.2‑12 [Ziegler]); Aristotle, De Caelo, 297 B23‑30.

188 i.e. the intersecting lines are always arcs of a circle because the degree of curvature of each of the two surfaces is at every point similar. For this interpretation cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), p144.

189 Cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), p144; Cleomedes, II.6.116 (p210.6‑19 [Ziegler]), 117 (p212.1‑12) on the lunar eclipse; II.5.113‑114 (p204.27 ff.) on the solar eclipse; Geminus, II.5 hill 13 (pp138‑140 [Manitius]) on the eastward motion of sun and moon.

190 Cf. De Communibus Notitiis, 1080B: αὐταὶ γὰρ δήπουθεν αἱ τῶν κωνικῶν τμηημάτων ἐπιφάνειαι κύκλοι εἰσίν.

191 Cf. Cleomedes, II.6.119 (pp214.13‑216.8 [Ziegler]]); for the observation that the planets appear to move most swiftly when they are nearest to the earth and most slowly when they are farthest away cf. Cleomedes, II.5.112‑114 (pp202.26‑206.27), and Theon smyrna, p135.6‑11 and p157.2‑12 (Hiller). Plutarch's language, however, implies that the moon makes a conscious exertion to accelerate her motion when she is near the earth, and in the myth at 944A infra it is stated that she increases her speed in order to escape the shadow of the earth. Kepler in note 51 to his translation declares that, contrary to what Lucius here says, perigee eclipses even when central are briefer than apogee eclipses; and Prickard (Plutarch on the Face of the Moon [1911], p11) says that "ceteris paribus an eclipse of a distant moon should be longer by about one fifteenth." Prof. Neugebauer informs me that, using the Ptolemaic figures for the apparent diameter of the moon and of the earth's shadow and the classical figures given by Geminus for the velocity, the maximum totality in apogee should be 4;3,23hr and in perigee 3;20.0hr.

192 Probably a reference to such matters as are discussed by Geminus, IX (pp124‑130 [Manitius]). With τὰς φάσεις καὶ διαφορήσεις cf. "species diversitatesque Lunae," Martianus Capella, VIII.871 (p459.15‑16 [Dick]).

193 It is impossible to give an exhaustive and accurately scientific explanation of physical phenomena, for they are involved in the indeterminateness of matter. Cf. Aristotle, Anal. Post. 87 A31‑37 and Metaphysics, 995 A14‑17, 1078 A9‑13 (cf. Seller, Die Philosophie der Griechen, II.2, p166, n3); and for Plato's more extreme attitude cf. especially Timaeus, 29B‑C, Philebus, 56 and 59. Plutarch appears to have Philebus, 56C in mind at Quaest. Conviv. 744E‑F, where he makes astronomy "attendant upon" geometry, as he has Philebus, 66A‑B in mind at 720C (cf. R. M. Jones, Class. Phil. VII [1912], pp76 f.). For the notion of the necessary lack of accuracy of the "physical sciences" cf. further Plat. Quaest. 1001E ff. and Quaest. Conviv. 699B.

194 Cf. note a on 932D supra.

195 Cf. Cleomedes, II.3.99 (p180.11‑13 [Ziegler] and II.6.120‑121 (p218.2‑3).

196 Cf. Quomodo Adul. ab Amico Internosc. 57C, De Herodoti Malignitate, 863E.

197 Cf. Aristotle, De Caelo, 305 A9‑13; [Alexander] De anima Libri Mantissa, p128.2‑7 (Bruns), and the explanation of the moon's phases ascribed to Antiphon in De Placitis, 891D = Aëtius, II.28.4 (Dox. Graeci, p358).

Thayer's Note: The life and works of the orator Antiphon are very thoroughly treated in Dobson's Greek Orators, chapter II.

198 See 928D supra with note d there and 935B infra. Reference to the present passage is omitted in S. V. F.

199 αἰθήρ is here used in the Stoic sense as in 922B and 928C‑D supra.

200 For this period of 465 ecliptic full moons cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), p145.

201 For this argument cf. Cleomedes, II.4.103 (p182.10‑16 [Ziegler]).

202S. V. F. II, frag. 672. Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.9.42 u133x ("deficiens et in defectu tamen conspicua"); Olympiodorus, In Meteor. p67.36‑37; Philoponus, In Meteor. pp30.37‑31.1 p106.9‑13. The moon is seldom invisible to the naked eye even in total eclipses (cf. Dyson and Woolley, Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, p30; C. A. Young, Manual of à [1902], § 287; Boll, s.v. "Finsternisse," R.E. VI.2344); and the apparent colour of the moon in total eclipse was as late as the 16th century adduced as evidence that the moon had light of its own, a notion entertained as possible even by W. Herschel (cf. Pixis, Kepler als Geograph, pp132‑133).

203 For a Stoic this follows from the definition of οὐρανός as ἔσχατον αἰθέρος and πύρινον (cf. S. V. F. I, 33, frags. 15 and 116; S. V. F. II, frag. 580 [p180.10‑12]).

204 Cf. 922A‑B supra. With ἀνθρακογένεσις, "incandescence," Raingeard compares ἀνθρακοποιΐα in Gregory of Nyssa, III.937A.

205 Iliad, IX.212‑213 in our texts read:

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ κατὰ πῦρ ἐκάη καὶ φλὸξ ἐμαράνθη,

ἀνθρακιὴν στορέσας ὀβελοὺς ἐφύπερθε τάνυσσε,

but the first line as Plutarch gives it was known to Aristarchus, who rejected it (cf. Ludwich, Aristarchs Homerische Textkritik, I, p302; Eustathius, Ad Iliadem, 748.41; Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem, ed. Dindorf I p312).

206 Purser has pointed out (Hermathena, XVI [1911], p316) that ἄνθραξ may mean all degrees of burn and coal from complete incandescence to ashes and that fire's need of solid matter to work upon was often used as an argument against the Stoic conflagration of the world: cf. Philo, De Aeternitate Mundi, §§ 86‑88 (VI, pp99.14‑100.10 [Cohn-Reiter]).

207 Cf. Aemilius Paulus, 17 (264B), Nicias, 23 (538E) and for a description and explanation of the phenomenon cf. Sir John Herschel, Outlines of Astronomy, §§ 421‑424, and J. F. J. Schmidt, Der Mond (Leipzig, 1836), p35. Astrology assigned special significance to the various colours of the moon in total eclipse: cf. Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, VII (Brussels, 1908), p131.6 ff.; Ptolemy, Apotelesmatica, II.4.4‑5 (pp101‑102 [Boll-Boer]) and II.10.1‑2 (pp91‑92); and Boll in R.E. VI.2350 assumes that by μαθηματικοί in the present passage Plutarch means "astrologers" (but see 937F infra). Neither there nor in his article, "Antike Beobachtungen farbiger Sterne," does Boell mention any classification of the colours according to the time of the eclipse, however, nor does Gundel, s.v. "Mond" in R.E. XVI.1.101‑102. Geminus's calendar for the different phases of the moon (IX.14‑15 [pp128‑130, Manitius]) has no connection with this matter and so is not, as Adler supposes (Diss. Phil. Vind., X, p157), and indication that Plutarch's source in the present passage was Posidonius.

208 This, pace Prickard, must be the meaning of ἀνίστατι here; cf. ἀνιστάμενος in Pompey, 34 (637D) and ἀναστάντος in Appian, B.C. 1.56 (II, p61.7 [Mendelssohn-Viereck]).

209 In Marius, 11 (411D) χαροπότης is used of the eye-colour of the Teutons and Cimbrians, and in De Iside, 352D the colour of the flax-flower is said to resemble τῇ περιεχούσῃ τὸν κόσμον αἰθερίῳ χαροπότητι.

210 See 929D supra and note b there; but Diels (Hermes, XV [1880], p176) because of ἀνακαλοῦνται thought that Plutarch must here have had in mind a verse of Empedocles that ended with the invocation, γλαυκῶπι Σελήνη. Cf. also Euripides, frag. 1009 (Nauck2).

211 Kepler remarks on this since (note 56): "Ecce Plutarchum meae sententiae proxime accedentem, nisi quod non dicit, a quo lucente sit illud lumen, num ab aethere, an a Sole ipso, per refractionem ejus radiorum."

212 Cf. the similar but more elaborate description in De Genio Socratis, 590C ff., where the stars are islands moving in a celestial sea, and also De Sera Numinis Vindicta, 563E‑F.

213 For λαμπρόν, "brilliance," as a colour cf. Plato, Timaeus, 68A; Theophrastus calls it τὸ πυρῶδες λευκόν (De Sensibus, § 86 [Dox. Graeci, p525.23]).

214 e.g. Iliad, XI.298.

215 e.g. Iliad, I.350.

216 e.g. Iliad, I.481‑482.

217 Only in Iliad, XVI.34 (cf. Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem, ed. Dindorf, II, p92).

218 Odyssey, X.94.

219 Plato, Phaedo, 110B ff.

220 "This one," ταύτην, means the earth, not the moon, as most translators since Wyttenbach have thought; "some other," ἄλλην τινά, means "some other earth," which is exactly what Lamprias believes the moon to be. So Lamprias means that what Socrates said must be considered as a riddle if he was really talking about our earth but can be taken as straightforward description if he was referring to "some other earth," i.e. the moon.

221 Or, if νοτεροῦ is a scribal error for νοεροῦ, "intellectual"; cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), p145.

222 The details of this description were suggested by Phaedo, 110C‑11C, to which Plutarch has referred above.

223 See 928D and 933D supra. The present passage is not listed in S. V. F.

224 See note c on 929A supra.

225 For this "discontinuousness" of the reflection cf. 921C supra and especially Quaest. Conviv. 696A‑C.

226 Cf. Cleomedes, II.3.95 (p172.25‑27 [Ziegler]); on this measurement of 12 digits cf. Heath, Aristarchus of Samos, p23, n1.

227 Apollonides exaggerates for the sake of his point, for 500 stades is 1/20, not 1/24 of 10,000; but he has guarded himself by saying that each of the spots is more than half a digit and so more than 1/24 of the diameter. On the other hand, he intends his estimate of the moon's size to err, if at all, on the side of conservatism: cf. "only thirty thousand stades." Such small figures, even as minima, are remarkable, however. Cleomedes (II.1.80‑81 [pp146.25‑148.3, Ziegler]) gives 40,000 stades as the lunar diameter, basing this upon the assumption that the earth is twice as large as the moon and has a circumference of 250,000 stades according to the measurement of Eratosthenes and a diameter therefore of "more than 80,000 stades." Plutarch adopted the same figure for the terrestrial diameter (see 925D supra) but supposed this and the terrestrial circumference to be three times those of the moon (see 923B supra and note d there), figures which should have given him more than 26,000 stades as the lunar diameter. According to Hultsch, however, Poseidonius must have calculated the lunar diameter to be 12,000 stades (cf. Abhand. K. Gesell. Wissensch. zu Göttingen, Phil.-Hist. Kl., N.F. I, No. 5, p38), which by the usual approximation would have given 36,000 stades for the lunar circumference; and Apollonides' minimal estimate may have been based upon these figures. For the common "rough approximation" 3·1 as the relation of circumference to diameter cf. Archimedes, Arenarius, II.3 (Opera Omnia, II, p234.28‑29 [Heiberg]).

228 Otus and Ephialtes: cf. De Exilio, 602D; Iliad, V.385‑387; Odyssey, XI.305‑320; Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, I.7.4.2‑4.

229 The verse, which comes from an unidentified tragedy of Sophocles, is elsewhere quoted with καλύπτει or σκιάζει and with πλευρά or νῶτα (cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2, p299, frag. 708). For the shadow of Athos cast upon Lemnos cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. IV.12 (23).73; Apollonius Rhodius, I.601‑604; Proclus, In Timaeum, 56B (I, p181.12 ff. [Diehl]).

230 Proclus (loc. cit.) says that this is the distance of Lemnos from Athos, Plutarch rather that it is the length of the shadow cast by the mountain. According to Eustathius (Ad Iliadem, 980.45 ff.), Athos is 300 stades distant from Lemnos, according to Pliny (loc. cit.) 87 Roman miles (unless this is a scribal error for XXXXVII). The actual distance is said to be about 50 miles; and Athos, which is 6350 feet high, could cast a shadow for almost 100 miles over open sea.

231 In this Plutarch is guilty either of an error or of an intentional sophism; cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), p145.

232 i.e. the image of the sun in the water or the reflecting surface.

233 i.e. by the Stoics; cf. e.g. the argument of Cleomedes (II.4.101‑102 [p184.4 ff., Ziegler]) against the explanation of the moon's light as reflection. The following argument in this passage is printed by von Arnim, S. V. F. II, p199 as frag. 675 of Chrysippus.

234 For the idiom, κοινὸν καὶ πρὸς τινα εἶναι, cf. Lucullus44 (521A) and 45 (522B). Apollonides is a geometer (cf. 920F and 925A‑B supra) who had expressed admiration for Clearchus' theory of reflection from the moon (cf. 921B supra); by καὶ πρὸς ἡμᾶς here he means that the objection just raised to reflection from the moon constitutes a difficulty for the theory which he has espoused as well as for that of Lamprias and Lucius which he has just attacked. Lamprias in his reply, however, contends that the physical characteristics of the moon on his theory, the very characteristics to which Apollonides has just objected (935D‑E), will explain why the objection does not really make the difficulty for his theory that it would for that of Clearchus.

235 i.e. the reflected image, not "the simile," as Amyot and Prickard interpret it.

236 For the proverbial expression cf. Hesychius, s.v. ἄνω ποταμῶν; Euripides, Medea, 410; Lucian, Dialogi Mortuorum, 6.2.

237 As Kepler says in his note 64 ad loc., "ratio nihil ad rem."

238 i.e. those who hold the view of the moon's nature that Lamprias himself espouses.

239 Cf. Quaest. Conviv. 696A; and observe that the phrase, ἀνωμαλία καὶ τραχύτης, used here of milk is in 930D supra and 937A infra applied to the moon.

240 For the phenomenon referred to cf. [Ptolemy], De Speculis, vi = Hero Alexandrinus, Opera, II.1, p330.4‑22 (Nix-Schmidt). For τυφλόω meaning to deaden, muffle, occlude cf. De Defectu Oraculorum, 434C, Quaest. Conviv. 721B, De Esu Carnium, 995F.

241 Plutarch has to explain how the image of the sun can be seen in water and mirrors though it is not seen in the moon, and he does so by stressing the proximity of the former to the "point of origin." The "point of origin" can only be our eyes, so that he must be thinking of the visual ray as reflected from water and mirrors to the sun and as failing to be reflected from the moon to the sun. The reading of the MSS., ἐπὶ τὸν ἤλιον, is necessary to the argument and all suggestions for altering it are wrong.

242 i.e. the distance from the eye to the reflecting surface of the moon.

243 For the concave burning-glass cf. [Euclid], Catoptrica Prop. 30 (Euclid, Opera Omnia, VII, pp340‑342 [Heiberg]).

244 Not two kinds of mirrors, as Raingeard says ad loc., but one, "convex, i.e. convex spherical," for (1) spherical mirrors that are concave are the burning-glasses in the preceding category, and (2) convex mirrors that are not spherical would not provide the obvious analogy with the moon that is wanted.

245 On the double rainbow and the reason why the outer bow is less distinct cf. Aristotle, Meteorology, 375 A30‑B15. Aristotle's explanation, which Plutarch here adopts, is attacked by Kepler in a long note on the present passage (note 70).

246 See note a on 929E supra.

247 The moon is thought of as the καμπτήρ or turning-post in the stadium. The sun's rays travel from sun to moon to eye, and the visual ray would have to travel the same course in reverse.

248 See 921F, 929B, 929F supra.

249 In De Placitis, 892A = Aëtius, II.30.1 this notion is ascribed to the Pythagoreans (and in the version of Stobaeus specifically to Philolaüs). Diogenes Laertius, II.8 ascribes it to Anaxagoras — if on the basis of frag. B 4 (II, p34.5 ff. [Diels-Kranz]), wrongly; and Cicero's ascription of it to Xenophanes (Acad. Prior. II.XXXIX.123) is certainly an error (despite Lactantius, Div. Inst. III.23.12) but more probably due to confusion with Xenocrates than, as is usually said, a mistake for Anaxagoras (cf. J. S. Reid ad loc.; Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsok.5, I, p125.40; Diels, Dox. Graeci, p121, n1). The "moon-dwellers" became characters of "scientific fiction" at least as early as Herodotus of Heraclea (cf. Athenaeus, II.57F).

250 Timaeus, 40B‑C. Though ἀτρεκῆ does not appear there, it is introduced into the passage by Plutarch at 938E infra and at Plat. Quaest. 1006E, which indicates that he meant it as part of the quotation. Since there appears to be no other reference to the words τροφὸν ἡμετέραν in Plutarch's extant works, one cannot be sure that τροφήν here is not his own misquotation rather than a scribal error. (The phrase, τροφαῖς ζῴων, in De Superstitione, 171A is probably not part of the adaptation of the Timaeus-passage there.)

251 Cf. the sarcastic remarks of Lucius in 923C supra. For the "stone of Tantalus" cf. Nostoi, frag. X (= Athenaeus, 281B‑C); Pindar, Olympian, I.57‑58 and Isthmian, VIII.10‑11; and Scholia in Olymp. I.91A, where reference is made to the "interpretation that the stone which threatens Tantalus is the sun, this being his punishment for having declared that the sun is an incandescent mass (cf. also scholiast on Euripides, Orestes, 982‑986).

252 For the myth of Ixion on his wheel cf. Pindar, Pythian, II.21‑48 and for Ixion used in a cosmological argument cf. Aristotle, De Caelo, 284 A34‑35.

253 An epithet of Hecate (cf. Athenaeus, VII.325A) applied to the moon only after she had been identified with the moon-goddess, after which her epithets had to be explained by reference to lunar phenomena. Cf. e.g. Cleomedes, II.5.111 (p202.5‑10 [Ziegler]) on τριπρόσωπος, and Cornutus, Theologiae Graecae Compend. 34 (p72.7‑15 [Lang]) on τρίμορφος τριοδῖτις. The etymology here put into Theon's mouth had already been given by Varro in his De Lingua Latina, VII.16. For the moon as Hecate cf. notes b on 942D and g on 944C infra.

254 For the text, terminology, and intention of these two sentences cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), pp146‑147.

255 Cf. Epimenides, frag. B 2I, p32.22 ff. [Diels-Kranz]); Anaxagoras, frag. A 77 (II, p24.25‑26 and 28‑30 [Diels-Kranz]). It may be that Anaxagoras referred to this legend in connection with his theory concerning the meteoric stone of Aegospotami, the fall of which is said to have "predicted" (Lysander, 12 [439D‑F]; Diogenes Laertius, II.10; Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.58 [59], 149‑150. Kepler (note 77) suggests that the story of the lion falling from the sky may have arisen from a confusion of λάων (gen. pl. of λᾶας) and λέων or, as Prickard put it, between λᾶς and λίς. Diogenes Laertius (VIII.72) quotes Timaeus to the effect that Heraclides Ponticus spoke of the fall of a man from the moon, an incident which Voss after Hirzel refers to a dialogue of his that may have influenced Plutarch (Voss, De Heraclidis Pontici Vita et Scriptis, p61).

256 Aeschylus, Supplices, 937; cf. De Curiositate, 517F, where also Plutarch gives βίων instead of Aeschylus's βίου.

257 i.e. Ethiopians: cf. Herodotus, IV.183.4; Strabo, II.5.36 (c. 133).

258 Cf. Aristotle, Meteorology, 340 B36‑341 A4, 347 A29‑35, and Alexander, Meteor. p16.6‑15, where lines 10‑11 guarantee and explain the ἐναντίους in Plutarch's text.

259 Cf. 939E infra and Plat. Quaest. 1005.

260 Cf. Iliad, XIX.340‑356.

261 See 922A supra and note c there.

262 = Pherecydes, frag. B 13A (I, p51.5‑9 [Diels-Kranz]).

263 Megasthenes, frag. 34 (Frag. Hist. Graec. II, pp425‑427 [Müller]); cf. Strabo, II.1.9 (c. 709) and XV.1.57 (c. 711); Pliny, Nat. Hist. VII.2.25. Aristotle (Parva Nat. 445 A16‑17) mentions the belief of certain Pythagoreans that some animals are nourished by odours; cf. the story told of Democritus, frags. A 28 and 29 (II, p89.23 ff. [Diels-Kranz]), and Lucian on the Selenites (Vera Hist. I.23), a passage which, however, looks like a parody of Herodotus, I.202.2.

264 Strictly, the potential and the contingent; but probably Plutarch meant his phrase here to imply only "the possible" in all its senses and intended no technical distinction between δυνατόν and ἐνδεχόμενον. Certainly one cannot ascribe to him the distinction drawn in the pseudo-Plutarchean De Fato, 570E‑571E; n.b. that in the De Stoicorum repugnantiis, 1055D‑F he attacks the Chrysippean doctrine of δυνατόν. On δυνατόν and ἐνδεχόμενον as used by Aristotle cf. Ross, Aristotle's Metaphysics, II, p245 ad 1046 B26, and Faust, Der Möglichkeitsgedanke, I, pp175 ff.; for the attitude of the Hellenistic philosophers, Faust, op. cit., I, pp209 ff.

265 For the uninhabitability of the arctic and torrid zones cf. besides De Iside, 367D Strabo, II.3.1 (c. 96) and Cleomedes, I.2.12 (p22.11‑14 [Ziegler]); and for the connection of this theory with the notion that the great part of the outer ocean is in the torrid zone cf. Cleomedes, I.6.33 (p60.21‑24). This was not the opinion of Poseidonius (Cleomedes, Ib. and I.6.31‑32 [p58.4‑25])); it was the geography of Cleanthes, which Crates sought to impose upon Homer (cf. Geminus, XVI.21 ff. [p172.11 ff., Manitius]; Kroll, R.E. XI.1637 s.v. "Krates"; Susemihl, Geschichte der griech. Litteratur in der Alexandrinerzeit, II, pp5 ff.). Since the first line quoted by Plutarch is Iliad, XIV.246 of our text of Homer (with ὠκεανοῦ instead of ὠκεανός) but the second line does not occur, the latter was probably an interpolation made by Crates to support his "interpretation" of Homer's geography; for Crates' textual alterations and for the controversy between him and Aristarchus cf. Susemihl, op. cit. I, p457 and II, p7, n33; Kroll, loc. cit. 1640 Christ-Schmid-Stählin6, II.1, p270; Mette, Sphairopoiia, pp60 ff.

266 Cf. Theophrastus, De Ventis, II, § 11, and Aristotle, Meteorology, 364 A5‑13. For ἡ ἀοίκητος without a noun = "the uninhabited world" cf. Adv. Coloten, 1115A.

267 Lamprias retorts upon Theon an adaptation of his own quotation of Timaeus, 40B‑C; cf. 937E supra and note c there.

268 Cf. 928C supra.

269 For moon = Artemis cf. 922A supra and note b there; for the virgin goddess of childbirth cf. beside the references there Plato, Theaetetus, 149B, and Cornutus, 34 (p73.18 ff. [Lang]).

270 This refers to 937F supra. For the use of ἁπλῃ "simple" in this context cf. Cleomedes, I.4.19 (p34.20 [Ziegler]) and Theon of Smyrna, p150.21‑23 (Hiller).

271 An example of the former hypothesis is Aristotle's theory that each planet is fixed in a sphere revolving within counter-acting spheres that cancel the special motions of the superior planet (cf. Metaphysics, 1073 B38‑1074 A14 and De Caelo, 289 B30‑290 A7); an example of the latter is Plato's theory of freely moving planets (cf. Timaeus, 40CD, Laws, 822AC; Cornford, Plato's Cosmology, pp79‑93). Theon of Smyrna (p175.1‑4 [Hiller]) observes that the difference between these two kinds of astronomical model is immaterial in "saving the phenomena." On the whole passage cf. Eudemus in Theon of Smyrna, p200.13 ff. (Hiller).

272 Norlind (Eranos, XXVI [1927], pp275‑277) argues from the terms used here and in 937F supra that Plutarch has in mind the theory of epicycles which Hippocrates proposed for the moon and which is described by Ptolemy, Syntaxis, IV (I, pp265 ff. and especially pp301.16‑302.11 [Heiberg]). The evidence of the terminology is not exact enough to make this thesis convincing (cf. Class. Phil. XLVI [1951], pp146‑147).

273 Cf. 938A supra: "twelve summers every year."

274 For the "pressure" of the air and the ὑπέκκαυμα cf. Aristotle, Meteorology, 341 B6‑25, and Alexander, Meteor. p20.11 ff. Praechter (Hierokles der Stoiker, p109) refers to Seneca, Nat. Quaest. IV b10 in support of his thesis that the material in this chapter of the De Facie is from a Stoic source.

275 Lamprias is addressing Theon primarily; but Menelaüs also was from Egypt, though we know only Alexandria as his residence.

276 Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. VIII.6.6) says that in Egypt, Babylonia, and Bactria, where rain is absent or scarce, dews nourish the crops (cf. also Hist. left. IV.3.7). Plutarch's statement here that the water drunk by the land in Egypt is γηγενές may have been inspired by Plato's remark in Timaeus, 22 E2‑4; for the theory that the flood of Nile was caused by water springing from the earth cf. Oenopides, frag. 11 (I p394.39 ff. [Diels-Kranz]; cf. Seneca, Nat. Quaest. IVA2.26) and the opinion mentioned without an author by Seneca, Nat. Quaest. VI.8.3. Praechter (Hierokles, p110) holds that Plutarch here reflects Posidonius's theory as reconstructed by Oder (Philologus, Suppl. VII [189], pp299 ff. and 312 f.).

277 For this meaning of συμφέρεσθαί τινι cf. Quomodo Quis Sent. Prof. Virt. 79A, De Cohibenda Ira, 461A, De Sollertia Animalium, 960E, Timoleon, 15 (242E), Wyttenbach's Animadversiones in Plutarchi Opera Moralia (Leipzig, 1820), I, p461; the phrase cannot mean "to be compared with," as it has been regularly translated here.

278 That the same species of plant varies with the nature of the soil, the atmosphere, and the cultivation is frequently stated by Theophrastus (cf. e.g. Hist. Plant. IV.6.3‑5‑8); cf. with ἐὰν σφόδρα πιεσθῇ χειμῶσιν in this passage Theophrastus, De Causis Plant. II.1.2‑4.

279 On these plants that grew in the sea cf. Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. IV.7.1 ff.; Eratosthenes in Strabo, XVI.3.6 (c. 766); Pliny, Nat. Hist. XIII.25.50‑52 (140‑142). In Quaest. Nat. 911F Plutarch refers to the plants that are said to grow in the "Red Sea," but there he states that they are nurtured by the rivers which bring down mud and that these plants consequently grow only near to the shore.

280Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXIV.17.103 (167).

281 Cf. Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. VIII.1.1 and 4; 2.6; and 3.2.

282 Cf. Theophrastus, De Causis Plant. III.1.3‑6.

283 For the notion that dew injures some plants cf. possibly Theophrastus, De Causis Plant. VI.18.10; but he holds that desert vegetation is nourished by dew in default of rain (Hist. Plant. IV.3.7 and VIII.6.6).

284 Cf. De Vita et Poesi Homeri, B, 202 (VII, p450.14‑20 [Bernardakis]); Aristotle, Hist. Animal. 582 A34‑B3.

285 On the liquefying action of the moon and the passage in general cf. Quaest. Conviv. III.10 657F ff.); De Iside, 367D; Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, II.19.50 (with Mayor's note ad loc.); Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.101 (223). On the growth of plants cf. also De Iside, 353F and Athenaeus, III.74C; on softening of timbers Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. V.1.3; on easy delivery S. V. F. II, frag. 748. For further literature cf. Böll, Sternglaube und Sterndeutung3 (1926), pp122‑125.

286S. V. F. II, frag. 679. Cf. also Cicero, De Divinatione, II.34 (with Pease's note ad loc.) and De Nat. Deorum, II.7.19; Seneca, De Provid. I.4; Cleomedes, II.1.86 (p156.15‑16 [Ziegler]) and II.3.98 (p178.4‑5); Strabo, III.5.8 (cc. 173 f.) and I.3.11 (cc. 54‑55). In De Placitis, 897BC (= Aëtius, III.17.3 and 9) theories that the moon influences the tides are attributed to Pytheas and to Seleucus.

287 Alcman, frag. 43 (Diehl) = 48 (Bergk4) In both Quaest. Conviv. 659B and Quaest. Nat. 918A Plutarch quotes the line as an explanation of the origin of dew. Cf. Macrob. Sat. VII.16.31‑32.

288 Cf. Virgil, Georgics, III.337; Roscher, Selene und Verwandtes, p50, n200.

289 Cf. Aristotle, Hist. Animal. 588 B4 ff. and De Part. Animal. 681 A12‑15.

290 See 938C supra and note d there. On the text and implication of this sentence cf. Class. Phil. XLVI (1951), pp147‑148.

291 For ἡ ἄλιμος cf. Sept. Sap. 157DF; [Plutarch], Comment. in Hesiod. § 3 (VII, p51.14 ff. [Bernardakis]); Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXII.22 (73); Porphyry, Vita Pythag. § 34 and De Abstinentia, IV.20 (p266.5 ff. [Nauck]); Plato, Laws, 677E (where the word ἄλιμος itself does not occur, however).

292 Works and Days, 41.

293 Cf. Epimenides, frag. A5 (I, pp30‑31 [Diels-Kranz], where reference to this passage should be added.

294 Cf. Aristotle, De Gen. Animal. 761 B21‑23 for the suggestion that animate beings of a kind unknown to us may exist on the moon and [Philoponus], De Gen. Animal. p160.16‑20 for a description of these creatures that do not eat or drink.

295S. V. F. II, frag. 677. Cf. De Stoicorum Repugnantiis, 1053A (= S. V. F. II, frag. 579); Aëtius, II.17.4; Strabo, I.1.9 (c6); Cleomedes, I.6.33 (p60.21‑24 [Ziegler]). Plutarch, of course, uses Stoic doctrine here against the Stoics.

296 Zeno called earth ἰλύς and ὑποστάθμη (S. V. F. I, frags. 104 and 105); but, since the end of this chapter appears to have been inspired by Plato's Phaedo, 109BD, the phrase here used was probably suggested to Plutarch by Plato's use of ὑποστάθμη there (109 C2).

297 Iliad, XX.65.

298 Iliad, VIII.16.

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