Aristotle's Meteorology and Its Reception in the Arab World: by Paul Lettinck

By Paul Lettinck

An account of what students have written at the matters handled in Aristotle's "Meteorology", this paintings investigates how they have been stimulated through each other and via past Greek commentators. for every topic a survey is given of the content material of the commentaries in addition to of later treatise.

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Additional resources for Aristotle's Meteorology and Its Reception in the Arab World: With an Edition and Translation of Ibn Suwār's Treatise on Meteorological Phenomena and Ibn Bājja's Commentary on the Meteorology (Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus)

Sample text

Lightning may contain earthy parts, therefore it may descend as thunderbolt. Al-Kindi's account resembles that of Ibn al-Bitrlq: wind moves about inside the cloud and shakes it; that is the noise of the thunder. The moving wind inflames the earthy, lower part of the cloud and that is lightning. If the impulse of the wind is so strong that it reaches the earth, a thunderbolt has arisen. Ibn Sînâ's account is similar to those of Ibn al-Bitriq and al-Kindi. He adds that the extinguishing of inflamed wind inside a cloud may also cause the noise of thunder.

The exhalations move upward; the windy exhalation, being hot, rises above the heavier vapour. The sublunar stratum adjacent to the celestial sphere is filled with the hot, dry exhalation, and this what we call fire; it is an inflammable material (ύπέκκαυμα), which is easily ignited. Below that comes air (341b6-18). In 1,3 the subject is discussed as follows: The sublunar matter is ordered around the centre of the world in the following way: earth is at the centre and is surrounded by water; earth and water are surrounded by air, and air is surrounded by the so-called fire.

He probably considers it a phenomenon in the celestial world. Abū 1-Barakāt says that shooting stars, comets and other phenomena like mock suns and rods occur by ignition of smoky, dry exhalation in the upper atmosphere. The forms of these phenomena are stable for a certain period of time, which can only be explained if one assumes that the ignition is caused and retained by celestial forces. Also the halo and the rainbow are caused by celestial forces working in a cloud when the light of the sun or the moon shines on it.

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