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Headword: Phôs
Adler number: phi,671
Translated headword: man, mortal, light
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[fw/s] with an acute accent [means] man; but fw=s with a circumflex accent [means "light"].[1]
[sc. Light is] that which is an actuality and a perfection of the potentially transparent. Light is discerned with no other [faculty] than sight. Now, the actuality of what is transparent (that is, its form and perfection), insofar as it is transparent, is light.[2] For while the transparent exists in potentiality, light makes it transparent in actuality by coming upon it, endowing it with form, and perfecting it.[3] But [light][4] is not a body and does not occur on account of the emission of certain bodies. For how would it be possible for us to comprehend the sky all at once when we look up at it? For how is it possible that such a displacement of a body is instantaneously effected? For it has been shown that the distance is [that of] two signs of the zodiac: the circumference [of the sky] is three and one seventh times bigger than its diameter, and [the distance] from the center is half the diameter. Therefore, it is obvious that while the whole diameter is [a distance of] four signs of the zodiac and a bit more, given that the circumference has 12, half of the diameter would be [a distance of] two signs of the zodiac and a bit more. How is it possible that a body be instantly moved such a distance? Indeed, that swiftest of movements (I mean that of the fixed [sphere]) moves one sixth of the whole (I mean the [distance] of two signs of the zodiac) in two hours. Now, how would it not be absurd to suppose that the bodies being emitted, those from things seen, are more quickly moving than the fixed [sphere]?[5] Many other things are also argued about light [to the effect] that it is not a body, things that we have passed over due to our lack of expertise, but that anyone may investigate.
Divine care [is] also [called] light. David [says]: "and the light of my eyes, it is not with me."[6]
[Note] that every body receiving the clearness[7] of light, if [such a light] falls upon a smooth and glittering body, proceeds in such a way that it emits in turn a similar clearness,[7 again] as in [the case of] silver, mirrors, water, and other many [bodies]. Indeed, that is also why the moon, in receiving sunlight, illuminates the objects here, and we call this 'reflection of light', from the things which receive and are able to activate a similar actuality.[8]
Greek Original:
Phôs: oxutonôs ho anthrôpos: Phôs de perispômenôs. hoper estin energeia kai teleiotês tou dunamei diaphanous. to de phôs oudeni allôi krinetai ê têi opsei. phôs oun hê tou diaphanous energeia, katho esti diaphanes, toutesti to eidos kai hê teleiotês autou. dunamei gar ontos tou diaphanous, epigenomenon to phôs kai eidopoiêsan kai teleiôsan auto epoiêsen energeiai diaphanes. to de oute sôma estin oute kat' ekpompên sômatôn tinôn ginetai. pôs gar hoion te ên anablepsantas hêmas athroon tou ouranou antilabesthai; pôs gar hoion te estin achronôs sômatos tosautên kinêthênai diastasin; dedeiktai gar duo zôidiôn diastêma einai: kai triplasioepiebdomos estin hê perimetros tês diametrou: esti de to apo tou kentrou to hêmisu tês diametrou. dêlon oun hôs tês holês diametrou tessara echousês zôidia kai pros, epeidê hê perimetros ib# echei, to hêmisu tês diametrou duo an echoi zôidia kai pros. pôs hoion te sôma achronôs tosouton kinêthênai diastêma; hautê goun hê oxutatê tôn kinêseôn, legô dê hê tês aplanous, en duo hôrais to hektêmorion tou pantos, legô dê ta duo zôidia, kineitai. pôs oun ouk alogon ta ekpempomena sômata, ta ek tôn opseôn, kai tês aplanous oxukinêtotera hupotithesthai; kai pleista hetera atta peri phôtos, hoti mê esti sôma, sullogizetai, ha parêkamen di' apeirian: ha tis zêtêsatô. Phôs kai hê theia kêdemonia. Dabid: kai to phôs tôn ophthalmôn mou, kai auto ouk esti met' emou. hoti pan sôma tên tou phôtos dechomenon enargeian, ei prospesoi leion ti kai stilpnon sôma, dran auto houtôs hôste kai auto tên homoian enargeian antipempein, hôsper en argurôi kai en tois esoptrois, kai en hudati kai en allois pleistois. dia touto goun kai hê selênê dechomenê to tou hêliou phôs phôtizei ta têide kai touto phamen phôtos antanaklasin, tên apo tôn dechomenôn kai dunamenôn homoian energein energeian.
Notes:
[1] cf. John Philoponus, Differences phi11; see also Hesychius phi1119 and a scholion on Homer, Iliad 2.565. The first part of the gloss (as far as 'man') is paralleled also in other lexica; and cf. phi 677.
[2] Aristotle, de anima 418b9-10; cf. John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 323.31-32 Hayduck.
[3] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 324. 27-30 Hayduck.
[4] We should understand 'light' (fw=s) and 'seeing' (to\ o(ra=n) as the subjects of e)stin and gi/netai respectively, following John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 325.1-3 Hayduck (from where this Suda passage is abridged).
[5] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 325.6-18 Hayduck. Note the value of pi closely approximated as 3 1/7.
[6] Theodoret (PG 80, 1140c, 1141a) on Psalm 37:11 LXX.
[7] Suda mss GF read e)ne/rgeian (as in Philoponus) rather than e)na/rgeian.
[8] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 333.9-16 Hayduck.
Keywords: Christianity; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; imagery; mathematics; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 27 May 2009@14:32:26.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, keywords) on 27 May 2009@23:00:38.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation and notes, added keywords) on 28 May 2009@00:58:58.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 28 May 2009@03:20:01.
William Hutton (modified translation) on 14 June 2009@09:45:11.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 17 December 2013@06:34:53.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 5 April 2014@23:03:19.
David Whitehead (coding) on 31 May 2016@06:50:57.

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