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Headword: *fw/s
Adler number: phi,671
Translated headword: man, mortal, light
Vetting Status: high
[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:
*fw/s: o)cuto/nws o( a)/nqrwpos: *fw=s de\ perispwme/nws. o(/per e)sti\n e)ne/rgeia kai\ teleio/ths tou= duna/mei diafanou=s. to\ de\ fw=s ou)deni\ a)/llw| kri/netai h)\ th=| o)/yei. fw=s ou)=n h( tou= diafanou=s e)ne/rgeia, kaqo/ e)sti diafane/s, toute/sti to\ ei)=dos kai\ h( teleio/ths au)tou=. duna/mei ga\r o)/ntos tou= diafanou=s, e)pigeno/menon to\ fw=s kai\ ei)dopoih=san kai\ teleiw=san au)to\ e)poi/hsen e)nergei/a| diafane/s. to\ de\ ou)/te sw=ma/ e)stin ou)/te kat' e)kpomph\n swma/twn tinw=n gi/netai. pw=s ga\r oi(=o/n te h)=n a)nable/yantas h(ma=s a)qro/on tou= ou)ranou= a)ntilabe/sqai; pw=s ga\r oi(=o/n te e)sti\n a)xro/nws sw/matos tosau/thn kinhqh=nai dia/stasin; de/deiktai ga\r du/o zw|di/wn dia/sthma ei)=nai: kai\ triplasioepie/bdomo/s e)stin h( peri/metros th=s diame/trou: e)/sti de\ to\ a)po\ tou= ke/ntrou to\ h(/misu th=s diame/trou. dh=lon ou)=n w(s th=s o(/lhs diame/trou te/ssara e)xou/shs zw/|dia kai\ pro/s, e)peidh\ h( peri/metros ib# e)/xei, to\ h(/misu th=s diame/trou du/o a)\n e)/xoi zw/|dia kai\ pro/s. pw=s oi(=o/n te sw=ma a)xro/nws tosou=ton kinhqh=nai dia/sthma; au(/th gou=n h( o)cuta/th tw=n kinh/sewn, le/gw dh\ h( th=s a)planou=s, e)n du/o w(/rais to\ e(kthmo/rion tou= panto/s, le/gw dh\ ta\ du/o zw/|dia, kinei=tai. pw=s ou)=n ou)k a)/logon ta\ e)kpempo/mena sw/mata, ta\ e)k tw=n o)/yewn, kai\ th=s a)planou=s o)cukinhto/tera u(poti/qesqai; kai\ plei=sta e(/tera a)/tta peri\ fwto/s, o(/ti mh/ e)sti sw=ma, sullogi/zetai, a(\ parh/kamen di' a)peiri/an: a(/ tis zhthsa/tw. *fw=s kai\ h( qei/a khdemoni/a. *dabi/d: kai\ to\ fw=s tw=n o)fqalmw=n mou, kai\ au)to\ ou)k e)/sti met' e)mou=. o(/ti pa=n sw=ma th\n tou= fwto\s dexo/menon e)na/rgeian, ei) prospe/soi lei=o/n ti kai\ stilpno\n sw=ma, dra=n au)to\ ou(/tws w(/ste kai\ au)to\ th\n o(moi/an e)na/rgeian a)ntipe/mpein, w(/sper e)n a)rgu/rw| kai\ e)n toi=s e)so/ptrois, kai\ e)n u(/dati kai\ e)n a)/llois plei/stois. dia\ tou=to gou=n kai\ h( selh/nh dexome/nh to\ tou= h(li/ou fw=s fwti/zei ta\ th=|de kai\ tou=to fame\n fwto\s a)ntana/klasin, th\n a)po\ tw=n dexome/nwn kai\ duname/nwn o(moi/an e)nergei=n e)ne/rgeian.
[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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