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Headword: *(rusmo/s
Adler number: rho,312
Translated headword: rhythm
Vetting Status: high
"In Abderite dialect it means the shape.[1] And those following the Abderite Democritus[2] also use other terms that are not [sc. standard] Greek; for they say 'turning' [troph/] and 'contact' [diaqhgh/].[3] And by these are meant: by the 'turning' the position, and by the 'contact' the arrangement."
Greek Original:
*(rusmo/s: kata\ *)abdhritikh\n dia/lekton shmai/nei to\ sxh=ma. kai\ e(te/rais de\ le/cesin ou)x *(ellhnikai=s oi( peri\ to\n *)abdhri/thn *dhmo/kriton xrw=ntai: fasi\ ga\r troph\n kai\ diaqhgh/n. kai\ shmai/nei tou/tois h( me\n troph\ th\n qe/sin, h( de\ diaqhgh\ th\n ta/cin.
John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima 68.3 & 11-13 Hayduck, here commenting on De anima 406a6. Philoponus' own source is probably Aristotle, Metaphysics 985b4-22 (web address 1), where Aristotle describes the basic principles of the atomistic philosophy of Leucippus and Democritus. Aristotle says that they posit the full (i.e. the atoms) and the empty (i.e. the void) as the principles, and that their differentiations are the cause of all change. The differentiations of the atoms are 'rhythm' (which Aristotle glosses as 'shape'), 'contact' (which Aristotle glosses as 'arrangement'), and 'turning' (which Aristotle glosses as 'position'). These differences Aristotle illustrates as follows: A differs from N in shape (i.e. rhythm), AN from NA in arrangement (i.e. contact), and Z from N in position (i.e. turning).
[1] Abdera (alpha 26) is specified because of Democritus; otherwise 'Ionic dialect' would have made the point.
[2] For Democritus see generally delta 447, delta 448.
[3] The latter has its own entry at delta 562 (headword only).
C. Bailey. The Greek Atomists and Epicurus. Oxford, 1928
R. Loebl. Democrits Atome. Bonn, 1976
C.C.W. Taylor. The Atomists Leucippus and Democritus: Fragments; A text and translation with a commentary. Toronto, etc. 1999
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; philosophy; science and technology
Translated by: Monte Johnson on 27 May 2003@00:28:12.
Vetted by:
Monte Johnson on 27 May 2003@00:30:56.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 27 May 2003@03:04:25.
Catharine Roth (tweaks and cosmetics) on 8 September 2010@01:16:19.
Catharine Roth (cosmetic) on 25 August 2011@19:59:38.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaking; raised status) on 30 October 2013@07:41:44.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 1 February 2015@23:32:50.


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