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Headword: Ὁρατὸν
Adler number: omicron,500
Translated headword: visible
Vetting Status: high
[Visible] and invisible [are] both the color and what can be described with a word but has no name. Such things are glow-worms, heads of fishes, scales, eyes of hedgehogs, the shells of the sea creatures, which are visible not in light but in darkness. For color does not seem to be what appears in darkness in these things as being something like fire; for [in fact it is] characteristic of color to be seen in light; but what is fiery of these things is not visible in light.
Seeing is the transparency [deriving] from having air, the transmitting power of colors, the [air] itself being not colored.
There are 4 differences among the visible things. For some of them are visible only in day, others only in night, others both in night and day, and others in general do not belong by nature to darkness. For some of the visible things are colors, but they lack a name. Now some colors can be seen only in day, but not in night at all. Among the things that are called 'bright', some are visible only in night, others only in day, and others both in night and day. For some of them are exceedingly bright, others obscure, others intermediate. Now things which have an obscure bright[ness] are only visible in night, such as glow-worms, scales, and the like; for what of them is bright does not appear in day, insofar as it is overcome by what is greater; furthermore, many of the stars [sc. are also so]. The intermediate [appear] in night and in day, such as the moon and some of the stars, like the morning star, when the sun and the morning star itself become nearer the earth in respect of the horizon. Besides, also fire: for this, insofar as it is possible, makes perfect the air and leads its transparency toward its actualization, in order to show the colors in itself, but it shows itself in the rest; its transparency does not lead toward the actualization. Hence when we are in darkness we see from backward a part of it, but [we cannot see] any of the colors related to us. However, fire reappears in day as being something bright, but regarding the air it makes nothing on account of having already been affected by the greater bright[ness]; and the bright[ness] of the moon appears in day on account of the fact that it is not quite obscure. By contrast what is exceedingly bright, such as the sun, only appears in day, because it is also the cause of the day's light.
Greek Original:
Ὁρατὸν καὶ ἀόρατον τό τε χρῶμα καὶ ὃ λόγῳ μὲν ἔστιν εἰπεῖν, ἀνώνυμον δὲ τυγχάνει ὄν. τοιαῦτα δέ ἐστι πυρολαμπίδες, κεφαλαὶ ἰχθύων, λεπίδες, ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐχίνων, τὰ ὄστρακα τῶν θαλαττίων, ἅπερ ἐν φωτὶ μὲν οὐχ ὁρᾶται, ἐν σκότῳ δέ. οὐ γὰρ δοκεῖ χρῶμα εἶναι τὸ ἐν τούτοις φαινόμενον πυρῶδές τι ἐν τῷ σκότῳ: ἴδιον γὰρ χρώματος τὸ ἐν φωτὶ ὁρᾶσθαι: τὸ δὲ τούτων πυρῶδες οὐχ ὁρᾶται ἐν φωτί. ὅτι ὁρᾶν ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ τὸν ἀέρα ἔχειν τὸ διαφανές, διαπορθμευτικὴν τὴν τῶν χρωμάτων δύναμιν, αὐτὸς ἀχρωμάτιστος ὤν. ὅτι τῶν ὁρατῶν δ# εἰσι διαφοραί. τὰ μὲν γὰρ αὐτῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μόνως ὁρᾶται, τὰ δὲ ἐν νυκτὶ μόνως, τὰ δὲ καὶ ἐν νυκτὶ καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ, τὰ δὲ ὅλως οὐ συνυπάρχειν πέφυκε τῷ σκότῳ. τῶν γὰρ ὁρατῶν τὰ μέν ἐστι χρώματα, τὰ δὲ ἀνώνυμα. τὰ μὲν οὖν χρώματα μόνως ἐν ἡμέρᾳ θεωρεῖται, οὐδαμῶς δὲ ἐν νυκτί. τῶν δὲ λαμπρῶν λεγομένων τὰ μὲν ἐν νυκτὶ μόνως ὁρᾶται, τὰ δὲ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μόνως, τὰ δὲ καὶ ἐν νυκτὶ καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ. τὰ μὲν γὰρ αὐτῶν ἐστιν ὑπέρλαμπρα, τὰ δὲ ἀμυδρά, τὰ δὲ μέσως. τὰ μὲν οὖν ἀμυδρὸν ἔχοντα τὸ λαμπρὸν μόνως ἐν νυκτὶ ὁρᾶται, οἷον πυγολαμπίδες, λεπίδες καὶ τὰ ὅμοια: τούτων γὰρ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τὸ λαμπρὸν οὐ φαίνεται, νικώμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ μείζονος: ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἀστέρων οἱ πλείους. τὰ μέσα ἐν νυκτὶ καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ, οἷον σελήνη καί τινα τῶν ἀστέρων, ὡς ὁ ἑωσφόρος, ὅταν πρὸς τῷ ὁρίζοντι γένηται ὁ ἥλιος καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ ἑωσφόρος περιγειότερος ᾖ. ἔτι δὲ καὶ πῦρ: τοῦτο γὰρ ὅσον δύναται ἀέρα τελειοῖ καὶ εἰς ἐνέργειαν ἄγει τὸ διαφανὲς αὐτοῦ, ὡς καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ χρώματα δείκνυσθαι, ἐν δὲ τῷ λοιπῷ ἑαυτὸ μὲν δείκνυσιν, ἐκείνου δὲ τὸ διαφανὲς οὐκ ἄγει εἰς ἐνέργειαν. ὅθεν αὐτοῦ τὸ μὲν ὁρῶμεν πόρρωθεν ἐν σκότῳ ὄντες, οὐδὲν δὲ τῶν περὶ ἡμᾶς χρωμάτων. ἐν δὲ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τὸ πῦρ πάλιν φαίνεται ὡς μὲν λαμπρόν, οὐδὲν δὲ δρῶν εἰς τὸν ἀέρα διὰ τὸ ἤδη ὑπὸ τοῦ μείζονος λαμπροῦ παθεῖν: καὶ τὸ τῆς σελήνης λαμπρὸν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἄγαν ἀμυδρὸν εἶναι φαίνεται ἐν ἡμέρᾳ. τὰ δὲ ὑπέρλαμπρα μόνως ἐν ἡμέρᾳ, οἷον ὁ ἥλιος, ἐπειδὴ καὶ αὐτὸς τῆς ἡμέρας τοῦ φωτὸς αἴτιος.
From John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 319.20-29, 329.5-7, 346.33-347.24 (where Philoponus is commenting on de anima 418a26ff.).
Keywords: daily life; definition; philosophy; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 1 September 2004@16:31:34.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (internal rearrangement; modified ref; added a keyword; cosmetics) on 2 September 2004@03:26:07.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 24 March 2008@14:09:00.
David Whitehead (tweaks to tr; raised status) on 25 March 2008@04:45:25.
David Whitehead on 7 July 2013@05:29:43.
David Whitehead (codings) on 20 May 2016@03:38:34.


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