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Pages of Meteorology

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Book I


WE have already discussed the first causes of nature, and all

natural motion, also the stars ordered in the motion of the heavens,

and the physical element-enumerating and specifying them and showing

how they change into one another-and becoming and perishing in

general. There remains for consideration a part of this inquiry

which all our predecessors called meteorology. It is concerned with

events that are natural, though their order is less perfect than

that of the first of the elements of bodies. They take place in the

region nearest to the motion of the stars. Such are the milky way, and

comets, and the movements of meteors. It studies also all the

affections we may call common to air and water, and the kinds and

parts of the earth and the affections of its parts. These throw

light on the causes of winds and earthquakes and all the

consequences the motions of these kinds and parts involve. Of these

things some puzzle us, while others admit of explanation in some

degree. Further, the inquiry is concerned with the falling of

thunderbolts and with whirlwinds and fire-winds, and further, the

recurrent affections produced in these same bodies by concretion. When

the inquiry into these matters is concluded let us consider what

account we can give, in accordance with the method we have followed,

of animals and plants, both generally and in detail. When that has

been done we may say that the whole of our original undertaking will

have been carried out.

After this introduction let us begin by discussing our immediate



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