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heavy rain, since, as we have explained, the earth grows dry in time

of drought and breaks up, whereas the rain makes it sodden and

destroys its cohesion.

But if this were the case the earth ought to be found to be

sinking in many places. Again, why do earthquakes frequently occur

in places which are not excessively subject to drought or rain, as

they ought to be on the theory? Besides, on this view, earthquakes

ought always to be getting fewer, and should come to an end entirely

some day: the notion of contraction by packing together implies

this. So this is impossible the theory must be impossible too.


We have already shown that wet and dry must both give rise to an

evaporation: earthquakes are a necessary consequence of this fact. The

earth is essentially dry, but rain fills it with moisture. Then the

sun and its own fire warm it and give rise to a quantity of wind

both outside and inside it. This wind sometimes flows outwards in a

single body, sometimes inwards, and sometimes it is divided. All these

are necessary laws. Next we must find out what body has the greatest

motive force. This will certainly be the body that naturally moves

farthest and is most violent. Now that which has the most rapid motion

is necessarily the most violent; for its swiftness gives its impact

the greatest force. Again, the rarest body, that which can most

readily pass through every other body, is that which naturally moves

farthest. Wind satisfies these conditions in the highest degree

(fire only becomes flame and moves rapidly when wind accompanies

it): so that not water nor earth is the cause of earthquakes but

wind-that is, the inrush of the external evaporation into the earth.

Hence, since the evaporation generally follows in a continuous

body in the direction in which it first started, and either all of

it flows inwards or all outwards, most earthquakes and the greatest

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