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by the presence or by the absence of heat or cold; but that which is

acted upon is moist or dry or a compound of both. Water is the element

characterized by the moist, earth that characterized by the dry, for

these among the elements that admit the qualities moist and dry are

passive. Therefore cold, too, being found in water and earth (both

of which we recognize to be cold), must be reckoned rather as a

passive quality. It is active only as contributing to destruction or

incidentally in the manner described before; for cold is sometimes

actually said to burn and to warm, but not in the same way as heat

does, but by collecting and concentrating heat.

The subjects of drying are water and the various watery fluids and

those bodies which contain water either foreign or connatural. By

foreign I mean like the water in wool, by connatural, like that in

milk. The watery fluids are wine, urine, whey, and in general those

fluids which have no sediment or only a little, except where this

absence of sediment is due to viscosity. For in some cases, in oil and

pitch for instance, it is the viscosity which prevents any sediment

from appearing.

It is always a process of heating or cooling that dries things,

but the agent in both cases is heat, either internal or external.

For even when things are dried by cooling, like a garment, where the

moisture exists separately it is the internal heat that dries them. It

carries off the moisture in the shape of vapour (if there is not too

much of it), being itself driven out by the surrounding cold. So

everything is dried, as we have said, by a process either of heating

or cooling, but the agent is always heat, either internal or external,

carrying off the moisture in vapour. By external heat I mean as

where things are boiled: by internal where the heat breathes out and

takes away and uses up its moisture. So much for drying.


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