Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Meteorology

Previous | Next


e.g. hair, thongs, sinew, dough, birdlime, and some are not, e.g.

water, stone. Some things are both tractile and squeezable, e.g. wool;

in other cases the two qualities do not coincide; phlegm, for

instance, is tractile but not squeezable, and a sponge squeezable

but not tractile.

Some things are malleable, like copper. Some are not, like stone and

wood. Things are malleable when their surface can be made to move (but

only in part) both downwards and sideways with one and the same

blow: when this is not possible a body is not malleable. All malleable

bodies are impressible, but not all impressible bodies are

malleable, e.g. wood, though on the whole the two go together. Of

squeezable things some are malleable and some not: wax and mud are

malleable, wool is not. Some things are fissile, e.g. wood, some are

not, e.g. potter's clay. A thing is fissile when it is apt to divide

in advance of the instrument dividing it, for a body is said to

split when it divides to a further point than that to which the

dividing instrument divides it and the act of division advances: which

is not the case with cutting. Those bodies which cannot behave like

this are non-fissile. Nothing soft is fissile (by soft I mean

absolutely soft and not relatively: for iron itself may be

relatively soft); nor are all hard things fissile, but only such as

are neither liquid nor impressible nor comminuible. Such are the

bodies that have the pores along which they cohere lengthwise and

not crosswise.

Those hard or soft solids are apt to be cut which do not necessarily

either split in advance of the instrument or break into minute

fragments when they are being divided. Those that necessarily do so

and liquids cannot be cut. Some things can be both split and cut, like

wood, though generally it is lengthwise that a thing can be split

and crosswise that it can be cut. For, a body being divided into

many parts fin so far as its unity is made up of many lengths it is

apt to be split, in so far as it is made up of many breadths it is apt

Previous | Next
Site Search