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Περὶ Σχήματος Σελήνης

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is the fourth and final one in Book II devoted to the question of shape; cf. 2.2 (cosmos), 2.14 (stars), 2.22 (sun). The chapter can thus be interpreted either as a type C diaeresis (5 different shapes) or a type A diaeresis (spherical versus other circular shapes), with one of the arms containing a further type C diaeresis. A fine parallel is found in the discussions on the shape of the earth, where non-spherical shapes were taken more seriously in the tradition. At least six shapes are cited in various texts (flat, concave, cube, pyramid, cone, cylinder). It should be noted that this argument also links the actual shape of the moon as body to its apparent shape in its various phases, and so provides additional background for the combination of these two aspects of the subject in the present chapter.

Keywords: Aetius Placita; cosmos; diaeresis; question of shape; stars; sun

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