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The Hydrologic Cycle In Bede’s De Natura Rerum

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the relationships between sections of Bede's De natura rerum that described aspects of the environment that comprise the so-called hydrologic cycle and its known textual sources. Its goal will be to assess the degree to which observation informed Bedes decisions to include, omit, revise, and/or to add to material found in Isidores De natura rerum. For the purposes of hydrological analysis, one might refer to the four classical elements of earth, water, air, and fire as states of matter. Bede adopted Isidores essentially correct description of evaporation, cloud formation, and precipitation as rain. Both Bede and Isidore commented on the rather remarkable fact that salty sea water becomes fresh rain water during the hydrologic process. The possible forms of frozen precipitation include snow, sleet, and hail.

Keywords: Bede; De natura rerum; frozen precipitation; hydrologic cycle; Isidore of Seville



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