Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristotle Bilingual Anthology : SUBSTANCE OF THE ELEMENTS

from Aristotle's Metaphysics, * 1001b-1002b, translated by W. D. Ross, Greek Fonts

QUESTION connected with these is whether numbers and bodies and planes and points are substances of a kind, or not. If they are not, it baffles us to say what being is and what the substances of things are. For modifications and movements and relations and dispositions and ratios do not seem to indicate the substance of anything; for all are predicated of a subject, and none is a 'this'. And as to the things which might seem most of all to indicate substance, water and earth and fire and air, of which composite bodies consist, heat and cold and the like are modifications of these, not substances, and the body which is thus modified alone persists as something real and as a substance.

στοιχείων οὐσία

Τούτων δ΄ ἐχομένη ἀπορία πότερον οἱ ἀριθμοὶ καὶ τὰ σώματα καὶ τὰ ἐπίπεδα καὶ αἱ στιγμαὶ οὐσίαι τινές εἰσιν ἢ οὔ. εἰ μὲν γὰρ μή εἰσιν͵ διαφεύγει τί τὸ ὂν καὶ τίνες αἱ οὐσίαι τῶν ὄντων· τὰ μὲν γὰρ πάθη καὶ αἱ κινήσεις καὶ τὰ πρός τι καὶ αἱ διαθέσεις καὶ οἱ λόγοι οὐθενὸς δοκοῦσιν οὐσίαν σημαίνειν (λέγονται γὰρ πάντα καθ΄ ὑποκειμένου τινός͵ καὶ οὐθὲν τόδε τι)· ἃ δὲ μάλιστ΄ ἂν δόξειε σημαίνειν οὐσίαν͵ ὕδωρ καὶ γῆ καὶ πῦρ καὶ ἀήρ͵ ἐξ ὧν τὰ σύνθετα σώματα συνέστηκε͵ τούτων θερμότητες μὲν καὶ ψυχρότητες καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα πάθη͵ οὐκ οὐσίαι͵ τὸ δὲ σῶμα τὸ ταῦτα πεπονθὸς μόνον ὑπομένει ὡς ὄν τι καὶ οὐσία τις οὖσα.

Next Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Christmas tree

Learned Freeware


Reference address :