from Aristotle's Metaphysics, * 1001b-1002b, translated by W. D. Ross, Greek Fonts
|But if this is admitted, that lines and points are substance more than bodies, but we do not see to what sort of bodies these could belong (for they cannot be in perceptible bodies), there can be no substance.-Further, these are all evidently divisions of body,-one in breadth, another in depth, another in length. Besides this, no sort of shape is present in the solid more than any other; so that if the Hermes is not in the stone, neither is the half of the cube in the cube as something determinate; therefore the surface is not in it either; for if any sort of surface were in it, the surface which marks off the half of the cube would be in it too. And the same account applies to the line and to the point and the unit. Therefore, if on the one hand body is in the highest degree substance, and on the other hand these things are so more than body, but these are not even instances of substance, it baffles us to say what being is and what the substance of things is.
|ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ τοῦτο μὲν ὁμολογεῖται͵ ὅτι μᾶλλον οὐσία τὰ μήκη τῶν σωμάτων καὶ αἱ στιγμαί͵ ταῦτα δὲ μὴ ὁρῶμεν ποίων ἂν εἶεν σωμάτων (ἐν γὰρ τοῖς αἰσθητοῖς ἀδύνατον εἶναι)͵ οὐκ ἂν εἴη οὐσία οὐδεμία. ἔτι δὲ φαίνεται ταῦτα πάντα διαιρέσεις ὄντα τοῦ σώματος͵ τὸ μὲν εἰς πλάτος τὸ δ΄ εἰς βάθος τὸ δ΄ εἰς μῆκος. πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ὁμοίως ἔνεστιν ἐν τῷ στερεῷ ὁποιονοῦν σχῆμα· ὥστ΄ εἰ μηδ΄ ἐν τῷ λίθῳ Ἑρμῆς͵ οὐδὲ τὸ ἥμισυ τοῦ κύβου ἐν τῷ κύβῳ οὕτως ὡς ἀφωρισμένον· οὐκ ἄρα οὐδ΄ ἐπιφάνεια (εἰ γὰρ ὁποιαοῦν͵ κἂν αὕτη ἂν ἦν ἡ ἀφορίζουσα τὸ ἥμισυ)͵ ὁ δ΄ αὐτὸς λόγος καὶ ἐπὶ γραμμῆς καὶ στιγμῆς καὶ μονάδος͵ ὥστ΄ εἰ μάλιστα μὲν οὐσία τὸ σῶμα͵ τούτου δὲ μᾶλλον ταῦτα͵ μὴ ἔστι δὲ ταῦτα μηδὲ οὐσίαι τινές͵ διαφεύγει τί τὸ ὂν καὶ τίς ἡ οὐσία τῶν ὄντων.
Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/aristotle_substance-elements.asp?pg=3