Spitzer - Milieu and Ambience

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Everything is the center of a paradise" (Novalis)

In Studia neophilologica XII (Uppsala 1939-40), 91-119, Karl Michaelsson, the well-known Swedish linguist, has investigated aproblem of exciting interest for modern times. Taking as his point of departure the Swedish word stdmning, which, according to Bellessort's work, La Suede (1910), suggests the idea of an inexpressible harmony between men, things, and situations, and comparing with it the French neologism ambiance (more intellectual, and, unlike stdmning, inapplicable to the 6tat dame of a human being), he finds in both these terms an expression of that modern and anti-Cartesian desire to penetrate "les sombres tunnels de l'inexprimable." He then points out that (1) air ambiant was a Latin- ized expression of the savants of the sixteenth century (the translators of Aristotle; A. Pare, etc.) which paralleled the use of ambire in Pliny and Seneca (hic ventus circumactus et ambiens locum ... turbo est). He shows further that (2) the eighteenth-century translations of Newton revived the use of ambiant (milieu ambiant translating the English ambient medium): lair ambiant appears in Rousseau and Lamartine; (3) along with the numerous modern examples of ambiance (which is attested first with Edmond de Goncourt), there are also frequent examples of atmosphere and climat; (4) aria ambiente is found in Italian with Galileo as early as 1656, and the substantive ambiente, attested in the seventeenth century, is quite frequent in this language (cf. the modern derivative ambientarsi "to acclimate oneself") and may indeed have contributed to the develop- ment of the French cognate; in Spanish, el ambiente is attested since 1692 (Michaelsson fails to note that aire ambiente is to be found as early as 1587 in Virues' epic Monserrate).

Michaelsson's article is well documented and full of subtle suggestions. It is marred, however, by that failure, characteristic of the otherwise meritorious work of several linguists in Sweden and elsewhere, to consult directly the history of ideas turning instead to dictionaries where this is represented, for the most part, only as petrified sediment. In this instance, the failure is all the more surprising, as the author had at hand

1 I wish herein to express my thanks to Professors Castro, Cherniss, Dieke, Edel- stein, Einarsson, E. Frank, Friedlander, Gurwitsch, Salinas, and Singleton for their scholarly contributions, and to Dr. Anna Hatcher for her keen criticism.


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all the material necessary to establish at least the later history of ambiance. And the history of this word cannot be separated from that of medium = milieu (we have seen that milieu ambiant translates Newton's ambient medium): at every step Michaelsson is forced to translate ambiance by "milieu," and yet he makes no reference to the development of this term.

Milieu is now associated in every one's mind with the deterministic theories of Taine, theories which, spreading throughout Europe, led both to the adoption of the French word itself in various languages, and to the establishment of indigenous terms which should serve to represent the same concept (German Umwelt; Spanish medio; Italian ambiente; English environment): the concept of an "aggregate of influences or conditions which shape or determine the being, development, life, or behavior of a person or a thing." Ever since the publication of his Histoire de la littera- ture anglaise of Taine, in which the 'milieu'-theory was first advanced, Taine's debt to the ideas of Montesquieu and of the ancients has been recognized (e.g. by Sainte-Beuve). But no one, so far as I know, has recognized the affiliation existing between Taine's word and the word of the ancients. What was this word?

We find in Greek o rlcpteX'wi ab)p or To 7rEpLExoi', an expression meaning literally "that which surrounds, encompasses" (from the verb l7rEpt-4XEw), and used to refer to the all-embracing air, space, sky, atmosphere, climate: the cosmic "milieu" of man; according to Anaximenes, T&o KOcT/uOV r-ev/a Kat Arip IrepLEXeL, "the universe is surrounded by spirit and atmosphere." The idea that atmosphere or climate was active upon the human constitu- tion was well-known to Hippocrates, who thought in terms of the air which man breathes; in a commentary to Hippocrates' treatise entitled 7r-Epl

spvaews APp67,rov we find the statement: o 8b 'IlrlrOKpAT'77s /ovXscraU cvl8aTL- OETcLL Ta Tv t~wu' Ouaa T px To p rEXlvTos rheas aepOS Kara<TaOEL, which appears later in a Latin version as "Voluit Hippocrates hoc in loco aeri nos ambienti corpora comparari." Hans Diller, "Die tberlieferung der hippokratischen Schrift lrepL a4epwu' vMaTrw rvorwv" (Leipzig, 1932), p. 171, asserts that the expression a9rp 7'uAs ireptfxwi ("climate") was preceded by copat (originally "the seasons"), a term current in Galen (as in Herodotus; 7rlE/ua or 6 abairivevou in Hippocrates' lrepl fbadews a4pOp.); Diller dates this "Schlagwort" as a fourth-century development, at the latest. That a9ip was substituted for the earlier terms, he explains by reference to a develop- ment of climatologic speculation from the stage it had reached in Hippoc- rates (who traces epidemic diseases to vitiated air) to that later stage of Greek thought when air was conceived as subject to "alterations"(trEpotw'- c-Ets): the physiological and psychological qualities of man depend on the

changing "forms" of air: "Damit wird die Luft ... zu einer Substanz,

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die die Skala aller mdglichen Erscheinungsfornmen al)lauft, nicht alle diese Erscheinungsformen abschliesst" (note that the last expression of Diller itself re-echoes o a47p 7rEptfXWe). According to the Greek atomists, air represented the space in which the atoms moved; in Demokritos the Ei&AcO. invade man from the air, which contains atoms of vois and 4Ivxt. Diogenes of Apollonia related the act of thinking to the degree of dampness in the air which man breathed. The Peripatetic school was wont to speak of amip as EvKparos "well-tempered"; this itself suggested KpaUis ("climate": the climate being the result of the mixture of dryness, richness, warmth, cold etc.); then 6-p alone becomes synonymous with "climate"; it may be found already in Empedocles. And finally (6) 7rEpLEXWp is added to this anp: in the writings of Anaxarchos of Abdera, a follower of Demokritos, we find a discussion of &rEp coap(i Kal KPaTEW$ TOV 1rEPLEXOVTOS where the irgpLExov is coupled with both regular terms for "climate"; later it came to be used alone.

The transforming influence of climate is recognized by Polybius, who expatiates on al EK TO6 IrEpLEXoVTos btwpopal ("the differences caused by climate"); and in Theophrastus (Enquiry into Plants, VIII, vii, 6) occurs the statement: "For growth and nourishment the climate (' r6o Aipos KpacLs: literally "mixture of air") is the most important factor . . . and it also makes quite as much difference what sort of air and wind prevails in that region (at Xvopat bLtwoipovcL . . . Kai I I

Iaspt 7rEPLEXOJTL Kai TOlS 7reE.V/acot). Galen (De placitis Hippocratis et Platonis, ed. Iwan Mfiller, I, 442) in a reference to Poseidonius concerned with the influence of nature (climate) on human beings, represents the latter philosopher as saying in his spvatoyewjoopta (I quote the passage from the sixteenth-century Latin translation):

atque enim terras si spectes, non paulum mores hominum inter se differre timidi- tate et audacia vel voluptatis et laboris studio, cuin affectus antliol motiones semper corporis sequantur habitum, qui ex aeris ambientis temperatione (CK rn Kara' rTo leplkXOV


(Cf. also Strabo IT, 3, 6: "Indos Aethiopibus praestare ... quia robustiores sint minusque aeris siccitate adusti.") In Aristotle too (TIcpl P4,Coe 7EPEverCOS,

p. 782, B31) we are told that o6 arp o ircptrxcov is the causative factor of the "dampness" of the Scythians and Thracians, and the "dryness" of the Ethiopians: the Greeks, living between the colder regions of the Europeans and the warmer clime of the Asiatics, possess a ,p6oov of disposition-falling neither into the extreme of courage and too little thought (a European trait) nor into that of thoughtfulness mixed with cowardice (characteristic of the Asiatics). Here we have a clear anticipation of Montesquieu's

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theory of the influence of climate (or nature) on both the body and mind of man.2

Thus "climate," in the opinion of the ancients, has the same general efficacy in regard to living beings, as we are wont to ascribe to the "milieu": it transforms the conditions of life and life itself. Indeed Diller speaks of the "(klimatisches) Milieu" of the ancient philosophers, Pollenz, in his "Hippocrates," of "die Schrift fiber die Umwelt." But I should say that the Greek term (a'.'p) 6 IrepLtxcwv is still too closely identified with material "air" to be identified with the Tainian concept of milieu that "ensemble of conditions... ." (Montesquieu, so often spoken of as Taine's prede- cessor, was really much more in the tradition of Hippocrates; those parts of his Esprit des Lois inspired by the Greek philosopher, deal specifically and exclusively with "air," "climate" as determining factors on the character and constitution of different peoples.2) At the same time this

A7sp irepLtXwv "air" was endowed with qualitiesbordering on the spiritual: since the air was active in the act of perception, it came to represent a sort of "Weltseele." Sextus represents it as gifted with reason and perception (ro 1repeiXov 7quYs XOyLKOV TE 6v KaL ppevwpEs): while we sleep itis not reason and perception that we lose but our "symphysis" with the surrounding element (XWpIETaat T7s 7rpos To' 7rEpLExov avlu.mLas 6 ev 71ytv vovs) or, in the words of Reinhardt's translation "Verwachsenheit mit dem umgebenden Ele- ment." And Cicero has expressed the theory that air is not only that by means of which we see and hear, but that which sees and hears with us: ipseque aer nobiscum videt, nobiscum audit (De nat. Deorum II, 83)-a "sympathetic" notion of perception which Reinhardt (p. 192), who traces this back to earlier Greek ideas, explains by reference to the reciprocal activity between macrocosm and microcosm: just as our auditive capacity is "airlike," and our visual, "light-like" (cf. Goethe: "wdir' nicht das Auge

2 Similarly his contemporary l'abbe DuBos spoke of climat, vapeur, etc.: . . . les divers caracteres de tous les peuples ... sont modifies par les dif- f6rences des expositions [= 'exposure'], des climats, des vapeurs, autant et plus encore que par celles des lois et des habitudes. En effet, ces dernieres oppositions ont en elles-memes, dans le principe, de semblables causes physi- ques.

For further Greek theories concerning the relationship of climatology and charac- terology, cf. H. Diller, "Wanderarzt und Aitiologe" (Leipzig 1932), pp. 115 if. For the revival of these ancient theories in France, cf. M. Brunschvig, L'abbt DuBos renovateur de la critique au XVIIIe sieicle, and a Finnish thesis by Laurila; for their revival in England, cf. the article of Z. J. Fink, "Milton and the theory of climatic influences" (Modern Language Quarterly II, 67). Sainte-Beuve, in his essay on Taine's Histoire de la litterature anglaise pointed out the basic identity between the ideas of Hippocrates, Montesquieu and Taine, without, however, noting the con tinuity of word-material stemming from Greek: lrepLkxov-ambiens-milieu.

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sonnenhaft.. ."), so, air itself is perceptive of acoustic, light of visual, phenomena. Thus the "sympathy" between the cosmos and man does constitute a kind of loving milieu round about him. Reinhardt says (translating ro' 7rEptfxov literally): "das Umgebende, die Luft, ist . . . wie mit einem geistigen, geheimnisvollen Fluidum erfiillt, das in den Menschen dringt und einstr6mt; dies, dies ist die Erkenntnis: ilberstromen aus dem Makrokosmos in den Mikrokosmos." The idea of the fundamental kinship (and kindred feeling) of the 7reptexov for the soul that perceives goes over to Christianity (in the form of the principle of Augustine: similitude est causa amoris). And this ancient idea of the "medium of perception" in its relationship to the loving universe, is surely reflected to some extent in Newton's expression when he speaks of space (the aetherial medium) as the "sensorium of God."

In the examples just above the "air" in question is less akin to "climate" than to "space." And indeed it is in this latter connection that we are most apt to find ro 7reptexov used. For example we are taught by Anaxi- mander (according to Fragment 11: the refutatio of Hippolytus, edited by Diels, "Fragmente der Vorsokratiker," p. 16):

,&pxX~ . . .v 8OTWV qOUOlV TlVa ro6 4rElpoU, it -as ylveOaL rois oupavous Kal rous iv aurols

Koo0.tOUS, TavTr)v 6' a16Lou eLuaL Kal a4Y?'7pW, 'v Kal rarvras repLexetv

"the worlds are born of the infinite space that contains them all." (Aris- totle will repeat, ibid. p. 7, air7 a'px71, the ultimate genesis of the infinite, r?v &XX(Aiv etvat [apX?71V] Kal rEpEPXetv raivra Kat iravra KVU/Epvav.) And then, in accordance with his theory of the birth of the worlds by "detachment" from the infinite (fragment 10, Diels, ibid.) Anaximander continues:

ro EIC toi ylol0U yOVl'OEp/.toi TE Kal iIUXpOi KaT& T7yV )4vEoLv

roi6e TOt K60/.4O) &rOKptOVal

Kai rtVa iK robroU pXyoys oSoalpav repUpvl vat r($ repL T2V ynV aiep& w's r 6kV6p(A ,)OOt.3

3 Cf. the explanation of Zeller in Grundriss der Geschichte der griechischen Philo- sophie (13th ed.), p. 33:

Als der Urstoff ist das Unbegrenzte ungeworden und unverganglich, und ebenso ewig ist seine Bewegung. Eine Folge dieser Bewegung ist die "Ausscheidung" (&KKpIve-Oat) bestimmter Stoffe. Zunachst trennten sich das Warme und das Kalte, aus beiden entstand das Feuchte; aus ihm sonder- ten sich die Erde, die Luft und der Feuerkreis ab, der diese als kugelformige Schale umgab. Indem der letztere zersprang, bildeten sich radf6rmige, mit Feuer gefuillte, mit Offnungen versehene HUlsen, die, durch Luftstromungen bewegt, sich um die Erde in geneigt horizontaler Richtung drehen; das Feuer ... gibt die Erscheinung der durch den Himmelsraum ziehenden Gestirne . . . eine Vorstellung, die sich uns zwar fremdartig genug ausnimmt, die aber in Wahrheit der erste uns bekannte Versuch ist, die regelmassige Bewegung der Gestirne in der Weise der sphiteren Spharentheorie mechanisch zu erklaren (p. 33).

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This cosmo-organic image of the bark of the tree, compared to the sphere of fire surrounding the air, which, in turn, surrounds the earth, and de- veloping from a germ (oy6vwos) detached from the infinite-this will be repeated throughout the Middle Ages; already we glimpse Dante's con- centric heavens surrounding the universe, and witness the encrustation and tautening of the formless. According to an Orphic fragment preserved by Aristophanes (Birds, 690, in 0. Kern, "Orphicorum fragments," p. 80) there was at first only Chaos, Night, Erebus and Tartarus: in the depths of Erebus, Night engendered an egg from which was hatched Eros: he united with Chaos near Tartarus, and became the ancestor of the human race aspiring to the light if the universe is an egg4 its shell would then be the heavenly limit of the universe, and the earth as the centre of the universe would be the yolk of the egg.5

It was an ancient theory that space was filled by a fluid: for Heraclitus, space (or, that which filled space)6 was similar to fire, a kind of ether. Poseidonius thought the IrEPLfxov filled with a spiritual fluid (lrvEi6ta) which permeates man and brings about cognizance: an overflowing of the macrocosm into the microcosm (Reinhardt, Sympathie und Kosmos, p. 698). The materialists of the Hellenistic period identified this fiery ether with Aristotle's vital heat, and posited a vital fluid penetrating all

4For this idea as found in the Phrygian mystics and the Hindus, cf. R. Eisler, Weltenmantel und Himmelszelt 11,524; H. Lommel, "Der Welt-Ei-Mythos im Rig- Veda" (M6langes . . . Charles Bally, Geneva 1939, p. 214); Frobenius, Erlebte Erdteile VII (Frankfort 1929), pp. 280 ff. In the Sanskrit text it is the sun that is the yolk of the "world-egg," and this yolk can change into the "sun-bird." Frobenius thinks that the "Urei" myth is essentially connected with the sea ("Urmeer"), which, in Egypt and India, is sometimes symbolized by the world-embracing serpent: the world-egg floats on the sea or sinks therein (cf. the idea of St. Augustine's, ridiculed by Cyrano de Bergerac, that the earth "nageait sur l'eau comme la moiti6 d'une orange couple"). But here we need be concerned only with the kinship between the "world-egg globe" and the circle formed by the Ocean.

5 This image is found in Brunetto Latini and, later on, in Leonardo da Vinci; cf. Solmi, Le fonti di Leonardo, p. 193 (who, however, does not recognize the ancient prehistory of this comparison):

Che quando una cosa e rinchiusa e intorniata dentro dell' altra, conviene, che quella che rinchiude tenga quella rinchiusa; e conviene, che quella che e rinchiusa sostenga quella che la rinchiude. La ragione, come se '1 bianco dell' uovo, che aggira il tuorlo, non tenesse, e non lo rinchiudesse dentro da se, egli cadrebbe in sul guscio; e se '1 tuorlo non sostenesse l'albume, certo egli cadrebbe nel fondo dell' uovo.... E questa e la ragione perched la terra e assisa nel miluogo di tutti i cerchi e di tutti i torniamenti, cioe il fondo de' cieli e delli elementi.

6 So late a writer as Fritz Mauthner says in his Worterbuch der Philosophie: "I am unable to find in what respect the ether might be distinguished from the space it fills. Space and matter are as inseparable as immaterial space is unthinkable."

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things. The Neoplatonist Proclus described space as a corporeal, animate substance which, through the penetrative force of the air, is infused in matter (cf. G. K. Chalmers, PAMLA LII, 1031). Athenaios considered the

7rE/7rT0 orotXEtov (quintessence) as r'6 &lKOV &ta 7rYTat 7rw Ev/.a vpX OV Ta

7rapra ovl'EXEO0aL Kal &3oLKEtoOat: something in the nature of a Weltseele. Anaximenes believed that "as the soul is the air [an airy being] which rules over us, so breath and air encompass the whole cosmos." In regard to the "ruling divinity" of the air and the soul see H. Kelsen in The Journal of Unified Science VIII, 74.

It must be remembered that for the Greeks, even for Greek scientists, "all things are full of God" (Thales) and that Greek natural science is not devoid of religious conviction; this has been emphasized by L. Edelstein, Bulletin of the History of Medicine V, 3 (1937): "... this is Greek ration- alism and empiricism: it is influenced by religious ideas. God and His action are powers reckoned with by the physicians in their theory. and their practice." The Hippocratic book on the Sacred Disease states: "This disease comes from the same causes as others, from the things that come to and go from the body, from cold, sun, and from the changing restlessness of the winds. These things are divine." And for the later physicians who follow Plato and Aristotle the divinity of sun and stars and climate is unquestionable, nor are the forces of the lower world, air and water, deprived of divinity (e.g. Plato, Laws X, 8996; Aristotle, On the Heaven, 288 a 4-5). Pausanias says: "to Asclepius they [the Phoenicians] assign Apollo as father, but no mortal woman as his mother. Asclepius is air, bringing health to mankind and to all animals likewise; Apollo is the sun, and most rightly is he named the father of Asclepius because the sun, by adapting his course to the seasons, imparts to the air its healthfulness." One understands that such conceptions as "air" and 7riEi3a, and consequently i- 7rEptExov also, were tinged with religious connotations.

Particularly important is the conception of ro -rEptExov as found in Aris- totle's Physics. It should be noted that the Stagirite spoke of space as a place (orIwos),7 as a avq3a rEptExov, a sort of body which he considered to be physical rather than mathematical,8since he compares space to a vase,

7Mr. Lawrence Ecker has observed in Language XVI, 17, that the abstract notion of "place" is originally unknown to most languages, which refer rather to "the place where a certain activity goes on"; thus the Greek word roiros is "the place where one stretches out" (cf. Lithuanian tekti= "he stretches"); Latin (st) locus and German Stelle "the place where one stops"-or, according to Language XVI, 91, "the place where one is put".

8 It is the philosophy of the Renaissance that divested space of this "substantial" characteristic and substituted for substratum space (or aggregate space) "functional

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and objects to the liquids contained therein (the Greek language asso- ciated ireptexetv with ireptox J "the skin of fruit").9 Space contains both the boundaries of the outermost containing body and those of the body contained; the limit of universal space is the ultimate heavenly sphere, the final envelope, so to speak, beyond which the ne plus ultra of the Aristotelian cosmology erects before us a verboten !10 (cf. Aristotle, Physics, IV, 5-7, cited by E. Cassirer, Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance, 1927, P. 191). In this connection 0. Hamelin, Le system d'Aristote, 1931, p. 290, writes:

L'espace, avons-nous dit, est "comme un vase." C'est 1A une metaphor sans doute, mais si juste qu'elle exprime adequatement la nature de l'espace, a l'exception d'un seul trait. Un vase se transporte, lespace non: un vase c'est un lieu trans- portable; lespace est un vase qu'on ne peut mouvoir. I1 n'y a qu'a traduire cette image en termes abstraits pour obtenir la definition cherchee: "L'espace est la limite immobile et immediate du contenant." La proposition que cette limite est immedi- ate veut dire qu'elle enveloppe sans aucun interm~diaire le contenu. Il faut bien comprendre d'ailleurs que la limite, ainsi caractfriske, du contenant est contigu6 (avx'EX6ME'ov) et non pas continue (avmExes) avec celle du contenu. II ne peut y avoir ici continuity: il faut que le contenant et le contenu soient spares Fun de l'autre, autrement il n'y aurait pas rapport de contenu a contenant, mais de partie A tout. Mais, si la continuity est, comme nous le savons, une identity de limite, la contiguity est simplement une coincidence de limited, et la coincidence n'empeche pas la duality.

Elsewhere Aristotle says that every object has its particular and natural ir-ros: the fall to earth of a heavy object, like the rising movement of a light one, is the natural movement to its natural place. Here we have the idea of "the (natural) place of something"-the ancestor of le (mi)lieu de quelqu'un-which merged with the idea of o 7rcepEXov."1

space" (space as a system): a homogeneous space systematically subject to mathe- matical construction. It was precisely Galileo who so vigorously combatted the Aristotelian physics with his new dynamism. (Thus, in one sense, his aria ambiente and l'ambiente correspond rather to Greek terminology than to Greek conceptions.)

9 A similar word is also used in Plato of the Ocean: o 7rkptdr reos. Thus the Ocean was considered as enfolding the earth (d)Kecapvo 'kovra 7rkptL ri' Ty'i"), just as did the ether.

10 Thus, since the reptkXov itself is surrounded by final limits, it may be thought of as "intermediary" as well as "enclosing." This, of course, explains the fact that later times can refer to this space as medium.

11 With the physical notion of space transposed to the realm of the soul, the dol- cestilnovista Guido Guinizelli writes, in his canzone Al cor gentil ripara sempre amore:

Amor in gentil cor prende rivera ('gets a foothold,' 'takes up its quar- ters') per so consimil loco ('as its genuine, natural, congenial place') com' adamus del ferro in la minera ('like the magnet in the iron-ore mine').

In these famous lines we have the consimilis which Lucretius used so frequently and which suggests the "sympathy" between the object and "it's" place-implying love as well, since in Augustine's words similitude est causa amoris; cf. the pregnant line

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How richly revelatory of Greek thought is the term ro 7rept~xov: it illus- trates the ability of the Greeks to conceive, not a "cold" abstraction

of Auzias March, Poesies LXXXVI, 229: amant a mi per consemblant manera. For the use of the porsemic pronoun one may compare the phrases sua morte mori, suo fato mori (and in popular French mourir de sa belle (!) mort; cf. W. Schulze, Kleine Schriften, p. 131: 'Der Tod des Kambyses")-or again, "to pay a debt suo die.'

If we compare suo consimil loco to ambiens locus, it becomes evident that the first refers to the place from the point of view of the "contained" which "fits in"-the second, from the point of view of the "container" which "protects" the contained: there is an admirable harmony and "sympathy" between the two. If we turn to the medieval heavens, the dynamism of the celestial bodies is nothing other than their effort to reach their own "natural place"-attracted by divine love (t'Amore che move it sol e t'altre stelle). Or, coming back to earth: the static social theory of gradations that obtained in the Middle Ages (according to which everyone must remain on that rung of the hierarchic ladder to which God has assigned him) is to be explained (cf. G. Muller, Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift II,689) by this same theory of the natural, the authentic place. It is this, too, perhaps, that underlies what has been called the Standortgebundenheit of the souls in Dante's Beyond: the locus penalis assigned to them in accordance with the theology of Thomas Aquinas. In the light of this idea of the "natural place" we can understand what it must have meant to a medieval mind when St. Peter, in Dante's Paradise, chides a group of persons for having ursurped his place:

Quegli ch' usurpa in terra it loco mio It loco mio, it loco mio, che vaca Nella presenza del Figliuol di Dio (Par. XXVII, 22).

The commentaries suggest a reminiscence of Jeremiah VII,12: ite ad locum meum in Silo, where God speaks of his Temple, the "Domus Dei," as locus meus; they note the terrible 'ripetizione' of loco mio-all the more terrible because a saint in Heaven has been deprived of the "natural locus" of his influence on earthly things.

The idea of the "natural place" has outlived the Middle Ages; Ronsard, in his Hymne des daimons (ed. A.-M. Schmidt) represents God as populating the universe with beings, each of whom is put in his proper place (v. 59 ff.):

A celle fin qu'il n'y eft point de lieux Vagues dans l'Univers (= horror vacui!), selon teurs natures Qu'ils fussent tous remplys de propres creatures.

(Schmidt comments: "il s'agit . . ., par suite d'un raisonnement analogique courant, du peuplement spacial des divers 6l6ments du cosmos"). The demons have light bodies (v. 77 ff.), but

pesant quelque peu, a fin que leur corps n'erre Trop haut jusques au ciel, habandonnant te lieu Qui leur est destine par le vouloir de Dieu . . .

(variant: "II logea les Daimons au milieu des nuages, leur place destinee) (v. 83) Ne plus qu'on voit l'exercite des nUes

En un temps orageux egalement pendiles I)'un juste poix en t'air n'y s'eslevant trop haut .

According to E. Zilsel, Journal of the History of Ideas I,115, Copernicus himself continued the medieval teleological conception of nature: the idea that objects of the same nature exert on each other "sympathetic" influences (the air rotates along with

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but a "warm" one: an abstraction which is visualized and which has not severed its ties with life, but remains organic and close to the bodily.

the earth because it partakes of the nature of earth-eandam sequatur natural; because, we might say, it is consimilis with earth). He likewise continues the Aristotelian explanation of motion by reference to the effort of objects to reach their locus naturalis (according to which the "natural" movement of things must be rectilinear: extra locum esse produces "artificial," circular movement). And even the comparison of the feeling of love with the striving of physical bodies towards their proper place survives: P. 0. Kristeller, International Science I,12 says: "When Ficino conceives the desire for God as a natural appetite of the soul and compares it to the natural movement of the elements towards their proper place, he obviously bases himself on a remarkable passage of (Augustine's) confessions in which our love for God is defined as a kind of weight (pondus meum amor meus)."

In seventeenth century texts suis locus is still occasionally to be found: Boileau, Art poetique:

Il faut que chaque chose y (dans un poeme) soit mise en son lieu Pascal: L'homme ne sait a quel rang se mettre; il est visiblement tombe de son vrai

lieu, sans pouvoir se retrouver. Even such trite phrases as each thing in its proper place; he should be put in his place may have a (narrowly circumscribed) "historic origin."

From this notion of a "place fitting for someone" is derived the technical expres- sion of the mathematicians: the geometrical locus of, le lieu geometrique de, der geo- metrische Ort von. It may be noted that English (just as was true in the case of medium) chose the Latin word in order to distinguish the scientific term; in some of the uses of this locus (cf. NED) it is still possible to see the Aristotelian nuance of the "all-embracing" 1reptLXov+P1rvEP6a: Cheyne (1775):

Yet space is not actually to be divided; or one part of it separated from another. Since it is the universal Locus of, and penetrates all Bodies.

Of course the geometrical locus developed a technical meaning quite disparate from that of the locus naturalis: this is what an object may (or may not) occupy, whereas the locus geometricus is what an object must occupy.

As for the very modern expression, I'homme et son milieu, while this may imme- diately recall the medieval suo consimil loco, still it is less suggestive of that attitude of poised contentment which we found expressed in the Middle Ages toward the social system; rather, perhaps, there is a suppressed sign of regret at being so deeply rooted in one's own environment-an environment that today is felt to be more or less accidental. Such a thinker as Rilke, however, who urges that everyone die "his" death (his idea is, to be sure, more individualistic than that revealed in sua morte morn) opposes this modern feeling-though he only succeeds, after taking account of modern deterministic thought, in replacing suo consimil loco by "the relatively most fitting place." In "Briefe an einen jungen Dichter" (1929) he writes: "Wir sind ins Leben gesetzt, als in das Element dem wir am meisten entsprechen, und wir sind uberdies durch Jahrtausende Anpassung diesem Leben so ahnlich gewor- den dass wir, wenn wir stille halten, durch ein gluckliches Mimikry von allem, was uns umgibt, kaumn zu unterscheiden sind. Wir haben keinen Grund, gegen unsere Welt Misstrauen zu haben, denn sic ist nicht gegen uns" (it is as if he were reacting against the idea of contrke = contra: "what lies before and against us").

Another similar term is "element" [= "quo vita continetur, deliciae"]; in Italian it

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And the warm nuance of ro' reptexov is protective: absent is the modern brand of fatalistic determinism envisaged as a menacing force. More- over, as is again characteristic of the Greeks, the visualizedabstract term covers a wide range of life: rro6 reptexov embraces climate, the air that feeds (spiritually as well as physically: lrvEi4a), the environment that condi- tions, ether, space, place-and the ocean embracing the earth; it appears even in logical grammatical phraseology to refer to a general term (in relation to a particular) as a protectingly embracing or encompassing thing. For a harmonious and poised man is apt, by nature, to see every- where himself, and the things connected with himself, as being "embraced" and caressed: to feel that he is the center of a whole the embryo in the egg, the tree within its bark, the earth wrapped round by ether. This is an inner form, a living pattern of thought, which must reproduce itself unceasingly: it harmonizes with what Mommsen (RImische Geschichte I, 26) has said of Greek religious thought and its preference for "das Bild- hafte" and "gestaltende Anschauung"-in contrast to the abstract and conceptual nature of Roman thought. For the Greeks, as for the Grecian Goethe, Denken and Anschauen were one.

The word.ro 7repeLXov, obviously, did not go over into Latin. One may perhaps risk the assumption that this was because of that linguistic purism which prevented the Romnans from "speaking Greek in Latin"- a procedure to which Cicero in particular objected: cf. his cautious use of

may be found in Sacchetti's Novella 11: [a man] era un elemento a chi in Ferrara capitava ["a friendly element for everyone who came to Ferrara"], in French from the time of Montaigne (estre hors de leur element); in German from the sixteenth century on (Gunther); and in English "to be in one's element" is attested as early as 1598. This expression is particularly reminiscent of similar uses of "air" (sein Lufft, Paracelsus; v. note 17) which suggest so strongly the idea of sympathy. We may compare the significant identification of element and welkin in the Clown's speech in Twelfth Night: "who you are and what you would are not of my welkin: I might say, element; but the word is over-worn."

It is interesting to note in this connection Pascal's severe criticism directed against the use of anthropomorphic expressions in scientific language-though such stric- tures as those expressed below can have no weight as against the developments in the spoken language:

[les philosopher] parlent des choses corporelles spirituellement et des spirituelles corporellement. Car ils disent hardiment que les corps tendent en bas, qu'ils aspirent a leur centre, qu'ils fuient la destruction, qu'ils crai- gnent le vide, qu'ils ont des inclinations, des sympathies, des antipathies, qui sont toutes choses qui n'appartiennent qu'a l'esprit. [Pensees II, 72]

Cf. Descartes (Tannery II, 223): "la plupart la [la pesanteur] prennent pour une vertu ou quality interned en chacun des corps que l'on nomme pesants qui le fait tendre vers le centre de la terre." Finally, one may remember the remark of Leibniz on the conservatism of language (Discours de ietaphysique): "nous voyons que ceux qui suivent Copernic ne laissent pas de dire que le soleil se leve et so couche."

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vocantur (instead of sunt) in "Ii qui mathematici vocantur, ii qui grammatici vocantur" (Marouzeau, Traite de stylistique, p. 159). And it may be remembered that the old Roman poets eschewed even aether ("Id quod nostri caelum memorant, Grai perhibent aethera"). But this purism did not extend to the coinage of neologisms patterned upon the Greek. Cicero himself, in his scientific writings (if to a lesser extent in his orations) did not hesitate to invent terms that represented translations of Greek words (e.g., qualitas = Wroto'rns: cf. L. Laurand, Etude sur le style des dis- cours de Ciceron, I, 80; Wackernagel, Vorlesungen fiber Syntax, p. 115). Thus there was no technical obstacle in the way of coining a Latin term equivalent to ro' repa-xop. And yet this does not seem to have been created: K. C. Reilly, Studies in the Philosophical Terminology of Lucretius and Cicero (New York, 1909) says: "I find no counterpart for it (i.e., for the 7rEptEXOZ' of Epicurus) in Cicero or Lucretius.""2

12 We do find, it is true, a circumstantia aeris in Seneca (on which, perhaps, is patterned the circumstantia angelorum of Tertullian). But circumstantia never gained a foothold in Latin as a reference to air, space, sky, one reason for which may well have been the utter absence of that 'caressing" nuance which characterized the Greek term. Indeed, the verb circumstare often had a definitely menacing connota- tion: ita multi circumstant qui nobis mortem minitantur (Cicero); me . . . saevus circumstetit horror (Virgil); circumstans nos peccatum (Vulgate). (The use of um- geben by Goethe (= "von allen Seiten bedrangen") is an obvious imitation of the Latin circumstare: "Feierlich umgab der frhhe Tod die Knieende" [Iphigenie, v. 1847]). Moreover, in Cicero, this Latin is used to translate the particular Greek term avrtLreplacraaOs [= "condensation," "counteraction," "resistance"] (just as this was translated by the humanist Calcagnini in 1544 by circumobsistentia): again the reference is to activity that is adverse rather than beneficent; for this use of circum- stantia in ecclesiastical Latin, cf. Psalm 140: "pone . . . ostium circumstantiae labiis meis," translated by von Wartburg (FEW) as "frein, barriere"; in Tertullian it is translated "Druck, Gefahr, Ungluick." Later still, with Thomas Aquinas, the adverse becomes the arbitrary, the accidental, as he opposes circumstantia to sub- stantia (cf. Henry VI, Act II: "not essentially, but by circumstance").

But though circumstantia aeris has left no traces in the modern languages (cf. however, in Amyot: "froidure, air circumstant," translated by Godefroy as "am- biant"), still, in most of these there is at "circumstance" (- the "things"-the de- tails, the factors-surrounding us) which is at least comparable to milieu (to Taine "circonstances" are components of the milieu: the factors inherent therein are, ac- cording to him, circonstances publiques, circonstances socialets, circonstances envelop- pantes). In French the adverse meaning seems to have dwindled, whereas in German and English this force is felt more strongly: cf. dans ces circonstances to unter diesen Umstdnden or under these circumstances; in these last, the preposition itself suggests an oppression, as dans does not. And the force of the singular in such an English phrase as he rises above limitations of circumstance cannot be imitated in any other language. It is probable that in English such epithets as "favorable," "extenuating" (circumstances) came only after "adverse, harsh, (etc.) circum- stances."

Connected with this word is also the suggestion of "pomp," "ceremony." In

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What we might have expected to find is the substantive ambiens or the expression aer ambiens, for the Latin verb ambire had not only the literal meaning of the Greek verb lreptkxetL; it possessed as well the same connota- tion of protection, of a warm embrace: cf. domis ambiri vitium palmitibus ac sequacibus loris (Pliny: the variants give amplecti) and mundi omnes amplexibus ambimur, tegimur atque sustinemur (Arnobius). Moreover, the sixteenth-century air ambiant to which Michaelsson refers can be ex- plained only by postulating a (Neo-) Latin aer ambiens. In Classical Latin I have been able to find neither this expression nor ambiens used as a sub- stantive (though it must be borne in mind that the Latin translations of Aristotle are lost). But, applying ourselves to the evidence at hand, let us study something of the use of the Verb ambire (7rEptfExE)13 itself in Classi-

English there is not necessarily an adverse force present: the piece "Pomp and Circumstance" is jubilee band music. But, of course, whenever ceremony is in- sisted upon unduly, it becomes an irritant; and in such a phrase as don't stand on ceremony! there is undoubtedly involved at least a slight reproach. As for the French ne faites pas de circonstances! and the German keine Umstdnde! the nuance is wholly adverse.

13 The prefix amb-, obviously, does not historically correspond to 7repL-, but to &/MpL-, (aApw). This latter, however, which, like the Latin ambi- (ambo), meant "on both sides (right and left)" was eventually supplanted, as W. Pax shows (WOrter und Sachen XVIII, 16), by imps- which meant, first "forward," then "around." In a similar development in Latin, amb- tended to become replaced by circum- which, more or less, corresponded to the (secondary) use of rept-. Amb- did not completely disappear: in addition to such (petrified) forms as anculus (= a,.tworoXoS), a word of the cult, it was used, as a living element in verbs of embracing (amplecti, ambire). With such verbs circum- was never triumphant; the lover is not so much interested in completing a circular movement as in simply enfolding his beloved in his arms; thus amb-, with its emphasis on "both (arms)" was particularly suitable. And the loving protective nuance possible with this prefix was undoubtedly enhanced by the very fact that it was preserved almost exclusively in verbs of this type. And ambire was never supplanted by circumire: in spite of all the competition offered by the newer prefix, ambire was preserved for centuries, kept warm and living by this special prefix, to be ultimately chosen as the representative of 7reptxeav.

Accordingly I cannot completely endorse the comparison of ambire vs. circumire given by M. Pax: that, in contrast to the careful and gradual encirclement of an object never out of one's reach, which is represented by circumire, ambire describes an impetuous attack upon an object-a violent penetration or invasion ("Ein- dringen"): he sees violence where I see protection. Moreover, in regard to circum, while it is true that at the beginning this was probably tame and pedantic (descrip- tive of movement bent on completing a circular route), still, as this prefix came to be felt as the equivalent of the Greek 7repl, suggestive of dynamic onrushing move- ment, much of the vigor of the latter was, of necessity, bequeathed to circam: con- sider such a verb as circumfundere, which translates some of the meanings of 7rWEpLXEv.

Quite different are such cases as circumamplecti, circumambire-verbs of com- pound prefix, in which circum has been added on to the earlier amb- whose force had

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cal Latin: a use which was to make possible the eventual creation of an aer ambiens. For example in the following passages ambire (alternating with amplecti, coercere, circumfundere) is used to refer to the embrace of the Ocean: Catullus LXIV, 31-Oceanusque maria totum amplectitur orbem. Ovid, Fast., 81-82-Oceanus . .. qui terram liquidis, qua patet, ambit aquis (variant:

amplectitur). Ovid, Metam. I, 30-circumfluus umnor (the Ocean) . . . solidumque coercuit orbem. Ovid, Metam. I, 37-iussit (freta) et ambitae circumdare litora terrae. Cicero, Somn. Scip. 13-omnis enim terra ... parva quaedam insula est circumfusa

illo maria quod Atlanticum magnum, quem Oceanum appellatis in terris.

And it is in such examples of ambire that we have the real germ of (aer) ambiens, and not in those copied from the ThLL by Michaelsson most of which contain the idea "to revolve," "to run through a course" (cf. Macro- bius, I.c. I, xxxi: "quod eadem signa Saturnus annis triginta, luna diebus viginti octo ambit et permeat"; a similar concept also underlies the derivative ambitus).

I have not found the verb ambire used to refer precisely to the air, the space, surrounding the earth. But the "skyey" quality of WrEpLxov is suggested in the following passage from the commentary of Macrobius on the Somnium Scipionis (a work which was to serve as an authority for the Middle Ages: Dante, Chrestien de Troyes, etc.); here, in a description of the celestial orbs, ambire appears as a more poetic variant of continere:

Verum solis circo superiorum stellarum circos certum est esse maiores, si eo quod continetur id quod continent maius est, cum hic sit caelestium sphaerarum ordo, ut a superior unaquaeque inferior ambiatur.

(We have here already the Galileo-like turn of sentence noted above- cf. also "circulos per quem sol discurrit a Mercurii circulo, ut inferior ambitur," I, xix).

In the absence of more specific examples of ambire in reference to space, several expressions may be found, among which the concept "embrace"

become weakened. In general, it could perhaps be said that this was done with no perceptible change of meaning; however, in the following example of circumambire from St. Jerome (ThLL), the idea of "around" ("round and round") is surely strongly emphasized to an extent of which amb- alone would have been incapable (note the vertigine!): sphaera hanc ipsam terram circumambit vertigine et dicitur coelum.

In Toletus we shall find circumambiens used to represent the "externus locus"; this is undoubtedly the origin of the English circumambient as applied to air in 1635 by Adam. The term appears not to exist in Romance, though one may note the se- mantic derivative French, circonvoisin.

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is prominent: in the following passage from Lucretius V, 317 (given me by Professor Friedlander): denique jam tuere hoc, circurn supraque quod omnem continet amplexu terram, it is possible to see in the duality of the terminol- ogy the desire to indicate at the same time the "caressing" quality of space, and its relation to the objects which it surrounds. The verb amplecti itself is used; the ThLL notes under amplecti II B("de rebus") that "subest ubique quaedam imago" and gives the following examples: Cicero: aera amplectitur immensus aether (Aug. De civ. 4, 11); aether terram tenero (!) circumiectu amplectitur (cf. Pacuvius:... complexu continet terrain = the

I7rep EXovTa of Euripides); Mela: universum uno ambitu se cunctaque amplectitur.'4

To these I add a passage from the Somnium Scipionis (IV, 9) which along with Macrobius' commentary so greatly influenced the cosmology of the Middle Ages (and particularly that of Dante-cf. E. Moore, Studies in Dante III, 14):

Nonne aspicis quae in templa veneris? Novem tibi orbibus vel potius globis connexa sunt omnia, quorum unus est caelestis, extimus, qui reliquos omnes com- plectitur, summus ipse deus, arcens et continens ceteros ...

in which arcens is equivalent to coircens; to this we may compare Cicero, De nat. deorum: "ipsius mundi, qui omnia complexu coircet et continet" and (ibid. IT, 91): (the earth) "est circumfusa undique.. hac animali spirabilique natura cui nomen est aer" (thus 'air' = 'nature' is a living container); and again "hunc (the air) rursus amplectitur immensus aether"; (98): ". ... restat ultimus, et a domiciliis nostris altissimus omnia cingens et coercens coeli complexus, qui idem aether vocatur." Cf. also the passage from Ovid. Metam. I, 12, describing the chaotic stage of the universe: "nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus"; Lafaye translates "dans F'air environnant. "

At this point it is interesting to observe the procedure of Apuleius in his translation of the Greek work 7repl KO6gOV (cf. Siegfried Miller, "Das Verhdltnis von Apulejus' De mundo zu seiner Vorlage," Philologus, Suppl.- Bd. XXXII, 2, 1939, p. 22); the Greek referring to the embrace of the Ocean: 7repexoIevov (Asia) wro' 8 ravr'zs (the Mediterranean) Kal To roepLe 't2Kfeav6 is rendered by "constringiturque Oceani cingulo et societate nostri maris" (previously ambitus pelagi has been used of the sea). Thus Mtiller can establish an "tbersetzungsgleichung": WrEptfxeo-GaL=cingulo constringi. (We shall later see this rendered in medieval translations simply by con- tineri.) On p. 44, l u/i-rao-a 4'a vn-os... vro'i s 'rA avi-N -LKs Kaxov/,Jv7fs

OaXaSoos 7reptppeoA4fvr appears as "omnem hanc terrenam immensitatemn

14 This verb, like 7repaxewv, was also applied to the embrace of the particular by the general: "littera utrimque vocales amplectitur" (Martianus Capella).

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Atlantici maris ambitu coerceri insulamque hanc esse cum omnibus insulis suis; nam similes hic alias et alias minores circumfundit Oceanus"; here lrEptppErcT~ca = ainbitu coerceri (cf. also the circumfundit with Cicero's "quaedam insula est circumfusa illo maria) . Muller labels this manner of translating "Erweiterung aus der Vorlage heraus": an amplification which makes explicit the implicit:

'hanc terrenam immensitatem' wird frei hinzugefiigt . . . ambitu coerceri steht als vollerer Ausdruck fur das einf ache 7reptppEdGat; beide Erweiterungen haben off enbar den Sinn, diese ungewohnliche Tatsache, dass der ganze Erdkreis eine Insel ist, durch eine Antithese "immensitas-ambitu coerceri" noch mehr hervorzuheben.... Seine Kr6nung erfahrt der Satz aber mit dem letzten Kolon "insulamque ... cum insulis suis omnibus.'

The Roman has an eye for the narrowest strip of the boundless expanse: his gaze follows the Mediterranean to the Pillars of Heracles which are, for him, the point where the river begins to broaden; but to the Greek, this is the point where the Ocean narrows.

As for rzptExoP, in the meaning of "space," "ether," we see that in Apu- leius (the ether) 4a Tr CEza E/I 7rEptEXov Ow&/aTa is rendered by "quae divinas et inmortales vivacitates ignium pascens..." (note again the emphasis on the protective qualities of the "ambiente": cf. the earlier aether sidera pascit of Lucretius).

Tt is obvious from the above that the Latin writers were much given to the stylistic device of variation and amplification--and this was the case even when they were faced with a definitely finite phenomenon: cf. Cicero's procedure when describing the limited boundaries of a harbor: "non ... Iortu illud oppidum clauditur, sed urbe portus ipse cingitur et continetur (Verr. 5, 96). Thus the question arises (which I do not feel competent to decide): did the Romans resort to periphrases because of the lack of the technical term WrEPXEICV (and xrEptppEZv), or did the lack of this technical term coincide with an engrained habit of variation? My own feeling, based on such a passage as the one just cited from Cicero, would prompt the latter conclusion; but it also seems to me evident that the Romans were unable to decant into their own idiom the richness and fullness of the Greek term, and thus were forced to have recourse to the procedure of diversification, of breaking up one concept into convenient parts-in short, of using many terms for what, in Greek, was concentrated into one: multa, non multum might be the Roman device in this connection. It seems to me reasonable to assume that the Romans felt less well-protected in the universe, less at home with the infinite, than did the Greeks; for their part they rather tended to cling more to the soil: that graspable entity, that mother earth so dear to the Romans-among whom flourished the cult of so many chthonian divinities. The gesture of Brutus who,

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on his return home, kissed the soil, is symbolic of not only the patriotic but also the earthy feelings of the Roman people. And as regards this soil, they were apt to qualify sober epithets: the Roman word for "conti- nent" is "that which holds together" (terra continens); the Greek word is ,qruEpos which (though its etymology is as yet unconfirmed) perhaps is related to a&ELpOs "infinite." The Romans were unable to sense the grandeur of all-embracingness, and in their language the substantive ambiens is lacking while various verbs, of which ambire is only one out of many, vie for the honor of rendering the Greek verb 7rrptExauv.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When we come to the medieval period, the same variety of terms to represent the verb IrEPtExELP is in evidence, if we may judge by the procedure of certain Aristotelians treated by A. Schneider, Die abendldndlische Speku- lation des 12. Jhs. in ihrem Verhdltnis zur aristotelischen u. jiidisch-arabischen Philosophie ("Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters," 1915).15 Here (XVII, 4, pp. 30, 37) are to be found, as renderings of irepxewxa, the verbs concludere, circumscribere, capere, continere, coercere. (I might add the aer conjunctum "ambient air" of St. Thomas, De coelo III, 7.) John the Scot: "Nil enim aliud est locus nisi ambitus, quo unum- quodque certis terminis concluditur" (this author includes among those things which can be limited by "their" spaces such incorporeal entities as grammar and rhetoric). Hugo de St. Victor: "corpus dimensionem habens loco circumscribitur." John of Damascus: "Locus corporeus est terminus continentis quo continetur id quod continetur; v. gr. a&r con- tinet; corpus continetur." John of Salisbury: "caelum ... qui continet omnia" (according to his theory the air must describe a circular move- ment; being lighter than matter it can not remain motionless, nor, since it contains all, can it move in a straight line-an idea derived from Aris- totle). Gilbertus Porretanus: "locus in corpore capiente et circumscribente constitutes est."

But the most important passage for our purposes is another from this same Gilbertus Porretanus, which contains a part of his refutation of the argument against the theory that "the place of a thing is formed by the body containing it." The argument against this theory raises the objec- tion that, if this were true, the limit of the farthermost heaven (beyond

15 There may be noted, however, in a (probably medieval) Latin translation of a Greek commentary of Galen, which was derived, according to H. Diller ("Die tyber- lieferung der hippokratischen Schrift wept aepcop uOar&co rorcop," Leipzig, 1932, p. 112) from an Arabic version of the ninth century, an echo of the Greek 6 amip 7repL X&W

Wyas: "Voluit Hippocrates hoc in loco aeri nos ambienti corpora comparari"; this would seem to be evidence of a traditional rendering of IreptXc'A by ambiens.

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which, according to Aristotelian and medieval cosmology, there is nothing) would be its own place; the refutation of Gilbertus consists precisely in refusing a "place" to this last heaven: "sed revocat hoc in dubium postrema caeli facies extra quam nihil est. Haec vero dici potest quod ipsa sibi locus sit, ut veteres exploratum fecere, quando id quod ambitur alterum et disjunctum ab eo est quod ambit." (Goercetur appears later as a variant of ambitur.) Here, as in Macrobius, ambire is used as an equivalent of the Greek verb 7repEXewv (and again, incidentally, used in connection with a reference to the heavens).

In Ockham we find: "talia (que moventur et in aliquo continentur) nota localiter non acquirunt aliquem rem sibi inherentem ... sed tamen adquirunt locum ambientem"; here locus ambiens = r6r'ros IrEPtEXWV and represents a variant of that locus circumdans or corpus circumdans which is to be found in the famous Thomistic definition of locus (Summa logicae 3, 6): "Est autem locus superficies corporis continentis immobilis... superficies corporis circumdantis illam, quae contigua est corpori circum- dato, dicitur esse locus." Locus (circum)ambiens also appears in later commentaries of Thomas Aquinas: e.g., in Toletus, de Physica ausculta- tione (1574):

Locus est duplex: alter intrinsecus rei ipsi, alter extrinsecus. Extrinsecus quidemn est circumambiens ipsum corpus locatum, videlicet corpus continens, aut ejus super- ficies ultima, de quo locutus est Aristoteles. Intrinsecus vero locus rei est spatium illud quod ipsa res vere intra se occupat....

and in Eustachius a Sancto Paulo, Summa philosophica (1609): . . . locus externus duplex est, realis nempe et imaginarius. Realis est vera et realis superficies corporis continentis, imaginarius vero est imaginaria superficies qua corpus quod a nullo alio corpore continetur, ambiri concipitur quomodo Coelum Empyreum ambiri a loco imaginario.16

In all of the passages above there is continued Aristotle's definition of space (place) as representing both the limit of the body that contains and the body contained. Let us now consider the following passages dealing with medieval French theories, chosen from Ch.-V. Langlois'

16 With the introduction of the idea of an "imaginary circumambient space" the bodily compactness of the auCLac 7reptLxoV is loosened, space begins to partake of the boundlessness of imagination. Descartes (ed. Adam-Tannery III, 387) continues in this vein when he attacks the errors of those interpreters of St. Thomas "qui ne le [le lieu] congoivent pas comme ils doivent, et qui supposent que superficies corporis ambientis soit une partie du corps circonjacent"; speaking of the externum locus he says, in a Latin passage (VIII, 78):

Notandum est, per superficiem non hMc intelligi ullam corporis ambientis partem, sed solum terminium qui medium est inter corpus ambiens et id quod ambitur, quique nihil aliud est quam modus . . .

(Both these passages are cited in E. Gilson, "Index scolastico-cartesien" [19121 s.v. lieu).

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work, La connaissance du monde et de la nature au moyen age (1911). In the chapter "De la force du firmament" in L'image du monde (13th cen- tury), p. 77, we find a statement which sums up Anaximander's egg-shell theory: "Le monde est rond comme une pelote. Le ciel entoure la terre de toutes parts comme 'l'eschaille l'oeuf.'" (The word eschaille, "coque," goes back to German schale.) On page 282 is a passage from the dialogue Placides et Timeo which elaborates this "classical comparison": "Dieu fit le firmament 'tout a la ronde' et superposa a l'interieur les quatre elements dans l'ordre de la pesanteur: terre, eau, air, feu. Comparez la disposition concen- trique des diverses parties d'un oeuf: la coque, c'est le firmament; la peau blanche par dessous, c'est la terre; le blanc c'est l'eau; le jaune, c'est le feu." And finally from Le livre du tresor of P. Brunetto Latini: "Le grand philo- sophe Aristote dit qu'il y a un cinquieme element (quinta essentia): c'est 'uns ciels reons qui environne et enclost dedanz soi touz les autres elemenz,' comme l'ecaille d'un oeuf. Admirable prevoyance de la nature, d'avoir fait rond ce ciel, et par consequent, le monde qu'il enserre! Regardez les tonneaux et les cuves des charpentiers, les vouites des maisons et des ponts: la forme ronde est la meilleure. Le monde est comme un oeuf, oui les diverses matieres sont deposees concentriquement par ordre de pesanteur..." (here, environne et enclost together render the idea of ambire).

As regards Dante's astronomy (cf. E. Moore, l.c.) I quote first the passage dealing with the concentric heavens surrounding the earth (Paradiso II, 112); here the verb contenere figures:

Dentro dal ciel della divina pace (the empyrean) Si gira un corpo (the Primum mobile), nella cui virtute Lesser di tutto suo content giace. Lo ciel seguente (of the fixed stars) c'ha tante vedute, Quell' esser parte per diverse essenze Da lui distinte e da lui contenute

(here we find the Aristotelian idea of the lack of continuity between the "containing" and the "contained"-of the 0o-vz'E6i0'Oz,6 not o-v?ExEs). This idea of the completely closed spheres around the world is responsible for the idea of Dante that the greater is a celestial body the more forces it "contains" (Paradiso XXVIII, 64):

Li cerchi corporai16a sono ampi ed arti, Secondo il piu1 e il meno della virtute,

16a (A repercussion of the idea of the r#LcL 7reptLxov). "The larger body contains the greater possibility of doing good"-cape continuing the reference of the Latin capere ("to have capacity"). In the passage "losto che luogo (space) 11 la (the soul) circonscrive (Purgatorio XXV, 88) we can sense that even the shadow (the soul) of a dead person in the other world is limited by space; and we are told (v. 94) that Vaere vicin (Vossler, Die g6ttliche Komodie II, 125, translates "die Luftumge- bung") is shaped ("informed") by the residual intellectual capacities of the soul.

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Che si distende per tutte lor parti, Maggior bonth vuol far maggior salute; Maggior salute maggior corpo cape

the space is permeated by the potenze, the forces of the soul-later on the physicists will have space pierced by interstellar forces.

We have noted many points in common between the medieval cosmology and that of the Greeks. But one important element present in Greek thought seems to be lacking with the writers of this age: the warmth and vitality, the activity of the 7EpLEpxoV; we hear no more of that 'fiery ether' with which space was once identified. The transforming activity of which the Greeks spoke, and which the physicists of the Renaissance were to rediscover, is, in the Middle Ages, perhaps replaced by astral influences: the active influences of the stars on the virtutes of men and objects on earth. In the first passage cited from Dante and in the lines which follow this, he insists on the variety of these influences: diverse essenze-varie differenze la distinzione che dentro da se hanno-differenti membra (of the) organi del mondo-(the heavens) conformate a diverse potenze-virtua diverse fa diverse lega-la virtue' mista etc."7

17 These diversifying forces are known as virtutes or dignitates: in the Middle Ages every entity (and paricularly such realia as abstractions) had its intrinsic virtus, proprietas or dignitas; G. Crocioni (Lingua nostra IX, 29) has recognized in a digni- tate of the Vita Nuova a dignity planetaria-one of the five qualities ascribed to the ascent of a planet. From this dignitas rerum "particular quality" (which goes back to antiquity: in Plautus and Pliny it means "inner value"; cf. Gr. A4LCOLS) is derived the meaning "choice quality" (Eng. dainty, 0. Fr. daintie[r]) or "friandise." This last meaning may originate directly from the "Jdgersprache," as von Wartburg (FEW s.v. dignitas) contends; but ultimately dignitas goes back to the language of the ancient philosophers who were wont to speak of the "dignity of things"-an important fact which von Wartburg overlooked. In this connection I may mention the commentary to Lucan's Pharsalia of Arnulfus (who lived at Orleans in the twelfth century):

Nam anime dicuntur esse create ad numerum stellarum et quecumque anima dicitur nutriri cum sua stella

Thus, after the death of the body the souls which are possessed of purgatoriae virtutes revert ad comparem stellar (text quoted by Berthe M. Marti in Modern Language Quarterly II, 10); cf. Ant. Viscardi, La letteratura religious del medio evo romanzo (1932).

The influence of the stars on earthly bodies is of course also a remnant of ancient astrology, according to which the astra represented "elements" (aToLXeza), cf. H. Diels, Elementum, p. 57; this notion is still to be found in Paracelsus:

Denn was ein element ist, dasselbig ist auch cin astrum. Denn ohn ein astrum mogen sic nicht leben . . . Nun von dem astro (dcr Erde zu reden, wissen1 d (lass in ihm alle himmlische operation auch liegen(l: (lalin (las astrum ist verborgen, die corpora sind offeulbar.

In Spain Graciin echoes still in the seventeenth century the medieval conception (Critic6n I, 2):

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We now come to the translations of Aristotle dating from the Renais- sance. The following passages were copied for me by Professor Fried- lander from the edition of Aristotle published by the Prussian Academy of Berlin (Vol. III); here we may see how 7repL0xov is translated: De gener. et corr.: quod est universal et cuncta ambit continetque (Vatablus) Meteor.: ob id quod ambit continetque (Vatablus) De gener. anim.: continent a&r (Theodorus Lazas) De mundo: in aere (Budaeus)18

Porque has de saber que no ay astro alguno en el cielo que no tenga su diferente propiedad, assi como las yervas y las plantas de la tierra: unas de las estrellas causan el calor, otras el frio, unas secan, otras humedecen, y desta suerte alternan otras muchas influencias, y con essa essencial corre- spondencia unos a otros se corrigen y se templan

The passage illustrates the combination of astral influence with the well-tempered climate.

18 This use of the word aer alone as an equivalent of lrepLkxo' is continued in the Renaissance writings of Romance; I have come across several passages in which the word "air" has the full connotations of "climat" (just as in Greek, &jp=Kpi=afs)

Boccaccio, Decamerone [every plant was there, he says] ". . . la quale il nostro aere patisca"; this is translated by the editors: 'il nostro clima.' "la ville, la quelle je trouvay belle, bien forte et en bel air"-Rabelais, Pantagruel, chap. XXXII. [Incidentally, this use of air furnishes a clue to the formation of numerous place-names to be found in Romance (and also Anglo-Saxon) countries: Belair, Bellaria, etc.]

And in another part of the same work of Rabelais (Tiers Livre) an aer is found which is even more keenly reminiscent of Kpacia:

"par l'aer et tout ce ciel est son bruyt et nom (i.e. that of Diogenes) jusques a present, rested memorable et celebre assez"

Here, air and sky between them serve to protect and preserve this renown-which is presented as something material, as a sound, "bruyt."

Again we may note the use of this word by the physician Pare (the same who used the term air ambiant "c'est a dire qui est a l'entour"-cf. Michaelsson), when, re- flecting the ancient belief that the air is inhabited by demons, he speaks of seeking the aetiology of disease in the "air" (one may note such expressions, still surviving, as coup d'air, malaria; il a e frappe d'un mauvais vent, Portuguese, deu the o ar):

Je ne sgache homme si peu verse en la philosophic naturelle, ny en as- trologie, qui ne recherche en lair la cause efficiente de tant de maux . . . car d'oA procederoient tant de pestes contagieuses ... sinon de l'air qui n'a este chiche de son poison mais nous en a infected A son plaisir? D'oui seroit venu tant de coqueluches, de pleuresies, d'aposthemes, caterrhes, fluxions, grenouilles, crapaux, sauterelles, chenilles, araignees, mousches, hannetons, lima~ons, serpens, viperes, couleuvres, lezards, scorpions, et aspics . . ."

It is interesting that both "fluxions" and "grenouilles" belong to the list of things nourished by this "air"; to Par6 this element represented not only a "cause efficiente" but also a breeding place: the home of tiny animals. Yet when Brissaud ("Histoire des expressions . .. relatives a la m6decine," 1892) cites, and comments upon, this passage, he relegates to the notes that part of the sentence from "gren- ouilles" on-thereby splitting into two, as it were, what was a single concept for the

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De caelo: quod quidem caelos universes inquiunt continere (Argyropoulos)19 De gener. et corr.: infinitum et id quod comprehendit atque continet (Vatablus)

scientist of the sixteenth century. In this connection we may note the Paracelsian use of Luft or Chaos in reference to "the element or place in which an organic being can live"-a use comparable to that of the suo consimil loco of Guinizelli (note the presence of the possessive pronoun in the following quotations!): R. L6we, Zeit- schrift far vergleichende Sprachforschung LXIII, 120, cites the Liber de Nymphis, Sylphis, Pygmaeis et Salamandris (1590):

Also ists mit den Gnomis in den Bergen, die Erden ist ihr Luift, und ist ihr Chaos; dann im Chaos lebt ein jegliches Ding, das ist ein jeglich Ding wohnet im Chaos, geht und steht darinn. . .. Das ist so vil, als wenig uns der Luff t hindert zu gehn, also wenig werden die gehindert von Berg unnd Felsen.

"Water" is represented as "des Vischs Lufft"; of the salamander it is said: "da ist das Feuer ihr Luift, wie unser Lufft, unser Lufft ist." Because the word Chaos was also used by Paracelsus (in the formation Chaoskdlte-cf. also his Lufftkalte) to designate the vapor produced by cold water, van Helmont was later to derive the word gas from chaos: in this way "gas" is represented as a product of "ambient air," of "suus aer (suus locus)."

The use of the word air in the meaning "manner, appearance" has been explained by all etymologists from Diez to Dauzat (most of them imbued with the spirit of Worter und Sachen, so destructive of the things of the spirit), by reference to Old Fr. aire (= "aerie") which is supposed to have telescoped with air (Littre, von Wartburg). I personally am opposed to this interpretation, believing that air = "maniere" is none other than air = "atmosphere". The expression air de cour is found as early as the sixteenth century (cf. also German Hofluft, Klosterluft): here the word is used figuratively to suggest the spiritual atmosphere, the moral climate, emanating from a certain place. Because this "atmosphere" indicated something characteristic which distinguishes one place from another, it became possible to use the word air, in a general reference, with the meaning "caractere dominant"; Huguet lists under this definition such examples as un abrege de l'air general des Arrests de la Cour; l'air general de la cause; le principal air de l'Oratoire-all of them expressions which would no longer be possible today. I may add to these 16th c. examples an- other from the Apologie de Raym. Sebond, where Montaigne, alluding metaphorically to the nurturing ether of the Ancients, calls Tasso le plus former a l'air de cette bien antique, naifve et pure poesie; cf. also the somewhat more rationalistic passage from Chapelain (17th c., quoted by Ch. A. Beall, La fortune du Tasse en France): I'amenite des inventions extravagantes [of Tasso] . . . qui avaient accoutume le monde a leur air. What has remained of this meaning is preserved, perhaps, in the phrase l'air du temps (Ital. l'aria del tempo)-on which was doubtless fashioned the modern sophis- ticated l'air du mois. This expression, which served as the heading of a section of the Nouvelle Revue Francaise, was introduced in 1933, at a time, this is, when Euro- pean affairs were entering upon a dangerously confused and uncertain stage-of which it was becoming increasingly difficult to discern the "caractere dominant." Thus the phrase lair du mois would seem to represent an ironic creation of subtle critics who sought at least to seize the rapidly evaporating essence of one month's history.

But air de cour, in referring to a spiritual atmosphere, was not only indicative of a "caractere dominant": it was also descriptive, descriptive of appearance. Thus

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De juvent. et select.: totum illud quod nos ambit (Vatablus) Meteor.: in mundo terrae circumfuso ambientes magnitudines (Vatablus) Phys.: continens; quod haec omnia continet (Argyropoulos)

air could mean, not only "essence, gist" (as in the examples from Huguet) but also "manner, appearance." It is undoubtedly this meaning which we have in modern air (usually to be found in the grammaticized phrase avoir lair [de]); today the word is rather restricted to persons, but it was earlier applied to things; in Montaigne we find: "C'est une ladrerie spirituelle qui a quelque air de sante"; in Moliere: "vous devriez un peu vous faire apprendre le bel air des choses"; "Vos paroles, le ton de votre voix, vos regards, vos pas, votre action et votre ajustement ont je ne sais quel air de quality qui enchante les gens" (cf. Livet, Lexique de Moliere). One may note that in the second example air is combined with that vague expression, so fashionable at the time of the "spiritual" precieuses, je ne sais quel (quoi). Indeed, Andry de Boisregard (1689) in attempting to define our word, is forced to resort to this ex- pression: "[air =] je ne sais quoi qui parailt en un instant, que la nature donne et qu'on ne peut bien definir" (this indefinable thing being what La Fontaine called la grace plus belle que la beauty: ". . . que la nature donne" = grace). Thus in the beginning air = "maniere" retained something of the haziness, the intangibility, of air itself.

But there is to be noted another interesting application of a meteorological figure and one which must also have played a part in the final development of air. This represents a concept emanating from the love mysticism of the Middle Ages (and the Renaissance), a mysticism which did not exclude physical love yet which held woman, even qua woman, as divine. And as such she was surrounded, by the Pro- vencal and Italian poets, with a halo, an "atmosphere," which served to veil her in mystery, to suggest that she dwelt in a divinely harmonious world of her own- which the lover, nevertheless, sought to penetrate. According to one Provencal poet, to breathe the atmosphere in which the Beloved lived was to partake of a spiritual communion with her: Ab l'alen tir vas me l'aire Qu'ieu sen venir de Proenza; and the Italian Dante senses in her sigh an emanation of a gentle soul which asks for a response of gentle sighings:

e par che da la sua labbia si mova un spirito soave pien d'amore che va dicendo a l'anima: Sospira!

The sigh of this donna angelicata is thus both air and spirit (just as her glance is a Neo-Platonic light-emanation). With Petrarch who was so sensitive to the spiritual qualities of the air of a landscape (suspiravi, fateor, ad italicum aerem animo potius quam oculis apparentem, Le familieri ed. Rossi I, 157) the Divine Woman becomes more and more similar to a pagan goddess of Nature; her beauty is that of the sun, the stars, the sunrise, the dawn-and the more impredictable the moods and states of mind of the Beloved become, the more is emphasized the idea of her own "climate": Quel vago (!) appallidir . .. volendo mostrar laria del viso rannuvolata. In this same passage he compares her face to a sky (which may become obscured by clouds); cf. also his lines: mi contendi laria del bel volto and quell' aria dolce del bel viso adorno. The expression aria del bel viso is defined, in the seventeenth century, by Salvini:

Quella che si chiama aria del viso, viene dal costume e dalla interna dis- posizione dell' anirna che s'affaccia, per dir cosi, al volto, e si mostra a' riguardanti.

Firenzola, a century earlier, had offered a more naturalistic explanation of the aria

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From these excerpts we may notice how the synonymatic richness of the medieval philosophers has given way to stereotyped terms; in the place of the variety achieved by the Schoolmen who, as they rethought the

of a woman, conceiving it to be a manifestation of a "moral health," of a well-tem- pered climate, so to speak.

Interestingly enough this word was also applied to thorough-bred horses-refer- ing, specifically, to their gait:

Certa cadenza e liberty di moto, che si accomoda alla disposizione naturale di un cavallo, e lo fa operare con obbedienza, misura e proporzione (Tom- maseo-Bellini)

une grand' quantity de tres-bons et beaux grands chevaux ... qui sgavoient alter de tous airs (Brantome, 16th c.)

le moreau superbe, qui alloit a deux pas et un saut, et d'un tres-haut et bet air (ibid.)

(note also such an expression as se donner des airs which probably was originally an equestrian metaphor). The sophistication of the court connoisseurs of horse- lore went to the extreme of postulating various "moral climates" in thevarious gaits-the sophistication consisting of the toto coelo distinction between one gait and another. And perhaps they also had in mind, half-ironically, the magical "air" of a beautiful woman, in ascribing air, aria to a thoroughbred. Later, par ricochet, the equestrian term may have been again diverted toward womanhood: particularly in the circle of the precieux who delighted in employing the terminology of sports and war when speaking of love, and all things spiritual; it is possible that un bet air has made its way back from the stables to the dwellings of human beings in which it originated.

Indeed it is at least possible that the modern French avoir t'air de, used of a person, is partly based upon the "air" attributed to horses; in Spanish we find the expression attested by Covarrubias (1611) tener Pedro el ayre de Juan = "es parecersele en el movimiento(!), o en el cuerpo, o rostro"; in French, too, avoir t'air de may at first have been used of a person in movement-comparing his own to the movement of a horse; le bet air may be the ideal gait! (The following example of modern Spanish, from the pen of A. Castro, seems to preserve both the meaning "climate" and that of the 'airs' attributed to persons by way of horses: "Savonarola se mueve en medio de aires proftticos y maravillosos.")

In one of the varieties of modern Spanish argot (the xiriga of the Asturian brick- layers) we find a curious periphrase of the personal pronoun: miaire, tuaire, suaire, nuestrosaires etc. (cf. Aurelio de Llano Roza de Ampudia, Dialectos jergales asturianos [Oviedo, 1921]). I venture to see in this bizarre suffix our aire, aria, air ironically applied to a person who se donne des airs, se da aires de gran senior. According to Dauzat (Romania XLVIII, 412) this same periphrase is to be met with in the "Bel- laud" ("argot des peigneurs de chanvre du Jura"): voutres er = vous ['your airs']. One may also compare a similar formation in the "argot des malfaiteurs": monan = rnoi ['my year']; votre an = vous ['your year']: this represents a parody of a peri- phrase once very lofty-cf. Corneille: "un plus puissant d6mon veille sur vos annees."

Thus tu (mn') as (lout) lair d'un idiot (later tu as l'air idiot, completely grammati- cized [= semnbler, cf. tu as l'air idiote, said of a woman] may be due to a convergence of the atmospherer" and the "air > gait" ideas. Perhaps this use is a parody of

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Aristotelian cosmology, sought always the proper term, we find here (with the exception of one appearance of comprehendere) only the two verbs continere and ambire. It was one of these two verbs, then, that must

these noble conceptions; this would seem to be indicated by the sixteenth century Italian examples which appear so frequently in comedies (as Tommaseo-Bellini state): egli mi ha aria del bet poltrone (Cecchi, Commedie); gli avevano aria d'aver bisogno (G. B. Belli). These may parodistically follow the loftier use of ella ha una graziosa aria di fanciulla, and similarly, Fr. tu as l'air d'un idiot may be the parody of vous avez l'air d'un homme de quality.

Finally, we may note another meaning of air, aria which seems likewise to go back to the gait of horses: this is the meaning "song, ' "air," which appears first in Italian and is then borrowed by French, Spanish and English; note, in the fol- lowing passage cited by Tommaseo-Bellini from Varchi (16th c.), the parallelism of aria and andare:

N6n si ricordava delle proprie parole di quei versi, ma aveva nel capo il suono di essi, cioe 'aria, o quella che diciamo l'andare.

Thus the movement, the lilt, of the melody is presented as in contrast to the words which are rationalized. Moreover, at the same time in French, we find air used in such a connection as to suggest the translation "accent" (this word itself repre- ents an original musical term applied to pronunciation): "Elle parloit bien, aveq un fort bel ayr, tant FranQois que Hespaignol" (Brantbme); c'est la princesse . . . qui a le plus bel air de parler" (Marguerite de Navarre). One may note a similar aura del parlare in which Tasso senses the influence of Amor (Le rime II):

E laura del parlar cortese e saggio [of Amor] Fra le rose [the incarnate of the Lady Love] spirar s'udia sovente.

L'aura del parlar = the accent of love (and of Love). 19 The lexicological continuity between scholastic translations of Aristotle and

those of the Byzantine humanist Argyropoulos, who helped usher in the Renaissance by his teaching in Florence, has recently been established by E. Lerch in his article "Aristoteles, die Lokomotive und das Automobil" (Studia neophilologica XII, 3 [1940]): ro KLtvTLKYV KaT'a rO6Tov for the locomotive faculty of animals and human beings has been rendered in Thomas Aquinas by motivum secundum locum, in Argyro- poulos by loco motivum (and this expression is the ancestor of the locomotive (engine)). The continuity of our cultural heritage from ancient Greece is made manifest by the fact that our most modern technical inventions derive their names from ancient philosophic thought.

It is worthy of note that the same Argyropoulos who repeated the scholastic neuter motivum did not dare coin a neuter ambiens: we must only infer that he did not find this word in the Schoolmen, who, for themselves, would probably have not hesitated before a formation of such ambiguous gender as is ambiens: it is they who coined the substantivized ingrediens, agens, differens, expediens etc., which have survived in Romance languages. The absence of ambiens with the Scholastics is perhaps simply due to the fact that the way had not yet been prepared, by the general acceptance of the verb ambire in the reference in question.

Among the Romans themselves, however, the substantivization of the present participle was very rare. Exceptions are mostly to be found in the philosophical language (cf. consequens in Cicero); somewhat more frequently the plural form ap- peared (cf. the nascentia of Paulus Nolanus, which has become Fr. naissance: v. Stolz-Schmalz, Lateinische Grammatik5 66a). And the comparative absence of the

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furnish the nominal expression for 1rep1-EXEV; and since continens was already employed in a particular reference ("the continent"), ambiens alone was accessible as the technical term for "space as a container." And, though I have not been able to find this term in Latin, its existence is proven by the creation in Italian of ambiente (obviously a Latinism) which we find in Galileo:

In questa [costituzione] l'ambiente niente preme l'ambito, ed in quella l'ambito punto non ispigne contro l'ambiente.20

Thus there is a filiation leading from Aristotle's 1reptxov through the medie- val and Renaissance translations to Italian ambiente.21

neuter present participle is part of a larger Latin phenomenon: the absence of the abstract neuter in general. According to Deutschbein ("Der Sinn des germanischen Neutrums" [Euphorion XXXVIII, 1937, p. 401]) and to Stegmann von Pritzwald (Wbrter und Sachen, 1938-39, p. 234) the abstract adjectival neuter, as we find it for example in das Gbttliche or rO ocioV, is known only to Greek and to the Germanic languages (one might mention, however, such occasional uses in Latin as honestum, bonum, doubtless representing imitations of the Greek). For, in the neuter use of the Latin past participle, no abstraction is involved: per neglecta = "at unguarded spots"; in occultis templi = "in the secret parts of the temple," etc. Such a usage represents rather a "Verdinglichung" (a "Verdinglichung," moreover, that traverses the language: note that it is "res divinae" which is the equivalent of "das Gdtt- liche"). But I cannot follow the authors in their belief that the neuter in Greek (and German) illustrates, as they say, "die transzendentale Realitat, das ilber- individuelle Urbild, den Archetyp der Dinge und Erscheinungen, " as this is embodied in Platonic and Germanic philosophy.

-As though language could create a philosophy (and it were not rather the re- verse)! Indeed, Spinoza, writing in the Latin language that lacked the flexible neuter infinitive of the Greek, simply resorted to the device of "borrowing" the "philosophical" article ro, inserting this into his Latin (tiny islets of Greek in the Latin text): the deficiencies of Latin did not prevent him from philosophizing! And can it be said that England has failed to produce any philosophers?-though this language is utterly lacking in a special form for the neuter (the volume of R. Otto, "Das Heilige," had to be translated into English by "The Idea of the Holy"- a translation eminently appropriate, it seems to me). Or, conversely, since Spanish, alone among the Romance languages, does possess a particular form for adjectival abstractions (lo hermoso, corresponding to ro KaXo6v, das Sch6ne) it would have to follow, by the same logic, that Spain has had the greatest philosophers of all the Romance countries.

20 Cf. the translation of Newton's Principia mathematics by Mme du Chatelet, cited by Brunot, Histoire de la langue frangaise VI, 1-2, p. 558: "Les corps ambiants sont a ceux qu'ils contiennent, comme toutes les parties ext6rieures d'un corps sont a toutes les parties int6rieures, ou comme l'6corce est au noyau": Mme du Chatelet did not have at her command the opposition possible to Galileo, ambiente-ambito.

21 The lack in Classical Latin of an (as yet) attested aer ambiens is less serious than it might seem, in view of the general experience that, in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, conceptions elaborated in learned circles found their expression

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The medieval and Christian cast given to the concept of zrepexov- ambiens, already visible in Arnobius, is the insistence on the love of a personal God for his creation and on the finite nature of this his universe: attractive physical forces (which are at the same time moral ones) traverse the cosmos: I'Amor che muove it sole e l'altre stelle. And God, the magnet of love, is and works therein; with Dante he appears enthroned in the outermost heavenly sphere of fire: about him his creation (dispersed though it may appear to mortals) lies, a book bound with love (legato per amore in un volume). This book of the world is a finite, compact thing.

in the different national languages later than in Neo-Latin. This linguistic fact corresponds to a cultural fact: the familiarity of all scholars of this time with Latin, which still formed their common language. For example the words Middle Ages, moyen dge, Mittelalter appear about 150 or 200 years later than does the Neo-Latin media aetas (according to N. Edelman, Romanic Review XXIX, 1), and nostalgia, the creation of a Swiss physician of the sixteenth century, precedes the German (originally Swiss) word Heimweh (cf. Kluge, Wortforschung und Wortgeschichte, p. 46). Again, Schadenfreude, which is considered as so typically German, is proba- bly a loan-translation of the sixteenth century from the Greek 7rtXaLPEOIKaKla, well- known to humanistic circles (it was said of the devil, the Foe, the malignus; compare in this connection the French joie maligne, originally the Schadenfreude of the devil who has succeeded in capturing a soul).

It was Italian, as we have said, which first among the national languages adopted ambiens. Michae1sson notes this fact and, since to him Italian ambiente connotes vagueness, cites von Wartburg to the effect that the Italian language is of a nature "less Cartesian" than the other tongues. But the "vagueness" of ambiente, even today, is questionable-and in the beginning it was a purely scientific term, in what- ever language it appeared. As I have pointed out, it was probably a Neo-Latin word of most precise connotations, and thus "Cartesian" enough-even for those who would limit this epithet to the realm of "reason" and "clarity" alone.

And as concerns the judgment on the Italian language to which he appealed: there is a great danger in such apparently "idealistic" generalizations, particularly when they come from the pen of a positivist such as is von Wartburg (who would doubtless show that even positivists may display flexibility of mind). In this way the cause of idealism itself is most seriously harmed: the opponents of idealism, dis- armed, accept such generalizations as "scientific," unaware that what has passed as an aperqu (that may be instructive by its very boldness) is in fact no more than a milk-and-water dilution of a truth. The historian of ideas can not insist too strongly against this new superstition, this "linguistic folklore."

Moreover, Michaelsson, in appealing to this generalization in support of his "vague" interpretation of ambiente, would seem to suggest the absurd conclusion that any language which contains vague expressions must itself be vague: unscien- tific, unclassical. But have not all peoples, in all ages, had alike their vague and precise expressions?-Indeed, the language of Descartes, and in his own lifetime, enjoyed the expression (than which none could be less precise): "je ne sais quoi." In Moliere it is found coupled with the equally vague air = "maniere":

Vos paroles, le ton de votre voix, vos regards, vos pas, votre action et votre ajustement ont je ne sais quel air de quality qui enchante les gens. (Livet, Lexique de Moliere) Cf. note 18.

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Professor Lovejoy, in his masterly work The Great Chain of Being, would see an antinomy between the cosmology and the metaphysics of the Middle Ages: "In European thought we find the anomaly that a metaphysical and practical otherworldliness coexisted with a cosmological finitism" (p. 142). The point must be made, however, that though Christianity itself is otherworldly, the God of Christianity is not; on the contrary (as we see in Dante) He is this-worldly, though supraterrestrial. The earth and all that is therein, as well as the heavens high above the earth, are the work of his hands-and the object of his concern. Again, Professor Lovejoy contrasts medieval cosmology with medieval art:

And-unlike medieval towns and other medieval things-this cosmical scheme had the essential qualities of a work of classical art: indeed the most classical thing in the Middle Ages may be said to have been the universe. Men preferred to worship in Gothic churches, but the architecture of the heavens was not a piece of Gothic design, which is not surprising since it was, in fact, a Grecian edifice.

But I should think that it is not so much the Gothic spire, stabbing and piercing the sky (this later manifestation of a Germanic Unendlichkeits- drang), as it is the earlier Romanic church with its massive enclosure of the Holy of Holies or the Byzantine cupola, finite image of the infinite world,22 which represent the typically medieval and Mediterraneo-Oriental parallels to the Greek-inspired cosmology. In the light of these reflec- tions, the anomaly of which Professor Lovejoy speaks seems to me to disappear; the Middle Ages are more Grecian in their philosophical out- look, as in their art, than is generally admitted. Their thinking went toward the visual and the finite, as is shown also by their capacity of seeing, as did the Greeks, abstractions as well-defined personalities or allegories.

Thus such phrases as aer ambiens, locus ambiens, which we find in the Renaissance, brought with them a connotation of beneficence, happy self- limitation, finitism. But, of course, to those of the Renaissance thinkers who longed for freedom, freedom of body, mind and soul, who sought to merge with the infinite, they could only imply coercion and imprisonment- just as is apt to be true in the case of a modern thinker faced with such concepts as these represented: it is interesting to see in Lovejoy's work how the modern historian, emancipated from the closed-vase-theory

22 According to Philipp Schweinfurth (Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1940, col. 531), the "Pendentivkuppel" of the Hagia Sophia is "Hellenistic-Roman" and corre- sponds with the tendency to riroirrpla of the Greek mystery cults: "Der Himmel selbst sollte hier vergegenwartigt werden, indes sich der Allerh6chste regt, der hier taglich im Messopfer zugegen ist....: Epyov &IAjd1r77ov Kal avTLKPVS irl 'y^qS

otbpaYvov osatpcoca (Nicet. Aconin.)." Cf. also my remarks in Revista de filologia hispdnica (1940), p. 157, in reference to

the article of L. Blaga.

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of the medieval world, will employ, in his appraisal of this epoch, metaphors smacking of oppression and aimlessnesss"; he sees fetters where antiquity and the Middle Ages had seen only protection and caressing goodness:

The medieval world was . . . definitely limited and fenced about23 . . . the men of the fifteenth century still lived in a walled universe as well as in walled towns (p. 101).

. . . (a universe) limited and boxed in . . . (p. 104)

23 The "boxed-in" feeling of the Middle Ages is apparent in the motifs and alle- gories of this time: cf. the hortus conclusus in which the Virgin (Maria im Rosenhag or Rosengqrtlein), or the Church, is ensconsed; or again, such lines as the following, from the poetry of the Provengal troubadour Marcabru, descriptive of "True Love":

Nasquet en un gentil aire e.l luoc on ilh es creguda es claus de rama brancuda.

The extent to which this feeling invaded medieval thought is also to be seen in the choice of words made by Alanus ab Insulis in his Anticlaudiamus, when he de- scribes the creation by Nature of the various forms of things:

Omnia sub numero claudens, sub pondere sistens, Singula sub stabili mensura cuncta coercens.

Huyzinga ("tUber die Verkniipfung des Poetischen mit dem Theologischen bei Alanus de Insulis") points out that the source of this passage is Lib. sap. XI, 21: sed omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti, and notes that Alanus substituted, in the place of disponere, "die praignanteren Vorstellungen des Schliessens, des Festset-t zens und des Einhegens"; he fails, however, to go further into the matter of the con- cept of "shaping" seen as an act of enclosing. From the same author he quotes the lines dealing with logic:

Quomodo res pingens descriptio claudit easdem Nec sinit in varios descriptum currere vultus

and comments: "Der Akt des Einschliessens in den Begriff ist dem Fixieren eines Bildes gleichgestellt." By now we have seen that the claudere (amplecti, coercere) of logical terminology is identical with the claudere (amplecti, coercere) used in refer- ence to space and the heavens. It is only to be expected, then, that in Alanus, the creation of forms and the formation of sentences (clauses!) must alike suggest a walling-in, a framing, an embrace within a circle.

In the hymn of Thomas Aquinas, Pange, lingua, gloriosi mysterium (where we may note the expression, borrowed from Venantius Fortunatus, pangere mysterium), the poet says of Christ: miro ordine clausit (his life). This means, not only that Christ ended his life "in a wonderful way" (as Beeson in his Primer of Medieval Latin translates), but that he "ensconced his life in a wondrous order" ("subjected it to the concept of order"). One cannot afford to disregard the logical flavour of the word. Any concept "includes," encompasses, its own meaning and its power ("ver- tue"), cf. the two Dante passages below: in the first (Inf. IX, 106) the poet, seeking information about one of the circles of Hell, inquires into la condition che tal fortezza serra-the conditions which define this circle are conceived as imprisoned in a fast- ness; in Par. XVII, 36, Cacciaguida is described as Chiuso e parvente del suo riso, which line is explained by Torraca: "avvolto nello splendor, che dal suo riso sca- turiva, e per esso splendor visibile." The poet appears at the same time as "wrapped" in the (potential) heavenly smile that defines him and as (actually)

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Let us follow Professor Lovejoy as he traces the outline of the revolution which took place in the cosmology of the Renaissance:24 "his (Copernicus')

exteriorizing the power of serenity accumulated in him: chiuso alludes to the super- human potentialities enclosed in this human soul which has become a pure concept.

The English word-family compass, to compass, to encompass (with the French etymon compas, compasser) represents a reverse development. The verb meant originally "to measure (by steps)" (= Vulg. Lat. + com-pass-are) > "to design, to devise a work of art," and then "to describe a circle," "to close round, surround, enclose"; the idea of the circle was originally alien to the word, as its etymology (passus, "step") shows, and arose only because, in the Middle Ages, the well-devised, designed, was necessarily conceived of as circular and "enclosing"-the circle repre- senting the ideal geometrical form (on the subject of "circular style" in the Middle Ages, cf. Modern Language Notes LV, p. 995). Thus a building or engine made "par compas" (originally "in orderly fashion") came to mean "[made] with the aid of a compass." Cf. Old Provengal garandar "embrasser, renfermer" (= "to encompass," said of the sky), formed from the radical of "to guarantee," from which is derived a substantive garan "the right measure (a compas et a guaran)," > "borderline, circle" -the circle being the ideal limit.

That the Middle Ages were prone to see things in a frame is proved also by the development of the 0. Fr. verb decliner which, in the much-debated final line of the Chanson de Roland ("Ci falt la geste que Turoldus declinet"), appears in the meaning "to tell, set forth, give an exposition of." The latest commentator, H. K. Stone (Mod. Phil. XXXIII, pp. 345 ff.), rightly explains this particular meaning of decliner as an extension of its use as a technical term of grammar ("to decline"), and his thesis is supported by the evidence of such 0. Prov. passages as (Flamenca); "Tot jorn recorda e declina E despon sos motz e deriva (!)." It is not too bold a statement to say that the medieval homo litteratus (and particularly the ProvenQal troubadour) thought of himself as a grammaticus (v. the treatises of Scheludko and Curtius).

But what Mr. Stone fails to see is that the very idea of "telling a story" was con- ceived of as an orderly recital, proceeding from the beginning to the end, much in the manner of the declension of a paradigm that includes and encloses all the differ- ent forms of a given word. The idea of the general framework into which the particu- lar must fit, whatsoever be the reference, was never absent from the mind of the medieval poets. Thus such a passage as (Sainte-Foi): "Hanc non fo senz qu'il non.l declin" ('jamais ne fut sens qu'il [i.e., the book which served as the poet's model] ne l'expose') is not the "absurd" exaggeration which Mr. Stone thinks it to be; rather it is an allusion to that totality of meanings which any ideal book (of which the prime example is the Bible) must include. Likewise, in the passage from Marca- bou: "[wise is] Cel qui de mon chant devina So que chascuns motz declina," the meanings of each word are presented as integrated into a totality. (Nothing would have been more abhorrent to the medieval mind than such a concept as that under- lying the modern development of such verbs as "to sketch" [Fr. esquisser, etc.] toward the meaning "to set forth.") Finally we may venture to wonder whether such old Latin expressions as concepta verba (cf. nuncupare connected with capere; Germ. in Worte fassen) may not indicate the idea of a sentence conceived as a "set- ting," a "framework" (cf. E. Norden, Aus altr6mischen Priesterbichern, 1939, p. 92).

24 E. Cassirer sees in G. Bruno the Weltgefahl of infinitism which preceded the scholarly discovery of the infinite: cf. "Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie

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world, though not geocentric, was still centered, still spherical in shape, still securely walled in by the outermost sphere, se ipsam et omnia con- tinens"25 (p. 104). Here we recognize the arnbiens and ambitum of the

der Renaissance," 1917, pp. 197-98; it is this passage which suggested to me the equa- tion lreptkxov = ambiente:

Das Unendliche als ein Instrument der exakten wissenschaftlichen Er- kenntnis ist ihm noch fremd: ja er hat es in seiner Lehre vom Minimum in dieser seinerFunktion ausdriucklich bekampft und abgewoehrt. Aber sowenig er die logische Struktur des neuen mathematiseh-Unenidlichen durchschaut, so sehr umfasst or den unendlichen Kosmos rnit der ganzen Glut eines lei- denschaftlichen Affekts. Dieser heroische Affe kt ist es, dce sich jetzt gegen das "no plus ultra" der mittelalterlichen doginatischen Glauboeislehre wie der aristotelisch-scholastischen Kosmologie zur Wehr setzt. Der freie Flug der Phantasie und der freic Flug des Denkens (larf nirgends durch feste raumlich-dingliche Schranken gehemmt werden. So wendet sich Bruno vor allem und immer von neuem gegeon die Konzoption des Raumes als des "Umschliossenden", des o-cvuya -rEpExov der peripatetischen Physik. Der Raum, in dem sich die Welt befindet, ist ihm nicht die ausserste Um- grenzung, in der sie gewissermassen eingehuillt uind eingebettet ruht: or ist vielmehr das freie Medium der Bewegung, die sich ungehindert fiber jede endliche Grenze und nach allen Richtungen hin erstreckt. Diese Bewegung kann und darf kein Hemmnis in der "Natur" irgendeines Einzeldinges oder in der allgemeinen Beschaffenheit des Kosmos finden: denn sie selbst, in ihrer Universalitat und ihrer Schrankenlosigkeit, ist es vielmehr, die die Natur als solche konstituierte. Der unendliche Raum wird erfordert als das Vehikel der unendlichen Kraft; und diese ist wiederum nichts anderes als ein Ausdruck des unendlichen Lebens des Universums. Diese drei Momente sind ffur Brunos Denken nirgends scharf geschieden; wie in der stoischen und neuplatonischen Physik, auf die or sich stuitzt, so fliesst auch bei ihm der Begriff des Raumes mit demn des Athers und dieser wider mit dem Begriff der Weltseele zusarnmen. Auch hier ist somit ein dynamisches Motiv, das die Starrheit des aristotelisch-scholastischen Kosmos durch- bricht und tiberwindet. Aber es ist nicht, wie bei Kelpler und Galilei, die Form der neuen Wissenschaft der Dynarnik, sondern ein neues dynamisches Weltgefufhl, das hier den Ausschlag gibt.

Later on, he quotes Bruno (De Immenso et Innurnerabilibus, I, i) . . .Intrepidus spatium immensum sic findere )etlmlis Exorior, neque fama facit me impingere in orbes, Quos falso statuit verus de principio error, Ut sub conficto reprimamur carcere vere, Tanquam adamanteis cludatur moenibus totum. Nam mihi mens melior . . .

25 Similarly Ariosto still reflects the ancient and medieval cosmography, ini the passage from Orlando Furioso (XXXIV, 70) which describes Astolfo's visit to the moon [he notes the smaller size of this body in comparison]:

Di cio che in questi globi si ragaona, In questo ultim-no globo (della terra, Mettendo il mar che la circonda e serra.

(Cf. also Marjorie Nicholson, A World in the Moon). Ain(l Camoons expresses himn-

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Middle Ages. "Precisely by means of the heliocentric system, he (Kepler) was able to find new reasons for conceiving the world to be as definitely limited and enclosed as it had been in the system of Ptolemy" (p. 106).

self in his Lusiads (VI, 27) about the universe and the ocean in the same terms of limitedness:

Principe (Jupiter) que de juro senhoreias De um polo ao outro polo o mar irado, Tu, que as gentes da terra toda enfreias, Que ndo passem o termo limitado; E tu, padre Oceano, que rodeas 0 mundo universal e o tems cercado E com justo decreto assi permites Que dentro vivao so de seus limites

note also (X, 80): "[o Saber alto e profundo] Quem cerca em derredor esse rotundo Globo. . . ." It is highly significant that this Renaissance epic that deals with the discoveryy of new worlds beyond the columns of Heracles, and with the resultant expansion of the "living space" of a European conqueror nation, still leaves unshaken the medieval dome above and the medieval notion of space.

The "boxed-in" Lebensgefuihl is also reflected in G6ngora's Soledades (1613-14), the setting of which is the shore of the Ocean: the poet sings of the feats of the ex- plorers who extended our horizon beyond the Mediterranean "pond" (I, 400), be- yond the straits of Gibraltar "locked with the two keys of Heracles" (402)-but, after the Horatian manner, it is the theme: inculcar sus limites al mundo (412) that is emphasized, rather than the infinitude of new worlds. Even the tiny bird fleeing before the falcon (II, 923-30) is defined as a breve esfera de viento, negra circumvestida piel, as a small sphere of wind, enveloped in skin, hovering in the "liquid walls (!)" of an arena in the "diaphanous element" of the air: the bird in the sky becomes a symbol (or, better, a duplication) of the earth-a microcosmic globe in the walled-in whole. Thus the sharp contours of Spanish baroque art serve to limit and restrain the vital and dynamic forces which it has harnessed for its use. Though classic serenity is shaken and life itself becomes a storm, yet this unrest (miraculously calm) "rests" within a rigid and crystalline vase. (Cf. my article in Revista de filiologqa hispanica II, 1940, p. 169.)

By contrast with such writers Calvin appears as a modern-as is pointed out by A.-M. Schmidt in Foi et vie XXXVI (1935), p. 274:

Il (in Comment. sur le livre des psaumes, ad Ps. CIII, v. 26) depeint le ciel comme un milieu homogene ou' la loi toujours revisable de Dieu regle le cours (les astres et refute la pernicieuse doctrine des spheres concentriques de cristal, qui intuit les chrltiens au paganisme de se representer laTrinite mar- chant sur la crofite du dernier ciel comme un plancher translucide.

Note: "Au XVIIC siicle, le faimeux jesuite Kircher pretendait encore que, par temps clair, on pourrait apercevoir, au delay des astres, la splendeur du Paradis."

But even those who no longer believed in the "walled-in-ness" of the world, were often obliged, because of the prevailing conception of their times, to use such terms as enclosee"; cf. Pascal, IPcnsees 11, 72:

L'homrne a besoin (de lieut potir le contenir, de temps pour durer, de mouve- ment pour vivre . . . l'air pour resp)irer-

here Plascal is using an expression that recalls the Aristotelian material space. Again, Gracidn, who begins the action of his allegorical novel El criticon on the island

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To Kepler the universe is a sphere, for Inetal)hysical reasons: (1) because a sphere is the most capacious possible (again the motif contin ens-ambiens 1), (2) because the sphere is, like God, the most perfect form (Ronsard: En la forme ronde git la perfection qui toute en soi abonde). The following passage reminds us of the rEptExoV- rEptox'-relation:

The function of the outer sphere is to 'throw back and multiply the light of the sun, like an opaque and illuminated wall.' It may also be described as the skin or shirt of the universe (mundi cutis sive tunica).

Professor Lovejoy concludes that it is not the heliocentric theories of Copernicus and Kepler that caused the revolution in cosmology during the 16th and 17th centuries, but five theses of which two only interest us here: (2) "the shattering of the outer wall of the medieval universe"; (5) "the assertion of the actual infinity of the physical universe in space... Giordano Bruno argued that beyond the universe there could not be nothingness because of the infinitude of the divine essence (the idea of the "plenary universe"). And though a Galileo still compromises with the Aristotelians who would have a finite and spherical universe, Descartes rejects the idea of the enveloping sphere (we may remember his abhorrence at shutting up the universe "dans une boule"), and for this Addison was later to praise him-in terms which perhaps inspired the metaphors of Professor Lovejoy cited above. And, a generation before Addison, Fontenelle (1686) had succeeded in gaining the support of his Marchioness for the theory of the pluralitye des mondes" by his argument that the universe had been throttled by the ancient cosmology. In regard to Descartes, Lovejoy continues:

(Descartes) destroyed those orbs of glass which the whims of antiquity had fixed above . .. (he) scorned to be any longer bounded within the straits26 and crystalline walls of an Aristotelic world.

But in his departure from the Scholastics, not always did Descartes reject or destroy outright: in some cases, by his new interpretation and

of St. Helena, choosing this spot as representing the center of the Spanish empire, catholic and universal, which embraces the two hemispheres, resorts to the same ''compartmental" manner of expression in his paraphrase of the Biblical creation:

Luego que el supremo Artifice tuvo acabada esta gran fibrica del mundo, dizen trato repartirla, alojando en sus estancias sus vivientes. Convo- colos todos . . . fu'les mostrando los repartimientos y examinando a cada uno quail dellos escogia para su morada y vivienda . . . [Man] obliga todos los elementos a que le tributen quanto abarcan, el ayre sus aves, el mar sus peces . . ."

Note that the elements contain (abarcan) the beings which belong to them and which stay in "their" places-Standortgebundenheit!

26 The word "straits," incidentally, reminds us that the Straits of Gibraltar, the columns of Heracles which Dante's Ulysses had still considered a non piu oltre, have ceased to form the limits of the known world.

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qualifications of a theory apparently accepted by him, he manages to undermine gently the theory itself. For example Aristotelian and Scho- lastic physics had insisted that all action of one body on another could occur only by contact; in the case of activity at a distance, the same was still achieved by interposition of intermediary bodies: cf. St Paulo: "omnis actio fit per contactum, quo fit ut nihil agat in distans nisi per aliquid medium." In discussing this theory Descartes makes use of the old terminology (". . . in sola enim superficie fit contactus"), but as the passage in question shows, when quoted at greater length, the ancient theory has suffered a strange sea-change:

... nihil plane illud esse a quo sensus nostri afficiantur praeter solam illam super- ficiem, quae est terminus dimensionum ejus corporis quod sentitur: in sola enim superficie fit contactus; et nullum sensum affici nisi per contactum, non ego solus, sed fere omnes philosophi cum ipso Aristotele affirmant. Ita ut, exempli causf, panis vel vinum non sentiatur nisi quatenus ejus superficies, vel immediate a sensfts organo, vel mediante aere aliisve corporibus, ut ego judico, vel, ut ajunt plerique Philosophi: mediantibus speciebus intentionalibus (= the pictures of things which the objects themselves transmit to our senses), attingitur. (VII, 249.)

For this mediante dere aliisve corporibus is an allusion to none other than that famous invention of Descartes, the "matiere subtile": that tenuous substance with which he imagined all space to be filled (thereby echoing the xrv4lca of the ancients and anticipating the "ether" of modern physi- cists) and which also, according to him, could penetrate the interstices of all bodies-including the human body. Thus the "surface at which all contact must occur" becomes, at the hands of Descartes, itself subtly transformed, conditioned by this new element he has introduced.

And thereby are dissolved the sharp lines between the body and its -rptCxov upon which Aristotelian and Thomistic physics had insisted. No longer is the body impenetrably encased; into every pore and crevice creeps this subtle ether, the same with which the celestial bodies are sur- rounded. The stuff which fills the heavens is at the same time within us, within all bodies. One can well understand how this theory of penetration, of "boring-from-within" must have found favor during the time of Des- cartes -a period in which the tendency was away from the older stable order based upon a trust in the validity of sharp lines of demarcation.

Moreover, even the distinction between mind and matter was threatened by the introduction of the matiere subtile. This element was, on the one hand, a material substance, yet it was assumed to possess such active properties as esprits vitaux, esprits animaux which could affect organisms; and this assumption must have served somewhat to volatilize, to melt, the too, too solid nature of matter the "subtlety" of this "matter" must have tended to undermine the firmness of Cartesian dualism itself!

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The matiere subtile of Descartes was accepted by Newton (who calls it spiritus subtilis) only in cases of activity at a minimum distance: adhesion, sensation, electricity and light. But in regard to the law of gravity, that works through "immensas distantias," Newton completely rejects the efficacy of any such element: [vis gravitates] agit non pro quantitate superficierum particularum in quas agit (ut solent cause Mechanicae),27 sed pro quantitate materiae solidac; et unius actio in immensas distantias undique extenditur. ... (p. 484 of the Principia).

The Principia mathematics naturalis philosophiae (1684) give us a picture of interstellar space pierced by vital forces working in a vacuum.28 Accord- ing to him the attraction of the stars is due to tension in the ether; one mass attracts the other "as the rope unites the horse and the load" (chapter De Mundi Systemate). Material bodies (in the words of Bloch, La philosophic de Newton, 1909, p. 330) ". . . se cherchent mutuellement, ou s'agitent Fun l'autre par des emanations, soit qu'eiles soient produites par Faction de le'ther, de l'air ou de tel autre milieu qu'on voudra, corporel

27 The depreciation suffered by the adjective mechanic ("machine-like, automatic; without intervention of thought") dates perhaps from Newton's anti-mechanistic law. In France, the home of Cartesianism, however, the shift of values illustrated by the use to which the word was put is attested much later than in England-not until Buffon and Rousseau (in German evidences of the shift appear in 1756). In- deed, in seventeenth century France, the celestial mechanics of Descartes was ac- cepted as a manifestation of God's wisdom: in Bossuet we find the term used in a most eulogistic phrase-and in a context which leaves no doubt as to the sincerity of the eulogism:

Tout cela [the structure of the body] est d'une 6conomie, et, s'il est permis d'user de ce mot, d'une mecanique si admirable que . . .

And Fenelon, in speaking of the movements of animals which, to Descartes, were automatic, says:

Des mouvements si justes et d'une si parfaite mecanique ne peuvent se faire sans quelque industrie . . .

(cf. Littr6, s.v. melcanique 2). Again, Saint-Simon, that belated propagator of seventeenth century values in the eighteenth century, uses the noun melcanique to apply to the functioning of court life: in contrast to the vague expression of the sixteenth-century expression air de cour, his mecanique de la cour would suggest that the life of the court, superior as it is to the life of the world of commoners, is com- parable to that of the stars themselves, regulated by celestial mechanics. And he spoke in solemn terms of la mecanique des temps et des heures in the existence of the "Sun-King" Louis XIV (cf. my Rom. Stil-u. Literatur-Studien, II, 5); in referring to the technicalities involved in a measure taken at the French court, he uses the phrase la mecanique d'une chose. (It was necessary for Littre to devote an entire item (mecanique 2, no 5) to this linguistic particuliarity of the reactionary duke.)

28 In his Opticks (1704), however, he seems to vacillate between this and a "cor- puscular" theory; he became definitely inclined to this theory in the last years of his life-as Whittaker points out in his Introduction to the 1931 reprinting of the Op- ticks.

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ou incorporel, qui pou5se Fun vers l'autre d'une rnaiierc (1lrelconqlue les corps qui y nagent." Moreover, the famous proposition of the Second Book of the Principia, which aroused the bitter opposition of the Car- tesians, established the fact: "si une sphere tourne d'un mouvement uni- forme autour d'un axe donned de position, dans un fluide hoomogene et infini, que le fluide soit muc circulairement par cette seule impulsion, et que chaque partie de ce fluide continue uniformement dans son mouvement, les temps periodiques des parties du fluide seront comme les carries de leur distance du centre de la sphere" (from Mme du Chatelet's translation).

In attributing qualities of transmission to the ether (or as he usually calls it, the aetherial, fluid, vibrating, medium), Newton was not entirely modern. We have seen that Aristotelian physics, accepted by the School- men, admitted that the air supported or favored the movement of a pro- jectile. And it is known that Leonardo da Vinci (who defined air as a kind of heavy fluid, dilatable, compressible and resistant, surrounding the globe) had anticipated Newton's principle of air resistance the same Leonardo who, while differing with Aristotle on many points, yet pre- served to a certain extent the harmonics of the ancient terms: "che cosa e la causa dell' impeto e del mezzo ove si crea" (cited by Solmi, Le fonti di L. da Vinci, p. 74): here we have the impetus of Albert of Saxony and the impetuosity of Oresme ("une qualite nouelle ... et ceste qualite ou redeur fut aide en mouvement naturedl . .").

As we have said, it was the term medium which Newton regularly used, whether writing in English or in Latin, to refer to air, space, ether. In Classical Latin the substantive medium had a twofold spatial reference: the midpoint of an object, and the intermediate point (region, substance) between two or more objects.29 It would seem obvious that it is the

29 It must be noted, however, that medium is to be found mostly in prepositional phrases: per medium, in medio etc.; the absolute use of the word is rare (as is readily suggested by subsequent developments in Old French: in medio survives in enmi, per medium in parmi, but medium itself (= mi) failed to continue as a living element of the language). Comparable to Latin medium is the Greek ,ie ov (cf. Liddell-Scott), which is usually to be found in conjunction with a preposition; Professor Paul Fried- lander, who first called my attention to this fact, commented that the absolute ,ueWov probably represents a later abstraction from the adverbial phrases. The primitive mind is first conscious of an immediate local situation, of being, oneself, "in the middle," or of seeing an object as already in an intermediate relationship to other objects; the abstract idea of the relationship itself is a concept more sophisti- cated.

This is confirmed by the explanation given by Brugmann (an explanation corrob- orated by Benveniste, Origines de la formation, des norns, p. 98) concerning the Indo- European *medhios, presumedly the root of p'o-os, medics, etc. According to him the origin is to be sought in a *me-dhi, representing a radical me- (cf. Greek ,uE-ra) plus adverbial ending, and meaning "au milieu": it was from this that was extracted the

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second of these which is at the base of Newton's aetherial (etc.) medium: the air flowing between all bodies. But there is much more than a spatial reference involved; Newton is primarily concerned with the functional properties of this ether, and medium means rather "intermediary (agent)" than "intermediate." His authority, and that of his scholastic fore- runners, for such a use of medium may be found, e.gr. in such post-Classical Latin sentences as: "deus ... vos . .. dignos ... faciat vitae perpetuae per medium (ad teot-relas) ... Christi" (Canon. Turner I, 2, 1, p. 32hh 20). Here we have an example of a functional interpretation of a spatial rela- tionship: the one "in between" is in a position to establish connections between units otherwise isolated, to serve as intermediary, as a "medium" of communication, or of transmission of influences.30 This functional inter- pretation must have continued throughout Latinity (cf. ut nihil agat in distans nisi per aliquid medium cited above though here the spatial rela- tionship is more in evidence). Thus the term medium was admirably fitted for reference to the ether, which, by Newton, was thought of pri- marily as the conveyor, transmitter of attractive forces3" (cf. Leonardo's mezzo 'whence is born the impetus of movement").

adjectival form *medhios which refers to the attribute of "belonging to (something) in the middle" (cf. Greek EftO's = "in relation to the right," derived from the loca- tive *6SE'l = "at the right").

30 This functional development of the intermediate idea is a common phenome- non. In Italian the one word mezzo long possessed both references (according to Tommaseo-Bellini, whose examples range from Dante to Galileo); the modern French le moyen (= "means") is based upon OF moyen (= "intermediate"). As for Eng- lish, we may compare not only "intermediate"-"intermediary," but also "mean" -("means"; moreover, though the substantive medium has become limited exclu- sively to a functional meaning, the adjective has retained the 'intermediate' idea (as has also the French adjective moyen in contrast to le moyen).

The English substantive medium (also "means") is reserved, in contrast with "intermediary," for inanimate reference: the 'medium' of printing, of water-colors, etc. There is one case, it is true, in which it is applied to a person: a spiritualistic "medium"-but this person is represented as a thing which passively allows com- munication to flow through; his function is that of serving as a channel through which the "mediumistic fluid" is supposed to pass between the spirits and the living. The word is not attested in this reference before 1853, but already in the eighteenth cen- tuiry, the way was prepared by the theories of Swedenborg (cf. Bloch s.v. medium, who also notes that the French word followed the English as early as 1856); it is interesting that this use of medium, representing the transfer of a technical term to the spiritual realm, was anticipated by one whose mysticism had such a physical basis.

A late derivative of the 7rEptEfxov appears perhaps in the perisprit of the spiritual- ists: E. Bosc (Diet. des sciences occultes, 1896) comments: "le corps de l'homme comporte une sorte d'enveloppe subtile d6nommele double aithhrique [note this Greek form!] et perisprit par les spirited."

31 These attractive forces, even with Newton, obviously were not limited to grav-

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However, this is not to say that the medium of Newton is actually and throughout to be defined as "medium of transmission of influences" or some similar phrase; in regard to his aetherial medium, such a translation would be clumsy at best-and in scores of other cases, particularly in the

ity alone; the aetherial medium is also referred to as a conductor of light. And this was perhaps the original technical reference of medium as applied to the air. Centuries before Newton, mezzo (diafano, transparente, etc.) is to be found with Dante, in passages dealing with perception (it may also be noted that the first ex- amples of medium in English, at the end of the sixteenth century, refer to optics, and that the first example of aetherial medium attested in English [1624] is to be found in a similar context; in Greek the word /j4ovo was used to refer to air as the medium of perception):

Queste cose visibili . . . vengono dentro a l'occhio . . . per lo mezzo dia- fano . . . si quasi come in vetro transparente. E ne l'acqua ch'e ne la pupilla de l'occhio, questo discorso (= this transit), che fa la forma visibile per lo mezzo, si si compie, perched quell' acqua e terminate che passar piA non puo, ma quivi, a modo d'una palla percossa si ferma; si che la forma, che nel mezzo transparente non pare [nell' acqua pura] lucida e terminate . . .acci6 che la visione sia verace, cioe cotale qual e la cosa visibile in se, conviene che lo mezzo per lo quale a l'occhio viene la forma sia sanza colore, e l'acqua de la pupilla similemente: altrimenti si macolerebbe la forma visibile del color del mezzo e di quello de la pupilla ... [la stella] puote parere cosi [non chiara e non lucente] per lo mezzo che continuamente si transmuta. Transmutasi questo mezzo di molta luce in poca luce, si come a la presenza del sole e a la sua assenza; e a la presenza lo mezzo, che e diafano, e' tanto pieno di lume che e vincente de la stella . . .

(Convivio III, ix, 6-12; Vol. IV of Barbi's edition of Opere di Dante) The commentators of this passage quote parallel sentences of Thomas Aquinas:

In corporibus specularibus aliquando apparet color clarus, quando scilicet speculum est purum et mundum non habens aliquem colorem extraneum, et medium similiter purum. . . quando aer vel aliud perspicuum est in propria natura purum, et non aliquo coloratum, tunc habet solum rationem medii, per quod videtur objectum, non autem habet rationem objecti....

In another passage of the Convivio (III, xiv, 3-4) Dante introduces a normative judgment concerning this light which needs a mezzo, assigning it to a lower level of the hierarchic order in comparison with Divine Light:

lo primo agente, cioe Dio, pinge la sua virtue' in cose per modo di diritto raggio, e in cose per modo di splendor reverberate; onde ne le Intelligenze [= the angels] raggia la divina luce sanza mezzo, ne l'altri si ripercuote da queste Intelligenze prima illuminate . . . mostrero differenza di questi vocaboli, secondo che Avicenna sente. Dico che l'usanza de' filosofi e di chiamare 'raggio,' in quanto esso e per lo mezzo, dal principio al primo corpo dove si termina; di chiamare splendorre' in quanto esso e in altra parte alluminata ripercossa. Dico adunque che la divina virt-h sanza mezzo questo amore tragge a sua simulitudine.

Cf. again Thomas Aquinas: "agens per voluntatem statim sine medio potest produ- cere quemcumque effectum"; oness angeli (= Intelligenze) . . . immediate vident Dei essentiam." The modern commentators of the Italian passage explain: "Dante

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Opticks, medium could not possibly be so specifically translated. For this substantive was not used exclusively of the air but could refer to any element of whatsoever nature:

But the truth of this Proposition will farther appear by observing, that in the Superficies interceding two transparent Mediums (such as are Air, Glasses, Island Glasses, white transparent Arsenick, Diamonds, &c), the Reflection is stronger or weaker accordingly, as the Superficies hath a greater or less refracting Power (Opticks, Whittaker edition of 1931, p. 247).

... vibrations in the refracting or reflecting Medium or Substance . . . (ibid., p. 280).

A very little variation of obliquity will change the reflected Colour, where the thin Body or small Particles is rarer than the ambient Medium (ibid., p. 254).

Hallucinantur igitur qui credunt agitationem partium Flammae ad pressionem, per Medium ambiens, secum lineas propagandam conducere (Principia, 1714 edition).

The one interpretation which is always fitting is simply "element (or sub- stance)." Thus the aetherial (etc.) medium = "the aetherial element" (sc. the air); transparent, refracting medium = "any element of transparent property," "any element serving to aid refraction"; ambient medium = "any element immediately surrounding a body." At the same time, it is also true that a functional connotation (of varying intensity) is ever- present with the term medium; the very choice of this word in reference to the various elements reflects the point of view of a scientist conscious of the potentialities, the properties of all elements with which he has to

insiste nello spiegare qual sia il modo onde Dio riduce a sua similitudine l'amore della sapienza. Egli fa cio sanza mezzo . . ., senza usare d'altra causa o creatura, ma immediatemente convertendolo a se, come a fine ultimo."

Finally we may note the following passage from the Paradiso (XXVII, 73); the vision of the Beati which the poet had for a while been granted, fades from view as the mezzo intervenes:

Lo viso mio seguiva i suoi sembianti, E segui in fin' che il mezzo, per lo molto, Gli tolse il trapassar del piu avanti

(the commentators explain: "lo spazio di mezzo tra l'occhio e i vapori trionfanti"). Thus, in the wake of the beatific vision (this lofty goal of the Christian) the idea of the interposed medium is a reminder of a basic limitation of mankind (which needs the mediative activity of Christ, called IeTLTela, medium). And it may well be that it was due to its theological ties that this term passed over into Renaissance physics as the optic medium. However, it cannot be denied that already in Thomistic sci- ence, medium, without benefit of a theological impetus, had been accepted as a term of physics: to refer to space which fosters movement.

The Fremdworterbuch of Schulz-Basler quotes a German sentence (Sturz, 1768): "jedes Volk ist gewohnt, durch ein eigenes Medium zu sehen" which shows how the "medium of perception" could develop a meaning somewhat akin to "mentality." Goethe says in 1794: "durch das Medium seiner Personlichkeit begreifen."

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deal; who in his experiments, in the formulation of his theories, sees any given element as a "factor": as, in some way, an active entity, a means to an end-in the largest sense, as a means through which the efficacy of physical laws manifests itself.

Thus, regardless of the multiplicity of reference of which medium is capable, there is perhaps one "meaning" throughout: an element envisaged as a factor.32 And yet, for practical purposes it is convenient roughly to divide Newton's mediums into two main groups: (1) the phrases which regularly refer to one element alone: aetherial, fluid, vibrating medium = the air or ether; (2) phrases which refer to elements of various types and various functions: transparent, refracting, ambient medium. Of these last, that which would seem at the furthest extreme from aetherial medium is ambient medium: it is wholly colorless and unrevelatory of the nature of the element; it is found (and frequently found) in the most perfunctory of references and has a narrowly local significance, used for the practical purpose of emphasizing the immediately surrounding element of any given substance (it appears in Samuel Clark's Latin translation of the Opticks as medium circumjacens, circumjectum). 3 And it is also the least vital of all the mediums; it need have no property save that of contiguity. (In the Opticks which is written in English ambient medium shows the adjective with a small a whereas Aetherial medium has always a capital A!)

It is very striking that ambient should be regularly used to accompany the least of all the mediums; with Newton it appears devoid of that "all- embracing" connotation which originally ambire shared with amplecti. The "all" is obviously lacking in his ambient medium since this may not

32 Cf. the word mezzo used in Galileo in the meaning "element (envisaged as a factor)": "[the movement or quiet] de' diversi corpi solidi ne' diversi mezzi"; "il peso d'altrettanta mole del medesime mezzo" (Discorso intorno alle cose galleggianti, 1611).

33 It is possible that the expression ambient medium was a ready-made term to which Newton fell heir: mezzo ambiente is to be found in the first half of the century, with Torricelli:

Sarebbe un effetto senza causa, cioe un assurdo in natura, se una palla volasse attraverso per 'aria, impedita dal mezzo ambiente, e non ajutata da potenza alcuna che l'accompagnasse.

It is possible, however, to give this mezzo ambiente a slightly different interpretation from that ascribed to Newton's phrase. The Italian expression may be simply the equivalent of aere ambiente-or of ambiente alone in that meaning: cf. "I corpi leggieri essere mossi all' insuc, scacciati dall' impulsione, dall' ambiente piuc grave" (Galileo).

The substantive ambiente, however, did not always refer to the air: it could also be used with apparently the exact meaning of Newton's ambient medium, in reference to any element whatsoever which surrounds a given body (cf. Galileo: il contenuto fosse una sfera solida e l'ambiente un liquid, quoted by Tommaseo-Bellini).

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refer to the vast expanse of the heavens;34 nor is ambiens any longer "embracing": no overtones of warmth and beneficence emanate from this perfunctory phrase, used in the most trivial of references. And the fact that Newton was insensitive to the all-embracingness of ambient is perhaps a bit of semantic evidence of the truth that is everywhere manifest in his description of the universe: that Newton had lost the feeling of "man and his ireptexov." Now, man is alone in an infinite chilly cosmos traversed by innumerable forces of attraction, in a universe run according to rigid laws and ruled over by a God who bears no relation to man; a God who, says Newton, should be called Deus and not Dominus which implies a reference to human subjects and human worshippers (he admits that man does dare to say meus dens, but meus Aeternus would be impossible, since the quality of eternality, as of almightiness, is absolute).

In this Newtonian universe of objective and infinite grandeur man ap- pears in all his insignificance, overwhelmed by the Whole, the All; he is nothing, or at best possessed of only relative values.35 There were those who were able to adapt themselves to this new universe; indeed, with Rousseau and Shaftsbury, the infinitism of the Newtonian system en- couraged an impulse toward a mystic merging with the Whole. But there was something essentially bleak in this vision of a universe totally mindless of man; with Copernicus the earth had ceased to be the center,lsa with Newton, man himself was fallen from his high estate, no longer the "measure of all things." Thus it is not difficult to understand that a Goethe should defy this system (in what Croce, Critica XXXVIII, 170, calls "la vana e assurda polemica contro il Newton"), moved as he was by a desire to feel that his universe was protected by a beneficent at- mosphere:

Die Erde empfand er als ein kugelhaft in sich abgeschlossenes Lebewesen, gleich- sam mit einem eignen k6rperartigen Organismus und eigner Atmosphare, die er durch eigne Normen tatig und leidend wissen wollte, ohne willkiirlich masslose und zufallige Eingriffe aus dem unermesslichen und gestaltlosen Weltraum. Mit andren Worten: seine Vorstellungsart war selbst bei Betrachtung der anorganischen Naturreiche, der Luft und der Steinwelt, wesentlich bedingt durch das eigentliche Korpergeffthl, auch hier war ihm der menscbliche Organismus, die begrenzte, in sich abgeschlossene, aber von inneren eignen Bildungskraften erfullte Gestalt, das Mass, ja das Bild der Erscheinungen.

Seine ganze Naturlehre ist die ins Theoretische projizierte, auf alle Naturreiche

34 Rogerus Cote, however, in his Preface to the 1713 edition of the Principia, uses the expression "fluidum ambiens" to refer to interstellar space.

35 We may remember Voltaire's Micromegas, that inhabitant of the stars who had no absolute stature, but varied in size according to the magnitude of the body with which he was compared.

35a Cf. Nietzsche: "seit Kopernikus rollt der Mensch aus dem Zentrum ins x."

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angewandte Umsetzung eines mit seinem Leib schon gegebnen Instinkts, der ihn bis in die entlegensten Forschungen hinein fuhrte, und dieser Instinkt war eben der griechische, wie er sich in dem Wort lraTrcveIrTpOv AvOporoS manifestiert, auf deutsch: der Leib ist die Grundlage unsrer Erkenntnis, der Sinn der Welt.36

(To be continued)


36 Gundolf in his biography of Goethe plays up in full relief the latter's ties with Greek culture; equally truly he might have called attention to his feeling for the Middle Ages (if it were not that in the school of Stefan George the pagan is preferred to the Christian), and the relationship of this to his anthropocentricism.

Of course, if Goethe had been absolutely consistent, he should also have objected to the heliocentric world-system of Copernicus, and have insisted on making man the measure of the universe-in some such parallelism as that of the Spanish mystic Luis de Le6n who, in his "Introducci6n al simbolo de la fe," wrote:

... toda la tierra, solida y redonda, y recogida con su natural movimiento dentro de si misma, colocada en medio del mundo, vestida de flores, de yerbas, de irboles y de mieses ... Pues, ! qu6 dir6 del linaje de los hombres, los cuales puestos en medio de la tierra.. . . Luego el aire . . riega la tierra con aguas ... Y 61 tambien sostiene sobre si el vuelo de las aves, y nos da el aire con que se mantienen y sustentan los animales (chapter "la Tierra")

Here again we have a reminiscence of the ancient concept of the ether that nourishes: aether pascit.