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Chapter IV.—Origin of Chaos.

“This matter, of four kinds, and endowed with life, was an entire infinite abyss, so to speak, in eternal stream, borne about without order, and forming every now and then countless but ineffectual combinations (which therefore it dissolved again from want of order); ripe indeed, but not able to be bound so as to generate a living creature.  And once it chanced that this infinite sea, which was thus by its own nature driven about with a natural motion, flowed in an orderly manner from the same to the same (back on itself), like a whirlpool, mixing the substances in such a way that from each10621062    This is the emendation of Davisius.  The Greek has ἐξ ἀκουστοῦ; the Latin, “mirum in modum.”  Wieseler suggests ἐξακοντιστόν. there flowed down the middle of the universe (as in the funnel of a mould) precisely that which was most useful and suitable for the generation of a living creature.  This was carried down by the all-carrying whirlpool, drew to itself the surrounding spirit, and having been so conceived that it was very fertile, formed a separate substance.  For just as a bubble is usually formed in water, so everything round about contributed to the conception of this ball-like globe.  Then there came forth to the light, after it had been conceived in itself, and was borne upwards by the divine spirit which surrounded it,10631063    This is Wieseler’s emendation for “received.” perhaps the greatest thing ever born; a piece of workmanship, so to speak, having life in it which had been conceived from that entire infinite abyss, in shape like an egg, and as swift as a bird.


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