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14937air in water

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  • Richard Whitekettle
    Jun 27, 2013
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      Among the ancient Greeks, Anaxagoras, Diogenes of Apollonia, and the author of the Hippocratic text On Breaths thought that there was air in water. This seems to be based, as far as I can tell, and at least to some degree, on the idea that matter is a mixture of fundamental elements (air, fire, water, earth).

      On the other hand, Aristotle, and the author of the Aristotelian text De Spiritu thought that there was no air in water. This seems to derive from the simple observation that when air is introduced into water it does not stay in the water but rises to the top and exits.

      Does anyone have any idea of what people in the ANE thought about whether there was air in water? Are there any texts or bibliography you can point me to?

      Thanks for any help.

      Richard Whitekettle
      Dept of Religion
      Calvin College


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