Lecture Iv


DOSIDONIUS defined man as "the beholder A and expounder of heaven."1 Nature itself— the ancients vied with each other in insisting on this point—destined him to contemplate the sky and to observe its perpetual motions. Other animals bend towards the earth, but man proudly raises his eyes to the stars,—this is an idea which we find repeated time after time. His eye, the marvel of the human body, tiny mirror in which immensity is reflected, gateway of the soul open towards the infinite, follows from here below the distant evolutions of the celestial armies. The old astronomers, who did not use the telescope, marvelled at the power of the eye, and the ancients expressed their astonishment at the range of vision which reached the remotest constellations. They

1 Capelle, Die Schrift von der Welt, Leipzig, 1895, p. 6 [534], n. 4. " Contemplatorem caeli." "Ou yJbvov dearty dWd. koX ¿^rjytjr^v."

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