1. Asc. And does the Cosmos have a species, O Thrice-greatest one?
Tris. Dost not thou see, Asclepius, that all has been explained to thee as though to one asleep?
For what is Cosmos, or of what doth it consist, if not of all things born?
This, then, you may assert of heaven, and earth, and elements. For though the other things possess more frequent change of species, [still even] heaven, [by its] becoming moist, or dry, or cold, or hot, or clear, or dull, [all] in one kind of heaven,—these [too] are frequent changes into species.
2. Earth hath, moreover, always many changes in its species;—both when she brings forth fruits, and when she also nourishes her bringings-forth with the return of all the fruits; the diverse qualities and quantities of air, its stoppings and its flowings; and before all the qualities of trees, of flowers, and berries, of scents, of savours—species.
Fire [also] brings about most numerous conversions, and divine. For these are all-formed images of Sun and Moon; theyre, as it were, like our own mirrors, which with their emulous resplendence give us back the likenesses of our own images.