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The Asclepius


1. Now every single class of living thing, Asclepius, of whatsoever kind, or it be mortal or be rational, whether it be endowed with soul, or be without one, just as each has its class, so does each several [class] have images of its own class.

And though each separate class of animal has in it every form of its own class, still in the selfsame [kind of] form the units differ from each other.

And so although the class of men is of one kind, so that a man can be distinguished by his [general] look, still individual men within the sameness of their [common] form do differ from each other.

2. For the idea which is divine, is bodiless, and is whatever is grasped by the mind.

So that although these two, from which the general form and body are derived, are bodiless, it is impossible that any single form should be produced exactly like another,—because the moments of the hours and points of inclination [when they’re born] are different.

But they are changed as many times as there are moments in the hour of that revolving Circle in which abides that God whom we have called All-formed.

3. The species, then, persists, as frequently producing from itself as many images, and as diverse, as there are moments in the Cosmic Revolution,—a Cosmos which doth [ever] change in revolution. But the idea [itself] is neither changed nor turned.

So are the forms of every single genus permanent, [and yet] dissimilar in the same [general] form.


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