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While we have seen earth, fire, air and water, everything else in the world in this system was understood as a mixture of these elements.In this perspective, transition and change in our world resulted from the mixing of the elements.Aristotle asserted that you could further reduce these elements into two pairs of qualities, hot and cold and wet and dry.
For Aristotle the terrestrial is a place of birth and death, based in these elements.
The heavens are a separate realm governed by their own rules.
This section offers a tour of some of the astronomical ideas and models from ancient Greece as illustrated in items from the Library of Congress collections. C., it was widely accepted that the Earth is a sphere. C., Empedocles and Anaxagoras offered arguments for the spherical nature of the Earth.
This is a critical point, as there is a widespread misconception that ancient peoples thought the Earth was flat. During a lunar eclipse, when the Earth is between the sun and the moon, they identified the shadow of the Earth on the moon.
As the stars move across the sky each night people of the world have looked up and wondered about their place in the universe.
Throughout history civilizations have developed unique systems for ordering and understanding the heavens.
The diagram at the right illustrates a translation of his work.
The large circle is the sun, the medium circle is the Earth and the smallest circle is the moon.
These qualities can be replaced by their opposites, which in this system become how change happens on Earth.
For example, when heated, water seemingly turns steam which looks like air.