Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
An Irish Astronomical Tract (Author: [unknown])

Caibidil 2

The four elements, and their positions as the Creator ordained them.

Terra est in medio mundi, etcetera.

The earth is a round point in the very middle of the universe, fashioned as a perfect sphere with no substance beneath to support it and the water, as is natural, around it on every side, and, moreover, the Creator created the upper part of the earth as a dwelling place for men and for the animals that cannot live under water. And air surrounds both. And fire surrounds the three of them, and the firmament is on all sides around those four.

The following is a description of those four elements:—


Description of fire—A warm, dry, burning, light, liquid, movable body, beneath which is the air. Description of air—A warm, wet, liquid, movable body, heavy in comparison with fire, and light in comparison with water. Description of water—A cold, wet, liquid, movable body, beneath which is the earth, heavy in comparison with air and light in comparison with the earth. Description of earth—A cold, dry, heavy, immovable body that is beneath the whole of creation, and thus the earth comes before the water and the water before the air and the air before the fire and the fire before the firmament, because the firmament is the outermost of them, as this figure below shows.

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