Robert Grossteste

On the Elements

Introduction by Neil Lewis

Robert Grosseteste says: "As Jacob testifies in his canon, "everything given from above is best and every gift that comes from the father of light is perfect, around whom there is no transmutation, nor shadow of change." It is necessary, moreover, for this to happen without mediation in certain circumstances and, in some circumstances, with mediation. Therefore philosophers, even if they do not completely understand the matter, nevertheless they must not ignore the natures of things, and not ignoring the rays descending from supercelestial bodies over corporeal bodies to offer the greatest cause of their transformation, they say that the rays are reflected and condensed in order to generate heat for us. The sign of which is that in valleys, the heat is greater than in mountainous areas. As a result, snow remains longer in mountainous areas than in valleys. Snow even remains in certain ones of the highest mountain ranges perpetually."

Original Latin