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Home arrow Philosophy arrow The fathers of the church

Why the blood of the one slain flows while the murderer is present.

One asks why the blood of the one slain flows while the murderer is present.

Response. It is by divine vengeance, so that he would be moved to repent. Or the killer is moved himself in his conscience, and thus the spiritual organs[1] are moved, and when these are moved, they emit a spirit and fume from themselves. This then moves the air, and with the mediation of the moved air the breath is borne away to the body of the one killed and this warms the body, because it is still fresh. Thus the humors are moved, and thereby a discharge of blood occurs.

Why a morsel of bread placed in a very strong wine increases the sharpness of the wine.

One asks why it is that a morsel [mica] of bread placed in a very strong wine increases the sharpness of the wine in strength and violence.

We say that although there are four elements in wine, nevertheless it gets a hot sharpness and strength only from the fiery parts, which are warmer and subtler. Thus the stronger the wine, the warmer it is.

We say that since the substance of bread is easily penetrable, the fiery parts, which are more subtle, sharper, and more penetrable, enter into it. Therefore, with the gross and less warm remaining behind, the strength and heat of the wine are diminished.

Moreover, we say that the morsel [offa] consumes the stomach's heat, which acts on it and releases in it the more subtle parts of the wine first, which, as the more suitable parts, had entered the bread's substance. Once these subtle parts have been resolved and are acting on the morsel and even on the stomach's heat, from there a great vapor [fumus] rises up, which penetrates the head with its power and presents an injury to its accidental moisture and, since the heat is being blocked by its movement, indigestion occurs. An indication of this is that the ancients gave to those suffering a fever some water in which there was a morsel of bread and they did this so that the warmer (or less cold) and subtler parts of the water might enter the substance of the bread while the cruder and colder parts of the water might remain behind, and thus the water was cold and became still colder. Moreover, they gave the water for another reason as well, since with the admixture of the bread the water developed a certain affinity and inclination [amicabilitas] for the members, which is why it is better received by the members and remains longer in the digestive process, and the unmixed can alter and change something better in its own right.

Why vision takes pleasure more in the color green than in any other color.

Again one asks why it is that vision takes pleasure more in the color green than in any other color.

One must know that in order to be seen better, some of the colors are median and some are extremes. The extremes are like black and white, whereas the median are red and all the rest. Again, some colors are simple, and some are composite. The simples are those that are present as a result of individual elements, as red is present from fire, white from water, and black from earth. The composites are those that are present from various elements, like green, which results from fire and earth, and is a composite resulting from the color red and black. Again, some colors break up the visible spirit, like white and red, and some unify it, like black.

Why roasted meat strengthens more than does boiled meat.

One asks why roasted meat strengthens more than does boiled meat.

I answer that one must reply that roasted meat resembles the heart's heat once its viscosity has been consumed, and since it is most like [the heart], it strengthens it more than does boiled meat.

  • [1] "Spiritual organs": i.e., organs having to do with respiration and the movement of spirit.
 
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