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Different tastes and odours he related to the character of the particles composing or coming off the objects. Many of these views were taken over by the natural fall C 17 AUGUSTINE TO GALILEO philosophers of the 12th century. Timaus is The direct influence of the seen in their belief in the indestructibility of matter and their explanation of the properties of the elements in terms of the motion of particles in which velocity and solidity were complementary, for no body could be set in motion without the corresponding reaction against a motionless body.

56-62) and its associated trigonometry. This reached Europe through the translations of works by such writers as al-Khwarizmi, al-Battani (d. 929) and al-Fargani (9th century), but these authors had, in fact, added nothing new to the principles on which the astronomical system of Ptolemy had been founded. In the 1 2th century al-Bitruji, known in Latin as Alpetragius, revived the astronomical work of Aristotle, though here again the Arab did not advance much on the Greek. What the Arabs did do was to improve observing instruments and construct increasingly accurate tables for both astrological and nautical purposes.

Conditions in the island specially favoured the exchange of ideas between Arabic, Greek and Latin scholars. Until the fall of Syracuse in 878 it had been dominated by Byzantium. Then it passed under the control of Islam for nearly two hundred years until 1060 when a Norman adventurer with a small following captured Messina and was so successful in establishing his power that by 1090 the island had become a Norman kingdom in which Latin, saffron Greek and Moslem subjects lived together in conditions even more favourable than those in Spain for the work of translation.

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