"Aristotle believed that the outermost stars are carried round us on a transparent sphere. There are directions in the universe and a preferred direction of rotation. The sun, moon and planets are carried on different revolving spheres. The spheres and celestial bodies are composed of an everlasting fifth element, which has none of the ordinary contrary properties like heat and cold which could destroy it, but only the facility for uniform rotation. But this creates problems as to how the heavenly bodies create light, and, in the case of the sun, heat." "The topics covered in this part of Simplicius' commentary on On the Heavens are the speeds and distances of the stars; that the stars are spherical; why the sun and moon have fewer motions than the other five planets; why the sphere of the fixed stars contains so many stars whereas the other heavenly spheres contain no more than one (Simplicius has a long excursus on planetary theory in his commentary on this chapter); discussion of people's views on the position, motion or rest, shape, and size of the earth; and that the earth is a relatively small sphere at rest in the centre of the cosmos."--BOOK JACKET.