De Sphaera Nirni
on the Shape and Workings of the Mundiversal Machine, the Great and Constant Work endeavored by the Divines for our Education and Tribulation
by Deniel Juris
The celestial sphere can be divided thusways, by substance and by accident.
By substance it is divided in the different Mundial planes, the first of which is the immovable center, Nirn, being the "primus reses" or immovable point on which the Mundus pivots. Then follow the eight spheres of the Divines, who appear to us larger or smaller by their distance from us, the path they take through the celestial Void, and by our own failing virtue which removes us from them. Then follow the Principalities, who are obscured to us, but whose dark presence is noticed for the influence they exert on the lesser bodies and the unfixed stars. Last follows the great sphere of the fixed stars, and the Magnite sun; through which radiates the light Aetherial.
By accident the sphere is divided into the sphere right and the sphere oblique. Those who have the sphere right dwell near the Palatine or Cyrodiilic Latitude, the most benevolent climate for life and industry to flourish. It is called "right" for neither pole is elevated more than the other, and the horizon intersects the equinoctial circle and is intersected by it at spherical right angles. Those who have the sphere oblique are on either side of the equator, where it is too cold or too warm for proper living. To them one pole is always raised above the horizon, and the other is always depressed below it.
The machine of the Mundus is divided into the Void and the elementary regions. The elementary regions, existing subject to continual alteration, are divided into four: the earth, placed in the middle of all, about which is water, about water air, about air fire. For so the Divines in their wisdom disposed. And these are called the four elements, which are in turn altered, corrupted and regenerated. The elements are simple bodies which cannot be subdivided into parts of diverse forms and from whose commixture are produced various species of generated things. Around the elementary region revolves with continuous circular motion the Void, which is lucid and immune from all variation in its immutable essence, and in which swim the spheres of the Divines and the Principalities, which are also not of elementary, but of spiritual matter.
There are three reasons why the Mundus is round: likeness, convenience, and necessity. Likeness, because the sensible world is made in the likeness of the Akatic archetype, in which there is neither end nor beginning; wherefore, in likeness to it the sensible world has a round shape, in which beginning or end cannot be distinguished. Convenience, because of all isoperimetric bodies the sphere is the largest and of all shapes the round is most capacious. Since largest and round, therefore the most capacious. Wherefore, since the world is all-containing, this shape was useful and convenient for it. Necessity, because if the world were of other form than round -- say, trilateral, quadrilateral, or many-sided -- it would follow that some space would be vacant and some body without a place, both of which are false, as is clear in the case of angles projecting and revolved.
That Nirn is in the middle of the firmament is shown thus. To persons on the world's surface the stars appear of the same size whether they are in mid-sky or just rising or about to set, and this is because the earth is equally distant from them. For if the earth were nearer to the firmament in one direction than in another, a person at that point of the earth's surface which was nearer to the firmament would not see half of the heavens. But this is contrary to Armantine and all the philosophers, who say that, wherever man lives, six signs rise and six signs set, and one is twisted, and half of the heavens is always visible and half hid from him.
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An antiquated scholarly text. Apologies to Iohannes de Sacrobosco.