[Milton-L] Re: Canaries in the coal mine, prelaps, etc.
Horace Jeffery Hodges
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 15:30:15 EST 2010
Michael, concerning your query (and mine):
"On Fowler's claim that the sun would be always in Aries, what is the evidence for that? It would be a shame if unfallen humans never got to see Orion."
Would they even see Aries since it's hidden by the glare of the sun!
Anyway, I've been looking around and found no substantive support for Fowler's statement that the sun would always be in Aries and am ready to conclude that Fowler was inferring this from the fact that springtime reigns eternal in the prelapsarian world. In fact, however, spring and autumn dance eternally in Paradise -- or would have if not for the Fall. Each 24-hour period is 'equinoctial' and could just as easily be considered the autumnal as well as the vernal equinox.
I suspect that Milton thought that the sun did move annually through the 'ecliptic' -- at least in appearance, depending on whether his cosmos is geo- or heliocentric -- such that it entered every zodiacal sign, albeit without seasonal change, for we do have these previously cited lines concerning God's creative act:
Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights
High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide
The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes,
For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,
And let them be for Lights as I ordaine
Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n
To give Light on the Earth; and it was so. (PL 7.339-345)
[Thomas H. Luxon, ed. The Milton Reading Room, January 2009]
In short, within a prelapsarian world, in which celestial equator and ecliptic coincide, there can be "Seasons . . . and circling Years" even without seasonal change. I think that Fowler was incorrect in his inference . . . unless somebody can demonstrate evidence to the contrary.
From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu>
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 12:19:40 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Canaries in the coal mine, prelaps, etc.
Certainly things in Paradise are not frozen in time. Each night some of the roses in the Bower die and drop their petals on the embracing couple. In the creation, God creates life in all stages, eggs, fry, and adult. This implies ripening and overripening fruit as Richard suggests.
But it seems there would no seasonal change in the weather absent the Fall,
On Fowler's claim that the sun would be always in Aries, what is the evidence for that? It would be a shame if unfallen humans never got to see Orion.
On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 9:58 PM, richard strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu> wrote:
If he has, uniquely,sex and labor before the fall, why not some version of seasonal change, ripening
>and overripening fruit, etc?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Milton-L