II. (4) The world, therefore, is spoken of in its primary sense as a single system, consisting of the heaven and the stars in the circumference of the earth, and all the animals and plants which are upon it; and in another sense it is spoken of merely as the heaven. And Anaxagoras, having a regard to this fact, once made answer to a certain person who asked of him what the reason was why he generally endeavoured to pass the night in the open air, that he did so for the sake of beholding the world, by which expression he meant the motions and revolutions of the stars. And in its third meaning, as the Stoics affirm, it is a certain admirably-arranged essence, extending to the period of conflagration, either beautifully adorned or unadorned, the periods of the motion of which are called time. But at present the subject of our consideration is the world, taken in the first sense of the word, which being one only, consists of the heaven, and of the earth, and of all that is therein. (5) And the term corruption is used to signify a change for the worse; it is also used to signify the utter destruction of that which exists, a destruction so complete as to have no existence at all; for as nothing is generated out of nothing, so neither can anything which exists be destroyed so as to become non-Existence.{1}{this is similar to Lucretius’s doctrine–Nil igitur fieri de nihilo posse putandum est.} For it is impossible that anything should be generated of that which has no existence anywhere, as equally so that what does exist should be so utterly destroyed as never to be mentioned or heard of again. And indeed in this spirit the tragedian says:–

“Nought that e’er has been

Completely dies, but things combined