— J. R. Partington
Context: The first clear expression of the idea of an element occurs in the teachings of the Greek philosophers.... Aristotle... who summarized the theories of earlier thinkers, developed the view that all substances were made of a primary matter... On this, different forms could be impressed... so the idea of the transmutation of the elements arose. Aristotle's elements are really fundamental properties of matter... hotness, coldness, moistness, and dryness. By combining these in pairs, he obtained what are called the four elements, fire, air, earth and water... a fifth, immaterial, one was added, which appears in later writings as the quintessence. This corresponds with the ether. The elements were supposed to settle out naturally into the earth (below), water (the oceans), air (the atmosphere), fire and ether (the sky and heavenly bodies).