Skip to main content

Full text of "Theophrastus of Eresus on winds and on weather signs"

See other formats


^A I 

Ex Libris 














vj^^s. a-. "vsrooiD, imi.a.., lxj-b., :f.c3-.s., 

Of Lincoln s Inn, Barnster-at-Law, and sometime Fellow 
of Emmanuel College, Cambridfje, 


C3-. cr. siTJvnojtTS,^.s., 

Chevalier de la Legion d^Honneur, 
Secretary of the Royal Meteorological Society, 





List of Subscribers 



Theophrastus On Winds 

Theophrastus On "Weather Signs 

Table of Places and Latitudes, &c. 

Appendix — On the Direction, Number and N'omenclature 

OF THE Winds in Classical and Later Times . , . . 77 


.. 5 

.. 7 

.. 9 

.. 21 

. .. 53 

.. 76 


Map OF Greece and Adjoining Countries 
Map of the Country around Athens 


Aristotle's Diagrams, Figs. 1 & 2 

To face Title. 
To face p. 21 
To face p. 77 
To face p. 80 

Table of the Winds in the Museo Pio Clementino, 

To face p. 89 




The Royal Society. 

The Royal Obsebvatoey, Geeenwich. 

The Royal Observatory, Elinburoh. 

The Royal Meteorological Society. 

The Meteorological Council. 

Weather Bureau, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

Observatoire Physique Central, St. Petersburg. 

KoNiGLicHEs Preussiscues Meteorologisches Inst., Berlin. 

K. K. Central- anbtalt fur Meteorologie, Vienna. 

Appach, Miss. 

Mawley, E. 

Bayard, F. C. 

Mitchell, Rev. J. C. 

Bell, Major. 

Morton, Dr. J. 


MossMAN, R. C. (2 copies). 

Blackmorb, R. D. 

Parbury, a. F. 

Boys, Rev. H. A. 

Plenderleath, Rev. W. C. 

Boys, W. 

Prince, C. L. 

Brook, C. L. 

Pringle, C. S. 

Brown, Rev. D. Dixon. 


Buchanan, G. 

Russell, H. C. 

Case, C. A. 


Chandler, A. 

Sidebottom, J. 

De Range, C. E, 

Silver, S. W. 

Dixon, G. 

Simpson, E. 

Dudgeon, P. 

Smith, B. Woodd. 

Eaton, E. M. 

Snowden, Rev. H. C. V. 

Evans, P. G. 

Southall, H. 


Stubs, P. 

EoRD, A. L. 

Sturt, Col. N. G. 

Hann, Dr. J. 

Topley, W. 

Harrington, Prof. 

Trotter, J, 

Hateield, W. 

Vaughan, Cedric. 

Hellmann, Prof. Dr. 

Wallis, H. Sowbrby. 


Ward, Col. 

Howard, W .Dill\vorth(2 copies) 

Ward, R. De C. 

Inwards, R. 

Watkins, J. 

Jebb, J. R. 

Welby-Gregory, Sir. W., Bart 

Jbnkyns, Lady. 

Wesley & Son, Messrs. 

Latham, Baldwin. 

Williams, Dr. Theodore. 

LippiNCOTT, R. C. C. (2 copies). 

Williamson, B. 

Macdonald, Rev. J. A. 


Mace, J. E. 

Wood, J. G. (6 copies). 

Maclear, Admiral. 

Tool, H. 

Marten, E. B. 


It is, perluips, desirable to say a few words respecting the 
circumstances which have led to the preparation of this book. 
For nearly thirty years I have been a persistent searcher for 
old works upon Meteorology, partly like other hunters, from the 
universal desire to capture something ; but I hope more with 
two other objects, (1) to form a centre where much of the 
meteorological literature of past ages could be consulted, and, as 
far as my own small efforts could go, to insure its permanent 
preservation ; (2) to learn from it all that I could as to the 
growth of our knowledge of meteorology. 

I have always had before me, but I fear only as a vision 
never to be realised, the translation and publication of, at any 
rate, the most important of these works. Aristotle's ISIeteorology 
has been translated into English (but copies are very scarce), 
and there is the excellent French translation of Barthelemy St. 
Hilaire, and it is a large work. I thought, therefore, that it 
would be more prudent to begin with the smaller works of 
Aristotle's favourite pupil Theophrastus, which existed only in 
Greek and Latin ; and in the Afeteorological Magazine for July, 
1892, I asked whether any one would volunteer to prepare the 
translation, promising that in that event I would undertake 
the cost of publication. I was favoured with no fewer than 
four offers, and accepted the first. Of how Mr. Wood has 
carried out his "congenial labour" it would be presumptuous for 
me to say one word, but it cannot be wrong to express my 
hearty thanks for his help, also for that proffered by others 
which it was not necessary to accept. 

" The Cobham Journals," which Miss E. A. Ormerod kindlv 
published, "Cowe's Meteorological Journal," and "Merle's MS., 
1337-1344 " have been earlier efforts in a somewhat similar 


direction ; but in Theophrastus we go back more than 2,000 
years and to a totally different class of writing. 

I had thought of preparing a brief commentary upon the two 
papers, but found that it could not be "brief"; and it is so 
uncertain how much was original on the part of Theophrastus, 
how much he had derived from Aristotle, how much Aristotle 
owed to Herodotus, and Herodotus to his predecessors, that it 
seemed better not to attempt it. 

I hope that the two maps and the index giving the position of 
every place mentioned will facilitate the understanding of some 
of Theophrastus' arguments. 

Although I see that Mr. Wood has, in the Appendix, ex- 
pressed his indebtedness to the liev. Padre Denza for the care 
and success with which he sup|)lied both photographs and casts 
from the " Table of the Winds " at the Vatican, I trust that 
there is no impropriety in my adding my own thanks not only 
for that help, but for the promptitude which Padre Denza ever 
shows to assist those who try to advance that science for which 
he has done so much. 

G. J. S. 

62, Camden Squaee, N.W. 

June '2nd, 1894^. 


The mitlior of the following papers, generally known to us as 
Theophrastus, was, in his early days, called Tyrtamus; and the 
name Theophrastus (the divine speaker) is said to have been 
given to him by Aristotle on account of his eloquence.* 

He was born at Eresus in Lesbos in or before B.C. 374 ; and 
died B.C. 287. Coming early to Athens he became a pupil of 
Plato; but after the latter's death (b.c. o47) became attached 
to Aristotle, probably daring the time when the young Alexander 
of Macedon also was his j)upil. The closeness of the intimacy 
which was then begun, and the regard of the master for the 
pupil, are evidenced by the fact that Aristotle on his death 
(B.C. 323) appointed Theophrastus one of his executors, and 
bequeathed to him his literary property and his Library, in- 
cluding Aristotle's own works, which eventually passed from the 
hands of Theophrastus to Neleus of Scepsis, and from him to 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, who deposited them at Alexandria. 

At Aristotle's death Theophrastus succeeded also to the 
direction of the Lyceum, which the former had founded at 
Athens as the seat of his peripatetic system of scholastic and 
philosophic disputation. The Lyceum was continued by 
Theophrastus during his life, and bequeathed by him to Straton 
and others on condition that it should remain and be carried 
on as a philosophical college. Here, until later developments 
and sub-divisions arose, the Aristotelian philosophy maintained 
its home ; as did the Platonic, side by side with it, at the 
Academy ; and here Theophrastus was the centre of a numerous 
body of pupils in the various branches of study which the 
unfailing energy of its founder had made his own. Among 

Diog. Laert., v., 38. 


these were such men as the poet Menaiider and the orator 

Whether the labours at the Lyceum interfered with literary 
work, or whatever else was the reason, the works of Theophrastus 
which have come down to us are not numerous ; and the 
majority of them are known to us only by fragments. Many 
of the others appear rather to be outlines preparatory to com- 
plete works than complete works in themselves; or material 
to be amplified and elaborated in lectures to, or disputations 
with, his pupils ; corresponding somewhat to the division of 
Aristotle's works which Dr. Donaldson speaks of as the 
" hypomnematic works, or draughts and notes of books which 
" Cicero calls ' commentarii ' as distinguished from the syntag- 
" matic or complete and formal treatises." 

To the class of less formal works the two short treatises (or, 
as we should term them, papers) now for the first time 
presented in an English form appear to belong. 

Of these two papers, the one " On Winds " may be said to be 
the more nearly complete ; but it is far from being exhaustive. 
At its outset t and throughout, it postulates or assumes an 
acquaintance with the Aristotelian theory of " the Avinds," and 
of the origin and nature of " wind," either as developed in 
some earlier treatise of our author, or in the works of his great 
master. It deals with the effects of wind, and the explanation 
of concurrent and consequent phenomena, rather than the cause 
of wind itself or the origin of particular winds. The earlier 
parts follow fairly regular divisions of the subject; but towards 
the end there are evidences of haste and incompleteness, such 
as we find still more apparent in the next paper. 

* The authorities for the particulars of Theophrastus' life will be found 
collected iu Miiller and Donaldson's Literature of Greece, Vols. II. and III., 
titt., " Aristotle" and "Schools of Philosophy," from which the above short 
notice of our author is practically derived. 

t The reference in the very opening lines, where it is said that the origin of 
the physical constitution of the winds " has been already considered " 
(reOewfjrjTai Trpore/jov), is probably to the passages in Arist. Met.,' lib. i., 
cap. 13, and lib. ii., cap. 4, which I have dealt with later on ; and, if it 
is genuine, to de ifuudo, cap. iv. But, unless indeed the latter work is our 
author's, and not Aristotle's, we possess nothing of Theophrastus to which 
that passage refers. 


The paper " On Weather Signs " has even less pretension to 
be considered a complete or original treatise on its subject. It 
reads as if it were a collection of notes taken of a lecture 
delivered, or notes to form the basis of, and to be expanded in, a 
lecture to be delivered. There are so many passages which can 
be traced to the Meteorologica, or the Problemata, of Aristotle, 
tliat it may well be that it had its origin at the time when 
Theophrastus was the pupil of Aristotle, and be a resume of 
what he heard from his master. This theory receives some 
support from the reference to the "Drawing" or diagram 
mentioned in section 35 which, as Tlieophrastus has given us no 
diagram of his own, can hardly be other than that prepared by 
Aristotle and more fully described hereafter. That this was so 
is confirmed by a short paper which Aristotle has left us, " On 
the position and names of the Winds," in which, after setting 
down their names, he proceeds thus: — "And I have written 
down for thee at the foot their position, how they are disposed, 
and from what quarters they blow ; and have made a diagram 
of the circle of the earth, so that they may be set forth before 
thine eyes." It can scarcely be doubted that this is again the 
same, or a copy of the same, diagram, and that the person 
addressed was Theophrastus.* 

As an instance of the incompleteness of this paper, it will be 
noticed that, although in sections 1 and 2 our author has with 
some pains laid down certain propositions as to the diurnal 
risino;s and settinii's of the stars, and referred to certain signs as 
occurring at those times, he nowhere explains what those signs 
are. In fact, he has told us nothing to Avhich those propositions 
lead ; the work would be equally complete without them. In 
sections 7 and 8 the setting of the Pleiades is referred to ; but 
that is the annual, not the diurnal, settino;. So also the risings 
of Sirius and Arcturus referred to in section 23 are the annual 
risings. Again in section 57 there is a general reference to 
" indications of the times of the appearance of stars ; " but this 
is the annual, not the diurnal, reappearance. This latter passage 
indeed seems to indicate that a further portion of the work, in 

* See Appendix, p. 79. 


which such indications were, or were intended to be, dealt with, 
has either been lost, or was never written. 

To appreciate fully the theories upon which these writings 
of Theophrastus are based, or which these writings themselves 
put forward, is difficult at the present day ; and difficult for this 
reason, that it is almost impossible to place ourselves on the 
same standpoint, as men to whom the rotation of the earth 
about the sun was as yet a dream, or a theory to be disclosed 
only to a select few, and to whom the nature of heat, and the 
com})osition of the gaseous, fluid, and solid forms of matter 
which go to make up our world, were absolutely unknown, though 
matters of constant speculation.* We must for the time accept 
(as a basis) the Aristotelian theory that the elemental principles 
(dpxaL) are the four fundamental properties of "Nature," namely? 
"the hot," "the cold," "the dry," and "the moist"; that of 
these the mixture of hot and dry produces fire ; that of hot and 
moist produces air (air being as it were a vapour) ; that of cold 
and dry produces the earth ; and that of cokl and moist produces 
water.f But even this theory, stated in terms apparently so 

* I may apply to my own case the following; words of Lucretius (Bk. i., 
137 — 146), in which he expressed the difficulty of representing even in his 
day the philosophy of Greece to the students of Rome -a difficulty which 
the still greater distance of time and change of thought and expression has 
proportionately increased : — 

" Nee me animi fallit Graiorum obscura reperta 
difficile inlustrare Latinis versibus esse, 
multii novis verbis prjesertim (^uom sit agendum 
propter egestatem linguae et rerum novitatem ; 
sed tua me virtus tameu, et sperata voluptas 
suavis amicitise, quemvis sufferre laborein 
suadet, et inducit noctes vigil are serenas, 
qufereutem dictis quibus et quo carmine demum 
clara tuaj possim prjepandere luniina menti, 
res quibus occultas penitus convisere possis." 
t See Arist. de Generat. II., 3, § 2. It may be useful for future reference 
to tabulate the formula} as follows : - 
Hot + dry — fire (representing physical force). 
Hot + moist = air (representing the gaseous form of matter). 
Cold 4- dry = earth (representing the solid form of matter). 
Cold 4- moist = water (representing the Huid form of matter). 
It must be understood that " moist " does not necessarily in itself involve 


simple, it is difficult for us really to grasp, so foreign is it to our 
habits of thought founded on more accurate knowledge. But it 
may be tliat underlying it, or attempted to be thereby expressed, 
is the proposition that all " matter " is in itself homogeneous and 
of one simple substance, and that what are known to us of 
the present day as elementary bodies differ, as between them- 
selves, not in essence, but as being forms of the same one 
elemental matter presented to us under conditions varying in 
each case, and due to the action of physical forces acting in 
combination or opposition ; and that, as a consequence, each of 
such elementary bodies is by a due variation of the conditions 
resoluble into, or interchangeable with, each and every of the 

Indeed, this proposition is almost stated in terms in Arist., 
Met., i., 3, when he says that " fire, air, water, and earth are all 
" derivable from each other ; and each of them pre-exists 
" potentially in each of the others." 

Adopting then for this purpose this theory of the elemental 
properties of nature, we must now proceed to state briefly the 
Aristotelian theory of the origin of wind, and what " a wind " 
was understood to be. 

This we learn principally from Aristotle's Meteorologica, lib. i., 
cap. 4 & 13, and lib. ii., caj). 4. To have translated these 
passages at length would have added too much to the bulk of 
this work. I have therefore set out only the more important 
propositions, paraphrasing the greater part to render them more 
intelligible, but giving (as quotations) such parts as I thought 
necessary to treat more literally. 

The initial principle (dpx^) of Avind is " fire ; " but by " fire " 
we are to understand not mere combustion, but a force capable 
of modifying the conditions of matter, and imposing on the 
modified particles of matter the tendency to ascend from the 
earth's surface towards that outermost region or envelope of 
our svstem, which is the habitat of fire. The manner of modi- 

the idea of dampness due to the presence of water. It rather represents 
"fluidity," being the property common to air and to water; but still a 
fluidity the opposite of " dryness " and not the opposite of "solidity." 


fication is dva^v/Atao-is, which, for want of a better English 
word, I have translated " sublimation." When the subject of 
modification is matter in a fluid state (or the "moist") the 
modified form is " vapour" (dr/xts) ; and in analogy to this, when 
the subject of modification is in the solid state the modified form 
is "smoke" (KaTrvos), and, for want again of a better word (as well 
in Greek as in English), this term is applied to the result of all 
sublimation other than vapour. And so there are two kinds of 
" sublimation ; " one the moist or " vaporiform" (dTjai8w87?s), the 
other the dry or " f umif orm " (KaTrvwST^s). But " the moist " 
does not exist without " the dry," nor " the dry " without " the 
" moist ; " but the excess of the one over the other determines 
the quality of the form. 

" As the sun moves in its orbit it draws up the moist when it 
" approaches ; but as it recedes, the vapour which has been 
" drawn up is again condensed by the cold into water." This 
is in fact the moist sublimation which, owing to the excess of 
the moist over the dry, is the " principle " of " water in the 
" form of rain." The " dry sublimation " is the principle and 
physical origin of all the winds. 

Some say that what is called the air, when it is in a state of 
motion and flux, is wind ; and this same matter when solidified 
is cloud and rain ; and that physically rain and wind are the 
same ; and wind is a movement of air ; and all the winds 
are but one wind; and they do not differ from each other, 
although by reason of the difference of the places from and to 
which they blow they seem to be different. But this is all 
wrong ; for one might just as well say that all rivers are but 
one river. But our notion of a river is not merely a quantity 
of water, however great, flowing just anyhow ; but it must have 
a spring in a particular place for its source, and it must have a 
defined channel. So each wind, whether the N. or the S. or any 
other wind, has its particular place of origin and its defined 
direction ; and they are not merely disturbances of the whole 
air, or convertible into each other. 

Now, the air is derived from vapour and smoke.* Vapour is 

* See also Arist. de Generatione II., 3, § 2. 


moist and cold ; smoke is hot and dry ; and these two contribute 
(KaOuTrep e/< (rvixfSoXwv, not crv/A/3oAwv) to the formation of air 
which is moist and hot, or, stating it as a formula, 

" Vapour" = moist + cold ; 

" Smoke " = hot + dry ; 

" Air " = moist + hot. 
In the formation of air (and so of wind) there must therefore 
be an excess of moist in the " vapom%" and an excess of hot 
in the " smoke." Sublimation goes on more or less continuously, 
varying in amount; and the vaporiform sublimation is sometimes 
greatly in excess, and at other times the dry and f umif orm ; and 
hence arise the variations, in different seasons and between 
different places, between droughts and rains, calms and winds ; 
the forms of sublimation being interchangeable and variable 
both as to time and as to place. 

After showers, a wind generally occurs where the showers 
have been ; and winds drop when rain has come ; and it must 
needs be so, on the principles already stated. For when it has 
rained, the earth, beginning to dry up under the influence of 
the heat within and the heat above, is in a state of sublimation ; 
and this {i.e., the combination of hot and di-yj we have seen to 
be the " body " (o-w/Aa) or " material '' {vX-q) of wind. 

A wind then is an excess of the dry sublimation from the 
earth set in motion around the earth ; and the origin of its 
movement is from above ; the origin of its matter and its 
production is from below.* 

From these passages we learn the following propositions : — 
first, that the winds are separate and distinct entities flowing in 
definite courses, and not mere movements of the same air 
hither and thither ; secondly, that to produce wind, matter has 
to be formed, and the more matter the greater the wind ; and 
this " matter " is derived from the earth, and is distinct from 

* This is sufficiently accurate for the present purpose; but to render it 
intelligible if rendered in the strict language of Aristotelian philosophy, it 
would be necessary to go into the subtleties of the movent principle and the 
generative principle in a manner far outside the scope of the present work. 


vapour ; and just as in the case of " moist sublimation," when 
the involved heat is discharn;ed in the hio-her regions of our 
system, the remaining matter becomes solidified as rain ; so in 
the case of dry sublimation, when the involved heat is similarly 
discharged, the remainino; matter becomes solidified as wind : 
and the motion of wind is due to the over-production of the 
matter, and the necessarily consequent effort to restore 

The difficulty of representing these ideas in our language is 
increased by the fact (familiar to my scholarly readers) that 
our one word " Wind " is a very insufficient equivalent for the 
three Greek words ave/xos, 7rveDyu,a and tttot^. The distinction 
(carefully observed in the works before us) between the ideas 
conveyed by those three words may be to some extent marked 
by speaking of ave/xos as " a Wind ; " or (with the definite 
article) in the plural as " the Winds ; " as being definite con- 
crete entities ; while 7rvevfjt.a is represented by " Wind " in the 
indefinite or abstract ; and ttvo-^ by current or wind movement* 
But the distinction may appear clearer if, regarding (as Aris- 
totle and Theophrastus undoubtedly did) ave^aos (a Wind) as in 
form analogous to a river, we understand Trvev/xa ("Wind") to 
be the stream flowing in that river ; and ttvo-^ as the current or 
movement of the stream. 

I have ill the Appendix attempted to give a review of the 
changes which are to be noticed from the time of the early 
Greek poets down to the middle ages, both in the number of 
recognised distinct winds and in their names, and in the relative 
positions to which they were assigned. 

For the present purpose it is sufficient to say that in order 
to render the translation more readable, I have throughout 
(except in a few instances when the reason for the exception 
is obvious) avoided the use of the Greek names of the winds, 
and in place of such names have spoken of the N. wind, S.E. 
wind, and so on ; but it will be understood from what I have 
said on the subject in the Appendix that, except in the case of 



the winds from the four cardinal points (N. S. E. W.), the 
winds named by Theophrastus are onl}^ more or less approxi- 
mately to be referred to the particular compass points to which 
I have referred them, according to the following table : — 














Pha3nikias or Euronotos 













N. by W. 


The principal editions of the works of Theophrastus are those 
of Schneider (Leipsig, 1818) and Wimmer (Paris, 1866). The 
following translation has been prepared with the help of both 
those editions. Upon the whole I have followed Schneider's 
the more closely ; but have not hesitated to select in particular 
cases whichever reading appeared to me to give the better sense. 
The few instances in which I have departed from both will 
be found duly noticed. 

As both editions afford full information for those who wish to 
enter on a critical study of the text, I have thought it unneces- 
sary, if not foreign to the object of the present work, to enter 
into such matter. 

Both editions contain also a Latin translation apparently 
drawn from a common source ; but in cases of real difficulty I 
have found it of little service. In such cases the translator 
seems to have contented himself with replacing each Greek 



word by a Latin one, instead of ascertaining the meaning of 
the Greek and clothine; it in a Latin dress. 

For convenience of reference I have retained the numbering 
of the sections as given in those editions, though in some places 
the divisions of the sections do not correspond with the actual 
divisions of the subject matter. This will account for the 
numerals not being always at the beginning of a section. 

Li parting with the congenial labour of many hours taken 
from the intervals of professional work, and handing it over to 
the kindly criticism of English readers, I am conscious that much 
more might have been done on my part towards presenting 
these specimens of early meteorological work in a more attrac- 
tive and perhaps more useful form. But having presumed to 
undertake the task kindly entrusted to my hands, I have no 
right to ask for, though I hope I may receive, consideration for 
such imperfections as may be found in its performance ; and I 
desire to say nothing more of my own share of the work. 

I feel, however, that there may be some, in the latter end of 
this nineteenth century, to whom it may seem futile and out-of- 
date to have thus unearthed the speculations of an Athenian 
philosopher of a bye-gone age ; and who, satisfied with a 
cursoiy perusal of the following pages, may dismiss them with 
contempt, as unworthy of consideration by disciples of the 
modern school. To these I would say this : — The brightness of 
the noonday sun has never shone upon us, but it has first been 
preceded by the grey light of the growing dawn, little as many 
of us may know of, or care for, the beauty of those earlier hours. 
No great river has ever rolled itself on into the mighty sea, but it 
has first, scarcely seen or thought of, groped its way in the shade 
and obscurity of the mountain beds that enclose its tiny rills, 
and then by degrees " slowly broadened down," until at last its 
swelling waters teem with the busy works of men, who, accus- 
tomed day by day to look on it in its fulness, and accept its aid 
as a matter of course, little think of the far-off and small but 
necessary beginnings Avhich have conduced to such an end. So, 
too, in the case of science, there must be beginnings. How far 
from the beginning Tlieophrastus was — how near to the end we 


are — who shall sayl Let us never forget the debt we owe to 
those who first set flowing the streams of knowledge which have 
united and widened out into the fuller possessions we enjoy ; or 
suppose that without the early labours of such pioneers into the 
dark recesses of the mysteries of nature, we could ever have 
walked firmly along the broad highway that seems to us so 
plain and smooth. 

It may, indeed, be that the more we study such Avorks as those 
before us, the more we shall find that there are, in them, 
treasures of thought, of observation, and of expression which 
may yet enrich us, if we will but use thein ; or may again read, 
in the mistakes of the past, a warning that, as then, so in the 
present, the finest and most highly trained of human intellects 
are capable of error ; or at least we shall learn something of a 
sympathy and a fellowship, unbroken throughout the ages of 
time, arisino; from the common desire that links the labours of 
the Lyceum to the labours of to-day — the desire to Know — a 
desire which, manifesting itself in the earliest moments of the 
history of our race, has ever remained, and will remain, unsatisfied 
and insatiable until at last (if I may borrow the language of 
a master of modern literature) "Our tiny cockboat of knowledge 
" is swallowed up in the mighty ocean of God's Truth." 

J. G. W. 

115, Sutherland Avenue, W. 

May, 18H. 


— BKX>*<X)-<i 

From wliat elements, in what manner, and through what causes 1 
the physical constitution of the winds derives its origin has been 
already considered.^ We must now endeavour to show that 
each wind is accompanied by forces and other conditions in due 
and fixed relation to itself ; and that such conditions in fact 
differentiate the winds one from another. 

Now, the differences that exist involve, and consist of, such 
conditions as the following : — for instance, greater or less 
volume, cold, heat, or (in more general terms) storm or calm, 
wet weather or clear weather ; and, again, their frequency or 
infrequency ; their occurrence season by season, or not at all 
seasons ; and whether they are continuous and uniform, or 
intermittent and variable. In a word, they involve every 
condition that arises in the heavens, the air, the earth, and the 
sea by reason of the blowing of the wind. Our enquiries in 
fact follow the same lines and concern the same matters as do 
the studies of animals and plants. 

Now, as each wind has its own particular place of origin, and 2 
this is, as it were, of its essence, it is from this that the 
distinctive features and peculiar forces of each generally arise ; 
such as, in the first place, the greater or less volume ; higher or 
lower temperature ; greater or less amount, and [secondly] the 
majority of other physical conditions. 

Winds fi'om opposite quarters have, at the same time, both 

^ See Introduction, p. 10. 


identical and opposite characteristics ; and there is no incon- 
sistency in this. Take, for instance, the N. wind and the S. 
wind. They both are strong winds, and blow longer than any 
otliers ; and this is because the greatest amount of air is 
compressed towards the North, and towards the South ; those 
parts being to the right and the left of the path of the sun, 
from its rising to its setting; for here' the air is expelled by 
the power of the sun ; and so the air [there] has the greatest 
density, and the greatest amount of cloud. A great quantity of 
air being thus collected at each point, a greater and more 
continuous flow of air thence occurs with greater frequency; 
and from these causes, these winds derive volume, continuance 
and duration, and other such conditions. 

But the coldness of the one, and the heat of the other, 
appear to be most clearly due to the place of origin of the 
particular wind ; for the Northern parts of the world are cold ; 
the Southern parts warm ; and the air that flows from either 
quarter has the corresponding character. Now, the less open 
the surrounding district is, so in proportion is the current less 
diffuse ; while that which is borne through a narrow space and 
with more violence is colder ; but that which is poured abroad 
into the wider space beyond becomes more moderate in its rate 
of motion.^ For which reason also the S. wind is colder there 
than it is with us ; and even, as some say, colder than the N. 

- That is in the path of the sun. 

^ And therefore less cold. See this idea further elaborated in §§ 19, 59 
below. The foundation of it seems to be that a wind starts from a point, 
and therefore at first occupies a small space ; but broadens out as it proceeds. 
If that were the case a continually decreasing part of what was in its origin a 
S. wind would continue such ; while the rest would be constantly radiating 
off to the right and left. Tlie difficulties with which such a theory is fraught 
are too obvious for further discussion. 

' Theophrastus here endeavours to solve the question put, but not answered, 
in Arist., Probl. xxvi., 16. 


But the change [in its temperature] makes itself more 
appreciable as the ])lace is warm to begin with. 

Indeed this [\'ariability] is common pi'actically to all winds. 4 
Whether the wind from either [of two opposite quarters] 
produces wet or clear weather, whether it is squally or steady, 
recurrent or continuous, uneven or even, or again its intensity 
in one case at its commencement, in another as it ceases, are 
matters which are more directly referable to the distance apart 
of the places [of origin and of observation]. For wherever any 
particular wind blows from, there it is accompanied by clear 
w^eather ; but to whatever place it impels the air there it is 
accompanied by clouds and rain. This is the reason why the 
N. wind, and even more so the monsoon, brings rain to those 
who live towards the South and the sunrising ; while the S. 
wind, and generally speaking all winds which blow from that 
quarter, bring rain to those who live towards the North. 

And, in this connection, it is not of slight, but of the greatest, 5 
importance that the places [where such effects are observed] 
should have a sufficient elevation. Wherever the clouds strike 
and take up a position, there also is a source of rainfall. For 
which reason, of several places close together, some are wet in 
the presence of some winds ; others in the presence of others ; 
rain how^ever has been elsewhere spoken of at greater length. 

It is from the same cause that the N. wind is strong 
immediately it begins to blow ; while the S. wind is strong as it 
is leaving off ; on which facts is founded the proverbial atlvice 
about sailing."^ For the former immediately as it were attacks 
those who dwell in the North ; but the latter stands far aloof ; 

•' See Arist., Probl. xxvi., 21 & 47. In the latter passage a different reason 
is given. The proverb may be rendered — 

" 'Tis well to sail, 
When the South winds begin to blow, 
And when the North winds fail." 


but when volume has been gathered, then comes the rush from 
afar, although after a longer delay. And so conversely in 
Egypt and places thereabouts the S. wind is strong at the 
beginning ; whence there they reverse the proverb. 

In like manner, with them, the S. wind particularly exhibits 
the characteristics of recurrence, steadiness, continuousness and 
regularity, for such is always the character of each wind among 
those who are near its place [of origin] ; but when it reaches 
those who are afar, it is irregular and disorganised.^ 

The causes which have been mentioned must be understood 
to be the causes of these latter facts as well ; and they are 
plainly active even in other places of less extent and less distant 
from each other [than Greece and -Egypt] ; although this might 
seem unlikely. [But it is not so really] ; for the S. wind is 
always accompanied by clear weather in the place of its origin ; 
but the N. wind, whenever there is a great storm, produces 
cloud in the parts near [its place of origin], but clear weather 
beyond. And the cause of this is, that by reason of its force it 
sets in motion a great quantity of air ; but the congelation 
produced by it takes place before it can effect the propulsion of 
the air so set in motion, and the clouds remain fixed by reason 
of their weight ; and so the force of the wind, rather than its 
low temperature, is passed on to the parts beyond, and further 
in advance ; and produces the result we have mentioned. The 
S. wind on the other hand having substance'' to a less degree, 
and not congealing it, but propelling it, brings clear weather to 
those near its place of origin ; but it is always more rainy 
beyond, and blows with force rather when ceasing, than when 
commencing, because it propels before it only little air at the 
beginning, but more as it advances f and the air, by being 

« See above note C) ou § 3. Here, as just before, the author is using a 
military metaphor. 
■^ See Introduction, p. 15. 
* This seems entirely inconsistent with the argument in § 3. 


gathered together, becomes cloudy, and by condensation becomes 

Moreover, it makes a difference whether the active principle' 
at the beginning be greater or less ; for when that is small, the 
wind is accompanied by clear weather ; and when it is great, it 
produces cloudy and wet weather ; because [in the latter case] 
it compresses together a greater volume of air. 

Now, they say that it is not true, but false, that the S. wind 8 
[as some assert] ^° does not blow at all in that part of Egypt 
which is near the sea, nor for the space of a day and a night's 
journey therefrom, while it blows fresh in the parts above ISlem- 
phis, and likewise in places as far from the sea as the distance 
just mentioned. However, it clearly does not blow as much 
there, but less ; " and the reason of this is, that lower Egypt 
lies low and flat; so that there the wind may pass overhead, 
while Upper Egypt is more elevated. Indeed the proximity 
of its place of origin demands that the force of the winds should 
be exhibited there ; for, such })lienomena as these, which happen 
according to the course of nature, are mostly referable to local 

And these Avinds continue throughout accompanied by cloudy 
weather, or by fine weather (as the case may be), according to 
what has just been said. 

The proposition that the N. wind succeeds the S. wind, but 9 
that the S. wind does not succeed the N. wind, must be con- 
sidered with reference to the principle which assigns particular 

« See Introd., p. 13. 

^° Tliis was assumed as a fact, and the cause of the supposed fact enquired 
for in Arist., Probl. xxvi., 46. 

^1 I adopt Schneider's and Wimmei's reading, ov [xyp' tcrcos ye, aXX ^Xarrov 
TTvci. for the common reading ov fxrjv akXd ye eAarroF ttvcI. which, however, 
Wimmer has followed in his translation, " Verumtamen fortasse remissius 
tantum spirat," or, " However it may be that it only blows less." 


phenomena to particular localities. For this law operates with 
us, and generally with all those who live towards the North ; 
but with those who live towards the South the converse takes 
place. The cause, however, is the same in both cases. For to 
the former the N, wind is close at hand ; and so is the S. wind 
to the latter ; so that they produce sensation directly that 
they begin to blow; but make their way slowly to parts 
farther on. 

10 Xow, the Northerly and Southerly winds being, as has been 
said,^^ the most frequent, each of them is subject to a fixed 
rule, as it were, determining the periods during which they 
generally blow" in regular order. The N. winds blow both in 
Winter and Summer, and in the late Autumn until just before 
the close. ^^ Southerly winds blow in Winter and at the com- 
mencement of Spring, and the end of the late Autumn. For 
the motion of the sun co-operates wdth each, and equilibrium is 
restored^* by the air flowing back again. For, whatever amount 
of air may have been expelled [by N. winds] during the Winter 
(and the N. winds generally blow then more frequently than 
the S. winds) and again before Summer by the monsoons ^^ and 
succeeding winds, it is given back to these parts in the Spring 
and at the close of the late Autumn, and about the setting of 

11 the Pleiades in due course. And so it is that the very fact, 
the assumed non-existence of which has caused some to wonder 
why it is that there are monsoons from the North but not also 

^- Cf. § 2 above. Also in Arist., Met. ii., 4, it is said, " The N. winds and 
the S. winds occur most frequently of all." 

" The passage as to the duration of the N. wind is lost in the original; 
but I have adopted Schneider's restoration of the missing portion. 

^' More literally "compensation takes place." 

^^ I have for convenience adopted this word as an equivalent for iTycriaL, 
" the annual winds " ; but it is not to be understood that these had all the 
other characteristics of the true monsoon, besides that of annual recurrence. 
They were N. winds. 


from the South, appears really to happen. For the S. winds 
of the Spring (which they call " white S. winds " from their 
being usually accompanied by clear weather) are, as it were, 
monsoons; but at the same time, by reason of their being 
removed far off from us, they have not been recognised as such ; 
while the N. wind is immediately present to us. 

We will now consider the nature of the Monsoon. 

Why it blows at this particular season, and for a particular 
number of days, and why it ceases as the day closes in, and 
almost universally does not blow at night, are to be explained on 
the following principles. The movement of the air is caused 
by the melting of the snow. When, then, the sun begins to 
break up the frost, and acquire the mastery, the " precursors " 
blow; and then follows the monsoon. And the cause of its 12 
ceasing with the decline of the sun, and not blowing at night, 
is that the snow^ ceases to thaw as the sun goes down, and does 
not melt at all at night when the sun has set. However, [the 
monsoon] does blow sometimes [at night] when the thaw has 
been greater than usual ; for this must be taken to be the cause 
of this exceptional occurrence. For at one time it is strong, 
and continuous ; at another weaker and intermittent ; and this 
is because the thaw is irregular. And the moment varies as 
the mass of matter.^*^ And it may be that this irregularity is 
due to local causes, such as proximity and distance and other 

If, then, it is true (as some and particularly the dwellers in 13 
Crete say) that the winters are more severe, and more snow falls 
than formerly — (as proof of -which they allege that formerly 
the hills w^ere inhabited and produced both corn and fruit, the 

" This seems to be a quotation from some mathematical work. See Introd., 
page 15, as to vXt], or " matter." 


land having been planted and cultivated for that purpose ; that 
there are in fact on the hills of the Ida range and on others, 
plateaus of considerable extent of which now-a-days they culti- 
vate not one, because they are unproductive ; while formerly 
as has been said they not only cultivated them, but also dwelt 
upon them so that the Island had a large population ; and that 
at that time showers occurred, but much snow and storm did 
not) — if, I repeat, this is true which they allege, it fol- 
lows that the monsoon also has greater duration [now than 

14 But if the monsoon did ever fail altogether, and Aristaeus (as 
they tell us in the Mythologies) regained it by performing those 
celebrated sacrifices to Zeus in Keos,^*^ it would follow that the 
parts exposed to the weather were not then so subject, as they 
are now, to shower and to snow. But if rain and snow are 
liable to variations, either subject or not subject to some fixed 
law, there would be, synchronously with these variations, 
cessation and mutation of the winds. 

And it would seem strange if those in the South had not 
some such relief as this, year by year; considering that their 
situation is so much hotter. 

This then is plain except .... the fruit; .... some are 
beforehand; others are insensible. These matters must be 
enquired into.^^ 

f5 Now if the genesis of all the winds be the same, and be 

^■^ Cf. Arist., Met. ii., 5, where it is maintained that the monsoon was caused 
by the melting of the snow after the summer solstice. Hence it would follow 
that the more the snow the greater the amount of liquefaction, and the 
greater the consequent air-movement. 

"* The story of Aristseus and the bees, in Virg. Georg., Bk. iv., is familiar. 
That of his regaining the mild climate of Keos will be found in Apolloniua 
Rhodius, Argon ii., 5U0 et seq. 

" This passage is mutilated; and what is left is apparently corrupt. It 
seema hopeless to attempt to restore it. 


produced by the same agents throufrli the acquisition of some 
matter, tlie sun would probably be that which produces them. 
But perhaps that is not absolutely true ; but rather that 
sublimation-" is the producing cause, and the sun is, as it were, 
the co-operative. But the sun appears both to set the winds in 
motion, and to lull them to rest, at its rising ; and so [at that 
time] they often increase or die away. This however is not 
universally true ; but in whatever cases it happens, the following 
must be understood to be the cause. Whenever the sublimed 
moisture is less than a certain amount, this the sun overpowers 
and absorbs ; and so causes the wind to cease ; but when it is 
in excess, it makes the movement of the wind more violent by 
the addition of its own impulse. 

Sometimes also at sunset the sun makes the wind to cease, by 16. 
withdrawing the repulsive motion Avhich it gave earlier [in the 
day]. And it is clear that this motion has a due proportion [to 
the force of the sun] ; so that on the one hand it does not 
become spent too soon ; and on the other hand the wind is not 
kept longer in motion by it [than while the sun is above the 

But there is nothing to prevent some winds from blowing 
even more as the sun goes down ; such for instance as those 
winds which are restrained by heat, and as it w^ere dried up and 
burnt up by it.-^ And so at noon, for the most part, [the 
movements of such winds] ^^ lose their force ; but gather 
strength as the sun goes down. 

The moon produces the same results ; but not in the same i"/ 
degree ; for it is as it wei'c a sun of low power ; for which 
reason also the endings and beo-innino's of the lunar months are 

2° See Introd., p. 14. 

-1 Cf. the seaman's expression, "the sun is eating up the wind." 

^^ TTVoat, subaud. 


more terrible at night, and are more stormy [than other parts of 
the month].-'' 

Thus then it happens that winds sometimes rise, sometimes 
fall, at sunrise ; and similarly at sunset ; for sometimes it stops 
them altogether ; and sometimes it, as it were, lets them loose. 
And it would be w^ell to consider whether these phenomena 
happen according to a regular concurrence,^* as is the case with 
phenomena which are to be observed at the risings and settings 
of the stars. 

18 And from the same cause it is that calms occur very fre- 
quently both at midnight and at noon ; for if it happens that 
the air under such conditions at one time conquers, and at 
another is conquered by, the sun. At midnight it conquers, 
because the sun is then most distant ; at noon it is conquered ; 
but whether conquering or conquered it comes to a halt ; and a 
halt is a calm.^-' 

It is a fact also that the cessations of winds occur according 
to a law. For the winds begin to blow either at dawn or at 
sunset ; and those which begin from dawn cease whenever 
they are conquered ; and they are conquered about mid-day ; 
but those which be£i;in from sunset cease whenever the sun 
ceases to have power ; and that happens at midnight. 

^g Now if some marvel, as at an inexplicable fact, that winds, 

2^ Cf. Weather signs, § 5, infra., p. 54. 

^* The words Kara avfXTTTWfxa, which I have translated "according to a 
regular concurrence," are translated by Schneider and others by " fortuito," 
i.e., " by chance "; a meaning which no doubt the words will bear, but which 
the context shows to be here inapplicable. The risings and settings of stars 
do not happen " by chance," but synchronize with other events. Our author, 
far from suggesting that the varying phenomena he has described are the 
product of chance, here proposes as a matter for future investigation whether 
they do or not concur or synchronize with other phenomena. The exact 
equivalent of cru/xTTTw/xa is " coincidence," which primarily means "liHppen- 
ing together." The idea of chance now usually connected with that word is 
due to a modern and secondary meaning which it has acquired. 

^' The language throughout is that of military metaphor which I have 
sought to preserve. 


although they are caused by the impulse of the sun, and, in a 
word, by heat, should be cold, that which seems to them inexpli- 
cable is not a fact at all. For the wind is to be attributed not 
to the sun simply, but to the sun as, as it were, a co-ordinate 
cause ; nor is it true that movement produced by heat is in 
all circumstances accompanied by heat and fiery ; but [it is so] 
if it occurs in a particular way. For wlien a discharge is in 
the mass and in immediate contact with the discharging agent, 
it is hot. But when it takes place little by little, and through 
some narrow channel, then although it is hot in itself, yet the 
air set in motion by it renders the discharge such [as regards 
temperature] as the air itself may happen to have been in the 
first instance. 

The breath from the mouth is a sufficient example of this. 20 
Some say it is both hot and cold ; but they are wrong. It is 
always warm ; the difference is in the manner of emission and 
escape. For when the mouth is agape, and the breath is sent 
out in a volume, it is warm ; but if it comes out through a 
narrow opening with more force, and repels the air next to it, 
and that repels the air next beyond, then if these latter are 
cold, the current and motion becomes cold also. The same 
thing happens also in the case of the winds. For when the 
first movement is through a narrow space, the wind itself is not 
cold at first ; but whatever may happen to be the condition, as 
regards heat and cold, of the air set in motion by it, such it 
becomes ; if there was heat, it becomes hot ; if there was cold, 
it becomes cold. For this reason winds are warm in Summer 
but cold in Winter. For according to the particular season 
such is the air.-'' 

-" I fear it must be admitted that the argument of this and the preceding 
section is almost puerile, and is certainly fallacious. There is obviously no 
analogy between the difference in temperature of the breath, in the one case 


21 It is clear where by reason of the .... it happens to be 
as it were burnt up. For if where .... wind and desire 
.... liot or cold nevertheless .... difference of the 
air .... such as it may be and it appears to be.^'' .... And 
in the actual places of its origin and those adjacent, the 
current becomes hot ; but as we advance further, it is not so to 
the like extent. Sometimes also a wind coming to us from 
other parts, if it be from torrid places and such as have a close 
and burnt up air, appears excessive in its heat. For which 
reason travellers on the road, and men engaged in the harvest, 
often die, by reason of such winds, in the fields and in close 
suffocating places ; partly from the air which was there before 
operating together with the other, and partly from the excess 
produced by the current and influx.^^ 

22 The following consideration shows that this wind-movement 
of the air is not simply due either to its being set in motion by 
itself, or to its being forced into motion by heat. If it were set 
in motion by itself alone, then as it is cold by nature, and of 
the character of vapour, the motion would be downwards ; but 
if by heat alone the motion would be upwards ; for that is 
the natural direction of fire. But, as a fact, the motion is as it 

expelled from the lungs when it has been warmed, and in the other merely- 
taken into the mouth to be at once expelled, and the difference in the tem- 
perature of the winds. That wind feels colder when passed through a 
narrow opening, producing what we call a draught, is simply due to its 
physical effect upon our bodies. It is as a fact not actually colder at all. 
And the narrow space or opening which our author requires the wind to 
pass through in order to lower its temperature, exists only, of course, in his 
imagination, which suggested to him that a wiud, starting from some par- 
ticular point in space or on the earth's surface, necessarily moves at first 
within a confined area. The fallacy too is that he fails to give any reason for 
the heat or the cold, as the case may be, of the air set in motion by the initial 
movement. The premises are so far removed from what we know to be the 
facts, that it is difficult to follow the argument or understand the conclusions. 

^" This passage is hopelessly mutilated and corrupt. 

^'^ This passage is incomplete in the text ; but the meaning is fairly clear 
from what precedes. 


were compounded of both ; for the reason that neither can 
[entirely] overcome the other.-"' 

To tliis universally general principle, that such as is the air, 23 
or the state of "sublimation" in particular places, such will be 
the winds in regard to cold, the following facts bear further 
testimony. All such winds as blow from rivers and lagoons are 
cold, because of the dampness of the air. For as the sun fails 
[by its inability to pierce the mist] the air becomes colder and 
the mist at the same time more dense, particularly if the latter 
arises close by. So that whenever it strikes the body, a sort of 
shivering is produced. 

On this account also hollow places, and such as are well 24 
sheltered from external winds, are chilled by winds arising 
locally. For the air raised by the sun has neither the natural 
capacity, nor the power, to remain stationary ; and so is borne 
along and produces a current. And therefore breezes from 
rivers and lagoons, and generally such as blow off the land, 
blow at dawn, when the mist is cooling down from the failure of 
heat. For it is reasonable that this kind of breeze should arise 
particularly from calm. And they blow still more when there 
are drizzling rains and moderate showers ; for then there is 
additional matter everywhere for their production ; and breezes 
off the land particularly occur after such conditions. 

^' This reasoning is very unsatisfactory. If two forces act in opposite 
directions, one vertically upwards, and one vertically downwards, the result, 
if the forces are equal, is equilibrium; if unequal, the resultant is vertically 
upwards or downwards, according to the direction of the greater force. To 
produce a horizontal movement two forces must either act both horizontally 
(whether in the same or in opposite directions), or else must both act 
obliquely to the horizontal at angles proportionate to the measure of the 
forces respectively. Bat the upward force due to heat must be vertically 
upwards ; for there is no reason why it should incline in either direction. 
And so also the downward force due to cold must be vertically downwards. 
Therefore no wind movement arising from heat and cold, acting as Theo- 
phrastus suggests, could be in a horizontal, or in fact, in any other than a 
vertical direction. 


25 The Nile is the only river from which breezes do not appear 
to blow ; or if they do, they are very slight, and the reason is 
that both the place from which, and the place to which, it 
flows are warm; and breezes exist when moisture is condensing. ^"^ 
For which reason also, in no circumstances do breezes come 
from any one of the rivers in Libya. For they are warm 
throughout, and it is certain that the same is the case with 
the rivers about Babylon and Suza, and tropical places 
generally. And yet they say that the air becomes marvellously 
chilled there towards dawn. This certainly must be enquired 
into ; for it may be that although the air does become cold, yet 
it cannot advance and cause a breeze, because the places Avhich 
would at once receive it are hot.^^ 

26 The "alternating winds" are produced by the land breeze 
and similar breezes; the damp air being gathered together. 
For the alternatino; wind is a sort of reflux of the wind, like the 
reflux of the water in tidal straits. For when it is gathered up 
and has acquired volume, it changes again to the contrary 
direction. These winds occur mostly in valleys, and where 
" off-shore " breezes bloAv. There is good reason for both these 
facts. For in valleys the air as it pours in will be collected; 
but in open places it is dispersed. Winds too from the land 
are naturally weak; so that they cannot force their way far. 
And the reflex action is in proportion to the duration and force 
with which the winds off the land blow; and it corresponds with 
them also as to the time of its occurrence, according as these 
winds blow later or earlier. 

'" i.e., all parts of the river being equally warm there is no place for 
condensation; and consequently uo "material" {vX-q) for the production of 

^^ I suppose that our author means that the heat of the places in immediate 
proximity to the river would "restrain and dry up" (see § 16) auy breeze 
that started from the river ; and so in fact it would be imperceptible at any 
distance from the river. 


There is also a sort of rebound of the winds, so that they 21 
blow back against themselves, when they fail to surmount the 
places against which they blow by reason of the superior height 
of such places. Thus it ha])pens that clouds arc sometimes 
borne, by an under-current, in directions contrary to the winds. 
As for instance in ^-Egaja of Macedonia, the clouds are carried 
towards the North, while the N. wind is blowing. The reason 
of this is that, the hills around Olympus and Ossa being high, 
the winds fall on and do not surmount them, but are turned 
back in the opposite direction; so that the clouds, being at a 
lower level, are also carried''- in the contrary direction. The 
same thing happens in other places as well.'^^ 

■ Sometimes also, just before the monsoon, contrary winds 25 
blow in the opposite direction to the [then prevailing] N. wind 
by a reversal of the latter; so that by means of them the ships 
make a return voyage; as happens in fact on the passage from 
Chalkis to Oropus;^* and these winds they call "return N. 

^- The common reading cjiipovcn, aud Schneider's suggestion of (pepovrat, 
are equally wrong. It must be (^eperai. 

^^ I have frequently observed thai when a strong east wind is blowing 
across the Severn Valley towards aud over the Malvern Hills, the wind is 
imperceptible on the eastern slopes themselves, about 900 or 1000 feet below 
the summit. 

^' The voyage from Chalkis on the W. coast of Euboea to Oropus near the 
mouth of the Asopus in the N.E. corner of Attica takes a direction nearly 
N. and S. down the Euripus. This passage and several other references 
indicate a close acquaintance on the part of our Author with the Island of 
Euboea; and it is not uninteresting to remember that Aristotle retired to 
Chalkis in B.C. 323 to escape the malice of his detractors at Athens, and there 
he shortly afterwards died. AVe can easily suppose, without undue specula- 
tion, that Theophrastus often made the very voyage he here describes from 
Oropus (the port nearest to Athens for the purpose) to Chalkis to visit his 
great master in his last days, returning again by the aid of the " return north 
wind " to supply his place at the Lyceum. 

Dr. Donaldson almost scorns to notice "the absurd story" that Aristotle 
committed suicide by drowning himself in the Euripus because he could not 
discover the cause of the seven tides there; and I only mention it to suggest 
that the tidal phenomena in question may have had a connection unsuspected 
by Theophrastus with the reversal of the wind. Often in past years have I 


winds"; and this especially happens when the winds are very 
fresh; for they can make the longest reach at times when the 
reverse wind has full power. 

Sometimes also it happens that, by striking on a resisting 
object, the wind is parted so that it flow^s hither and thither ; 
even as water flowing from one and the same opening is divided 
by an obstacle into two streams. 

29 Altogether there are numerous changes in the winds produced 
by local causes ; particularly the becoming more violent, or more 
calm, according as they blow through a limited, or an open space. 
For that Avhich blows through a limited space is always more 
violent and fresh ; just like a stream of water ; for when 
collected it has more force and propulsive power ; for which 
reason, when elsewhere there is a calm, there is always a wind 
in narrow gorges ; for the air cannot remain there by reason of 
its quantity ; and the movement of air is wdnd. So also when 
the winds are shut in, or meet in narrow passages and gateways, 
they blow with keenness; and windows always draw and produce 
a current. Of all these and such like phenomena there is one 
and the same cause, namely that which has been mentioned. 

SO Again, some places by reason of their situation in valleys, and 
being surrounded by greater elevations, happen to be entirely 
free from winds, although they are near, or nearer than other 
places, to the sources of the winds ; while those that are further 
off are windy ; as happens in Thessaly and Macedonia at the 
time of the monsoon. For it does not blow at all, practically, 
in these parts ; but it blows freshly enough in the far distant 
Islands. And the reason is that the former places lie in valleys 
and are well sheltered ; but the Islands have nothing to oppose 

watched at Chepstow the cessation of a storm, the clearing of the weather, or 
tlie shift of the wind coincideutly with the beginning of the ebb of the great 
(though generally misrepresented and exaggerated) tides in the Wye. 


the current of the wind. And tlie monsoon, and generally 
every wind, is prevented from blowing either by distance (for it 
cannot extend further by reason of the length of the course), 
or by the interposition of some objects ; or thirdly, if a wind ot 
local origin blows the other way with more force. 

Now that the rising of the monsoon, and the blowing of the 31 
alternating winds over Macedonia, occur simultaneously at a 
particular time, must be considered as due to some connecting 
cause,'^' For the winds everywhere cease at mid-day by reason 
of the sun ; but rise aijain as the afternoon comes on. And it 
happens tluit both the rising of the alternatuig winds against 
the off-the-land winds, and the rising again of the monsoon 
take place at the same period. For I suppose we must not 
credit the rebound of the wind from Olympus and Ossa with 
causing the monsoon unless'"' .... or very moderate. How- 
ever we must endeavour accurately to ascertain in all cases the 
connecting causes of concurrent phenomena. 

There is another matter which might appear strange and 32 
unaccountable ; that is, why it is that among elevated places, 
those which face a particular wind do not experience that wind 
at all ; but those which are sheltered from a particular wind do 
feel it, and that not to a moderate extent but severely. For 
instance, Platasa of Boeotia lies towards the North, and there 
the N. wind is but a lio;ht air ; but the S. wind is strono; and 
stormy, although Kitha^ron'^'' stands as a barrier before the 
place. Again, before the monsoon the alternating winds pass 
by the low^ lyii^g lands of Eubcea; but at Karystos^^ they blow 

'^ See note on § 17. 

^^ This passage is mutilated. 

^" Kitluieron is the W. part of the lofty range that separates Boeotia from 
Megaris and Attica. 

^' Karystos lies almost at the extreme S. of the Euboea protected by hills 
on the N. and E., and is elsewhere open to the sea. 


33 in such a way, that their force is extraordinary. Once more, in 
that part of Kurias^^ which is called Pha3stum, which lies 
towards the South and is high and precipitous, a marvellous 
wave breaks in from the sea ; but there is no wind ; but the 
ships even are anchored to the . . . . ; the parts in the 
neighbourhood having no harbour; and there they can watch 
events. And the reason why the wind does not reach the land 
is that the air [on the land] does not give place, or flow away by 
reason of the height towards .... not surmounting. *" But 
that the air must always move away, and must not remain 
stationary [in order to admit of a wind blowing] is plain. For 
in rooms whenever one closes the [inner] doors, the current of 
air throu£!;h the windows is reduced : for the room being full of 
air, and not providing an exit [for the air already within it], 
does not allow the outer air to enter. For the movement of 
air is towards a void ; and for this reason the expression 
"draught"" is not well used. 

34 But the reason why places sheltered from the N. wind (or 
generally from any particular wind),*^ feel [that] wind more 
[than places not so sheltered] is that the wind is as it were 
piled up, and at last overflows, and falls on the place in a mass ; 
for whenever it falls it comes down in a mass like a cataract. 
And it is in such places that squalls occur; for here are 
swirlings and massing together ; so that when it bursts forth it 
comes down as it were with a blow. For when the wind is 

^' The most southern promontory of Cyprus. 

*° This passage again is mutilated; but the sense is fairly clear. A wind 
is supposed to be blowing out at sea, causing the swell on the shore. Above 
the shore rises a mountain, which prevents the air on and about the coast 
moving away so as to admit of the wind on the sea coming in to the shore. 
The mutilated sentence probably explained that the wind might rise as it 
approached the shore, and surmount the obstruction formed by the mountain 
and the mass of inert air at rest in front of it. 

" Lit. "drawing." Equally inaccurate is our other expression, "suction." 

^^ 1 have here preferred Wimmer's reading to Schneider's. 


massed together, it is violent and non-intermittent ; as also is 
the case witli wliirlwinds. 

Such and tlie like are the occurrences due to local causes. 
But there are many things Avhich occur in many different 
places, to speak of which separately would require a volume. 

The following phenomena have relation to all winds in com- 35 
mon, being such as in each case afford indications when the 
wind is about to blow. 

The air varying in its opacity in proportion to its density or 
rarity, or in proportion to its heat or cold, or in proportion to 
some other condition, always indicates the coming current. 
For the conditions of the air sympathise with the movements of 
the wind, and precede the winds in affecting our senses. 

So also in regard to the sea and waters, it is possible to 
observe the same indications ; since the waves lifting and 
breaking [before the wind comes] indicate that winds are 
coming. But they are propelled not without intermission, but 
at intervals ;^^ and one wave propelled by the wind propels 
another ; and is again propelled by another puff of Avind, when 
the first had died away ; and so being thus constantly propelled 
they arrive at the shore. But when that which is set in motion 
has arrived, it is clear that that which set it in motion will 
presently come. 

It also happens that the waves continue after the winds have 
ceased ; for they die down and fade away later ; because that 
which is more difiicult to set in motion ^^ is also more difficult to 
brino; to a state of rest. 

The following also are common indications of the majority 36 
of winds ; such as the appearance of shooting stars, and the 

" This seems to meau that the waves come in as long rollers, and uot as 
continuous breakers. 

■** The sense requires Sva-KivrjTOTcpov instead of the common reading 


appearance, fading away, and breaking up of parhelia, and 
other such phenomena. For the upper air manifests, by the 
manner in which it is affected, the propagation of the wind 
before [it is perceived below]. 

Again, the blowing with greatest force at the end (which is a 
common feature of most winds) [is an indication to be observed]. 
For when they blow as it were in a mass, there is little left to 

Such then are what have been called common and essential 
characteristics of the winds. 
37 Each wind has its own peculiarities, corresponding to its 
particular nature and position;^'' some of which are attributable 
to the places across which, and to which, their currents are 
directed ; others to their originating causes : and others to other 
such reasons. 

The most striking peculiarities in fact are those of the E.N.E. 
wind (Kaikias) and the W. wind (Zephyros). For the E.N.E. 
wind (Kaikias)^'' alone attracts the clouds towards itself as the 
proverb says : — 

" To himself he gathers alway, as doth Kaikias the clouds." 
S8 The W. wind (Zephyros) is the most gentle of all the winds ; 
and it blows in the afternoon and towards the land, and is cold ; 
and it blows in two seasons of the year only, namely Spring and 
late Autumn. There are places, however, where it blows with 
storm force ; whence the Poet called it "ill-blowing."^" But 
in some places it is moderate and soft ; whence Philoxenus in 
his poems spoke of its " sweet breath." Some fruits also it 
brings to maturity ; others it thoroughly spoils. 

■*' That is, in effect, relatively to the meridian or cardinal points. As to the 
position (^eo-t?) of the several winds, see Appendix, p. 79. 

"' In these places the MSS. have d7rap/<rtas. The mistake is obvious; and 
I have ft)llowed the corrected reading. 

" Cf. Iliad, xxiii., 200 ; Odyssey, v., 295 ; xii., 289. 


The reason [for the peculiarity just mentioned] in the case of 39 
the E.N.E. wind (Kaikias) is, that it is its nature to move in a 
curved Hnc, of which the concave side is towards the sky, and 
not extended over the earth, as in the case of other winds ; for 
this wind Ijlows from below ; and blowing in tliis way towards 
its commencement, it attracts the clouds towards itself. For 
towards whatever ]ioint the current is, thence also is the 
movement of the clouds.^* 

The W. wind (Zephyros) is cold because it blows from the 40 
West, and from the sea and open phiins ; and still more so 
because it blows just after the winter, in spring, when the 
sun is only just actpiiring power; and in late autumn, wdien 
the sun has no longer power. But it is less cold than the N, 
wind because it blows from water in the state of beino; converted 
into Avind;*^ and not from snow in the like state. And it is 
intermittent because the wind as it is produced is not under 
control. For it does not [wait] as winds do on the land [to 
gather substance],^*^' but wanders hither and thither because it 
has come upon"' a moist surface. And it is uniform and soft 
also for this reason ; for it does not blow off hills, nor from 4/ 
snow rapidly thawed ; but it blows easily like [water] flowing 
through a pipe.^^ For the regions of the N. wind and the S. wind 
are mountainous ; but to the West there is neither hill nor land, 
but the Atlantic Ocean ; so tliat it is borne on to [and not from 

*^ I must admit that I have failed to make sense of tliis paragraph. I have 
therefore given a literal translation which agrees with the equally literal 
Latin translations of Schneider and others. Perhaps the real solution is that 
Theophrastus was trying to explain what he did not understand ; with the 
usual result. 

^^ See Introd., p, lo. 

'" The passage is mutilated ; but this is obviously the meaning. Cf. § 24. 

51 Or " from.'' The readings differ. 

'- The readings here are very uncertain, I have done the best I can with 
the passage. 


or over] the land. And it blows in tlie evening, by reason of its 
place of origin ; for all winds are produced concurrently with 
the sun diffusinfj or sublimatino; moisture through, or into the air, 
or co-operating towards their initiation. '^^ Whenever therefore 
the sun arrives at that particular quarter, then also does the 
current from that quarter begin to flow ; and this same W. wind 

42 (Zephyros) ceases at night because the motive force of the sun 
then fails. And it brings the greatest clouds, because it blows 
from the ocean and along the sea, so that it collects them from a 
great space. And it is stormy and " ill-blowing " for the reasons 
already explained ; for it blows after winter while the air is still 
cold. On the other hand the W. wind (Zephyros) of the late 
autumn is not of that character ; unless we predicate storminess 
of a w^ind according to its force ; for it does blow with force in 
some places quite near to others where it has not such force ; 
just as other winds do. And perhaps its stormy character must 
be understood in this way ; ^* and not as being general ; unless 
indeed it be that some writers interchange the names, and call 
what is really Thraskias (or the N.N.W. wind) Zephyros (or 
the W. wind). But this must be further investigated. 

43 Its evenness and softness, where these are present, cause a 
certain grateful sensation as it moves and passes by; so that 
when this is its character, it is pleasant. 

But as to its destroying some fruits, and making others 
thrive; that is true of it as a general proposition; and the same 
thing can be said generally of other winds as well; for a wind 
makes fruit thrive in Summer when it blows cool, and destroys 
it when its blast is hot. And similarly again in Winter and 
Spring, when the wind is cold, it destroys; but when w\arm, it 
nurtures; and so in each case, it exerts a preserving power by 

" Cf. § 19. 

'* i.e. as due to local causes, and not being universally exhibited. 


having a condition of air opposed to that of tlie season. This 
liappens when the wind is from the sea. For the sea is warm in 
Winter, and cohl in Summer;'"'' and for this reason it is that 
the S. wind has this character in some places; as in Argos; and 
the N. wind likewise in other places. 

What we have now said of this W. wind is its ordinary and 44 
common character. But the peculiarities which it exhibits in 
particular places must be examined ; and examined from the 
point of view of the particular situation, and other circumstances 
of the place. For the difference will be found to arise almost 
entirely from local causes. For instance in Italy, Locris^'"' and 
the adjoining country prospers under the W. wind ; because it 
strikes upon it from the sea. But there is another part which 
does not do so well ; and some places are even blasted by it. And 
again, in Crete, Gortyna thrives under it." For it lies spread 
out, and the wind strikes upon it from the sea; but another 
district of that Island on which the wind strikes from off the 
land and off certain hills, is destroyed. And in the Maliac 45 
Gulf ■^'"* it destroys all the seedling crops and the tree fruit ; and 
so too around the Pierian District of Thessaly. The natural 

" This of course is not true absolutely, but relatively only. 

'^ Otherwise called Locri Epizephyrii, which was supposed to be so called 
by some because it was founded by Locrians from Greece, who then went to 
" the re^iou of the W. wind'' ; by others because it was near the promontory 
Zephyrium. But how this promontory got its name, or how our author 
conceived that the W. wind struck upon Locri, it is difficult to imagine, for 
both the promontory and the town lie on that part of the coast of Bruttium 
(the "toe "of Italy), which faces S.E. towards the Ionian sea; and the W. 
wind can reach it only from the Tyrrhenian sea, after crossing Bruttium and 
the range of hills that forms its backbone. 

^' Gortyna lies about the middle of Crete, in the broad valley of the 
Leth.ieus, which runs due W. to the sea. 

^^ The Maliac Gulf (now the Gulf of Zeitoun) forms an inlet from the 
northern end of the strait that separates Eubroa from the mainland. (Eta 
lies due S. of it and is separated from it by the pass of Thermopylae. The 
part of Thessalia called I'ieria lies open to the sea on the western shore of the 
Thermaic Gulf. 


configuration of both these places is the same, and tlie sur- 
roundings are similar ; for both he towards the East, and are 
surrounded by lofty hills; the one by GEta and the hills 
connected therewith ; the other by Pierus. So the W. wind, 
blowing from the quarter where the sun sets at the equinox,^^ 
deflects the warmth which strikes from the sun on the hills, 
and turns it down directly on to the plain, and burns it up. 
And it acts similarly in other places in which such or the 
hke circumstances occur; and the contrary happens in converse 

46 cases. For this, which we repeat again and again, is true 
absolutely ; that it makes a great difference, and especially in 
respect to heat and cold, through what, and from what quarter, 
a wind blows. For instance, the reason why the S. wind is not 
less cold than the N. wind, as the saying is,*'" is that the wind 
passing through air left as yet chilled and damp by the winter, 
must, when it strikes upon us, have the same character as the 
air itself. And the " N.-wind-af ter-mud " which makes a storm, 
as another pi'overb tells us, does so for the same reason ; for 
the air when rendered moist is cold. 

So also are breezes from rivers cold as has been already 

47 The peculiar features of these winds can thus be rationally 

But that winds blow in Winter and in the morning from the 
East, and in Summer and in the afternoon from the West is to 
be explained on the following ground. When the sun attract-, 
ing the air can no longer control it, then the air is released and 
flows along; and so, as it sets, it leaves clouds behind, Avhence 

^' That is to say, from due West. 

"" The siiying appears to be lost. It seems from wliat follows that it 
was limited to the case of the S. wind in spring. The point seems to be a 
different one from that mentioned in § 3. 


flow tlie W. Avinds; and whatever air it draws with it, liecomes, 
to those whose Hve in the lower hemispliere,*" a niorniiiir"- wind; 
and conversely when it sets in the lower hemisphere, it causes 
W. winds there; but to those here, a morning wind from the 
air which follows on with it. 

For this reason also, if the morning wind find another wind 48 
blowing ; it becomes greater ; for it adds to it. 

And as the W. wind is always, and over a considerable 
area, blowing with those who dwell in the West, so do other 
corresponding winds blow with those on the other side of the 
world near our dawn, which is their sunset. These results in 
fact happen under similar conditions to the inhabitants of each 
hemisphere, and the wind-current, just as the rain and other 
phenomena at the extremities of each area, arises according 
to circumstances ; not indeed by any absolute law, but as a 
general rule. 

The S. wind is accustomed to blow at the risino; of Sirius, 
just like any other periodic event. And the reason is that the 
lower part of the atmosphere is heated by the presence of the 
sun; so that much vapour is produced. And these periodic S. 
winds would blow considerably, if they were not prevented by 
the monsoon from so doing; but, as it is, the monsoon prevents 

N. winds arising in the night blow themselves out at the 49 
third day; whence the proverb runs: — 

" A North-wind rising in the night 
Never sees the third day's light ; " 

'^ The " lower hemisphere " does not here mean that below or to the south 
of the equator ; but that hemisphere ou which the sun shines between our 
sunset and our sunrise. 

^^ The Greek word signifies both "of the morning " and " from the dawn 
or east." Either sense is here applicable, as the morning wind is from the 


because the winds that begin from the North in the night are 
weak ; fur it is apparent that the amount set in motion when it 
blows at a time when the heat is but small, cannot be much; 
for little moves little; and they all end in three days; and those 
that are of the least force end early on the third day. 

That this same result does not happen also when the S. wind 
blows as a night wnnd, is to be accounted for by the fact that 
the sun is near the region that lies towards the South, and the 
nights are warmer there, than the days are towards the North ; 
and the amount of air set in motion durinfr the night is ereat : 
in fact not less so than in the daytime. While the hotter the 
days are, the more do they, by drying up the moisture, prevent 
the S. winds blowing. 
50 And it may be that the reason in the case of the N. wind is 
that it bursts all of a sudden as squalls do ; and sudden winds 
quickly cease : 

"For from a weak beginning no great end can come."''^ 
The N. wind is also as a general rule \dolent ; and so is the 
S. wind after snow and hoar frost, whence the proverb : 

" After Frost hoar 
Southern winds roar ; " 
because both [snow and hoar frost] fall when a sort of fermen- 
tation and purification has set in ; and after fermentation and 
purification there is a change to a contrary condition of things : 
and the S. wind is contrary to the N. wind. With this agrees 
the fact that after rain and hail and such like falls, winds drop ; 
for all these, and such as these, are a kind of fermentation and 
purification of the air. 
51 But as cloudy weather, or clear weather, accompanies each 

'^^ I think that the common reading is a corruption of the following Iambic 
verse : — 

aTT a(r6€vov<; yap ovSev ear «/>X'7^ /xeya. 


Wind, according to tlic country whence it blows and to local 
causes, so there are some proverhial sayings which relate to 
certain places only ; as fur instance that about the AY.N.W. 
wind (Argestes) and the W.S.W. wind (Lips), which they use 
mostly about Crete and lihodes ; 

" Lips is the wind that makes quickly the clouds, and 
quickly the sunshine ; 
" Cloud follows Argestes, all the way unto its end." ^* 

For in the places just mentioned the W.S.W. wind quickly 
produces either result, according to the state of things which 
exists when it begins to blow ; and the W.N.W. wind quickly 
overcasts the sky. 

In some places also there is a sort of sequence of the winds ; 52 
so that one blows after the other, if the first continue a certain 
time. And perhaps it is not very strange that, granted the 
circulation of the winds is always towards those next to them 
ill order, there should on the other hand be also a change over 
to those of the opposite direction. For there are these two 
kinds of a change ; one when the winds shift round ; the other 
when the winds [that are blowing at first] blow themselves 
completely out [and others arise]. Of these, the variation by shift 
is when the E.S.E. wind (Euros) shifts to those next in order of 
place ;*""' and this variation is the less in degree; and when it 
happens, there is frequently a recurrence to the same point as 
before, when a storm causes an uncertainty of direction. The 
variation by changing over is when the wind flies round to the 
opposite quarter. 

This naturally happens in the case of all winds ; aiul in these 53 

^^ The common reading, apyi(rTrj 8 dve'/xw ttuct' eTrerat i^ecfiiXr], would 
mean " every cloud follows Argestes." I have ventured to read ttuvO' for 
iracT, and to translate it as in the text. 

•'^ i.e., veers to the S.S.E. (Phoenikias) or backs to E. (Apeliotes). 


cases the compensation and reflux, as it were, is such as we 
should expect ; an instance of which exists in tlie " off-sliore " 
winds as the counterpart of the "alternating" winds;*"'" and 
this order of variation is, in many places, of practically daily 

But in some places the counterpart is not an " alternating " 
wind, but some second wind from the sea as happens in the 
Gulf of Pamphylia. There, in the morning, a wind called 
" Dyris " blows with much force, from the river Idyrus ; and it 
is followed by the S. wind (Notes), and the E.S.E. wind (Euros), 
and "svhen they beat against each other mighty waves arise ; the 
5^ sea is dashed together ; many a flash of lightning falls ; and the 
ships are wrecked. For in every case whenever such a conflict 
of Avinds happens, mighty waves arise, and there is a great storm ; 
as when, with contrary winds blowing, they say " There is a 
battle of the winds." In fact it is but likely that, whenever they 
attack each other before they have blown themselves out, it 
should cause a storm ; for the one adds, as it were, substance to 
the other. 

This is more particularly evident in the ease of the N. wind ; 
for this wind is of a more stormy nature, and immediately 
appropriates the substance that is brought in its way [by another 
■wind].'''' And in the same way the S. wind is wont to saturate, 
and make rainy, any other wind that it conflicts with. 

In some places also the S. wind seems to cause snow storms ; 
as is the case in the neighbourhood of Pontus and the Hellespont, 

'" Cf . § 2G. 

^■^ This and the preceding passage, as much as, or more than, any other in 
the whole book, illustrate the Aristotelian notion of a wind. It is not a mere 
force exercised by matter in motion, but an entity existing independently of 
matter though recjuiring matter or " substance," in order to the exhibition of 
its i)ower or other attributes ; not a condition of matter, but capable itself of 
being conditioned, and even capable of approi)riatiug the conditions of its 
fellows. See further on this point, Introd., p. 14. 


"whenever tlie N. wind lias been so cold that it continues 
freezing the moisture brought up by the S. wind ; at least it 
more frequently freezes than thaws.*^** 

The foregoing are what may be called the winter successions 55 
and oppositions of the winds. 

But the confusion of winds that happens at the rising and 
setting of Orion happens because, at times of change, everything 
is naturally liable to get into confusion.^'-' Now, Orion rises at 
the beginning of Autumn and sets at the beginning of winter ; 
so that as there is no established season for the time being, one 
in fact commencing and the other ending, the winds are of 
necessity uncertain and confused, because they stand on, as it 
were, debatable ground between the two seasons. And so it is 
that this constellation has acquired the reputation of being 
fierce, both when setting and when rising, by reason of the 
indefiniteness of the season ; for it needs be that it should be 
disturbed and irregular. 

Such, and such as these, then are the phenomena that occur 56 
in the air and throughout the Heavens ; others are connected 
with our own conditions. For instance, with Southerly winds 
men find themselves more weary and incapable ; and the reason 
is that, instead of a little, a great deal of moisture is produced, 
being melted out by the heat; and so instead of a light air, 
there is a heavy damp. Again power and strength reside in the 
joints ; and these are relaxed by Southerly winds. For the 
lubricating matter in the joints when congealed prevents our 
moving ourselves; but when too fluid ^^ prevents our exerting 

"* I cannot say that I am satisfied with this ; nor are the Latin translations 
satisfactory. They merely follow word for word the Greek, which I suspect 
is here corrupt. 

^^ The argument here seems to have no foundation, but is an illustration 
drawn from " la politique." 

■"^ Wimmer has vypov Se AtW ov. The latter word should obviously be ov. 



ourselves. Northerly winds will produce a certain balance, so 
that we are stronger and can exert ourselves more. 

^J Again, Southerly winds, wdien dry and not rainy, produce 
fevers ; for being naturally warm and moist they induce in our 
bodies a warm moisture that is foreign to them ; and such a 
condition is feverish ; for fever is due to the excess of both 
these two conditions."^ But when these winds are accompanied 
by rain, the rain cools the system. 

In the same way, whatever else affects the habits of our 
bodies depends on one or other of these conditions; and such 
things are very numerous, and are observed in numerous persons; 
but the causes of all are the same, or very nearly so. 

55 So, too, in the case of fruits, and other such like things ; for 
all the effects which they exhibit are to be referred to either 
moisture and diffusion, or density and consolidation, and other 
conditions of one category or the other. 

So, too, in the case of inanimate things ; such as the breaking 
of lyre-strings, the cracking open ''- of glued articles, and other 
occurrences which happen as things become moist and slack. 
For instance, in the manufacture of iron they say that they 
can beat it out further with a Southerly wind than with a 
Northerly ; and the reason is that Northerly winds dry up and 
make hard, but Southerly winds moisten and soften ; and 
everything is easier to Avork when it is softened, than when it 
has become somewhat hardened. At the same time, however, 
[the smiths] are stronger and more active in Northerly winds. 

^Q As a general proposition the causes of such phenomena as 
these are quite evident, for the consequence follows rationally 
from the active principles. But there is sometimes, in the case 
of either wind, matter for doubt and enquiry ; for instance, if 

■^^ i.e., warmth and damp. 

^^ The Greek word indicates the noise made by the opening of the joints ; 
not the opening itself. 


neither hardness nor dryness nor recurrence is exhibited with 
nortlierly winds, but the opposite conditions appear ; and 
similarly in the case of the S. wind. For that which is contrary 
to reason requires a cause to be shown for it ; but men accept 
what is reasonable without a cause being shown for it; for they 
are clever at supplying what is wanting. 

But that winds, when they are cold, dry up moisture more 60 
quickly even than the sun when it is hot, and that the coldest 
winds do so most of all, must be understood to be due to this 
cause, namely, that they produce vapour, and carry it off as they 
produce it ; and the colder winds do so more than the less cold ; 
while the sun produces it and leaves it when it is produced. 

Why can it be that it is said : — 
"Fear not as much a cloud from the land as from ocean 

in Winter; 
But in the Summer a cloud from a darkling coast 
is a warning " *? 

Can it be because in winter the sea is warmer than the land, 
so that if a cloud is formed over it, its formation is ob^^ously 
due to a powerful active principle ? For otherwise '^ it would have 
been dissolved by the air by reason of the warmth of its situation ; 
while in Summer the sea is cold and so are the winds from the 
sea ; and the land is warm ; so that if a cloud is borne from the 
land seawards its formation must be due to some active principle 
more powerful than usual ; for the cloud would have been 
dissolved, if the active principles had been weak.''* 

That the S. wind does not blow freshly in Egypt for the ^/ 
distance of a day and night's journey from the coast, is 
utterly untrue.^^ But it is said that the N. wind and W.N.W. 

■'^ That is if such a principle were not at work. 

''^ The sense requires dcr^evrys instead of the common reading dcr6;vi'i. 


Cf. § 8. 


wind most of all the winds there cover the sky with clouds, and 
the S. wind bears them away ; that winds in the dawn bring 
clouds, and overcast the sky until the sun has risen ; but that 
it does not rain, because the clouds have no place on which to 
settle; that the S. wind and the S.E. wind and the other winds 
from the Southern quarter begin to blow at sunrise, and follow 
round with the sun ; but that the N. wind and the W.N.W. 
wind begin at sunset, and travel round towards the sun-rising. 
62 In Sicily they call " Apeliotes " (the E. wind) what we call 
" Kaikias " (the E.N.E. wind) ; some, however, think that it is 
not the same wind, but a different one ; because the one overcasts 
the sky, and the other does not. Some indeed call " Argestes" 
" Olympias " ; others " Skiron " and the Silicians call it "Derkias "; 
and some call " Apeliotes " (the E. wind) " Hellespontias " ; the 
Phoenicians call it " Karba " ; and those in Pontus call it 

"^ There is some confusion in this last section or the text is corrupt. There 
are obviously some words missing in the original. It seems impossible that 
the dwellers in Pontus, at the S.E. corner of the Pontus Euxinus, should 
name the East wind from Berekyntos the mountain range in Phrygia which 
lies S.AV. of Pontus. Skiron was the name of the rocky coast on the con- 
fines of Megaris and Attica, about W.N.W. of the Piraeus ; and so this was 
probably the name for the W.N.W. wind among the sailors in the Piraeus and 
on the East Coast of Salamie. The same wind would be called " Olympias," 
and the E. wind would be called Hellespontias by the sailors in the Thermaic 
Gulf and the north j)art of the -^gsean Sea. 



We have in the following pages described, as far as was / 
attainable, the signs of rain, winds, storms and fair weather ; 
some from our own previous observations, and the rest upon 
information from other persons of admitted authority. 

Now, such signs as occur at the risings and settings of stars 
we must take upon the information of Astronomers. 

Such settings are of two kinds ; for the disappearance of a 2 
star is its setting ; and this occurs when the star sets together 
with the sun, and also when it sets as the sun rises.^ 

In like manner risings are of two kinds : some in the morn- 
ing, when the star rises before the sun; and others at nightfall, 
when the star rises as the sun goes down. Indeed, what are 
called the risings of Arcturus occur in both ways ; for in winter 
it rises at nightfall ; but in late autumn in the morning. But, 
of the other stars which have received names, the majority 
have their risings in the morning, such as the Pleiades, Orion, 
and Sirius. 

Of the remaining weather signs, some are peculiar to all 3 

^ By " settiug together with the sun " is probably meant setting in the 
west iu the same course and in the same way as the sun sets ; for if the star 
sets at the same time as the sun it is not visible. Setting as the sun rises 
may mean either an actual settiug below the horizon, or the disappearance of 
the star as the dawn overxjowers its light. So, in the following passage the 
star rising as the sun goes down may be either its actual appearance above 
the horizon, or its becoming visible as the sunlight fades, having, itself, risen 
above the horizon some time before sunset. Both passages together merely 
refer to the phenomena of what we call morning and evening stars. Thej- 
have nothing to do with the annual " risings " of constellations, such as the 
Pleiades or Sirius. See Introd., p. 11. 


places in which there are high mountains and ravines; particu- 
larly such mountains as extend from a high elevation down to 
the sea ; for, when winds are beginning to blow, the clouds 
strike on such places ; but as the winds change to opposite 
quarters, the clouds correspondingly change their position,^ and 
becoming moister settle do^\^i by force of gravity into the 

For this reason it is necessary for the observer to consider 
carefully his situation ; for it is always possible to find some 
such indications as these ; and the signs thence derived are the 

4 most to be relied upon. For the like reason some persons have 
become good Astronomers in particular places. For instance, 
Matriketas in Methymna made his observations from Lepetym- 
nus; Kleostratos in Tenedos from Ida; and Phaeinus at Athens 
(whose pupil Meto established the cycle of nineteen years), 
observed the phenomena of the solstices from Lykabettus ; and 
Phaeinus himself came to reside at Athens; while Meto was an 
Athenian born. And others have studied astronomy under like 

5 There are also other signs which are learnt from observing 
the habits ^ of domestic, and some other, animals ; and the ways 
in which they are affected ; but for the most part signs derived 
from the sun and moon are the most important. 

Now the moon is as it were the sun of the night ; for which 
reason also the ends and beginnings of lunar months are apt to 
be stormy;* because the light of the moon fails from the fourth 
day of the waning moon to the fourth day of the new moon.^ 
The obscuration of the moon also occurs in a similar way to 
an eclipse of the sun. 

'" civTLfJieOLcrraTaL should obviously be read instead of avrinS icrr avrai. 
^ I read, -with Schneider, rpoTrwi/ for tottcdv. 

' Of. Arist. de Gen. Anim., ii., 4, 9 ; and On Winds § 17 supra, p. 30. 
' i.e., three days before and three days after new moon. 


He, then, who wishes to forecast, must pay special attention 6 
to the rising and settings of these bodies ; [and observe] in 
what circumstances they occur. And, first of all, it must be 
understood that all measures of time" are divisible naturally into 
two j)arts ; so that in reference to such divisions we must 
consider the year, the month, and the day. The Pleiades divide 
the year by their rising and setting ; for from the setting to the 
rising is half a year ; so that the whole period is divisible into 7 
two halves. And the solstices and the equinoxes have the same 
operation. Whatever, then, be the condition of the air at the 
setting of the Pleiades, such it continues for the most part until 
the [winter] solstice ; and if it change, it changes immediately 
after the solstice ; but if it does not change, it continues so until 
the vernal equinox ; and thereafter in like manner until the 
[rising of the] Pleiades ; and from that until the Summer 
solstice ; and thence until the [Autumnal] equinox ; and from 
that equinox to the setting of the Pleiades. And each month 8 
follows a similar rule ; for the full moons, and the quarters,'' and 
the fourth days,^ divide [the periods] equally ; so that we must 
begin our review from the new moon as a starting point. The 
change takes place for the most part on the fourth day; and, if 
not then, on the first quarter ; and, if not then, at the full ; 
and from the full moon [it continues] till the last quarter; and 
thence to the fourth day [of the waning moon] ; and thence to 
the new moon. And the diurnal changes, for the most part, Q 
occur according to the same law. For the sunrise, the forenoon, 
noon, afternoon, the sunset, and the corresponding divisions of 

' Literally the eighth days, i.e., after change and full, which are with us 
the first (quarter and last quarter. 

"* That is the third day before or after new moon, first quarter, full moon, 
and last quarter, making, with the day of such occurrence, the fourth day ; 
and commencing or terminating the half of a quarter. 


the night produce similar results to those just mentioned, in 
relation to winds, storm, and fair weather. For if the weather 
is going to change it generally changes at such divisions. In 
every case therefore, the measures of time must be taken into 
consideration ; but, in the case of each sign, in accordance with 
the method hereafter stated. 


10 Now the signs of Rain are such as the following : — 

The plainest sign is that which is to be observed in the 
morning, when, before the sun rises, the sky appears reddened 
over ; and it indicates rain, either on the same day, or generally 
within three days ; and the other signs shew the same ; for rain 
is indicated, if not sooner, within three days at the most by a 
reddened sky at sunset also, but less certainly than when it is 

// seen in the morning. And if, either in winter or spring, the 
sun goes down into a thin cloud,^ it generally indicates rain 
within three days ; and so also if there are streaks of clouds 
from the Southward; but these same appearances from the 
North are less certain. And if the sun, as it rises, has a dark 
mark ^° on it, and if it rises out of clouds, rain is indicated; and 
if, as it is rising, rays stretch upward before it actually rises, 
this is a sign alike of rain and of wind. And if, as the sun is 
going down, a cloud comes under it so that the rays are thereby 
divided, it is a sign of storm. And whenever the sun is fiery 
at its rising, or setting, unless the wind rise, it is a sign of rain. 

12 The same is indicated by the moon as it rises at the full ; but 
less by the crescent moon. If it be fiery, it indicates that the 

* The word ve^iXiov here used is simply the diminutive of vecfio'i "cloud "; 
and might equally express merely the size of the cloud; but I think it means 
here a semi-transparent cloud. 

^^ I think (rrjfxa ought to be read here in place of o-f^fcttov. 


month will be windy; if hazy, that it will be wet. And what- 
ever the crescent moon indicates, it indicates when it is three 
days old. 

If shooting stars are frequent, tliey are a sign either of rain 13 
or wind; and the wind or rain will come from the quarter 
whence they proceed. And if, while the sun is either rising or 
setting, numerous rays ai'ise therefrom it is a sign of rain. And 
when during sunrise the rays retain a colour as if tlie sun were 
being eclipsed, it is a sign of rain. And when the clouds are 
like fleeces of wool,^^ it indicates rain. An unusual number of 
bubbles on the surface of the rivers indicates great rain. 

The colours of the spectrum ^^ seen around, or through, the 
flame of a lamp usually indicate rain from the south. Snuffs y^ 
on the wicks indicate rain, if the wind be in the South ; ^^ but 
they indicate wind also in proportion to their number and size ; 
and if they are small and like millet seeds and bright, they 
indicate both wind and rain. And when in winter the lamp 
is separated from the flame by a space (as it were a bubble), it 
is a sign of rain ; and so also if the rays throb upon the lamp, 
and if sparks are produced. 

If birds which do not live on the water wash themselves, it 15 
indicates either rain or storms. The toad washing and frogs 
croaking more than usual indicate rain. If the lizard called 
the salamander is seen it indicates rain ; and so again does the 
green frog croaking on a tree. Swallows skimming " the ponds 
indicate rain. The ox lickino; his fore-hoof indicates a storm 
or rain. 

The cormorant crying on a rock which a wave is washing 1Q 

" Virg. Georg. i., 397 mentions as a sign of fine weather " teuuia uec lanae 
per coelum vellera ferri— Cf. Aristoph, Nubes 343 Ipta ittTajxiva. 
'- Literally "a rainbow." 
" Cf. Aristoph. Vesp. 262 ; Virg. Georg. i., 392. 
1' Lit. "striking with their bellies." 


over indicates rain ; and so if she dives frequently and flies in 

If a raven accustomed to utter varied notes, utters two of 
these quickly and then croaks and flaps its wings, it indicates 
rain. And so if, when there are showers, it makes many differ- 
ent calls and sitting on an olive tree picks lice from itself. And 
if, whether during fine weather or rain, it imitates with its voice 
the dropping of water, it indicates rain. 

If ravens or jackdaws fly upwards and scream" like hawks, it 
indicates rain. 

If a raven in fair weather utters an unusual cry and croaks, 
it indicates rain. 

17 If a hawk sitting on a tree, then flies within it and picks 
insects from itself, it indicates rain. 

If in summer many birds which usually live on an island 
appear in flocks [on the mainland], it indicates rain ; if the 
number of them is moderate it will be good for the goats and 
cattle ;^''' if the number is excessively great it indicates severe 
drought. And generally birds and cocks pecking themselves 
is a sign of rain ; and so when they imitate the sound of water 
as if it were raining. 

18 If a tame duck going under the eaves shakes out its wings, it 
indicates rain. And so also if jackdaw^s and cocks shake out 
their wings over a pond or the sea like a duck, it indicates rain. 

The heron crying early indicates either rain or wind. And 
if it cries as it flies towards the sea, it is rather an indication 
of rain than of wind; but it generally indicates wind by its 

^'' The word used strictly means " act like hawks." Perhaps an imitation 
of the Might rather than the cry of the hawk is meant. 

" This probably means that there will be sufficeut showers to produce good 


If a finch in a dwelling house sings in the morning, it 19 
indicates rain or a storm. 

A jar (|uite full [of water] emitting sparks all over [when set 
on the fire] is a sign of rain.^' 

Many centipedes crawling towards a wall indicate rain. 

A porpoise frequently diving and coming to the surface near 
the shore indicates rain or a storm. 

If the Lesser Hymettus (which is called Dry) has a small 20 
cloud ^- in its hollow, it is a sign of rain ; and if the Great 
Hymettus in summer has white ^'' clouds above and on its side, it 
is a sign of rain ; So also if Dry Hymettus has white clouds 
above and on its side.-" 

If the S.W. wind blow at the time of the equinox, it 
indicates rain. 

Thunder occurring in winter or in the morning indicates 21 
[wind] rather [than] rain ; ^^ but thunder in summer at noon 
and in the evening is a rainy sign. 

'" I have given here Schneider's explanation of this passage, but it is not 
satisfactory ; and I think something is lost. There is nothing in the Greek 
to justify the insertion of the words "when set on the fire"; and Schneider 
makes vSaTos do double duty, first combining it with TrcptTrXeco?, and secondly 
with o-r][J.€Lov. But I have nothing better to offer. 

" See note on § 11, supra. 

^' Wimmer omits XevKas (white) in his text, but gives no reason. Probably 
it is omitted by a printer's error ; for he has " albas " in his Latin version. 

^° The Hymettus (Greater and Lesser) is about five miles S.E. of Athens, and 
forms the N.E. end of the range which runs S.W. and N.E. through Southern 
Attica, and there the Ilissus rises. It is a prominent feature in the landscape 
from the greater part of Athens. The Greater Hymettus (or Hymettus 
proper) has an elevation of 3,368 feet (above average sea level at the Piraeus), 
and is separated from the Lesser or Dry Hymettus (2,538 feet), now called 
Mavro Yuuo and forming the southern part of the range, by a depres- 
sion the elevation of which is 1,479 feet. This depression is the hollow 
mentioned in the text. For a description of this and the other hills of 
Attica, and the geology of the district, see Geoloyie von Attika, by Richard 
Lepsiiis, Berlin, 1891-3. 

^^ The insertion of the words ave/xov 17 (corresponding to the words in 
brackets) is necessary to the sense. 


If lio-litnino; is seen in all directions it is a simi of rain or a 
storm ; and so too if it happens in the evening. 

If there is lightning from the S. at daybreak with a S. wind 
it indicates either rain or wind. 

The W. wind blowino; with lightnincr from the N. indicates 
either a storm or rain. 

In Summer, lightning in the evening indicates rain immedi- 
ately, or within three days. 

In early Autumn lightning from the N. indicates rain. 

22 Whenever Euboea appears girt in the midst by clouds, there 
will be rain in a short space.^^ 

If the clouds settle down on Pelius, it indicates rain or wind 
from the quarter whence the clouds settle. 

Whenever there is a rainbow it is a sure sign of rain. 
If many occur, it indicates a great deal of rain. And so 
also in many cases when a burning sun breaks forth from a 

If ants on the side of a hollow carry their eggs from the nest 
to the high ground it indicates rain ; but if they carry them 
down, fair weather. 

If two Parhelia occur, one towards the South, the other 
towards the North, with a halo round the sun, they indicate 
rain within a short time.'^ 

Dark halos are a sign of rain, particularly those in the after- 

23 In the constellation of the Crab are two stars which are 
called tlie " Asses " ; in the space between these is the nebula 
called the "Manger."-* If this becomes hazy it is a sign of 

-- Eul)oea has a range of lofty hills about its centre part. 
-^ Cf. Arist. de Miiud., iv., 22. 
21 Or " Praisepe." 


If it does not rain at the rising of Sirius or Arcturus, there 
will generally be rain or wind about the equinox. 

The common saying about flies is true; for when tliey bite 
vigorously it is a sign of rain. 

When the finch sings in the morning, it indicates rain or a 
storm ; but in the afternoon rain. 

Whenever a long white cloud envelopes Hymettus^^ down- 24 
wards from its peaks at night, rain occurs, as a rule, within a 
few days. 

If in ^gina^" a cloud settles down upon the temple of Zeus 
Hellenius rain generally occurs. 

If there is much rain in the Winter the Spring is generally 

If the Winter is dry the Spring is rainy. 

Whenever there is much snow, a fruitful season generally 

Some say that, if on the coals'^ when burning there appear 25 
bright spots of the size of hailstones,^^ it generally portends hail. 
But if many, as it Avere, small bright millet seeds appear, then, 
if the wind is blowing, fair weather is indicated. But if there 
is no wind, then rain or wind. 

It is better both for plants and animals that rain from the 
North should precede that from the South ; but it should be 
sweet, and not salt to the taste. 

Speaking generally a year wnth the wind from the North 

'"'' CF. note on § 20. 

2° /Egiua lies in the middle of the Saronic Gulf. On a hill on the N.E. part 
of the Island, about 12 miles from the Tirceus and 17 from Athens (and so a 
conspicuous object from the latter place), stood the temple of Zeus Hellenius 
or I'anhelleuius. 

'^' Cf. Theoph, de Plantis ii., 2. 

*" i.e., pieces of charcoal. 

»» Lit. " a bright hail." 


is better and more healthy than one with wind from the 

When the ewes or she goats are covered more than once it is 
a si on of a lono; winter. 

Such are said to be the signs of rain. 


26 The signs of wind and airs are such as the following : — 
The sun rising fiery red even though it do not shine is a sign 

of wind. 

If the sun appear hollow,^'^ it is a sign of wind or rain. 

If it appear fiery for several successive days, it indicates 
drought and wind, both of long duration. 

If about sunrise the rays of the sun are parted, some towards 
the North, some towards the South, the sun itself being 
between the two sets of rays, it is a sign equally of rain and 

27 Black spots on the sun and moon indicate rain; red show 

If the crescent moon stands upright with a N. wind blowing, 
W. winds usually follow, and the month will continue stormy 
to the end. 

Whenever the upper horn of the crescent moon stoops 
forward, N. winds will prevail during the period of the new 
moon ; ^'^ but when the lower horn comes forward, S. winds 
will prevail. But if it is upright, or only very slightly inclined, 
it is usually stormy till the fourth day ; or if the disc of the 
moon is plainly visible then until the first quarter. When hazy 
it indicates rain ; but when fiery, wind. 

^° This is the literal meaning of KotAos; but I do not understand what is 
meant. It may refer to the elliptical or flattened appearance which the sun 
sometimes jn'esents ; but the word does not fairly express such a meaning. 

^' That is until first quarter. 


Divers and ducks, both wild and tame, indicate rain by 28 
diving ; but wind by fla})ping tlicir wings. 

Petrels in fine weather indicate that the winds will blow 
from the quarter towards which they fly. 

Sparrows chattering after evening has set in portend either a 
change of wind or rain in showers. 

A heron flying from the sea and crying is a sign of wind. 
And generally if its cry is loud it shows wind. 

A dog rolling on the ground indicates a force of wind. 29 

Many spiders webs borne in the air indicate wind or a storm. 

Receding of the sea indicates a N. Avind; but its influx a 
S. wind. For if with the wind in the North an influx of the 
sea occurs, the wind changes to the South ; and if Avith the 
wind in the South a recession takes place, the wind changes to 
the North. 

The sea surging and the shores resounding and the cliff 
moaning are signs of wind. 

The N. wind is less as it is ceasing ; and the S. wind less as 
it begins to blow. 

A parhelion indicates either rain or wind from the quarter 
towards which it appears. 

The 15tli day after the Winter Solstice generally has the 30 
wind in the South. 

When a N. wind is blowing, [the air] dries up everything, 
but when a S. wind is blowing it moistens everything. 

If when the S. w^ind is blowing any piece of glued furniture 
makes a noise it indicates a change to the North.''- If feet swell 
the change will be to the South: and the same thino; is the sisn 
of a hurricane. 

BitincT the right ^^ 

^- The ordinary text has vorta -"south"; but the sense requires /Sopeia — 
" north." 
^^ The MSS. are corrupt here. 


The hedgehog is an animal that gives signs. It makes for 
itself two entrances to the place where it lives; one towards the 
North, the other towards the South. Whichever of these it 
closes it shows that the winds will come from that quarter. If 
it closes both it shows that there will be a force of wind. 
g-j If a hill [is covered with clouds] ^^ towards the North, it 
indicates wind. 

If on the sea there is on a sudden a lull of the wind, it indi- 
cates either a change or a freshening of the wind. 

If headlands far out at sea become visible, or several 
Islands appear instead of one, it indicates a change to the 
Southward. ^^ 

If the land appears dark from the sea, the wind will be from 
the North ; if light it will be from the South. 

Halos round the Moon are more indicative than those round 
the Sun. But in either case, when they are interrupted they 
indicate Avind ; and wind from that side on which the intei'rup- 
tion occurs. 

When the sky is clouded over, the wind will come from the 
quarter on which there is a lifting [of the clouds]. ^^ 

Clouds without rain in Summer indicate wind. 
32 If lightning appears all round, it indicates rain ; and from 
that side on which it is frequent the wind will rise. 

In Summer-time strong winds rise from that quarter from 
which thunder and lightning come. If the lightning is strong 

^^ There is obviously a liiatus in the text which I have attempted to supply. 

^^ The ordinary phenomenon of refraction is of course referred to here. 

'^ I differ in this passage from both Schneider and Wimmer. The latter 
translates it " uude sol coelo nubilo exortus fuerit iude veuti oboriuntur." 
The former " unde ccelo nubilo sol exortus fuerit, ab ea parte ventus ingruet." 
But in the passage there is nothing about the sun. The verb which I have 
translated " lifting " is no doubt also used of the sunrise ; but the translations 
I have rejected would come to this— that whenever it is cloudy at sunrise 
the wind must blow more or less from the East ; which is absurd. What my 
translation expresses is the commonest experience. 


and intense, the winds will blow with the greater velocity and 
strength ; but if gentle and of little intensity, they will blow 
but little. 

In Winter and late Autumn the contrary takes place. For, 
the more intense then is the lightning and thunder, the more do 
the winds cease. But in Spring I take less account of these 
same matters as signs, as also in Winter. 

If when the S. wind is blowing, there is lightning in the 33 
North, it ceases to blow. 

A wind rising in the early morning if accompained by 
lightning,^'' generally ceases on the third day; other [such] 
winds cease on the fifth, seventh or ninth day. Winds that 
rise in the afternoon quickly die away. 

N. winds generally cease on odd days; S. winds on even 

Winds rise at the times of the rising of the sun and the moon. 
If the sun or the moon on its rising'^ cause the wind to drop, it 
increases afterwards in force. 

Winds which begin to blow in the day last longer and have 
more force than those which bemn to blow at nio-ht. 

If the " Monsoon " have blown longer than usual,*" and the 34 
late Autumn has been windy, the Winter is free from wind. If 
otherwise, the Winter is otherwise. In whatever direction a 
cloud stretches out from the peak of a mountain in that 
direction w411 the wind blow. 

If clouds settle down on the back of a mountain, the wind 
will blow from behind it also. 

" I prefer Schneider's reading cwos aa-Tpdiraios to Wimmer's iai' ewOev 
'■* i.e., counting from their rising. 

'' Some would insert fx-q, making the sense " do not cause," &c. 
" Cf. Herod., vi., 140 ; vii., 168. Arist., Problem, xxvi., 2. 


If Atlios*^ is girt with clouds about its middle, it is a sign of 
S. wind ; and generally speaking mountains so begirt indicate 
S. wind in most cases. 

Comets generally indicate wind. If there are many they 
indicate drought also. 

The S. wind generally blows after snow, the N. wind after 

Snuffs in the lamp indicate either wind or rain. 

35 The directions of the winds are such as have been described 
in the drawing.*^ 

Of all the winds the N. by W., N.N.W. and W.N.W. most 
usually blow against others while still blowing. 

When winds are not neutralised by each other but blow 
themselves out, they change into the winds next to them on the 
right hand as the path of the sun goes. 

The S. wind when beginning to blow is dry : but at the close 
is wet; so is the E.S.E. 

The E. wind from the Sunrise of the equinox is I'ainy ; but 
it brino;s showers and light breezes.*^ 

36 The E.N.E. and W.S.W. are chiefly wet ; K by W., N.N.W. 
and W.N.W. bring hail ; N.N.E., N., and N. by W. bring 
cloud ; S., W., and E.S.E. bring heat ; some of them to those to 
whom they come from the sea, others to those to whom they 
come across the land. 

The E.N.E. chiefly, and then the W.S.W. makes the sky 
dense, and covers it with clouds. 

All other winds drive the clouds before them ; the E.N.E. 
alone draws them towards itself. 

■"^ Athos stands 0349 feet above sea level ou the promontory of Acrathos in 
*^ See Appx., p. 79 ; and cf. Arist, Met. ii., 6. 
■*' For the Greek expression, cf. Eur. Iph. Aul., 813. 


The N.N.W. and W.N.W. chiefly produce bright weather ; 
and of the rest the N. by W. ; but the N. by W., N.N.W. 
and W.N.W. chiefly produce hurricanes. 

Hurricanes** occur when winds conflict with each other 37 
principally in late Autumn and next in Spring. 

The N.N.W., W.N.W., N. by W., and N.N.E. are accom- 
panied by lightning. 

If much acanthus down is borne along on the sea, it shows 
that there will be a great wind. 

When many stars shoot from one quarter, it shows that there 
will be wind from that quarter. 

If they shoot from all quarters alike, it shows that there wi ! \ 
be winds from many points. 

Such are the signs of winds. 


The following are the the signs of storm : — 38 

The sun setting into a bank of haze;*^ and according as is 
the proportion of the disc so covered as it sets such Avill the 
[following] days turn out ; for instance, if a third or a half 
be obscured. 

If the new moon be upright until the fourth day, or the 
whole disc be plainly visible, there will be stormy weather until 
the first quarter. 

If cranes fly early and in numbers there will be an early 
storm ; but if late and for a long time, the storm will come late. 
And if they wheel in their flight they indicate a storm. 

Geese cackling more than usual or fighting for their food is a 39 
sign of storm. 

** The Greek word for hurricane is very expressive ; it literally means an 
" out-of-a-cloud." Cf. the American expression " cloud-burst." 
*' Lit. " into a not pure sx^ace." 


The finch or sparrow chirping at dawn is a sign of storm. 

The wren going under cover and entering into holes indicates 
storm ; and the redstart likewise. 

If the crow calls twice quickly and then a third time, it 
indicates a storm. 

The crow, raven and jackdaw calling late indicate storm. 

If a sparrow or swallow or bird of any other of the species 
that are usually black appear white, it indicates a storm ; just 
as black ones seen in numbers indicate rain. 

40 If birds fly in as for safety from the sea they indicate a storm. 
A finch singing in a dwelling house indicates storm. 
Whatever indicates rain is followed by storm ; and if it is 

not followed by rain it is followed by snow and storm. 

If the raven makes several different cries in the Winter it is 
a si mi of storm. 

Jackdaws flying from the South and cuttle fish^^ indicate 
a storm. 

A voice re-echoincT in a harbour and making; a confused sound 
indicates a storm. 

If jelly fish*^ appear in numbers in the sea it is a sign of a 
stormy year. 

Sheep copulating early indicate an early Winter.^^ 

41 If in late Autumn sheep or cattle scratch up the ground and 
lie together in numbers with their heads towards each other it 
indicates a stormy winter. 

"" i suspect the text, and think that probably the name of some bird has 
been corrupted. 

■''' I have thus ventured to translate Tn'ei'/xwi' ^aXarrto?; the only informa- 
tion obteiuable from the lexicographers being that it is " a kind of mollusc" ! 
The word is very descriptive of a jelly fish, and my own observation agrees 
with the statement in the text. In the fine year 1893 jelly fish were 
very infrequent on Ihe S.E. coast. 

" Cf. Plin. xviii., § 85. 


In Pontus they say that when Arcturus has risen, the flocks 
prefer to feed facing the North wind.'-' 

Cattle eating more that usual and lying down on the right 
side indicate storm. 

An ass sliaking its ears indicates storm ; and so do sheep and 
herds fighting for their food more than usual. For they are 
preparing beforehand. IVIice squeaking and dancing about 
indicate a storm. 

A dog scratching up the ground with its paws, and the tree 42 
frog croaking^" by itself at daybreak are signs of storm. 

TJie appearance of many earth worms indicates a storm. 

If the fire mil not light it is a sign of storm ; and if a lamp 
refuses to be lit it indicates a storm. 

Ashes bindino; too;ether indicate snow. 

A lamp burning slowly in fair weather indicates a storm ; and 
if in Winter black snuffs collect on it, it indicates a storm; and 
if it becomes covered over with, as it w^ere, many millet seeds, 
there Avill be a storm ; and if in fair weather they collect in 
a circle round the flame, it is a sign of snow. 

If the "Asses Manger"*^ is condensed and hazy, it indicates 43 
a storm. 

If bright lightning does not continue in the same place, it is 
a sign of storm. 

If, at the setting of the Pleiades, lightning is bright over 
Parnes, Brilettus, and Ilymettus,^- and it shine over all, [at the 
same time] it indicates a great storm ; if on two only then a less 
one ; and if over one only then fair weather. 

*' This passage is corrupt. 

^° Or it may be an owl or thrush singing alone. See Theocr., vii., 139. 

" Cf. § 23, supra. 

^^ This (like many other passages) supposes the observer to be at Athens. 
Parnes lies 13 miles due N. of Athens and is the eastern (as Kithagron, see 
note, p. 37, is the western) point of the range running east and west, which 
separates Boeotia from Megaris and Attica. Brilettus lies about the same 


If during the Winter there is a long cloud over Hymettus it 
indicates a prolongation of the winter. '^^ 

Athos, Olympus and the peaks of mountains generally if 
covered by cloud, indicate a storm. 

If in fair weather a thin cloud -'^ appears stretched in length 
and feathery ^^ the Winter will not end yet. 

44 If the late Autumn is unusually bright the Spring is cold, as 
a general rule. 

If the Winter sets in early it closes early, and the Spring is 
fair ; but if the contrary, the Spring also will be late. 

If the Winter is wet the Spring is dry ; if the Winter is dry 
the Spring is fair. 

If the early Autumn is mild, the sheep generally suffer from 

If the Spring and Summer are dry, the early Autumn, and the 
late Autumn as well, are close and free from wind. 

45 If the Scarlet-oak " be full of berries there will be very many 

If a cloud stands upright on the peak of a mountain it indi- 
cates a storm ; whence Archilochus wrote in his poem ; " See, 
Glaucus ! the deep sea already is surging with waves ; and 
around the tops of the hills an upright cloud stands encircling 
them ; the sign of a storm." 

distance to the N.E., separating the Vale of the Cephissus from the Plain of 
Marathon. This range attains an elevation of 3,636 feet, and is more generally 
known as Pentelicus ; and has numerous marble quarries, which no doubt 
supplied the builders and sculptors of Athens. The marble beds, like that of 
Hymettus, are of the Cretaceous period overlaid by tertiary strata. Hymettus 
(v. supra., § 20 and note) lies five miles to the S.E. 

'^ In both places in this passage " storm " may be read for " winter." 

°^ Cf. note on § 11, 

" Lit. " plucked at." 

»• Cf. note on § 17. 

" This produces the kermes berry, whence the scarlet dye — Kokkos. Cf. 
Theophr. de I'lantis, iii., 7, 3. 


If the cloud be like in colour to a white skin it is a sign of 

When clouds are stationary, and others accumulate by them, 
but the first remain still, it is a sign of storm. 

If the sun in Winter shines out, and is again hidden, and this 46 
occurs twice or thrice, the day will be stormy as it goes on. 

Mercury, when seen in Winter, indicates cold ; in Summer, 


When bees do not fly afar but fly about in the same place, it 
indicates that a storm will follow. 

The wolf howling indicates a storm within three days. 

If the wolf comes hurriedly towards or into the farm in the 
Winter season it indicates that Winter is at hand. 

It is a sif^n of great storms and showers when there are many 47 
wasps in the late Autumn; and when white birds ^^ come near 
to the farms ; and generally when wild animals approach the 
farms it is a sign of Northerly winds and violent storm. 

If those parts of Parnes which face the W. wind and the 
parts about Phyle are covered with cloud when Northerly 
winds are blowing, it is a sign of storm.^^ 

When there is very close hot weather there is. generally a 48 
re-action and a severe storm follows. 

If there is much rain in the Spring, great heat follows in flat 
places and valleys. The beginning [of the year] must therefore 
be watched. 

If there is a great deal of bright weather in the late Autumn, 
the Spring generally is cold ; but if the Spring is late and cold, 
the early Autumn is late, and the late Autumn is generally 
close and hot. 

'* Probably sea-fowl. 

" As to the position of Parnes, see note on § 42 and map B. Phyle lay 
on the road from Athens to Thebes, which traverses the pass separating 
Kithaerou from Parnes. 


49 When the scarlet oaks*^" are very full of berries they 
generally indicate a severe Winter ; but they say that some- 
times drought follows. 

If one takes a woodcock and puts it under a wine jar A^dth 
clay plastered round the bottom, it indicates by the cries which 
it utters, wind and fair weather. 

When mice fight for chaff and carry it away, it is a sign of 
storm ; as is everywhere commonly reported. 


50 The following are the sio-ns of fair weather : — 

The sun rising bright, and not fiery, and without any 
marking*'^ upon it, indicates fair weather. 

So also does the moon at the time of full moon. 

The sun setting in Winter unobscured is a sicrn of fair 
weather ; unless on the preceding days it has set out of a clear 
sky behind a bank of haze ; and in that case the forecast is 
un certain. "^^ 

If during a storm the sun sets unobscured, it is a sign of fair 

If when setting in Winter its colour be pale yellow, it 
indicates fair weather. 

51 If the crescent moon is bright on the third day, it indicates 
fair weather. 

«" Cf. § 45. 

^^ Cf. §§ 11 and 27. This may refer to spots on the sun ; but it may as well 
mean thin dark lines of cloud partially obscuring the disc. For a-rj/uieLov, 
as meaning a device on a shield, see Herod., i., 171 ; Eur. Ph., 14,3, 1 1 14. The 
remarkable spots on the sun recently noticed were clearly visible to the 
naked eyo at sunset on September 4th, 1893 ; so it is quite possible that it is 
such as these to which Theophrastus is referring. 

"^ Cf. supra. § 38. 


Whenever the "Asses Manger "*^^ is clear and bright, it 
signifies fair weather. 

If a halo gathers and fades uuiforml)^/'^ it indicates fair 

Hollow clouds "^^ in Winter indicate fair weather. 

When Olympus, Athos, and generally all hills that give 
indications, have their tops clear, it indicates fair weather. 

Whenever the clouds girt the mountains quite down to the 
sea, it is a sign of fair weather. 

So whenever, after it has rained towards sunset, the clouds 
have a colour like copper ; for it is fine generally on the next day. 

Whenever there is a fog, there is little or no rain. 52 

Whenever cranes take flight and do not return, it indicates 
fair weather. For they do not fly away before they fly about 
and see that the sky is clear. 

An owl hooting quietly in a storm, indicates fair weather ; 
and [also] when it hoots quietly by night in Winter. 

Tlie sea owl''*^ crying during a storm, indicates fair weather, 
but crying in fine weather indicates a storm. 

A raven by itself croaking quietly, and also if it croak thrice 
and then several times, indicates fair weather. 

The crow, if it caw thrice immediately after daybreak, 53 
indicates fair weather, and also when it caws quietly in the 
evenino- in the Winter. 

The wren flying out from its hole or out of enclosures and 
out of a house,"' indicates fair weather. 

" Cf. supra. § 23. 

^^ That is, without being broken up or interrupted on one side or the 
other. Cf. supra § 31. 

^' I cannot attempt an explanation of this term. 

^^ I do not know what bird is meant by OaXarTia yXav^, and I have 
merely translated the term literally. 

" Of course, the difference in structure between a Grecian house and a 
modern one will not be forgotten. 


If during a storm, witli the N. wind blowing, a white under 
hght appear from the North, but on the South a cumulus «« cloud 
is extended opposite to it, it generally indicates a change to 
fair w^eather. 

Whenever the N. wind blowing strongly brings up many 
clouds it is a sign of fair weather. 

54 Ewes being covered late [in the season] is a certain sign of 
fair weather. 

An ox resting on his left thigh indicates fair weather, and 
the dog likewise ; but lying on the right indicates a storm. 

Many grasshoppers indicate that the year will be pestilential. 

A lamp burning quietly in a storm (winter) indicates fair 
weather. So also if on the top the lamp has as it were bright 
millet seeds, and if it has a bright line described round the wick. 

55 The fruit of the mastick tree foreshows the periods of sowing. 
It has three divisions ; the first fruit is the sign of the fii'st 
period ; and the second of the second ; the third of the third ; 
and Avhichever of these turns out the best and best grown, so 
will be the corresponding sowing time. 

56 The following are said to be signs of entire years and of 
parts : — 

If at the beginning of Winter there is dark weather and heat, 
and these pass away under the influence of winds without rain, 
it indicates that hail will follow towards Spring. 

If mists occur after the vernal equinox, they indicate airs and 
winds till the sixth month thereafter. '^^ 

Mists which occur with the crescent moon indicate winds 
until that time.'^" But those that occur when the moon is 
doubly convex indicate rain. 

"* Lit. " swollen " or " turgid " ; " that onward drags a labouring breast." 

^^ Lit. "till the seventh month, counting both." 

■''" This probably means until the corresponding period of the next moon. 


In proportion as fogs occur with each of these phases of the 
moon, the more do they give the indications mentioned. 

Winds occurring with the liappening of mists have their ^'] 
signification ; and if the winds come from the East or South 
they indicate rain; but if from the West or North tliey 
indicate wind and cold. 

Wliat the Egyptians call comets not only indicate by their 
appearance what we have already said, but cold also. 

It is usual also for there to be indications at the time of the 
[appearances of] stars and of the equinoxes and solstices ; but 
they usually occur not on the day but shortly before or after. 




Lat. (N.) 

LoN. (E.) 



Lat. (N.) 

LON. (E.) 



O 1 

s . . 40 20 

O ' 

24 10 


Locri Epizephyrii. 

38 25 

o ' 

16 15 


Jigsea . 

. . . 40 55 





23 46 


tEgina , 

... 37 45 

23 30 


Macedonia .... 





... 37 38 

22 43 


Maliacus Sinus . . 

38 51 

22 40 



... 38 18 

23 50 



38 8 

23 56 


Athens . 

... 37 59 

23 45 



38 4 

23 15 


Athos . . 

... 40 10 

24 20 



29 55 

31 18 


...38 5 

23 50 



39 21 

26 11 




... 32 50 
... 38 20 
... 38 5 

44 20 
23 55 



38 47 


22 5 
22 23 





40 7 



.. 39 30 

16 20 



38 20 

23 48 



J .. 38 5 

. ... 38 28 

23 43 
23 37 



39 48 
37 5 

22 40 
31 20 


Pamphylia .... 



... 35 20 




38 11 

23 45 



... 35 

... 28 





39 26 
34 35 

23 5 

32 50 






. . . . 38 30 
. . . . 38 30 

23 50 
23 33 



38 10 
40 10 

23 33 
22 25 






. ... 35 5 

nt . . 40 

24 58 




37 56 

23 40 
23 16 




38 14 


.. 37 55 

23 50 


Pontus [Euxinus] 




Ida .... 

. . . . 39 48 

26 2 



36 25 

28 10 



. . . . 36 37 

30 35 


Saronic Gulf .... 

37 40 

23 40 



.... 37 57 

23 47 






Ionian S 

ea. . 39 

.. 38 2 

24 25 



32 15 
39 48 

48 25 




Keos . . 

. . . 37 40 

24 20 



25 40 



. . 38 13 

23 25 


Thermaic Gulf . . 





. . . . 34 35 

32 50 


ThermopylaB . . , . 

38 47 

22 35 



nus 39 15 

26 20 



39 36 

22 20 



.. 35 5 

24 55 


Tyrrhenian Sea . . 

40 20 

24 10 



. . . . 30 10 

27 30 


Note. — The Latitudes and Longitudes are taken from the Eev. G. 
Butler's Public School Atlas of Ancient Geography. The names of 
Districts and Provinces are printed in Capitals, and of Mountains in 


To face p. 77. 



On the Number, Dh'ection and Nomenclature oj the Winds 
in Classical and Later times. 

The idea of tlie division of tlie heavens into four quarters, 

and of winds blowing from each of those quarters, is one 

familiar to students of Biblical and other ancient literature ; 

and may be said to have found its final expression in the 

d escription of 

" The tower that stood four-square 
To every wind that blew." 

Such a division and classification would satisfy the require- 
ments of remote ages ; but as the ever varying " signs of the 
sky and of the earth " claimed man's attention, a more accurate 
division and some more definite means of determining the 
directions of the winds that preceded or accompanied such signs 
became necessary. To trace the development of this division, as 
far as we can learn it from classical and post classical authors 
and monuments, is the object of this Appendix, with a hope 
that it may aid in a better understanding not only of Theo- 
phrastus, but of other ancient scientific works. 

Homer (before B.C. 800) names four winds only : Boreas, 
Euros, Notos, and Zephyros. These, therefore, it seems safe 
to infer to have been, in his time, referred to the four car- 
dinal points. But I do not think it is to be assumed that 
these four distinct and principal winds were the only winds 
then recognised. Indeed in the myth (II. xx., 223 — 229) 
of the twelve colts beo;otten bv Boreas of the mares of 
Erichtlionios (" which galloped over the tops of the flowers and 
brake them not, and over the crest of the ocean wave "), one 


seems to see a reference to tlie twelve winds of a later era. 
Still there is no trace at that time of a distinctive name for any 
wind other than the four. 

When Homer speaks of Boreas and Zephyros blowing from 
Thrace (II. ix., 5), or setting out together from the home of 
Zephyros for Troy to fan the funeral pyre of Patroklos (II. 
xxiii., 192-218), we are not to suppose that he confuses the 
two, or indicates that the direction of Boreas is in a line from 
Thrace to Troy. The mountains of Thrace are the poetic home 
of the winds ; and Theophrastus in many places shows why this 
is properly so. In the passage last referred to, the morning 
visit of Iris to Thrace, followed by the blasts of the north and 
west winds, represents the rainbow of the morning in the western 
sky as the proverbial precursor of storm. 

Homer (as mentioned by Theophrastus, On Winds § 38) 
assigns opposite attributes to Zephyros ; representing it as 
stormy (II. xxiii., 200; Od. v., 295), rainy (Od. xiv., 458), 
and soft and gentle (Od. iv., 567) ; while the violence 
of Hector's attack on the Greeks is compared to that of 
Zephyros smiting and scattering clouds brought up by Notos 
(II. xi., 305). In this last passage, and in II. xxi., 334 and 
elsewhere, the word Argestes (which later on became a specific 
name of a distinct wind lying betw^een Boreas and Zephyros), 
is used as an epithet of Notes ; indicating (probably) that this 
wind is accompanied by bright cumuli and not by an overcast 
sky. This confusion of attributes may, to a great extent, be 
due to the want of further subdivision. 

Hesiod (circa B.C. 735) names Notes, Boreas, and Zephyros 
only ; and he speaks of them as beneficial winds ; but of the 
rest (without names or number) as mischievous. The former 
are " the children of the morning," which may mean that they 
arise at the dawn ; while the others, " random breezes," are the 
children of Earth and Tartaros (see lies. Theog. 378-380 ; 


869-880). He assigns the epithet Argestes to Zephyros ; and 
not, as Homer did, to Notos.^ 

It can hardly be supposed that Hesiod included Euros among 
the " random breezes " ; and it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
account for the omission of Euros from " the children of the 
morning." That Hesiod adopted a merely tripartite division 
of the heavens seems quite inadmissible. 

Between the age of these earlier poets and that of the 
Philosophers, eight principal winds at least had acquired definite 
and specific names. That these names were in common use, 
and were adopted in, and not the creation of, the Schools is 
obvious from the archaic and almost rude forms of the names 
themselves ; so archaic in fact that in many instances their 
derivation and meaning are merely matters of speculation. 
But it is in the Aristotelian philosophy that we first find an 
attempt to define accurately the dii'ection of the winds on a 
scientific basis. 

Theophrastus nowhere in the foregoing works defines the 
direction of the winds, but says (Weather signs, section 35), 
"the positions of the winds are such as are defined in the 
" diaoram." This " diao-ram " to Avhich he thus refers, is no 
doubt the same as that described in Arist. Meteor., lib. ii., cap. 6, 
where speaking of the winds, Aristotle says, "as to their position 
" we must consider the verbal description with reference to the 
" diagram .... Here the circle of the horizon is drawn." Let 
" A be the place of sunset at the equinox ; and, opposite to this, 
" B the place of sunrise at the equinox. Let another diameter 
"be drawn cutting AB at right angles, and G be the North, 
" and, directly opposite this, H be the South. Let F be the 
" place of sunrise, E the place of sunset, at the Summer sol- 

^ See note, infra., p. 94. 

^ See Figs. 1 and 2, and the explanations of those figures, infra. 


" stice ; D the place of sunrise, and the place of sunset, at 
" the Winter solstice. Draw the diameters D E, C F. 

" The winds are named according to their local position, as 
" follows : — 

*' Zephyros — from A — that is sunset at the equinox. 
" Apeliotes — from B — that is sunrise at the equinox and 
" opposite to A. 

" Boreas and Aparctias — from G — the North. 
" Notos — from H — the South. 
" Kaikias — fi'om F — sunrise at Summer solstice. 
" Lips — from C — sunset at Winter solstice. 
" Euros — from D — sunrise at Winter solstice. 
*' Argestes (otherwise Olympias or Skiron) — from E — sun- 
" set at Summer solstice.^ 

" These winds are opposed to each other in the direction of 
" diameters of the circle ; but there are others which have no 
" opposite winds, namely, 

" Thraskias — from I — that is between Argestes and Aparctias. 
" Meses — from K — that is between Kaikias and Aparctias. 
" The line drawn from I to K is practically in the direction 
" of the Arctic circle,'* but it is not exact. But there is no 
" wind opposite to Meses — that is from M ; nor to Thraskias — 
" that is from N, except that from N and over a small area a 
" wind does blow, which the people there call Phoenikias." 

According to this definition the direction of four of the winds 
(that is Zephyros and Apeliotes and, by reference to the direc- 
tion of these, Boreas and Notos), is determined by the places of 

^ Thig -wind is also called lapyx in Arist. de Mund. iv., 12; and see Hor. 
Od. i., 3, 4; Virg. ^Ea. viii., 710. 

' This line is called in Arist. Met. ii., 5, 6 8ta TraFTos (f>ave.po<;, and in Met. ii., 
6, 6 Stu. TravTos ^atvo/xo'os ; each expression meaning "the line of constant 
"visibility"; i.e., within which (for a certain part of the year) the sun never 


sunrise and sunset at the equinox. Those places are due E, and 
W. of an observer on whatever parallel of latitude he may be, 
as long as it be not too near the pole for the sun to set at all. 
The direction of these winds therefore may be definitely refei'red 
to the points W. E. N. S. respectively. 

But of the next four principal winds, the directions of Kalkias 
and Euros are determined by reference to the places of sunrise 
at the summer and winter solstices ; and those of Argestes and 
Lips by reference to the places of sunset at those times. 

Now the angles which lines, drawn from any place of obser- 
vation to the places of sunrise and sunset, make with a line 
drawn E. and 7. through the place of observation, vary as 
the distance of the latter place from the equator increases. To 
a person situated on the equator the sun appears to rise, and set, 
at the solstices 23° 27' North or South (as the case may be) of 
the E. and W. points respectively. On the parallel of Athens 
those angles are increased to 29° ; and on the parallel of Green- 
wich to 40° 30'. 

This will be understood more clearly by considering the 
accompanying diagrams Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 — in which the 
lettering corrresponds to that in Aristotle's diagram above 

In each of these the line A B is drawn W. and E. through 
the place of observation ; G II is drawn N. and S. These lines 
are constant. In Fig. 1 the observer is supposed to be on the 
equator ; in Fig. 2 he is supposed to be at Athens. Conse- 
quently, in Fig. 1, D (the place of sunrise at the winter solstice) 
is almost E.S.E. In Fig. 2, D' has moved so as to be nearly 
midway between E.S.E. and S.E. If a similar drawing were 
made for Greenwich, D would be close to S.E. ; and to an 
observer still further North, D would approximate nearer and 
nearer to S. 

Similar observations apply, of course, to C, E, and F, in 



Fig. 1, which in Fig. 2 assume the positions C, E', F', 

It is impossible to suppose that Aristotle intended to convey 
that the directions of these four winds are variable, and that they 
depend upon the situation of the observer. At the same time 
he has not told us on what parallel the winds would have the 
directions which he defines. For several reasons I think we 
must not place his observer at the equator. He holds that the 
S. wind does not come from south of the equator, but from the 
northern half of the torrid zone, and that a correspondincf wind 
of the same character rises in the southern half of that zone 
and goes southward. So that his diagram would not be true in 
that respect if the line AB be on the equator. But he gives us 
no other information about the equatorial region; and altogether 
it seems most reasonable to suppose that, writing at Athens for 
Greeks, he took Athens as his centre of observation. 

In this view Fig. 2 (and not Fig. 1) accurately represents 
Aristotle's diagram with the addition of the compass points. 
The result is that Euros, Lips, Argestes, and Kaikias do not so 
nearly approximate to the points E.S.E., W.S.W., W.N.W., 
and E.N.E., as they would do if we could accept Fig. 1 as the 
basis of Aristotle's definition ; but for reasons of convenience I 
have taken those points as representing with sufficient accuracy 
the direction of those winds throughout the foregoing 

The directions of the other winds, Thraskias, Meses, &c., 
being determined by reference to the four just mentioned, the 
same observations apply in their case. 

At this stage, therefore, while Boreas, Zephyros, and Notes 
maintained their original and cardinal positions. Euros had 
become supplanted by Apeliotes, and had itself been assigned a 
position southward of E. ; the division of the horizon was not 
into equal parts ; and of the winds named by Aristotle, eight 


occur in opposing pairs ; two (Tln-askias and Meses) appear to 
have been admitted almost on sufferance to further sub-divide 
the two northern quarters; wliile in the southern quarters, 
Phoenikias was regarded as a merely local wind not worthy of a 
place, and Libonotus was as yet unrecognized. 

Aristotle treats Boreas and Aparctias as synonymous, and 
places them due N. But there are indications in Theophrastus 
that he considered them to differ slightly, although still keeping 
Boreas, as opposed to Notos, in the line of the meridian. 

I have therefore (in my translation) placed Aparctias as a 
separate wind at " N. by W.," a position relatively, though not 
absolutely, maintained in later times; for, when Aparctias 
afterwards ejected Boreas from N., the latter shifted to the 

The shifting in later times of both Boreas and Euros in the 
same direction from their original cardinal ]iositions is not 
unremarkable . 

Reference should here be made to the table in the Intro- 
duction (p. 17), showing the points to which each wind named 
by Theophrastus is referred in the foregoing translation; wdiich 
either actually or approximately agree with the points ascer- 
tained by reference to Fig. 2. 

We now pass on to perhaps the most interesting scientific 
monument of the ancient world. On the north side, and nearly 
at the base, of the hill which was crowned by the Akropolis 
of Athens, stands the octagonal building sometimes called the 
'' Tower of the Winds," but more properly the " Horologium " 
(or Time Indicator) of Andronikos Kyrrhestes, by whom it was 
erected in the second century B.C. A full description of this 
splendid monument, with accurate scaled drawings of all its 
parts, will be found in the 1st Yol. of Stuart and Revetts' 
Antiquities of Athens (London, 1762). From this work, and 
from Vitruvius who described it (lib. i., cap. 6), it a})pears to 


have served several purposes. Primarily it was to measure time, 
and mark the diurnal and periodic movements of the sun by 
dials, incised on its eight external marble walls, and still to be 
seen. It stood in the line, or at the end, of a conduit from a 
spring on the slopes of the Akropolis, the water of which filled 
the basins of a clepsydra or water clock, in the basement of 
the Tower, to register the hours between sunset and sunrise, 
or on cloudy days. It also probably served the ordinary purposes 
of a fountain to supply water to the inhabitants of that part of 
the citv. 

But the important features for our present purpose are that on 
the frieze are carved eight winged human figures, each sym- 
bolical of a wind and its attributes ; and above each just under 
the cornice is inscribed the name of the wind so represented. 

" Under each of these figures there is a sundial ; and as the 
" east dial is only the west reversed, and as the noonday line 
" on the south dial is a perpendicular, from which the hour lines 
" belonging to the forenoon are equally distant with the corres- 
"pondent hour lines belonging to the afternoon, it is obvious 
" that the astronomer who marked out these dials supposed the 
" sides of this octogon (sic) tower exactly fronted the four car- 
" dinal points of the horizon, and the four principal intermediate 
" points. And it appears he was not mistaken ; for on apply- 
" ing to its western side (which according to this supposition 
" should be in the plane of the meridian) a magnetic needle 
" • • • • it deflected from this side to the west about 12° 55'; 
" which, as far as could be ascertained by repeated meridian 
"observations of the sun, was at that time the magnetic 
" variation at Athens." ^ 

^ Stuart's Athens, Vol. I., p. 14. See also a paper on this tower by Dr. G. 
Ilellmann in " Himrael und Erde," II Jahrgang, 3 & 4 Heft., 1890. From 
photographs in my possession it seems that many of the names on the 
cornice have almost, if not quite, "weathered out" since Stuart made his 


The importance of this fact is that, as Notos is represented 
and named on the frieze above the face on wliich " the south 
dial " is described, and Boreas on the face parallel to it, we 
find that Boreas at the date of the erection of the tower still 
maintained its original direction from due north ; and the line 
connecting Boreas and Notos is in the true line of the meridian. 

The general design of the building will be seen from the 
photographic representation facing p. 77 ; which, owing to 
recent excavations, shows a great deal which Stuart had only 
conjectured, although with perfect accuracy. It is sufficient 
to say that the tower is a little more than forty feet high to 
the top of the cornice i and twenty-five feet through from face 
to face. 

Vitruvius (lib. i., cap. 6) tells us that originally a brazen 
Triton stood on the apex of the roof, capable of rotating with 
the wind ; the direction of which it indicated by pointing with 
a wand in its hand to one of the figures on the frieze below. 
This, we learn from Stuart, had disappeared ; and in the 
cavity where it stood the Sheik Mustapha had by way of 
ornament placed a large wooden model of his turban. Tliis 
(or a reproduction of it) is visible in the photograph. 

The winds are named and represented as follows, beginning 
at the North and passing round through the East : — 

(1) Boreas — An old man very warmly clothed, holding a couch- 


(2) Kaikias — An old man with severe countenance, holding a 

shield with hailstones in it. 

(3) Apeliotes — A young man with flowing drapery, holding in 

the folds of his mantle fruits, ears of corn and au honey- 

(4) Euros — An old man with morose countenance, much wrapt 

up, his mantle concealing his right arm and hand, and 
held up by the left to protect his face. 


(5) Notos — A young man emptying a jar of water. 

(6) Lips — A man of middle age bearing an "aplustre," that is 

tlie ornamental finial of the stern of a Greek ship under 
which the helmsman stood ; thus indicating a fair wind 
for navio-ation. 

(7) Zephyros — A fair, almost effeminate, youth, nude except for 

a loose mantle, the flowing folds of which are filled with 

(8) Skiron — This equivalent of Argestes, (see last note to 

Theophrastus on Winds), is represented by almost a 

replica of Boreas, except that he holds a large inrerted 

jar, very different from the water jar of Notos, which, as 

Stuart suggests, may be a brazen fire pot indicating the 

scorching quality of the wind and the lightnings which 

attend it. 

Of these figures. Lips and Zephyros alone have the feet bare. 

Apeliotes has buskins without soles. All the rest have buskins 

with thick soles. 

The photograph shows the N., N.W., and W. faces of the 
octagon ; the figures of Skiron, and Zephyros being seen on the 

Whether the designer of this tower intended to indicate that 
the winds do not come from definite points on the horizon (as 
Theophrastus, following Aristotle, taught), but that each of the 
eight winds has for its domain the arc of the circle subtended by 
a side of the octagon, is perhaps uncertain; but I am much 
inclined to think that he did, and that this tower marks an 
epoch of change in the treatment of our subject. 

It will be observed that, in any case, the four cardinal winds 
retain their former position; while Kaikias, Euros, Lips, and 
Argestes (Skiron) have swung further away from the equatorial 
line, and taken up positions equidistant from the cardinal points. 
Probably the difliculties attending the Aristotelian definition 


had been felt in practice, and it had been thought better to 
assume an arbitrary definition more symmetrical and certain, 
rather than a merely theoretical one. 

At the same time the intermediate winds, Meses, Phoenikias 
(Euronotos), Libonotos, and Thraskias had disappeared. 

It is now time to turn to Latin Authors to learn the terms 
and positions assigned to the winds by them. 

Passing by Varro and Vitruvius, each of whom has some- 
thing to tell us on the subject, we find in Seneca (B.C. 5 — 
A.D. 65) a complete list of twelve winds as follows'^ : — 



Cfficias ... ... ... from Sunrise at Summer solstice. 

Subsolanus ... ••• „ „ „ Equinox. 

Eurus or Vulturnus ... „ „ ,, Winter solstice. 


Auster or Notus. 


Africus ... ... ... from Sunset at Winter solstice. 

Favonius or Zephyrus ... „ „ „ Efjuinox. 

Corus or Argestes ... „ „ „ Summer solstice. 


We have here a list founded mainly on the Aristotelian 
system, with Septentrio representing Aparctias ; and Aquilo 
representing Meses, or its later equivalent Boreas ; and, if 
the division is symmetrical, it follows, having regard to the 
position of Favonius and Subsolanus, that Septentrio and 
Auster are in the line of the meridian. 

But Seneca considers that the line joining Thraskias and 
Euronotus, and not that joining Septentrio and Auster, is in the 

* Quaest. Natur., lib. v., cap. 16. 


line of the Meridian Axis." The effect of this is to thrust off 
Boreas (in the person of its equivalent, Aquilo) yet another 
place from the meridian line ; or perhaps we should rather say 
to remove the meridian line further from Boreas. The change 
is a singular one in many respects, and involves considerations 
which cannot be gone into here. 

It is, however, remarkable that Seneca's meridian would 
approximate to the magnetic. 

Pliny the elder (a.d. 23-79), in his Natural History (lib. ii., 
cap. 46) gives the following list of eight winds ; — 

Septentrio ... N. 

Aquilo ... between N. and sunrise at Summer solstice. 

Subsolanus ... from sunrise at Equinox. 

Vulturnus ... „ ,, „ Winter solstice. 

Auster ... S. 

Africus ... from sunset at Winter solstice. 

Favonius ... „ „ „ Equinox. 

Corus ... „ „ „ Summer solstice. 

The division is not symmetrical, and he has no wind from 
sunrise at the Summer solstice. He mentions, however, that 
some add to the list Thraskias, Cuecias, Phoenikias, and 
Libonotus ; and also Eiu'onotus, not identifying the latter 
with Phoi'nikias. But there is no indication of his adopting 
Seneca's view as to the meridian, or of Auster being otherwise 
than in that line. 

On the Belvidere Terrace, adjoining the Museo Pio Clemen- 

■^ " A Septentrionali latere summus est Aquilo ; medius Septeutrio ; imus 

Thrakias A meridiauo axe Euronotus est ; deiude Notiis (Latine 

Auster) ; deinde Libouotus." The latter sentence is clear in its terms, " Euro- 
notus " is from the meridian axis." The former sentence is nut so plain ; but 
" imus " must refer to the lowest (apparent) position of the sun, as it passes 
round by the North, which is of course in the meridian line; and there Seneca 
places Thrakias, with Septentrio and Aquilo next in order as the sun rises 
thence on its path towards the East. 




















To jace p. Sg. 



tino of the Vatican, stands what has been termed the " Table 
of the Winds." It is in fact a flat-topped block of stone resting 
on a circular base. The up])er part measures about 24 inches 
across and is about 18 inches high. It has twelve vertical faces 
or sides separated by projecting flutings at each angle. There 
is a slight depression on the top about the centre in which 
possibly a wind-vane may have stood. 

On the upper surface, close to the edge above the face 
numbered 1 in the following list, is inscribed " Septentrio " 
(North) ; similarly above face 4 is inscribed " Oriens " (East) ; 
above face 7 " Meridies" (South) ; and above face 10 " Occidens" 

On the twelve faces are cut the names of twelve winds in 
Greek and Latin as follows : — 













We have here a list differing from Seneca's list, so far as 
regards names, only (except for the mistake to be mentioned 
presently) by the introduction of the new terms : Euroauster, 


















Lips ... 







" As to this error in the " Table," see later on. 

" This is a mistake of the sculi)tor for " Corns." In several classical writers 
the name is spelt " Caurus." "Apheliotes" and "Thrakias" are, of course, 
only dialectic variations. 


Austroafricus and Circius. The positions differ from those 
assigned in the Aristotelian system and by Seneca, in that each 
wind has assigned to it an arbitrary and equal division of the 
circle. The Greek names differ from the Aristotelian in that 
Aparctias (written Aparkias) has finally parted company with, 
and assumed the place of, Boreas ; and the latter is practically 
relegated to the place of Meses, which disappears. 

A curious error is observable in this " Table," in that Yul- 
turnus is identified with Kaikias instead of with Euros. That 
Vulturnus blew from the South of East is clear from the 
passages of Seneca and Pliny above referred to ; and from 
Aulus Gellius ; ^" and the name is derived from the Mons Vul- 
tur in Apulia which lies to the S.E. of Rome. Clearly, there- 
fore, if the sculptor of the table had used the name Vulturnus 
at all, it should have been as a synonym for Euros, and he 
should have given the Latin form Cfficias (as used by Seneca 
and Pliny) as the synonym for Kaikias. We shall see that 
the mistake was perpetuated by later writers, a fact which 
seems to indicate that the Roman " Table" was well known. ^^ 

This "Table" was found in 1779 at the foot of the Esquiline 
towards the Colosseum in the garden of the Monks of Mount 

Signor Tsidoro Carini of the Vatican Library has been good 
enough to examine the characters of the inscriptions, and 

^° Noctes Atticpe, lib. ii., cap. 22, where however Gellius distinguishes Eurus 
from Vulturuus, restoring the former to E. He wrote about A.D. 143. 

'1 That " Vulturnus" was au old-established name is shewn by the remark of 
Seneca that its Greek equivalent Eurus " has now become naturalized with 
us ; " " Eurus jam civitate donatus est." But Livy, writing about the same 
period, when telling of the disastrous effect of the dust blown by Vulturuus 
into the eyes of the Romans at the battle of Cannae (lib. xxii., §§ 43, 46), 
speaks of the name as a local term used in Apulia. The derivation recently 
proposed by Dr. Umlauft, "from ' Vellere-vulsi,' as indicative of a tearing 
rapacious wind," is inadmissible as inconsistent with the character of the 
wind, as well as on other grounds. 



expresses his opinion that it is certainly not older than the 2nfl 
or even the 3rcl century of our era. It thus marks a later 
development of wind nomenclature than the Athenian Tower. 

Through the courtesy and kind assistance of Padre Fran- 
cesco Denza, the Director of the Specola Vaticana, photogra[)lis 
of the " Table " have been obtained, a copy of one of which 
will be found opposite page 89. 

At this stage it will be convenient to present in a tabular 
form a comparison of the positions or range of the Winds 
according to the Philosophers, the Tower of Andronikos, and the 
Vatican Table respectively. The degrees are measured in the 
direction from the N. through E. 

Greek Name. 

Latin Name. 


Tower of 




Aquilo ) 


33° 15'+ 
66° 30'± 

113° 15' + 
146° 30'+ 

213° 15'+ 
246° 30' + 



-22° 30' to 
2-2° 30' 

22° 30' to 
67° 30' 

67° 30' to 
112° 30' 

112° 30' to 
157° 30' 

1 15° to 45° 



Csecias (or 

Solauus (or 
Subsolanus, . 

Eurus or Vul- 

Euroauster . . . 





45° to 75° 



75° to 105° 
105° to 135° 

Phcenikias (or 

Euronotos) .. 



157° 30' to 
202° 30' 

165° to 195° 

Libonotos (of 




202° 30' to 
247° 30' 

247° 30' to 
292° 30' 

292° 30' to 
337° 30' 

225° to 255° 


Argestes (Skir- 
on, Olympias 
or lapyx) ... 

Thraskias ...... 



315° to 345° 


The later Greek writers in the following centuries adhered 
mainly to the Aristotelian divisions and names. A^athemerus 
(circ. A.D. 250) gives a list of eight winds and their places, 
obviously taken from the above quoted passage of Aristotle, 
and repeats that " Notos and Aparctias are opposed." He 
mentions, however, that Timosthenes the Rliodian (circ. 
262 B.C.), made up twelve winds by adding the other four 
mentioned in the last table ; except that he put Boreas for 
Meses and omitted the latter. 

Adamantius, a Greek Physician, wrote (about a.d. 415) a 
Greek treatise on Winds founded on, and in places little 
altered from, the Meteorologica and Problemata of Aristotle 
and the works of Theophrastus. He accepted the duodecimal 
division, and the names given by Aristotle. 

S. Isidore, of Seville (a.d. 560-680), in his Etymologies 
(lib. xiii., cap. 11) describes twelve winds, giving the same 
Latin names as those on the Vatican Table ; even repeating 
the mistake as to Vulturnus, treating it as distinct from Euros 
and lying to the N. of E. Arevali, the learned editor of this 
work (Kome, 1801), noticed this discrepancy between Pliny 
and S. Isidore, but says that he cannot account for it. It 
seems extremely probable that the Archbishop had seen the 
Table on the Esquiline and had copied from it. 

The Emperor Charlemagne is generally credited, on the 
authority of Eginhard (Vita Karoli Imperatoris, cap. 29), Avith 
the introduction of a nomenclature which laid the foundation 
of that now in use. It may be doubted whether this may not 
rather be due to the learned Alcuin, who was born at York 
A.I). 735 and in A.D. 782 went to France at the Emperor's 
solicitation to promote scientific learning in that country, and 
died Abbot of S. Martin of Tours a.d. 801.^- 

^^ Giiizot, " llistoire de Civilizatiou," ii., 17(). 


However this may be, Efrinliard (p. 92, ed. Teulet) tells us 
that the Emperor " gave distinguishing names to twelve winds ; 
" wliile up to his time it was scarcely possible to find names 
" for four " (probably meaning that there were not Frankish 
names for more), " and re-named them as follows : — 

" Subsolanus ... he called Ostroni wint. (E.) 

" Eurus 






" Euroauster ... 






" Auster 






" Austroaf ricus . . 






" Af ricus 






" Zephyrus 






" Corus 






" Circius 






" Septentrio . . . 












" Vulturnus ... 






In all these " old-high German " names the termination 
"roni" means "runninfj from"; and is the origin of our 
termination " ern " in "Northern," &c. See Prof. Skeat's 
Etym. Diet., s.v., where he says the derivation of " North " is 
unknown. " East," according to the same authority, indicates 
" the place of shining, or the dawn " ; " South " (or Sunth), 
" the sunned quarter " ; and " West " the " resting or lodging- 
" place. "^^ 

" Siuce this Appendix has been in type, I have had an opportunity of 
perusing a paper, "Ueber die namen der Winde," by Dr. P"'riedrich Umlauft, 
in the January, 1894, number of the " Meteorologische Zeitschrift," reprinted 
from the " Deutsche Rundschau fiir Geographic und Statistik, vol. xvi., No. 3. 
In it he has traced very slightly the changes of names and positions; the 
purpose of the paper being to explain the meaning and determine the derivation 
of the names used at various times and in various countries of as well the new 
as the old world. Such an enquiry belongs rather to the region of philology 
than meteorology; but I am compelled to say that some of his derivations, 
though plausible and ingenious, must be accepted with caution, and are 


In this list the error of the Vatican Table is again repeated, 
" Vulturnus " being assigned to " Ostnord," or East-Xorth, 
which would again indicate that Charlemagne (or Alcuin) 
derived the list either directly from Home, or indirectly through, 
S. Isidore. 

A similar combination of the names of the cardinal points 
to denote the intermediate points had come into use in this 
country in the time of Archbishop Alfric (circ, a.d. 995), who 
gives in his Vocabulary ^^ the Anglo-Saxon equivalents (such as 
Nordan-Eastan wind, Su^^an-Eastan wind, &c.) for the Latin 
names of the Vatican Table. Unfortunately, however, the 
list as it appears in the Bodleian MS. is full of obvious copyist 
blunders. Amongst others Euros and Eiu'oauster are coupled 
together (with the result that only eleven winds are accounted 

rather speculative. After mentioning Homer's four winds, Dr. Umlauft says, 
" Hesiod also recognised these four chief winds ; but named Argestes in the 
place of Euros." This is a mistake; but Dr. Umlauft is not alone in it. It 
will be found that, as I have stated m the text (p. 79), the term Argestes is 
used by Hesiod, as by Homer, as an epithet of one of the winds, and not as 
the name of a wind. He in fact names three winds onlj', as above stated. 
This is plainly seen if due attention is had to the position of the conjunctions 
in the places where the names occur. The paper however, as well as a 
review of it in the American Meteorological Journal, vol. xi., p. 67, will well 
repay perusal and consideration. 

I am indebted to my friend Dr. Isambard Owen and, through him, to 
Professor Morris Jones, for the following note on the "Welsh names of the 
cardinal points: — "Deheu" (South) means "to the right hand," the spec- 
tator being supposed to face the rising sun. Similarly " Gogledd " (North) 
means " leftwards." " Dwyrain " (East) means " rising," from root " dwyre." 
"Gorllewin" (West) is said to be doubtful, but is attributed to " gor," 
signifying "beyond:" and "llewin," from a root signifying "light." If 
I might hazard a conjecture, I would suggest that "Gorllewin" is a con- 
tracted form for " gorchllewin," which would mean the "enclosure" or 
"folding place" of "light;" representing the same idea as "West" as 
explained as above by Professor Skeat. I have it also from the same 
authorities that the "Welsh named the winds simply after the cardinal points, 
except that the East wind was called " Gwynt traed y meirw," or " the 
wind of the feet of the dead;" so called because the feet of the dead 
when buried are turned to the E.; and is also called "Gwynt y rhew," or 
" the frost wind." 

^* Anglo-Saxon Vocabularies by Tiios. "Wright, ed. Wiilcker (1884). Vol. I., 
pp. 143-144. 


for) and assigned to NorSan-Eastan. Vulturnus (probably by 
accident, as Crecias is not named) appears in its riglit place as 
Eastan-SuSan. ]\Ir. Wright, in his suggested correction of the 
MS., would have repeated anew the error. 

Bartholomew, an English Friar, in his " Prohemium de pro- 
prietatibus rerum " (Lyons 1480), has a dissertation on the air 
and winds. He retains the duodecimal division ; dividing the 
winds into four principal winds, each having two collaterals. 
To the E. wind he assigns Vulturnus towards the N. (the old 
mistake) and Eurus towards the S. as collaterals ; to the W. 
wind (which he calls Favonius) he assigns as collaterals Circius 
(a mistake for Corns) towards the N., and Zephyros (a mistake 
for Africus) towards the S. To the S. wind he assigns Notos 
and Africus (mistakes for Euroauster and Austro-africus 
respectively) ; and to the N. wind (which he calls Boreas) he 
assigns Aquilo towards the W. and Corns towards the E. 
(mistakes for Circius and Aquilo respectively) as collaterals. 
A work so full of blunders is only worth noticing to prevent 
their being repeated. 

Joachim Camerarius, otherwise Leibhard (b : at Bramberg, 
A.D. 1500; d: at Leipzic, a.d. 1574), wrote two metrical 
works in elegiacs ; one yEolia, "■ On the names and places of 
"the winds;" the other Prognostica, or "Weather Signs" 
(Nuremberg 1535). The former recounts the various divisions 
into 4, 8 and 12, and traverses generally the ground we have 
passed over in dealing with them ; including a brief reference 
to the Tower of Andronikos ; but he has not added to our stock 
of information. At the end of ^l^olia however he has given 
three diam-ams to illustrate the three divisions ; but as in all 
the eastern half of the circle is on the left and the western on 
the right, they are very difficult to follow. He seems to have 
intended them to be diatrrams of the heavens viewed from 
below. In that of the duodecimal division he puts Aparctias 


at N. and Boreas anJ Meses (as identical) at the next point 
eastward. In his diagram of the "8" division he has, clearly by 
mistake, put Lips at N.W. and Argestes at S.W. 

We may conclude our retrospect with a reference to Vin- 
cenzo Coronelli (1693), who in his "Epitome Cosmografica " 
gives several diagrams. The first is of the duodecimal division 
wdth Greek and Latin names ; in which the only important 
variations from the Vatican Table are that he gives Aquilo as 
the equivalent of Aparctias "^t N, ; ignores the names of Boreas 
and Septentrio ; and restores Meses to its place in the Aristo- 
telian list, and Vulturnus to its proper place as the equivalent 
of Euros. He next gives a diagram of thirty-two winds with 
Greek (and some Latin) names, many of which are evidently 
of late composition. It is sufficient to give those in the first 
octant — 

N Septentrio or Boreas. 

N. by E Hyperboreas or Gallicus. 

N.N.E Boreas or Aquilo. 

N.E. by N. ... Mesoboreas. 

N.E. Arctapeliotes. 

He also puts at S.W. Notozephyrus. It is obvious that no 
reliance can be placed on such a list as authentic, and that an 
attempt was being made to give apparently classical names for 
the more modern division. 

He also gives a diao;ram of sixteen winds with names in French 
and Italian ; and finally three diagrams in which the thirty-two 
points of the mariner's compass are set out, with the names in 
Dutch, English, and Italian respectively ; the English terms 
being those now in use, except that " North to East " appears 
instead of "North by East." 

When the division of the horizon into tliirty-two parts was 
first adopted will probably never be known. It was the natural 
result of constantly dividing the original quaternal division by 


two. We learn from Chaucer ^^ that it was in use at the latter 
end of the fourteenth century for nautical purposes, while 
twenty-four divisions were made for astronomical purposes. It 
is worthy of remark that the Chinese compass in use since the 
fifth century has twenty-four divisions only.^® 

If my readers have followed me so far, they will come to the 
conclusion at which Aulus Gellius arrived centuries ago, when 
he wrote that there was no general agreement either as to the 
names, the position, or the numbers wf the winds." 

J. G. W. 

15 « Now is this Orizoute departed in xxiiii partiez by this azymutz in 
signiticacion of xxiiii partiez of the world ; al be it so that ship men rikne 
thilke partiez in xxxii." On the Astrolabe, quoted in Encycl. Brit.: tit., 
Compass, ilariners'. 

" Encycl. Brit. : ubi supra. 

^■^ Aul. Gell. : Noct. Att. lib. ii,. Cap. 22, " Quia vulgo neque de appellationi- 
bus ventorum, neque de finibus, neque de nuniero conveuiret." 

Kenny & Co., Printers, 25 Camden Road, London, N.W. 

. ! 

University of California 


405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 

Return this material to the library 

from which it was borrowed. 

'3 1158 00618 9350 f]/^ 




AA 000 438 182 8 


- , . .W.V.' 




ity of C 
em Re 
ary Fa 



M ..*.►» »>.».'