Theophrastus on wind

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Wind as a natural phenomenon, as well as the peculiarities of specific winds, such as Boreas, Notos, Eurus, and Zephyrus and their influences on navigation, agriculture and, in general, human live, are among the subjects, extensively treated by the Peripatetics. Winds are studied in Aristotle's Meteorology (1.13, 2.4 sq.), Book 26 of the Problems, the Peripatetic On signs and On the position and Names of the Wind, in an epitome of a meteorological work, ascribed to Theophrastus (the so-called Metarsiology, preserved only in Arabic and Syriac translations) and, finally, in his short (and incomplete) treatise On Winds. The latter work is of special interest not only because it is the only Peripatetic treatise especially dedicated to winds; as such it is a valuable witness of Theophrastus' position on the nature of this natural phenomenon, generally different from the one advanced by Aristotle. Having summarized some aspects of this rather neglected treatise, I try to correlate meteorological information and explanations offered by Theophrastus with contemporary data, especially in the context of the history of navigation.

Translated title of the contributionТеофраст о ветре
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • History of navigation
  • Practical astronomy in Antiquity
  • Weather prediction
  • weather prediction
  • practical astronomy in Antiquity
  • history of navigation



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