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Greek Astral Meteorology and the Late Babylonian Tradition

Christian Tolsa

(University of Barcelona)

Greek and Graeco-Egyptian materials show a rich variety of approaches to the issue of weather prediction. This paper will explore the more systematic texts attempting to predict weather patterns from the observation of the heavenly bodies, what we may call astrometeorological genres. These can be split into genres without distinguishable Babylonian influence —frequently finding a parallel or even arising from the Hesiodic tradition— and those that definitely show such influence. Apart from the eclipse omens, which were adapted from the old Babylonian omen tradition, this survey shows that the main Greek and Graeco-Egyptian genres used the principles at work in the late Babylonian tablets, but took form in a wholly distinct fashion.

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