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see also:

etesian, πνεῦμα


Aristotle METE


DEF: as exhalation II 4.361a19, a30, 9.370a29, cf. 8.368a10;
• analogy II 8.367b4
• and cloud II 6.364b24
• and earthquake II 8.366b14
• and eclipse II 8.367b25
• and halo III 3.372b28
• and lightning II 6.364b30
• and place II 8.368b14
• and πνεῦμα II 6.364b8
• and rain II 4.360b27, 361b9;
• and season II 5.362a31, 6.364a33;
• and time II 8.367b25
• and vapour I 10.347a27-28, II 6.364b27;
• as whirlwind III 1.371a2
• body of II 4.360b32;
• bringing hail II 6.364b22, 365a1
• burning II 6.364b23
• cause a clear sky II 6.364b7, b29;
• cause of I 13.349a34, II 5.363a19, 6.364a6;
• causing waves II 8.368a29;
• cold / warm II 6.364b9-10, b32, b27, 8.367a33
• continuous III 1.370b30
• contrary II 6.363a20, 364a28, b17;
• [directions]
o north DEF: II 4.361a22, II 4.361a7, b12; 5.362b34;
o east 5.363a7;
o south II 4.361a7, b12; 5.362b34;
o west 5.363a7;
• downburst II 6.365a1, 8.366b33, 9.369a19-20; III 1.370b8, b17, b29, 371a10
• etesian II 6.365a6
• favourable II 6.364a31
• forced III 1.370b19
• generation and substance and affection of II 6.365a11-12, I 3.340b36-37
• moist / dry II 6.364b18
• motion (φορά) of II 4.361b12;
• motion (κινησις) of II 4.361a30;
• names of [see πνεῦμα]
• nature of II 4.360a19, II 4.361b9, II 9.370a26;
• position of II 6.363a20;
• sign before II 8.367a13
• snowy II 6.364b21
• strong / weak ΙΙ 6.364b6

Lucretius DRN

ventus, -i

Seneca NQ

ventus, -i

DEF: as air in motion VI 685;
o and cloud VI 125 (nubes-is), 444 (nubes-is), 260 (nimbus-i);
o and fire VI 300, 310;
o and seeds of heat VI 274;
o and storm VI 124 (procella-ae), 269 (tempestas-atis);
o and thunder VI 98;
o causing shower VI 293;
o cold / warm VI 310, 319;
o eddy of VI 444;
o force of VI 128, 281, 295, 300, 310, 319, 431, 510, 560, 582, 592;
o making sound VI 115;
o sign of VI 222;
o underground VI 557; whirling VI 153;

DEF: as flowing air V 1.1.1;
o and place I 2.5.6-7;
o ceasing I 1.13.4;
o favourable I pr.13.5;
o foreshadowed by I 1.12.5;
o origin of I 1.12.5;
o weak / strong I 2.6.2

References for Greek and Latin

for ventus (Lucretius)
Durant, N. The Importance of Wind and Air in Book 6 of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (Bachelor thesis, Wesleyan University 2012).

and for ventus (Seneca)
Williams, G., 2012, The Cosmic Viewpoint: A Study of Seneca’s Natural Questions, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 171–212.

and for ἄνεμος (Aristotle)
Wilson, M. 2013, Structure and Method in Aristotle's Meteorologica. A More Disorderly Nature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 196–216

Modern Description

written by Susanne M Hoffmann

Wind is a motion of air. Air always moves from a place of higher air pressure to a place of lower air pressure. The cause for higher air pressure can be a higher temperature which can be caused by the sun. As the amount of sunshine (duration of daylight and warmth) depends on the season, predominant wind directions are (at least partially) connected to the seasons. In modern geoscience, this can be understood through the concept of the tropical wind circulation. Although lacking knowledge about the causes of the seasonal winds, ancient scholars already noticed them as a natural phenomenon. For them, it was striking that typical seasonal winds always occur simultaneously with the heliacal rising of the same stars or constellations or always when the full moon or crescent moon stands in a specific constellation.

Further Remarks

From ancient Mesopotamia, the earliest astronomical compendium, MUL.APIN, dating to the later half of the second millennium BCE. In its second part, lists of predominant wind directions with typical seasons are given.

While the centre of the tropical wind system shifts from the southern to the northern tropics and back during the course of the year, the northern and southern circulation cells follow this motion accordingly. In the northern summer, the inter tropical convergence zone lies roughly at the northern tropic and the northern cell of the trade wind system lies above the Mediterranean. This causes a rather stable trade wind in the Aegean Sea which is also influenced by a local monsoon effect (i.e. the gradient of air pressure above land and sea) and is therefore called Etesian Wind.

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