Ancient Meteorology by Liba Taub

By Liba Taub

В книге рассматриваются греческий и римский подходы и отношение к этой широкой дисциплине, которая в классический период включала не только "погоду", но и явления типа землетрясений или комет, которые сегодня были бы расценены как геологический, астрономический или сейсмологический фактор.
Учитывая господство сельского хозяйства в древнем обществе, не удивительно, что так много было написано о предсказаниях и объяснениях погоды, и о том, как противостоять против капризов и жестокости погоды и как добиться её расположения. Но изучение метеорологии в древности было не только практическим вопросом. Поэты, философы и врачи были также интересовались метеорологией, излагая важные вопросы о природе мира, или, иными словами, о единстве космических явлений, а также об отношениях между метеорологией и божественным.
Автор анализирует различные древние тексты, в которых встречаются метеорологические или научные идеи: от эпоса Гомера и дидактической поэзии Гесиода, Арата и Лукреция – до работ, типа «Метеорологии» Аристотеля и трактатов Гиппократа и Сенеки.Образцы сканов:

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Did those named have good reputations as observers? Were they known as ‘good Astronomers’ (to use the phrase in On Weather Signs)? The usefulness, and attendant valuing, of the knowledge and skills of specialist astronomers may explain why individuals are named in parape¯gmata. Of course, in naming one’s sources, the author has an opportunity to demonstrate how learned he is. But, generally, surviving astronomical works (including those of Ptolemy) tend not to name and discuss the work of predecessors, with some few exceptions.

He elaborates, explaining that ‘as the nature of the sun is understood to control the year’s seasons, so each of the other stars also has a force of its own that creates effects corresponding to its particular nature’. 105 But other writers indicate that this view of the celestial causes of atmospheric phenomena was not universally held and, indeed, was criticized by some. 106 Epicurus (341–271 BCE) famously argued that multiple possible causes, rather than a single explanation, should be considered for natural phenomena.

108 Columella (fl. ] says: Arcturus’ star, the Kids and gleaming Snake We must observe as carefully as men Who, sailing homewards o’er the wind-swept sea Through Pontus and Abydos’ narrow jaws, The breeding-ground of oysters, seek to pass. After quoting the poet as an authority, Columella goes on to say that: Against this observation I do not deny that I have disputed with many arguments in the books which I wrote Against the Astronomers [now lost]. But in those discussions the point which was being examined was the impudent assertion of the Chaldaeans that changes in the air coincide with fixed dates, as if they were confined within certain bounds; but in our science of agriculture [in hac autem ruris disciplina] scrupulous exactitude of that kind is not required, but the prognostication of future weather by homely mother-wit, as they say, will prove as useful as you can desire to a bailiff, if he has persuaded himself that the influence of a star makes itself felt sometimes before, sometimes after, and sometimes on the actual day fixed for its rising or setting.

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