On (the many) Signs of Rain

In the northeastern U.S., there is rain. a lot of it

Lykophron, Alexandra 79-82

“That was the time when Zeus rained over the whole earth
and his flood destroyed everything. Their towers
were thrown to the ground and the people
started to swim once they saw their own destruction.”

ὅτ᾿ ἠμάθυνε πᾶσαν ὀμβρήσας χθόνα
Ζηνὸς καχλάζων νασμός· οἱ δὲ πρὸς πέδῳ
πύργοι κατηρείποντο, τοὶ δὲ λοισθίαν
νήχοντο μοῖραν προὐμμάτων δεδορκότες.

Philo, On Flight and Finding 192

“This is the great flood in which “the floodgates of heaven”–by which, I mean the mind, “were opened and “the streams of the abyss”, which is really perception, “were closed.”

οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μέγας κατακλυσμός, ἐν ᾧ “ἀνεῴχθησαν μὲν οἱ καταρράκται τοῦ οὐρανοῦ,” λέγω δὲ τοῦ νοῦ, “ἀπεκαλύφθησαν δὲ αἱ πηγαὶ τῆς ἀβύσσου,” τουτέστι τῆς αἰσθήσεως.

Theophrastus, Concerning Weather Signs 13

“Many shooting stars [are indications of] rain or wind and the wind or rain will originate from their directions. If the rays of the sun are thick together at sunrise or sunset, it might be a sign of rain.

It is also a sign when during sunrise the raise have the color of an eclipse. And also when there are clouds that are similar to the hair of wool—that’s a sign of rain. Many bubbles rising on the surface of rivers are signs of rain. And, generally speaking, when a rainbow appears around or through the light of the lamp, it means rain from south.”

Ἀστέρες πολλοὶ διᾴττοντες ὕδατος ἢ πνεύματος, καὶ ὅθεν ἂν διᾴττωσιν ἐντεῦθεν τὸ πνεῦμα ἢ τὸ ὕδωρ. καὶ ἐὰν ἀκτῖνες ἀθρόαι ἀνίσχωσιν ἀνιόντος ἢ δύνοντος, σημεῖον <ὕδατος>. καὶ ὅταν ἀνίσχοντος τοῦ ἡλίου αἱ αὐγαὶ οἷον ἐκλείποντος χρῶμα ἴσχωσιν, ὕδατος σημεῖον. καὶ ὅταν νεφέλαι πόκοις ἐρίων ὅμοιαι ὦσιν, ὕδωρ σημαίνει. [ὑετοῦ δὲ σημεῖα] πομφόλυγες ἀνιστάμεναι πλείους ἐπὶ τῶν ποταμῶν ὕδωρ σημαίνουσι πολύ. ὡς δ᾿ ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ ἶρις περὶ λύχνον ἢ διὰ λύχνου διαφαινομένη νότια σημαίνει ὕδατα.

Some excerpts from following paragraphs


“When birds who do not live in the water bathe, it is a sign of rain or storm. It is also a sign when frogs sing louder or when a toad takes a bath.”

Ὄρνιθες λουόμενοι μὴ ἐν ὕδατι βιοῦντες ὕδωρ ἢ χειμῶνας σημαίνουσι. καὶ φρύνη λουομένη καὶ βάτραχοι μᾶλλον ᾄδοντες σημαίνουσιν ὕδωρ.


“When a crow places its head on a rock which is washed by waves it is a sign of rain. Also: when it frequently dives down and flies around near the water, it is a sign of rain.”

Κορώνη ἐπὶ πέτρας κορυσσομένη ἣν κῦμα κατακλύζει ὕδωρ σημαίνει· καὶ κολυμβῶσα πολλάκις καὶ περιπετομένη ὕδωρ σημαίνει.


“If a hawk sits on a tree and then flies straight in a search for bugs, it is a sign of  rain.”

Ἐὰν ἱέραξ ἐπὶ δένδρου καθεζόμενος καὶ εἴσω εἰσπετόμενος φθειρίζηται, ὕδωρ σημαίνει.


“If a domesticated duck goes under the eaves of a roof and flaps its wings, it is a sign of rain.”

Καὶ ἡ νῆττα ἥμερος <ἐὰν> ὑπιοῦσα ὑπὸ τὰ γεῖσα ἀποπτερυγίζηται


gift of rain hitting tile

Also, Theophrastus is like….


But then later he says….

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