On (the many) Signs of Rain

In Massachusetts, April has seen a record 21 days of rain. It is raining today in Boston.

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

15

“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.

16

“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.

17

“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.

18

“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

Image result for ancient greek weather vase

 

Also, Theophrastus is like….

 

But then later he says….

“Fire Will Not Freeze”: Some Words

Basil, Letter 189

“Fire will not freeze; ice will not turn warm.”

οὔτε ψύχει τὸ πῦρ, οὔτε θερμαίνει ὁ κρύσταλλος

 

Pliny, Natural History 14.132

“Wine does not usually freeze, it only gets numb with cold temperatures.”

vini natura non gelascit: alias ad frigus stupet tantum.

 Ovid, Ex Ponto 4.85-90

“Is it that I lie, or does the Black sea turn hard at the cold
And ice overtakes many acres of its surface?
When he says these things, ask what reputation I have
Or seek in what way now I survive these hard times.
Here I meet no hatred; and I have not earned hatred either.
Nor has my mind changed at all with my fortune”

mentiar, an coëat duratus frigore Pontus,
et teneat glacies iugera multa freti.
haec ubi narrarit, quae sit mea fama require,
quoque modo peragam tempora dura roga.
nec sumus hic odio, nec scilicet esse meremur,
nec cum fortuna mens quoque versa mea est.

Aristotle, Generation of Animals 735a        

“Watery things certainly freeze but semen does not freeze when it is given to frost in the open air…”

καίτοι πήγνυταί γε τὰ ὑδατώδη· τὸ δὲ σπέρμα οὐ πήγνυται τιθέμενον ἐν τοῖς πάγοις ὑπαίθριον

Plutarch, On the Principle of Cold (Moralia 949b)

“When something freezes, which is the most extreme and most violent of the things that can happen to objects because of the cold, the effect is from water but the cause is the air. For water is a thing which is fluid and not solid and not cohesive. When it is pressed and strained by air in its cold state, it becomes compact.

Καὶ μὴν ἁπάντων γε τῶν γινομένων ὑπὸ ψυχρότητος ἐν τοῖς σώμασι σφοδρότατον καὶ βιαιότατον ἡ πῆξις οὖσα, πάθος μέν ἐστιν ὕδατος, ἔργον δ᾿ ἀέρος· αὐτὸ μὲν γὰρ καθ᾿ ἑαυτὸ τὸ ὕδωρ εὐδιάχυτον καὶ ἀπαγὲς καὶ ἀσύστατόν ἐστιν, ἐντείνεται δὲ καὶ συνάγεται τῷ ἀέρι σφιγγόμενον ὑπὸ ψυχρότητος· διὸ καὶ λέλεκται

Xenophon, Anabasis 4.22.4

“From there they were marching through massive amounts of snow and a for three miles and thirteen parasangs. The third part of it was especially hard: a northern wind was blowing directly against them, slamming everything and freezing the people.”

Ἐντεῦθεν ἐπορεύοντο διὰ χιόνος πολλῆς καὶ πεδίου σταθμοὺς τρεῖς παρασάγγας τρεῖς καὶ δέκα. ὁ δὲ τρίτος ἐγένετο χαλεπὸς καὶ ἄνεμος βορρᾶς ἐναντίος ἔπνει παντάπασιν ἀποκαίων πάντα καὶ πηγνὺς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.

Snow istotle

N.B.

ψυχή, ἡ: soul, life

ψύχωσις: life-giving/generating

ψυχοανάκαλυπτος: soul-baring, revealing

ψυχοκλέπτης: soul-thief

ψυχοκτόνος:soul-killing

ψυχοπλανής: soul-wandering

ψυχοπότης: soul drinker (drinking of life, i.e. blood)

ψῦχος, τό: cold

ψυχρία: cold

ψυχκρασία: growing cold

ψυχολογία: frigid talking

ψυχροποιός: making cold

ψυχροπότης: cold drinker (one who drinks cold water)

ψυχρόσαρκος: with cold flesh

soulCOld1

On (the many) Signs of Rain

It is rainy today. I wore the wrong shoes and jacket and brought no umbrella. How could I have predicted this?

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 think 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

15

“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.

16

“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.

17

“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.

18

“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

Image result for ancient greek weather vase

 

Also, Theophrastus is like….

 

But then later he says….

Aratus, Phenomena 1134-43: Mice, Dogs, Crabs and the Weather

“Mice too, if ever squeaking louder in good weather
They leapt and seemed like dancers,
Were not ignored by ancient weathermen.
Nor were dogs, since a dog digs with both paws
Whenever he expects that a storm is coming on.
The mice will prophesy the same storm.
And, truly, the crab comes to land from the water
When the storm comes, seeking to begin a journey.
The mice who turn their strawbeds with feet at day
Long for sleep whenever signs of rain appear.
Disregard none of these things: it is good to find a sign
to confirm another: when two go the same way together,
Hope increases; you can be brave with a third.”

᾿Αλλὰ γὰρ οὐδὲ μύες, τετριγότες εἴ ποτε μᾶλλον
εὔδιοι ἐσκίρτησαν ἐοικότες ὀρχηθμοῖσιν,
ἄσκεπτοι ἐγένοντο παλαιοτέροις ἀνθρώποις,
οὐδὲ κύνες• καὶ γάρ τε κύων ὠρύξατο ποσσὶν
ἀμφοτέροις χειμῶνος ἐπερχομένοιο δοκεύων,
κἀκεῖνοι χειμῶνα μύες τότε μαντεύονται.
[Καὶ μὴν ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ καρκίνος ᾤχετο χέρσον
χειμῶνος μέλλοντος, ἐπαΐσσεσθαι ὁδοῖο.
Καὶ μύες ἡμέριοι ποσσὶ στιβάδα στρωφῶντες
κοίτης ἱμείρονται, ὅτ’ ὄμβρου σήματα φαίνῃ.]
Τῶν μηδὲν κατόνοσσο• καλὸν δ’ ἐπὶ σήματι σῆμα
σκέπτεσθαι• μᾶλλον δὲ δυεῖν εἰς ταὐτὸν ἰόντων
ἐλπωρὴ τελέθοι• τριτάτῳ δέ κε θαρσήσειας.

Pindar, Olympian 7. 94-5

 

“In one small bit of time, the winds whirl this way and that.”

 

ἐν δὲ μιᾷ μοίρᾳ χρόνου

ἄλλοτ’ ἀλλοῖαι διαιθύσσοισιν αὖραι.

 

(I know, I know: ἄλλοτ’ ἀλλοῖαι διαιθύσσοισιν αὖραι is probably more literally construed as “some winds go one way and other winds go other ways” or “different winds go in different directions” but I went for the simple way…)