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Wind vanes in the antiquity

  • S. Lindgrén
  • J. Neumann
Article
  • 31 Downloads

Summary

Mesopotamia: An Akkadian tablet, the original of which was incised between about 1800 and 1600 B.C., makes explicit mention of a wind vane. Further three Sumero-Akkadian “dictionaries” have three different names for the single Akkadian name for wind vane. Since the latest period of flourishing of the Sumerian civilization took place between about 2 100 and 2000 B.C., wind vanes must have been in use in ancient Mesopotamia already about 4000 years ago, i.e. about 2000 years before the Chinese and Greeks had wind vanes. The Mesopotamian wind vanes were made of wood.

China: It appears from the old Chinese literature that streamers were in use about the 2nd century B.C. in China for wind vanes. Shortly thereafter, a wind vane in the shape of a bird made of bronze is mentioned in the literature.

Greece: The wind vane in the shape of a triton that was fixed, according to Vitruvius, to the top of the Tower of Winds at Athens, must have disappeared before A.D. 1436.

Roman Empire: According to a passage in Dio Chrysostom's writtings, streamers appear to have been used for wind vanes. What seems to be the first wind vane in the shape of a cock, was erected in the 2nd century A.D. on the top of the mausoleum of the Flavians, in a North African province of the Roman Empire.

Keywords

Biocl Chinese Literature Latin Text Wind Vane Meteorological Instrument 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Windfahnen im Altertum

Zusammenfassung

Mesopotamien: Auf einer akkadischen Inschrifttafel aus der Zeit zwischen 1800 und 1600 v.Chr. wird Erwähnung von einer Windfahne gemacht. Ferner enthalten drei sumerisch-akkadische „Wörterbücher” drei verschiedene Namen für den einzigen akkadischen Ausdruck für Windfahne. Da die letzte Periode der blühenden sumerischen Zivilisation in die Zeit um 2100 bis 2000 v.Chr. fiel, müssen im antiken Mesopotamien Windfahnen schon vor 4000 Jahren in Gebrauch gewesen sein. Die mesopotamischen Windfahnen waren aus Holz.

China: Nach alter chinesischer Literatur scheinen im zweiten Jahrhundert v.Chr. in China Wimpeln als Windfahnen verwendet worden zu sein. Kurz danach wird in der Literatur eine Windfahne in Form eines Vogels aus Bronze erwähnt.

Griechenland: Die in Form eines Triton (nach Vitruvius) auf der Spitze des Windturms in Athen angebrachte Windfahne muss vor dem Jahr 1436 verschwunden sein. Römisches Reich: Nach einer Bemerkung in einer Schrift von Dio Chrysostom scheinen Wimpeln als Windfahnen verwendet worden zu sein. Eine erste Windfahne in Form eines Hahns scheint im zweiten Jahrhundert auf der Höhe des Mausoleums der Flavianer in einer nordafrikanischen Provinz des Römischen Reiches angebracht worden zu sein.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lindgrén
    • 1
  • J. Neumann
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of HistoryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.c/o Department of MeteorologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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