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Weather portents and signs
(634 words)

[German version]

(ἐπισημασίαι/episēmasíai, διοσημεῖαι/diosēmeîai, also σημεῖα/sēmeîa; Latin signa). The term is used in two ways: to designate a portent of a particular weather phenomenon to be expected, or to refer to a sign expressed by the current weather. The oldest weather forecasts were assembled by the Babylonians on the basis of precise observations (Assurbanipal; Divination; Meteorology), and were often linked with astrological prophecies [6; 7] (Astrology), sometimes compiled in menologies (prophecies by the phase of the moon; cf. calendar [B 2]).

The systematic st…

Cite this page
Hübner, Wolfgang (Münster), “Weather portents and signs”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 12 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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