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Qu'est-ce que la philosophie présocratique ?

 | 
André Laks
, 
Claire Louguet

A. Auteurs et œuvres

Demokritos on the Weather

David Sider

Texte intégral

  • 1 Arist. Pol. I, 11, 1259a6ff. (11 A 10). Sim. D.L. I, 26 (A 1), Cic. Div. I, 49.111.
  • 2 Pl. Tht. 174a (A 9).
  • 3 «Ferunt Democritum, qui primum intellexit ostenditque caeli cum terris societatem,...» Pliny NH XVI (...)

1Among the less well known accomplishments of the Presocratics are their attempts to predict the weather. Thales, according to Aristotle1 was taunted with the familiar question, If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? As Aristotle tells the story, Thales, thanks to his studies of the heavens (ἐκ τῆς ἀστρολογίας), knew that the olive crop was going to be a good one. Thales then cornered the market on olive presses, which, when he was shown to be right, he rented out at a high price. This delightful story of course is balanced by, but not necessarily canceled by, the one in Plato’s Theaitetos that has him absent mindedly falling into a well while contemplating the heavens2. What really causes doubt about the story of the olive presses is that it’s hard to imagine how it could have been transmitted, while it is all too easy to imagine that later Greek biographical tradition simply invented it in its attempt to find a telling and Personal anecdote that would best illustrate what one could learn ἐκ τῆς ἀστρολογίας. Also causing doubt is that a similar story, as we shall see, is told of Demokritos, and it is in the nature of these tales to wander from one individual to another. For the moment, let us merely spell out what is implicit in this story: that the prediction of the weather can be put on a more scientific level through observation of all heavenly phenomena: «They say that Democritus, who was the first to understand and demonstrate the close connection between heaven and earth... »3. This is in fact the passage that goes on to describe how Demokritos foresaw a good olive harvest.

  • 4 παύσεις δἀκαμὰτων ἀνὰμων μένος οὅ τἐπὶ γαῖαν
    όρνύμενοι πνοιαῖσι καταϕθινύθουσιν ἀρούρας
    καί πάλιν(...)
  • 5 Wright 1981, 261.
  • 6 Kingsley 1995, ch, 15, for example, makes a very good case against those who, like me, would ration (...)
  • 7 Apollonios, Mirabilia 3, p.122 Giannini (after his soul, apart from his body, had travelled many ye (...)

2Another Presocratic, Empedokles, went so far as to claim that he could bring on or avert weather. B 111 with the accompanying context (Satyros ap. D. L. VIII, 59) not only has Empedokles claiming that he can teach how to stop or to rouse the force of the winds and rain, its testimony has Gorgias, his fellow Sicilian, claiming to have witnessed Empedokles’ «working his magic» (γοητεύοντι)4. Wright in her commentary ad loc. rationalizes this passage by imagining that Empedokles stopped the winds by constructing a windbreak of some sort5, but this does not explain the other claims. Nor does a windbreak, of very limited application, admit to being thought of as magic. If one has to rationalize, it would be better to say that what Empedokles really means (at least to himself) is that if one knows in advance when winds and rain will begin or end, one can impress the less knowledgeable by pretending to command the inevitable to occur. This explanation has the added virtue of assimilating Empedokles to other weather predictors; although whether Empedokles would consider this a virtue is debatable6. And like Empedokles, Hermotimos of Clazomenai was credited with the power to predict weather through mysterious powers7.

  • 8 Diog. Laert. II, 10 (59 A 1), Ael. NA VII, 8, Philos. VA I, 2 (A 6).
  • 9 Arist. Meta. 984b 17.

3Anaxagoras’ story is more prosaic than Empedokles’: He simply shows up at a public event wearing rain gear on a sunny day; and sure enough it soon rains8. Aelian tells a similar story about Hipparchos, presumably but not definitely the 2nd-century author of a commentary on Aratos and Eudoxos. Even in this small sample of Presocratics, then, there is little uniformity. Empedokles and Hermotimos on one side as magicians with power over the weather; and on the other side Anaxagoras, whose sobriety Aristotle famously contrasted with the blathering of his predecessors9. How Anaxagoras, though, was able, or thought that he was able, to predict the weather our sources do not tell us.

  • 10 Cic. Div. I, 6 (68 A 138= 111.1 Le.) plurumisque locis gravis auctor D. praesensionem rerum futurar (...)
  • 11 εἰ δὲ δοκέοι τις ταῦτα μετεωρολόγα εναι, εἰ μετασταίη τῆς γνώμης, μάθοι ἄν ότι οὐκ ἐλάχιστον μέρος(...)
  • 12 The Geoponika is a tenth-century compilation of passages pertaining to agriculture; original author (...)
  • 13 Geoponika I, 12.19 Δημόκριτος δέ ϕησιν, ἐν τῷ ϕθινοπώρῳ εκζέματα γίνεσθαι περί τὰ στόματα, διò χρή (...)

4For one other Presocratic, of the sober Anaxagorean sort, there is more evidence: Demokritos. First, there are some few statements attesting to his ability to foretell events of some unspecified sort, where context makes it clear that we are dealing with philosophers and not with seers10. These statements could refer to Demokritos’ predicting the course of a disease, since prognosis was an important part of the medical art; the Hippocratic Airs Waters Places expressly urges the physician to get a sense of the lay of the land in a new location so he can predict local weather conditions, which are causally linked to the health of the local populace. In brief, Aer 1-2 urges the physician to «read» the topography upon arriving in a new location. This includes its disposition in respect to the sun and how the winds blow. «If someone think that these things are meteorological in nature, upon reflection he will learn that astronomy is of the greatest significance in medicine, because mens’ illnesses and digestive organs change along with the seasons» (2.3)11. For the moment at least, though, it does not matter for what purpose Demokritos thought it important to foresee weather. That medicine was of some interest to him in this context is indicated by the Byzantine work known as the Geoponika, which specifically attributes statements to Demokritos concerning various connections between seasons and their likely diseases, and even more interesting their cure12. Thus, in a chapter on the zodiac expressly credited to Zoroaster, we read that according to Demokritos in the fall eczema can be expected to erupt about the mouth unless one has in the spring before eaten one’s vegetables, purged one’s stomach (especially if young), and drunk (only?) unmixed wine13.

  • 14 On Bolos, cf.Wellmann 1899, id. 1903, id. 1921, id. 1928, Waszink 1954, Fraser 1972, 1, 440-4, Sale (...)
  • 15 Meaning manmade (medicines), as opposed to natural (herbal) ones.
  • 16 Vitruv. IX, praef., 14 (68 B 300.2-0.6.4 Le.) admiror etiam Democriti de rerum natura volumina et e (...)
  • 17 As has been noticed, Bolos is credited with having cited authors who were known to have lived after (...)
  • 18 Wellmann 1921, 5 says that his correct name was Bolos Demokritos, but if so he could not have used (...)
  • 19 Guthrie 1965, 469f., for example, in his generous chapter on Demokritos has nothing to say on weath (...)
  • 20 Maass 1893a, 632.

5But before we continue to draw other links between Demokritos and weather, we have to face up to the matter of Bolos of Mendes (Egypt), some of whose Works, it seems, were confused with those of Demokritos14. Bolos was said by Columella VII, 5.17 to have produced a work, the Cheirokmeta15, under the name Demokritos (Bolus.... cuius... Χειρόκμητα sub nomine Democriti falso produntur, 68 B 300.3 = 0.8.24 Le.). And indeed some, including Vitruvius and Pliny, were fooled16. Bolos probably did not intend to commit fraud17 – he may only have been given, or have taken, the name Demokritos in addition to his own; the Souda calls him Βῶλος Δημόκριτος ϕιλόσοϕος18 – but no matter; the harm was done. Diels collected under the rubric Demokritos B 300 the sources mentioning «Demokritos» that he thought actually referred to Bolos. Some surely do, but not necessarily all. Diels, it must be granted, maintained that (contra Wellmann) Democritus the Presocratic did write a Georgika (on which see further below), but this assemblage of Diels at B 300 seems to have done its own harm, in that this rather indiscriminate relegation to the «unechte Fragmente» of just about all testimony alluding to Democritean writings on medicine and Diels’ brief allusion there to the Geoponika’s weather testimony has resulted in near-universal neglect in current scholarship of these aspects of Demokritos’ thought19. It is this State of affairs that I wish to correct in this paper. This was not always the case, however. E. Maass, for example, was willing to allow at least one mention of Demokritos in the Geoponika to refer to the Presocratic20.

  • 21 Δημόκριτος δέ ϕησι, ποταμοὺς μεγάλους ἔσεσθαι, καὶ νόσους περὶ τò ϕθινόπωρον. There is also testimo (...)
  • 22 5 δὲ Δημόκριτος λέγει τòν οἶνον χρηστòν καὶ παράμονον εἶναι, εὔθετον δὲ εἶναι τò ἔτος πρòς μόνην (...)

6One other statement attributed to Demokritos in the Geoponika pertains to disease – «Demokritos says that in the fall rivers will be in spate and there will be disease» (1.12.29) – but the others are directed more toward farmers or are simply unspecific as to audience21. It was not physicians, however, but sailors and farmers who, sometime in mankind’s early prehistory, were the first to collect weather signs. Their observations were eventually gathered and organized in various forms, both oral and written. In Greece, Hesiod’s Opera et Dies represents if not all then a fair sample of weather lore of the sort that would concern a farmer more than a sailor, namely a list of signs, mostly solar, lunar, and stellar, which help one to note the progress of the solar year. Since The Geoponika was ignored by Diels-Kranz, Luria, and Leszl, it is worth listing the rest here (all from I, 12): «5 Demokritos says that the wine is drinkable and worth laying down, and that the season is fit for only one planting of grapevine. 11 Demokritos says that in this season there is much hail and snow, and that the etesian winds do not blow regularly. 17 Demokritos says there is damage from hail. 28 Demokritos says that in this season neither will the rivers be in spate nor will there be much hail; and the fall will be a wet one. 40 Demokritos says that the grapevine and the olive will be bountiful»22.

7There are thus several distinct ways in which observers speak of forthcoming weather. The first was to list annual (cyclic) signs which serve as reminders of what everyone knows. The setting of the Pleiades, for example and most notably, remind one that the end of the sailing season has arrived. Later observations of this sort provide more accuracy by trying to establish a correlation between the generally expected weather with the individual days of the year. This led to the parapegmata, as will be discussed below.

8Second was the attempt to predict the peculiar deviations from the norm that the season to follow would display. This is illustrated by the anecdote about Thaïes and the wine presses, as well as by the predicitons from the Geoponika attributed to Demokritos concerning «this (forthcoming) season».

  • 23 Cf. Rehm 1941. From a fragment of a parapegma discovered in Miletos it is possible to date the begi (...)
  • 24 ἐν δέ τῇ δήμέρα [sc. of Skorpion] Δημοκρίτῳ Πλειάδες δύνουσιν ἅμα o ἄνεμοι χειμέριοι ὡς τὰ πολλ (...)
  • 25 Most of the evidence is collected at B 14, coming from Vitruvius, Geminos, Johannes Lydos, and Ptol (...)
  • 26 The fragments of Leptines Ουράνιος Διδασκαλία referring to Demokritos can be found in Lasserre 1966 (...)
  • 27 Neugebauer 1957, 81.
  • 28 E.g., Joh. Lydos de Mens. 14, p. 65 προ δεκαπέντε Καλενδρῶν Φεβρουαρίων ό Δ. λέγει δύεσθαι τòν δελϕ (...)

9The third variety of prediction was the attempt to predict the weather imminent in the next few hours or days. In all these refinements over Hesiod, Demokritos played a key role. First, the parapegmata. These are daily calendars, each day identified in writing and given its own small hole, into which a peg could be inserted so that a brief glance would tell one precisely where one was in the year23. The main purpose of the Democritean parapegma, however, was to serve as a kind of Farmer’s Almanac, with the typical weather to be met on each day also spelled out. The Geoponika, as we have seen, inserted Democritean parapegma material into a solar year, where each day was identified in terms we usually call astrological, that is, first by signs of the zodiac. So too does Geminos, who also provides what was probably original to the parapegma, the further precision of the days of that sign, as well as occasional indication of equinoxes, solstices, and the rising and setting of major constellations. For example, 218.1 «On the fourth day of Scorpio (in Demokritos) the Pleiades set at dawn. The winds are generally stormy, the weather is now cold, and frost is likely in addition; most trees have begun to shed their leaves»24 (B 14.3)25. This is the fullest of eleven explicit citations of Demokritos’ parapegma. There is nothing here that a farmer, sailor, or indeed anybody in the ancient world would need to be told or to read, but it’s clear how a daily listing such as this is, in form at least, an improvement, for a no-longer-oral age, over Hesiod. Note too the use of «is likely to» (ϕιλεῖ) and «for the most part» (ώς τα πολλά), which acknowledges, as all later texts on weather signs were to do, the provisional nature of its predictions. One source, Leptines, attributes to Demokritos a tally of the days between solstice/equinox and the next equinox or solstice, but the precise number may not have been spelled out in Demokritos’ text, especially since this same work also tells us Demokritos’ count of the number of days in the Egyptian month Athur26, which is unlikely to have been of concern to him, whereas later writers were much impressed with the sophisticated Egyptian calendar, which Otto Neugebauer calls «the only intelligent calendar which ever existed in human history»27. Similarly, Johannes Lydos later assimilates Demokritos’ data to the Roman calendar28. Leptines names Demokritos four time, three times saying that he and Eudoxos agree with each other, but not with Euktemon or Kallippos.

  • 29 Aldus Manutius printed a five-volume edition (the ed. princeps) of Aristotle and Theophrastos (Vene (...)
  • 30 In addition to Aratos 758-1154, extant passages of significant length dealing with weather signs ar (...)
  • 31 ἄτοπον γάρ ἐστι κοράκων μὲν λαρυγγισμοῖς καὶ κλωσμοίς ἀλεκτορίδων καὶ συσίν ἐπὶ ϕορυτω μαργαινούσαι (...)

10For the most part, then, the ancient texts on weather predictions fall into two classes, those such as Hesiod’s, where one describes the changing weather over a typical year; and those that attempt to discover signs of the actual weather as it will develop either over a period no more than a few days, or, less frequently, over and maybe into the next season. Of this latter class, the fullest is the Peripatetic treatise De Signis, which the codices either ascribe to Aristotle or keep anonymous. Only one late ms. ascribes it to Theophrastos, as do most printed editions after that of Aldus’29. Far more well known than De Signis, however, is the final section of Aratos’ Phainomena, which versified, if not De Signis, then some closely related text, just as in its earlier part of his work Aratos versified Eudoxos30. Some spring seasons may be rainier than others, but how can one know if it will rain later this very day or tomorrow? One knows that snow is possible in winter, but what about later this (say) December day? There is evidence that Demokritos concerned himself with these matters too. Note Plut. de sanit. praec, 14.129a (B 147 = 580 Lu. = 193.2.2 Le.) «For it is strange to look attentively to the croaks of crows, the clucking of hens, and pigs raging over scraps, as Demokritos says, regarding them as signs of wind and storm»31.

  • 32 Thus, Clem. Alex. Protrepticus 92.4 (68 B 147 = 581a Lu. = 193.1 Le.) says ύες γάρ, ϕησίν [sc. Hera (...)
  • 33 Cf. Wellmann 1921, 5f., who agrees with Diels in dating Bolos (on the basis of Stoic borrowings) to (...)
  • 34 Maass 1893b, xxvi (followed by D-K 68 B 147, Kidd on Aratos 1123, and Mynors on Verg. G. I, 399f.)
  • 35 Cf. Alkiphron Epist. Parasit. 4.5 βρωμάτων ϕορητόν.
  • 36 Maass 1893a. His argument relies too heavily on the unusual number of poetic and/or Ionic words whi (...)
  • 37 τοῖς δὲ ἄστροις εἴωθεν ὡς ἐπὶ τò πολὺ σημαίνειν καὶ ταῖς ἰσημερίαις καὶ τροπαῖς, ούκ επαὐταῖς ἀλλ(...)

11It is possible to read Plutarch’s text so that all the talk of weather signs belongs to him rather than to Demokritos, whose reference to pigs could have been wrenched from a completely different context32 – were it not that Aratos 1123 presents this same activity as a sign of bad weather: σύες ϕορυτῷ ἔπι μαργαίνουσαι, which I think securely links the two texts. And it is all but certain that if Aratos borrowed from a Demokritos, it was the Presocratic and not Bolos, who lived after, perhaps much after, Aratos33. It would be more secure if this weather sign also appeared in De Signis, but this is unfortunately not the case. Seeking to provide the link, however, E. Maass34, conjectured σύες, for μύες in De Signis 49 σημεῖον δημόσιον χειμέριον όταν μύες περὶ ϕορυτού μάχωνται καὶ ϕέρωνται, thinking that De Signis was referring to the weather sign concerning pigs traceable to Demokritos, but in συσὶν ἐπὶ ϕορυτω μαργαινούσαις, the key word is the last one, which here must have the sense «acting gluttonously» rather than merely «raging», as LSJ says. And in this case, ϕορυτω refers to the sizable slops thrown to pigs35. There is nothing said in Demokritos or in the authors dependent upon him (Aratos, Vergil, or Pliny) about their carrying them off, which is not what pigs do. But as I have said, we do not need De Signis; the Aratos passage combined with that from Plutarch is enough to ensure that Demokritos dealt with short-term weather signs. Maass was probably led to make this conjecture because he believed that De Signis derived in large part from Demokritos36. Maass, though, was right to point out another passage where De Signisseems to echo Demokritos. With De Signis 57 «It is normal for the stars, equinoxes, and solstices to be generally significant, not only at their occurrences but also either shortly before or after»37 compare Pliny NH XVIII, 231 (B 14.4 = 186.4 Le.) Democritus talem futuram hiemem arbitratur qualis fuerit brumae dies et circa eum terni, item solstitio aestatem. And Book XVIII is where Pliny draws most heavily and overtly on De Signis.

  • 38 16 έὰν κόραξ εύδίας οὔσης μὴ τὴν είωθυῖαν ϕωνὴν ἵη καὶ ἐπιρροιβδῇ ὕδωρ σημαίνει. 17 ὅλως δὲ ὄρνιθες(...)
  • 39 Δημόκριτος δέ καί πουλήϊος ϕασι, τοιουτον χρή προσδοκᾶν ἔσεσθαι τòν χειμῶνα, οποία ἔσται ή ήμερα (...)
  • 40 Kroll 1934, 229 refers to Weïlmann’s «imposante Kenntnis».

12Certainly the references to crows and roosters have their parallels in De Signis. Compare chapters 16 «and if a raven during fair weather emit a sound other than its customary one and whirrs its wings, it signals rain» and 17 «And generally, birds and chickens’ delousing themselves signal rain; so too when they imitate the sound of rainwater falling»38. But, as was noted before, Plutarch’s allusion to the animal signs are not specifically assigned to Demokritos; and the behavior of animals of all sorts, certainly familiar ones like crows and roosters, is, after meteorological signs, the most common source of weather signs. But if, as seems likely, Pliny’s reference to Demokritos is to the Presocratic, we should now cite Geoponika I, 5.3 «Demokritos and Apuleius say that one should expect that the winter will be like the weather on the festival day called Bruma in Latin, i.e., the 24th day of the month Zeus, or November»39 which shows, as must be done when facing an opponent as formidable as Wellmann40, that the Geoponika can contain a reference to the Presocratic Demokritos.

  • 41 For the ways in which Vergil borrows from Aratos and occasionally directly from De Signis, cf. Jerm (...)

13Another link, though not a direct one, between Demokritos and De Signis is Pliny NH XVIII, 321 «Vergil, following Democritus, thought that certain things were to be ordered by the numbered days of the month» (namque Vergilius etiam in numeros lunae digerenda quaedam putavit Democriti secutus ostentationem). That is, Vergil, following the statement paraded by Demokritos, thought it proper to asssign particular operations to numbered days of the month. Did Vergil read Demokritos directly, though? Perhaps, but more likely his sources for his section at the end of the First Georgic was, as is usually taken for granted, Aratos and De Signis41.

  • 42 «Tradunt eundem Democritum metente fratre eius Damaso ardentissimo aestu orasse ut reliquae segeti (...)
  • 43 ώς δέ προειπών τινα τῶν μελλόντων εὐδοκίμησε, λοιπòν ἐνθέου δόξης παρά τοῖς πλείστοις ἠξιώθη.

14Another story, similar to the ones told about Anaxagoras and Hipparchos, but with more detail is told about Demokritos by Pliny NH XVIII, 341 (A 18 = XXXV Lu.) «They say that this same Democritus urged his brother Damasios, who was reaping his harvest on a very hot day, to stop harvesting and to gather what he had already cut and put it under cover. A few hours later his prophecy was confirmed by fierce rainstorm»42. Again, however, the biographical form of this narrative should give us pause. It probably came from a later account in which Demokritos’ predictive powers were praised in general with some particular anecdotes given as confirmative instances. Note (with Diels) the similarity to Diogenes Laertius IX, 39 «he became well known for having predicted some future events; afterwards he was very widely considered deserving of the honor due a god»43, where again, but without the specific mention of weather, he is praised for his ability to foretell the future. Yet it hard to dismiss the story of his predicting rain totally; as with most ancient biographical fictions, it may well have been an elaboration of something found within his writings. That the brother in this story is named Damasos shows that the Demokritos mentioned is the Presocratic (whose father’s name was Damasippos; Diog. Laert. IX, 34), and not Bolos.

  • 44 34 ἐὰν έτησίαι πολὺν χρόνον πνεύσωσι καὶ μετόπωρον γένηται ἀνεμῶδες, ό χειμὼν νήνεμος γίνεται, εάν (...)

15To summarize so far: Demokritos, according to sources of varying credibility, wrote on ways to predict weather (i) over the course of a typical year (in the manner of Hesiod), (ii) attempting to assess the course of the current season or the next one, and (iii) attempting to predict the weather as it would develop in the next few hours and days. It is with predictions of the second and third sort that later weather literature was concerned; and far less with the second than with the third, the signs of immediate weather. For those of the second sort in De Signis, note, for example, 34 «If etesian winds blow for a long time and there is a windy autumn, the winter will be windless. But if the opposite occurs, the winter will turn out opposite as well», 40 «if many jelly fish appear in the sea this is a sign of a stormy season»44. Did these three kinds of predictions all appear in the same work of Demokritos, and if so which? This question of where Demokritos discussed weather is not merely a bibliographical one; its answer could reveal something about the relationship in his theories between the practical and the theoretical, and about the role that empirical observation plays.

  • 45 κατά τὴν ἐπιτολήν του Ἀρκτορύου σϕοδροὶ καταχέονται ὄμβροι, ὥς ϕησι Δημόκριτος ἐν τῷ Περὶ στρονοµ(...)
  • 46 As noted and approved by Böker 1962, 1619, who then says (1620) that Demokritos would have written (...)
  • 47 Censor. XVÏII, 8 (B 12 = 423 Lu.-185.1 Le.) est et Philolai annus... Democriti ex annis lxxxii cum (...)
  • 48 Incidently, one Theophrastean title is Περὶ τῆς Δημοκρίτου Ἀστρολογίας α’ (D.L. V, 43), which presu (...)
  • 49 DK’s inconsistent use of parentheses tends to obscure what is going on here.

16A scholion on Apollonius Rhodius II, 1098 tells us that a statement of type (i) occurred in Demokritos’ ΠερὶΑστρονομίας: «At the rising of Arktouros thick rainstorms gather, as Demokritos says in his On Astronomy» (B 14.5 = 424.5 Lu. = 185.5 Le.)45, a work which Thrasyllos, according to Diogenes Laertius IX, 48 (A 33), listed among Demokritos’ Mathematika as Μέγας ενιαυτός Ἀστρονομίη, παράπηγμα. Other alternate titles, as signalled by an , appear in Thrasyllos’ list, but a title followed by + alternate, and then merely by what appears to be yet another alternate (forcing modem editors to insert a comma) is unique. (Remember that Thrasyllos arranged titles/works by tetralogies, so that παράπηγμα cannot be a fifth title.) Cobet tidied things up by conjecturing Μέγας ενιαυτός Ἀστρονομίης παράπηγμα46, which if correct would suggest that Demokritos, in contrast with what we know of other parapegmata, constructed his to cover all the of the more than 3000 days in an 82-solar-year Great Year, each day of which was separately described both calendrically and in weather terms. Not likely. Yet we do hear elsewhere that Demokritos wrote on the great year47, so it remains possible that one long, perhaps disjointed, work treated a typical solar year such as was experienced at that time by Greeks in Demokritos’ part of the world. These days, remember, were identified first by zodiacal sign and then by number. This part, the parapegma part, could not be all of it, or Thrasyllos would not have classified the work among Demokritos’ mathematika. Another part must have have discussed how the solar and lunar cycles could be brought together into one larger cycle. If the number of years in this cycle was anywhere as large as the manuscripts of Censorinus say, then the cycle of the planets would also have to be reconciled; and the mathematics necessary for this would justify the work’s inclusion under this rubric. Still, as a title Μέγας ενιαυτός Ἀστρονομίης παράπηγμα seems inelegant. Μέγας ἐνιαυτòς καὶ Ἀστρονομίης παράπηγμα might be more precise, but this is not a common form of ancient titles (although in this context Eργα καὶΗμέραι comes to mind). We do know, however, that works were often refered to in terms that sound like titles, with the result that later attempts to list an author’s Works make a terrible hash of it, listing parts as if they were complete Works alongside of the whole of which they are parts. The list of 291 titles attributed to Theophrastos is a notorious example of this48. I suspect, though, that the slight mystery of the word παράπηγμα in Diogenes Laertios’ list can be solved if we consider it a one-word expansion of the title provided by Diogenes or his source, who was probably later than Thrasyllos. Thus, elsewhere in the list, after the second grouping of four Ethika we read γὰρ Εὐεστὼ ούχ εὑρίσκεται. After the first title in the first group of Physika, Μέγας Διάκοσμος, we read v οἱ περὶ Θεόϕραστον [a phrase that may refer to Theophrastos alone] Λευκίππου ϕασίν εναι49. On this view, παράπηγμα either would be shorthand for «this work contains a parapegma», or, more likely, it is all that remains of a short descriptive sentence added by a librarian/editor. The Thrasyllan title was probably simply ΜέγαςΕνιαυτòς Ἀστρονομίη.

  • 50 Sider 2001, 104f.
  • 51 Maass 1921, 632f.
  • 52 See Wellmann 1921, 42-58 for an impressive collection of fragments of what he calls Βώλου Δημοκρίτο (...)

17Even if the title is unsure, though, the evidence points toward the parapegmatic material, with its general comments about the weather, being included in one work called, at least in part, his Astronomy (or Astrology), where the signs, largely astronomical, are given for a typical year. What about the more particular signs, which allow one to project weather over the next few months (the following season) or only over the next day or two? Since no testimony identifies the work, we can only guess. Anything pertaining to the weather is of particular interest to farmers, so having them all together prove practical-«designed to aid men in living their lives» (πρòς βιωϕελεῖς χρείας τοῖς άνθρώποις), as a scholion on Aratos 752 says of Meton’s parapegma. But Demokritos may not have been practical. As I have mentioned elsewhere50, De Signis, which no doubt owes a good deal to Demokritos, is impractical in arranging his work in the first instance by that which is signified (wind, rain, storm, fair weather), rather than by signifier, as would make for a better handbook for farmers. And again I mention that the Astronomy was considered a mathematical work, which would be inappropriate for a work that contained many meteorological and animal weather signs. Maass was convinced that the Democritean material of the sort found in De Signis was drawn from Demokritos’ Concerning things seasonable and unseasonable (Περὶ ’Eπικαιριῶν καὶ Aκαιριῶν; D. L. IX, 48), which is given under the rubric Technika51. Another title seems equally fitting: On Farming (Περὶ Γεωργίας), also included among the Technika, but its Thrasyllan alternate title () Γεωμετρικῶν is inconsistent, suggesting a more mathematical work. Diels reasonably preferred to read Γεωργικόν or-κά (B 26f-28). Wellmann too approves the conjecture Γεωργικά, but nearly all the testimony linking «Demokritos» with weather as it would pertain to farmers he subsumes under this title as a work of Bolos52. But if the Presocratic Demokritos did indeed attempt to predict the weather in all the ways found in works like Hesiod and De Signis, as well as Aratos and a host of anonymous works stretching into Byzantine times, then we can retain the Georgika for him as the most likely place for such predictions.

  • 53 ἐκ λόγου τε καὶ ὑπ’ ἀνάγκης. Cf. Barnes 1984.
  • 54 ώσπερ γὰρ όταν κίνήσῃ τι τò ὔδωρ τòν ἀέρα, τοῦθἕτερον ἐκίνησε, καὶ παυσαμένου ἐκείνου συμβαίνει(...)
  • 55 είδωλα... προσημαίνειν τε τὰ ιιέλλοντα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, θεωρούμενα καὶ ϕωνό.ς ἀϕιέντα. ὅθεν τούτων α (...)

18Works of this sort, however, are concerned almost entirely with signs in a practical sense only: If X (the signifier), then Y (the signified). There are exceptions to this in De Signis and Aristotle and Theophrastos (in their respective works entitled Περί Σημείων), but for the most part De Signis, Hesiod, Aratos, and all the works listed above in n. 30 are barebones listing of the «if X then Y» sort (with apologies to Vergil for so describing his Georgics). Demokritos, however, was very much interested in causation, believing that nature does nothing in vain, that everything happens logically and by necessity53, and we can see from his meteorological statements, of which sort weather prediction forms a distinct subset, that he (along with many other Presocratics) was indeed interested in physical causation. If he wrote a Georgics designed solely as a handbook for farmers, he may well have foregone any attempt to provide reasons. But even if his Georgics was of this sort, he could have considered these same signs on a more scientific level as he attempted to understand how a sign of one sort was materially connected, atom by atom, to an event of a different sort in the future. An example of this may be found in Arist. Div. Somn. 464b5-11 (111.2 Le.), where in the course of explicating Demokritos’ use of «image forms and emanations» (είδωλα καὶ ἀπορροίας) to explain dream images Aristotle likens this to the stirring of air or water that continues to a point where the original source of the motion is no longer present54. Similarly, though not in a passage that mentions meteorological phenomena, Sextus AMIX, 19 (112.1 Le.) says that Demokritos explained divine images as eidola which come to men and «signal the future in advance, sending forth sights and sounds» that produce images of the gods55. Here we have an outline of a scientific explanation according to materialist principles of how one event, the sign, could be the forerunner of something that had not yet made made its entrance, but which was linked kinetically, and hence causally, to its sign.

Bibliographie

I. Texts of Demokritos used

DK: H. Diels and W. Kranz, 1952, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker6, vol. 2, 81-230 Zurich.

Le.: Walter Leszl, forthcoming, I primi atomisti: Parte de raccolta dei tesi che riguardano Leucippo e Democrito, vol. II, I testi in greco e latini, Florence. [I thank Prof. Leszl for showing me an advance copy of this work].

Lu.: S. Luria, 1970, Democritea, Leningrad.

II. Secondary literature

Barnes, J., 1984, «Reason and necessity in Leucippus», in: First International Congress on Democritus. Xanthi 6-9 October 1983 (ed. L. G. Benakis), Xanthi, 141-58.

Bertier, J., 1972, Mnésithée et Dieuchès, Leiden.

Blass, F., 1887, Eudoxi Ars Astronomica, Programmschrift, Kiel.

Böker, R., 1962, «Wetterzeichen,» Real-Encyclopädie, Supplementband 9, 1609-92.

Bowen, A. C., and B. R. Goldstein, 1988, «Meton of Athens and astronomy in the late fifth century B.C. », in: A Scientific humanist: Studies in memory of Abraham Sachs (edd. E. Leichty et al), Philadelphia, 39-81.

Chantraine, P., 1953, Grammaire homérique, vol. 2, Syntaxe, Paris.

Cronin, P, 1992, «The authorship and sources of the περὶ σημείων ascribed to Theophrastus», in: Theophrastus: His psychological, doxographical, and scientific writings (edd. W. W. Fortenbaugh and D. Gutas), New Brunswick, 307-45.

Depuydt, D., 1996, «Meton’s observations of the summer solstice», Ancient Society 27, 27-45.

Dinsmoor, W. B., 1931, The Archons of Athens in the Hellenistic Age, Cambridge, Mass.

Fraser, P. M., 1972, Ptolemaic Alexandrie, Oxford.

Gilbert, O., 1967, Die meteorologischen Theorien des griechischen Altertums (Leipzig 1907), Hildesheim.

Guthrie, W. K. C., 1965, A History of Greek philosophy, vol. 2, The Presocratic tradition from Parmenides to Democritus, Cambridge.

Hershbell, J. P., 1982, «Plutarch and Democritus», Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 39, 81-111.

Hershbell, J. P., 1987, «Democritus and the beginnings of Greek alchemy», Ambix 34, 5-20.

Jermyn, L. A. S., 1951, «Weather-signs in Virgil», Greece & Rome 20, 26-37, 49-59.

Kazhdan, A., 1991, «Geoponika», in: Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (edd. A. Kazhdan et al), Oxford, 2, 834.

Kidd, D., 1966, Aratus. Phaenomena, Cambridge.

Kingsley, P., 1995, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition, Oxford.

Kroll, H., 1934, «Bolos und Demokritos», Hermes 69, 228-32.

Lasserre, F., 1966, Die Fragmente des Eudoxos von Knidos, Berlin.

Maass, E., 1893a, rev. of Heeger, De Theophrasti qui fertur Περὶ Σημείων libro (Leipzig 1889), Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen, 624-42.

Maass, E., 1893b, Arati Phaenomena, Berlin.

Neugebauer, O., 1957, The Exact sciences in antiquity2, Providence.

Neugebauer, O., 1962, «Astronomische Papyri aus Wiener Sammlungen. IL Uber griechische Wetterzeichen und Schattentafeln. Institut für österr. Geschichtsforschung, Pap. graec. Nr. 1», Sitzungsberichte der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Band 240, Abhandlung 2, Vienna, 29-44.

Pepe, L., 1984, «Problèmes de météorologie chez Démocrite», in: First International Congress on Democritus. Xanthi 6-9 October 1983 (ed. L. G. Benakis), Xanthi, 507-18.

Regenbogen, O., 1940, «Theophrastos von Eresos», Real-Encyclopadie, Supplement-band 7, 1353-562.

Rehm, A., 1941, «Parapegmastudien, mit einem Anhang, Euktemon und das Buch De Signis», Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Abteilung, Neue Folge, Heft 19, München.

Salem, J., 1996, La légende de Démocrite, Paris.

Samuel, A. E., 1972, Greek and Roman Chronology, Munich.

Sider, D., 2001, «On On Signs», in: On the Opuscula of Theophrastus. Akten der 3. Tagung der Karl-und-Gertrud-Abel-Stiftung vom 19.-23. Juli 1999 in Trier (edd. W. W. Fortenbaugh & G. Wohrle) = Philosophie der Antike (ed. W. Kullmann) 14, Stuttgart, forthcoming.

Stückelberger, A., 1894, Vestigia Democritea: Die Rezeption der Lehre von den Atomen in der antiken Naturwissenschaft und Medizin, Basel.

Taylor, C. C. W., 1999, The Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus. Fragments. A Text and Translation with a Commentary Toronto.

Waszink, J. J., 1954, «Bolos,» Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, Stuttgart, 2, 502-8.

Wellmann, M., 1899, «Bolos», Real-Encyclopadie, 3, 676f.

Wellmann, M., 1903, «Bolos», Real-Encyclopadie, Supplementband 1, 255.

Wellmann, M., 1921, «Die Georgika des Demokritos», Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Nr. 4. Berlin.

Wellmann, M., 1928, «Die Φυσικά des Bolos Demokritos und der Magier Anaxilaos aus Larissa», Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Nr. 7, Berlin.

Wright, M. R., 1981, Empedocles: The extant fragments., New Haven.

Notes

1 Arist. Pol. I, 11, 1259a6ff. (11 A 10). Sim. D.L. I, 26 (A 1), Cic. Div. I, 49.111.

2 Pl. Tht. 174a (A 9).

3 «Ferunt Democritum, qui primum intellexit ostenditque caeli cum terris societatem,...» Pliny NH XVIII, 273 (68 A 17 = XXXIV Lu. = 0.4.14 Le.).

4 παύσεις δἀκαμὰτων ἀνὰμων μένος οὅ τἐπὶ γαῖαν
όρνύμενοι πνοιαῖσι καταϕθινύθουσιν ἀρούρας
καί πάλιν, ν ἐθέλησθα, παλίντιτα πνεύματἐπάξεις 5
θήσεις δέξ όμβροιο κελαινοῦ καίριον αὐχμόν
ἀνθρώποις, θήσεις δὲ καὶ ὲξ αὐχμοῖο θερείου
ρεύματα δενδρεόθρεπτα, τά ταἰθέρι ναιήσαντο.
(31
Β 111 = 101 Wr. = 12 Boll.) The last word is my own conjecture, exactly the same in sense as Bollack’s ναιετάουσιν, but doser to the various mss. readings (τάταίθέρι ναιήσονται, ταταιθεριναίης ὄντα, τάτε θέρειναήσονται, τάτἐνθέρι ἀήσονται, etc.); for the syntax, cf. Od. 14.464 (οἶνος) ὅς τἐϕέηκε πολύϕρονά περ μάλἀεῖσαι and Chantraine 1953, 239f. The very form I have suggested appears in Dion. Perieg. 349, admittedly a late author, but one who affects an epic style. Cf. Kingsley 1995, 218 n.2, who retains ναιήσονται, perhaps rightly.

5 Wright 1981, 261.

6 Kingsley 1995, ch, 15, for example, makes a very good case against those who, like me, would rationalize away Empedokles’ magic.

7 Apollonios, Mirabilia 3, p.122 Giannini (after his soul, apart from his body, had travelled many years to many places, Hermotimos) προλέγειν τὰ μέλλοντα ἀποβήσεσθαι, οἷον όμβρους μεγάλους καὶ ανομβρίας κτλ. Arist. Meta. 984b 19 considers Hermotimos a predecessor of Anaxagoras.

8 Diog. Laert. II, 10 (59 A 1), Ael. NA VII, 8, Philos. VA I, 2 (A 6).

9 Arist. Meta. 984b 17.

10 Cic. Div. I, 6 (68 A 138= 111.1 Le.) plurumisque locis gravis auctor D. praesensionem rerum futurarum conprobaret; D.L. IX, 39 ώς δε προειπών τινα τῶν μελλόντων ευδοκίμησε.

11 εἰ δὲ δοκέοι τις ταῦτα μετεωρολόγα εναι, εἰ μετασταίη τῆς γνώμης, μάθοι ἄν ότι οὐκ ἐλάχιστον μέρος συμβάλλεται, ἀστρονομίη ἐς ἰητρικήν, άλλὰ πάνυ πλεῖστον · ἅμα γὰρ τῇσιν ὥρῃσι καὶ αἱ νοῦσοι καὶ αί κοιλίαι μεταβάλλουσι τοῖσιν ὶνθρώποισιν. See also ibid. cc, 10 f., where it is clear that the underlying reason is that, since weather determines (and therefore can be used to predict) health, the wise physician will get a jump on events by predicting the weather; and Epid. 1.1-13, which over a period of a year in Thasos correlates weather conditions with diseases. Outside of the medical literature, however, I find few sources that connect weather signs with disease: Theophr. De Signis 54 τέττιγες πολλοὶ γινόμενοι νοσῶδες τò ἔτος σημαίνουσι. Sext. Emp. Adv. Math. V, init. τήρησις γάρ ἐστιν (sc. ἀστρονομία) ἐπὶ ϕαινομένοις ώς γεωργία καὶ κυβερνητική, ἀϕής έστιν αὐχμούς τε καὶ ἐπομβρίας λοιμούς τε καὶ σεισμούς... προθεσπίζειν, Strabo XV, 1.65 (Onesikratos) ἔϕη δαυτούς [sc. certain Brahmans] καὶ τῶν περί ϕύσιν πολλά έξετάσαι καὶ προσημασιῶν, ὄμβρων, αὐχμῶν, νόσων.

12 The Geoponika is a tenth-century compilation of passages pertaining to agriculture; original authorship is given. For a brief review of the several controversies surrounding this work, cf. Kazhdan 1991, 834. See also Hershbell 1987.

13 Geoponika I, 12.19 Δημόκριτος δέ ϕησιν, ἐν τῷ ϕθινοπώρῳ εκζέματα γίνεσθαι περί τὰ στόματα, διò χρή πρòς τò έαρ λαχάνων ἄπτεσθαι, κοιλίαν τε λύειν (καὶ μάλιστα τούς νέους), ἀκρατῳ δὲ χρῆσθαι. In form, this is very much like the advice offered by Hipp. Reg., where, however, general good health is the unspoken goal rather than the prevention of particular ailments like eczema. Note that Celsus I, proem (CML 1.18 = Demokr. B 300.10 = 801 Lu.) listed Pythagoras, Empedokles, and Demokritos among those experienced in medicine. For a discussion of the role of wine in medicine, cf. Bertier 1972, ch. IV.

14 On Bolos, cf.Wellmann 1899, id. 1903, id. 1921, id. 1928, Waszink 1954, Fraser 1972, 1, 440-4, Salem 1996, 118-28.

15 Meaning manmade (medicines), as opposed to natural (herbal) ones.

16 Vitruv. IX, praef., 14 (68 B 300.2-0.6.4 Le.) admiror etiam Democriti de rerum natura volumina et eius commentarium quod inscribitur Χειρόκμητα (χειροτομητων codd. ; a similar error-χειροτμήματα for χειρόκμητα-occurs in Zoz. Alch. pp. 209, 239 B). Pliny A///XXIV, 160 (B 300.6 = 0.6.5 Le.) Democriti certe Chirocmeta esse constat Everywhere else in Vitruvius, however, the reference is, as he himself thought, to the Presocratic. The most important passage in this context is IX, 5.4 (B 14.1 = 185.3 Le.), which comes immediately after a passage that is said to copy Aratos but which may in fact come from Aratos’ source: quae figurata conformataque sunt siderum in mundo simulacra, natura divinaque mente designata, ut Democrito physico placuit, exposui... And in fact, a little later Vitruvius IX, 6.3 (B 14.1 = 185.4 Le.) compendiously says that Aratos et al. learned from (inventa secuti) Demokritos as well as Thaïes, Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, and Xenophanes, singling out for special mention parapegmata, which, of the names mentioned, are associated only with Demokritos.

17 As has been noticed, Bolos is credited with having cited authors who were known to have lived after Demokritos, most notably Theophrastos; cf. Kroll 1934, 230, who is followed by Fraser 1972, 2.640 n. 532 and Salem 1996, 122f.

18 Wellmann 1921, 5 says that his correct name was Bolos Demokritos, but if so he could not have used this name consistently, for, if he had, later, conscientious, sources such as Pliny and Vitruvius would never have referred to him simply as Demokritos, aware of the confusion this would cause. Kroll 1934, 230 doubts that such a double name could have existed at that time, preferring to think that this is an error for Βῶλος Δημοκρίτειος, a phrase that shows up elsewhere.

19 Guthrie 1965, 469f., for example, in his generous chapter on Demokritos has nothing to say on weather; his commente on medicine, though, are astute, establishing that, even if we grant that Demokritos wrote no separate treatise on the subject, he made observations about health and disease in various contexts (including some medical metaphors in his ethic statements). (While on this general subject, note that Guthrie also argued for the Presocratic Demokritos’ having written Περὶ τῶν έν ῞ιδου, which too Wellmann had argued was a work of Bolos.) Taylor 1999 says nothing about either subject. Accounts of Demokritos’ theories on the causes of meteorological phenomena (thunder, lightning, clouds, etc.) can be found in Gilbert 1967, passim, esp. 625 f. ; cf. also Pepe 1984, 507-18. In neither of the last two works is there any mention of weather prediction, however.

20 Maass 1893a, 632.

21 Δημόκριτος δέ ϕησι, ποταμοὺς μεγάλους ἔσεσθαι, καὶ νόσους περὶ τò ϕθινόπωρον. There is also testimony where Demokritos simply offers weather advice to farmers: e.g., Pliny NHXVII, 23 (B 300.8): Demokritos thinks that vines and fruit trees planted to face north-east produce fruit with a more pronounced aroma.

22 5 δὲ Δημόκριτος λέγει τòν οἶνον χρηστòν καὶ παράμονον εἶναι, εὔθετον δὲ εἶναι τò ἔτος πρòς μόνην ἀμπέλων ϕυτείαν. 11 ό δέ Δ. ϕησιν έν τούτῳ τῷ ἔτει χάλαζαν πολλὴν γίνεσθαι καὶ χιόνα-τοὺς δέ ἐτησιίας μὴ ομοίως πνεῖν. 17 Δ. δέ ϕησι χαλάζης γίνεσθαι βλάβην. 28 Δ. δέ ϕησιν ἐν τούτῳ τῷ ἔτει μήτε ποταμούς ἔσεσθαι. μεγάλους μήτε χάλαζαν πολλήν · τò δὲ ϕθινόπωρον ἔνυδρον εἶναι. 40 Δ. δέ ϕησι τὴν ἄμπελον καὶ τὴν ἐλαίαν εὐϕορήσειν. For παράμονον, «drinkable even into the next vintage», cf. Athen. I, 30e οἶνος πρòς παραμονὴν επιτήδειος. Note also that in the literature on weather signs έτος often has the meaning «season», although this is not recognized by LSJ. Cf. Hipp. Aer 10 òκοῖόν τι μέλλει τò ἔτος, εἴτε νοσηρòν είτε ὑγιηρόν, Theophr. De Signis 25 καὶ ὅλως τò ἔτος τò βόρειον τοῦ νοτίου κρεῖττον καὶ υγιεινότερου, where it is clear from context, as well as from the unstated awareness that it is impossible to predict the weather a year in advance, that seasons are in question.

23 Cf. Rehm 1941. From a fragment of a parapegma discovered in Miletos it is possible to date the beginning of Meton’s cycle precisely to June 27, 432-or maybe the next day; cf. Depuydt 1996. For more on Meton and the parapegmata, see Bowen and Goldstein 1988.

24 ἐν δέ τῇ δήμέρα [sc. of Skorpion] Δημοκρίτῳ Πλειάδες δύνουσιν ἅμα o ἄνεμοι χειμέριοι ὡς τὰ πολλὰ καὶ ψύχη ήδη καὶ πάχνη ἐπιπνεῖν ϕιλεῖ ϕυλλορρεῖν ἄρχεται τὰ δένδρα μάλιστα.

25 Most of the evidence is collected at B 14, coming from Vitruvius, Geminos, Johannes Lydos, and Ptolemy. The testimony given above from the Geoponika belongs here too, instead of being merely alluded to as fragments of Bolos at B 300.

26 The fragments of Leptines Ουράνιος Διδασκαλία referring to Demokritos can be found in Lasserre 1966, F 173a, 214b, 214c, 236b (all now = 185.2 Le.). DK refers to this text as if it were by Eudoxos, following Blass 1887. DK omits one of Leptines’ references to Demokritos: F 173a Εὐδόξω, Δημοκρίτϕ ἀπò τ[ρο]πῶν θερινῶν είς ίσημ[ερί]αν [με]θοπωρινὴν ή[μέρα]ι ϙαΕὐκτήμονι ϙ’, Καλλίππῳ ϙβ’. Note also that B 14.2 omits «33, 9» [= F 236b] before the words ἀπò τροπών χειμερινών, effectively merging two passages into one.
The word’ A
θύρ (late October to late November) is ignored by LSJ, although in addition to being a proper name, and thus ignorable by LSJ, Hesychios s.v. tells us that it is an Egyptian word for cow. It can be found in the DGE.

27 Neugebauer 1957, 81.

28 E.g., Joh. Lydos de Mens. 14, p. 65 προ δεκαπέντε Καλενδρῶν Φεβρουαρίων ό Δ. λέγει δύεσθαι τòν δελϕινα καὶ τροπήν ώς επί πολύ γίνεσθαι. Note that the first four words of this citation (and likewise with the equivalent words in all the passages cited in B14.8 = 424.9 Lu.) are given by Diels-Kranz and Luria simply as «Jan. 18,» i.e., in the form of modem calendar heading, which obscures how Lydos has identified the dates. Leszl (186.3) give the complete citation.

29 Aldus Manutius printed a five-volume edition (the ed. princeps) of Aristotle and Theophrastos (Venet. 1495-8), including De Signis in an Aristotle volume. Editors assigning the work to Theophrastos are Grynaeus, Furlanus, Heinsius, Schneider, Wimmer. For overviews of this problem see Regenbogen 1940, 1412-5; and for more detail, Cronin 1992 and Sider 2001.

30 In addition to Aratos 758-1154, extant passages of significant length dealing with weather signs are (i) Vergil Georgics I, 351-460, (ii) Pliny NH XVII, 340-65 (mentioning Demokritos and Vergil as predecessors), (iii) Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos II, 13, (iv) Aelian ΝΑ VII, 7, which he credits to Aristotle (= fr. 270.21 Gigon), (v) P Vindob, gr. 1 (fragmentary, but clearly containing, i.a., weather signs of the sort found in DS; cf. Neugebauer 1962), (viii) Geoponika I, 2-4 (citing Aratos as its source), (vi) an anonymous 15th-century collection found in cod. Laurent. 28.32 ff. 12r-14, (vii) cod. Paris. 2229, ff. 22 = Cataiogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum 8.1 (ed. F. Cumont; Brussels 1929) 137-40, (ix) Vegetius IV, 41, (x) Boethius De Natura rerum c. 36, (xi) Cod. Matrit. 37 = Cataiogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum 11.2 (ed. C. O. Zuretti, 1934) 174-183. We also hear of the no-Ionger extant Σημεία Χειμώνων of Aristotle (D. L. V, 26; see item iv, above), and (on the assumption that this is not the same as the extant De Signis) Theophrastos’ περὶ Σημείων (D. L. V, 45; cf. Theophrastos fr. 137.17 FHSG). Note also the work attributed to Bolos of Mendes by Souda (s.v. Βώλος Μενδήσιος Πυθαγόρειος): Περί Σημείων τῶν ἐξ ήλιου καὶ σελήνης καὶ Ἂρκτου καὶ λύχνου καὶ ἴριδος (0.8.23 Le.) all of which signs but Arktos (lg. Ἀρκτούρου?) are used as short-term weather signs in the extant De Signis.

31 ἄτοπον γάρ ἐστι κοράκων μὲν λαρυγγισμοῖς καὶ κλωσμοίς ἀλεκτορίδων καὶ συσίν ἐπὶ ϕορυτω μαργαινούσαις, ώς ἔϕη Δημόκιτος, ϕπιμελῶς προσέχειν σημεῖα ποιουμένους πνευμάτων καὶ ὄμβρων, τά δὲ τοῦ σώματος κινήματα καὶ σάλους καὶ προπαθείας μὴ προλαμβάνειν μηδὲ προϕυλάττειν μηδὲ ἔχειν σημεία χειμῶνος ἐν ἑαυτῷ γενησομένου καὶ μέλλοντος.

32 Thus, Clem. Alex. Protrepticus 92.4 (68 B 147 = 581a Lu. = 193.1 Le.) says ύες γάρ, ϕησίν [sc. Herakleitos], ἥδονται βορβόρῳ μᾶλλον ή καθαρῷ ὕδατι καὶ ἐεπὶ ϕορυτω μαργαίνουσιν κατά Δημόκριτον, in a context concerned with human piggishness rather than with weather. This same weather sign appears, but without reference to Demokritos, in Verg. G. I, 399 f., Plin. NHXVIII, 364. Hershbell 1982 demonstrates that Plutarch almost certainly had access to and made use of Demokritos’ original writings.

33 Cf. Wellmann 1921, 5f., who agrees with Diels in dating Bolos (on the basis of Stoic borrowings) to ca. 200 BC. Aratos was born ca. 310 (cf. Kidd 1966, 3 f.) Some would date Bolos even later; Fraser 1972, 1.440 with n. 528, «would regard Bolus as active in Alexandria in the final reign of Euergetes II (145-116 B.C.)».

34 Maass 1893b, xxvi (followed by D-K 68 B 147, Kidd on Aratos 1123, and Mynors on Verg. G. I, 399f.)

35 Cf. Alkiphron Epist. Parasit. 4.5 βρωμάτων ϕορητόν.

36 Maass 1893a. His argument relies too heavily on the unusual number of poetic and/or Ionic words which he finds more typical of Demokritos than of Theophrastos, but there is not enough Demokritos extant for us to be sure of any of this, and the choice of authorship is not limited to these two.

37 τοῖς δὲ ἄστροις εἴωθεν ὡς ἐπὶ τò πολὺ σημαίνειν καὶ ταῖς ἰσημερίαις καὶ τροπαῖς, ούκ επαὐταῖς ἀλλ προ αὐτῶν ὕστερον μικρῷ For a defense of εἴωθεν, the reading of the manuscripts, see the forthcoming text and commentary by D. Sider & C. W. Brunschôn.

38 16 έὰν κόραξ εύδίας οὔσης μὴ τὴν είωθυῖαν ϕωνὴν ἵη καὶ ἐπιρροιβδῇ ὕδωρ σημαίνει. 17 ὅλως δὲ ὄρνιθες καὶ ἀλεκτρυόνες ϕθειριζόμενοι ὑδατικòν σημεῖον καὶ ὅταν μιμῶνται ὕδωρ ώς ὗον.

39 Δημόκριτος δέ καί πουλήϊος ϕασι, τοιουτον χρή προσδοκᾶν ἔσεσθαι τòν χειμῶνα, οποία ἔσται ή ήμερα τῆς ἑορτῆς ἢν οἱΡωμαῖοι Βροῦμα καλοῦσι, τουτέστιν ή τεράρτη εἰκὰς τοῦ Δίου μηòνς ἥτοι Νοεμβρίου.

40 Kroll 1934, 229 refers to Weïlmann’s «imposante Kenntnis».

41 For the ways in which Vergil borrows from Aratos and occasionally directly from De Signis, cf. Jermyn 1951.

42 «Tradunt eundem Democritum metente fratre eius Damaso ardentissimo aestu orasse ut reliquae segeti parceret raperetque desecta sub tectum, paucis mox horis saevo imbre vaticinatione adprobata». The same story is told later by Clem. Alex. Strom. VI, 32 (II, 446.28 St.; A 18 = XXXV Lu. = 0.4.12 Le.) Δ. δò εκ τῆς τῶν μεταρσίων παρατηρήσεως πολλὰ προλέγων Σοϕία έπωνομάσθη, ύποδεξαμένου γουν αυτόν ϕιλοϕρόνως Δαμάσου του ἀδελϕοῦ τεκμηράμενος ἔκ τινων αστέρων πολὺν ἐσόμενον προεῖπεν ὄμβρον, οι μὲν οὖν πεισθέντες αὐτῷ συνεῖλον τοὐς καρποὺς (καί γὰρ ώρα θέρους ἐν ταῖς ἅλωσιν ἔτι ήσαν), οἱ δὲ άλλοι πάντα ἀπώλεσαν ἀδοκήτου καὶ πολλνοῦ καταρρήξαντος ὄμβρου.

43 ώς δέ προειπών τινα τῶν μελλόντων εὐδοκίμησε, λοιπòν ἐνθέου δόξης παρά τοῖς πλείστοις ἠξιώθη.

44 34 ἐὰν έτησίαι πολὺν χρόνον πνεύσωσι καὶ μετόπωρον γένηται ἀνεμῶδες, ό χειμὼν νήνεμος γίνεται, εάν δέναντίως καὶ ό χειμών ἐνάαντίος, 40 καὶ οί πλεύμονες οί θαλάττιοι ἐάν πολλοὶ ϕαίνωνται ὶν τῷ πελάγει χειμερινοῦ ἔτους σημεΐον. Other examples at cc. 25, 26, 27, 41, 44, 48, 49, 55, 56.

45 κατά τὴν ἐπιτολήν του Ἀρκτορύου σϕοδροὶ καταχέονται ὄμβροι, ὥς ϕησι Δημόκριτος ἐν τῷ Περὶ στρονοµίας.

46 As noted and approved by Böker 1962, 1619, who then says (1620) that Demokritos would have written ἀστρολογίη, not ἀστρονομίη. Note the Theophrastean title given below, n. 48.

47 Censor. XVÏII, 8 (B 12 = 423 Lu.-185.1 Le.) est et Philolai annus... Democriti ex annis lxxxii cum intercalants [sc. mensibus] perinde [sc. ut annus Callippi] viginti octo. The number 82 cannot, however, be right; cf. Dinsmoor 1931, 308 and Samuel 1972, 41 n.3. Dinsmoor’s suggestion is that his cycle was of 75 years, which would make some sense if the the number of intercalated months is correct.

48 Incidently, one Theophrastean title is Περὶ τῆς Δημοκρίτου Ἀστρολογίας α’ (D.L. V, 43), which presumably is not a part of his Περὶ Δημοκρίτου α (V, 49); cf. Stückelberger 1984, 16. (Since, as his title makes clear, Stückelberger is concerned almost exclusively with atomic theory, he does not pursue vestiges of other Democritean interests such as weather lore.)

49 DK’s inconsistent use of parentheses tends to obscure what is going on here.

50 Sider 2001, 104f.

51 Maass 1921, 632f.

52 See Wellmann 1921, 42-58 for an impressive collection of fragments of what he calls Βώλου Δημοκρίτου Γεωργικά.

53 ἐκ λόγου τε καὶ ὑπ’ ἀνάγκης. Cf. Barnes 1984.

54 ώσπερ γὰρ όταν κίνήσῃ τι τò ὔδωρ τòν ἀέρα, τοῦθἕτερον ἐκίνησε, καὶ παυσαμένου ἐκείνου συμβαίνει τὴν τοιαύτην κίνησιν προϊέναι μέχρι τινòς, τοῦ κινήσαντος οὐ παρόντος. Only if the outflow from an object flows to us can we form an opinion about it: ἐτεῇ oὐδὲν ἴσμεν περὶ οὐδενός, ἀλλἐπιρυσμίη ἑκ άστοίσι δόξις. On this passage see further P.-M. Morel, in this volume (at nn. 25-26), who puts Democritus’ and Aristotle’s theories of causation into a wider context.

55 είδωλα... προσημαίνειν τε τὰ ιιέλλοντα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, θεωρούμενα καὶ ϕωνό.ς ἀϕιέντα. ὅθεν τούτων αὐτῶν ϕαντασίαν λαβόντες οί παλαιοὶ ὐπενόησαν εἶναι θεόν.

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