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Title: Taming the winds in antiquity (1400 B.C.-500 A.D.) : iconography, cult and literature
Author: Williams, Siân Lesley
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis undertakes to examine virtually every aspect of the ancient world that was touched upon by the wind, both as a meteorological and elemental force, and as several peripheral deities. The discussion begins with an Introduction to the uses of myth and the reading of iconography within certain social and historical parameters, as these tools form the basis of the main body of the thesis. We then move on to examine the iconography of two of the cardinal Wind-gods, Boreas and Zephyros, and question why the representation of one image changed so radically within one hundred years. We also look at more minor Wind-gods, for example the Etesians, and related deities such as Eos and the Harpies. Following the artistic evidence, we present a brief overview of the Winds in cult and religious practice, for example, in Eastern mystery cults and in death ritual and representation, and we trace the development of the Winds in cult from the Bronze Age through to the dawn of the Christian era. Finally, we bring together a survey of the literary sources to enable us to see how the Winds were perceived by the ancients across a wide variety of fields: mythology, philosophy, science, medicine, farming, shipping, poetry, and meteorology. There are several appendices that deal with the most important of these topics (meteorology and shipping) in some technical detail. In conclusion, we may see that the Winds - both as gods and as natural forces - were considered an integral part of the cosmos, yet have been marginalised by history and mythology because of the difficulty in rendering what is invisible into art. However, out of sight is not out of mind, but merely taken for granted, as we today take for granted our weather that is borne on the winds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral or Dissertation
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classics