XXII[22arg] Information about the wind called Iapyx and about the names and quarters of other winds, derived from the discourses of Favorinus.
AT Favorinus' table, when he dined with friends, there was usually read either an old song of one of the lyric poets, or something from history, now in Greek and now in Latin. Thus one day there was read there, in a Latin poem, 1 the word Iapyx, the name of a wind, and the question was asked what wind this was, from what quarter it blew, and what was the origin of so rare a term; and we also asked Favorinus to be so good as to inform us about the names and quarters of the other winds, [p. 185] since there was no general agreement as to their designations, positions or number. Then Favorinus ran on as follows: “It is well known,” said he, " that there are four quarters and regions of the heavens—east, west, south and north. East and west are movable and variable points; 2 south and north are permanently fixed and unalterable. For the sun does not always rise in exactly the same place, but its rising is called either equinoctial when it runs the course which is called ἰσημερινός (with equal days and nights), or solsticial, which is equivalent to θεριναὶ τροπαί (summer turnings), or brumal, which is the same as χειμεριναὶ τροπαί, or 'winter turnings.' So too the sun does not always set in the same place; for in the same way its setting is called equinoctial, solstitial, or brumal. Therefore the wind which blows from the sun's spring, or equinoctial, rising is called eurus, a word derived, as your etymologists say, from the Greek which means ' that which flows from the east.' This wind is called by the Greeks by still another name, ἀφηλιώτης, or 'in the direction of the sun'; and by the Roman sailors, subsolanus (lying beneath the sun). But the wind that comes from the summer and solstitial point of rising 3 is called in Latin aquilo, in Greek βορέας, and some say it was for that reason that Homer called 4 it αἰθρηγενέτης, or 'ether-born' 5 ; but boreas, they think, is so named ἀπὸ τῆς βοῆς, 'from the loud shout,' since its blast is violent and noisy. To the third wind, which blows from the point of the winter rising—the Romans call it volturnus—many of the Greeks give a compound name, εὐρόνοτος, because it is between eurus and notus. These [p. 187] then are the three east winds: aquilo, volturnus and curus, and eurus lies between the other two. Opposite to and facing these are three other winds from the west: caurus, which the Greeks commonly call ἀργεστής 6 or 'clearing'; this blows from the quarter opposite aquilo. There is a second, favonius, 7 which in Greek is called ζέφυρος, blowing from the point opposite to eurus; and a third, Africus, which in Greek is λίψ, 8 or 'wet-bringing,' blows in opposition to volturnus. These two opposite quarters of the sky, east and west, have, as we see, six winds opposite to one another. But the south, since it is a fixed and invariable point, has but one single south wind; this in Latin is termed auster, in Greek νότος, because it is cloudy and wet, for νοτίς is the Greek for 'moisture.' 9 The north too, for the same reason, has but one wind. This, called in Latin septentrionarius, in Greek ἀπαρκτίας, or 'from the region of the Bear,' is directly opposite to auster. From this list of eight winds some subtract four, and they declare that they do so on the authority of Homer, 10 who knows only four winds: eurus, auster, aquilo and favonius, blowing from the four quarters of the heaven which we have named primary, so to speak; for they regard the east and west as broader, to be sure, but nevertheless single and not divided into three parts. There are others, on the contrary, who make twelve winds instead of eight, by inserting a third group [p. 189] of four in the intervening space about the south and north, in the same way that the second four are placed between the original two at east and west. "There are also some other names of what might be called special winds, which the natives have coined each in their own districts, either from the designations of the places in which they live or from some other reason which has led to the formation of the word. Thus our Gauls 11 call the wind which blows from their land, the most violent wind to which they are exposed, circius, doubtless from its whirling and stormy character; the Apulians give the name Iapyx—the name by which they themselves are known (Iapzyges）—to the wind that blows from the mouth of ᾿ιαπυγία itself, from its inmost recesses, as it were. 12 This is, I think, about the same as caurus; for it is a west wind and seems to blow from the quarter opposite eurus. Therefore Virgil says 13 that Cleopatra, when fleeing to Egypt after the sea-fight, was borne onward by Iapyx, and he called 14 an Apulian horse by the same name as the wind, that is, Iapyx. There is also a wind named caecias, which, according to Aristotle 15 blows in such a way as not to drive away clouds, but to attract them. This, he says, is the origin of the proverbial line: 16
Attracting to oneself, as caecias does the clouds.Moreover, besides these which I have mentioned there are in various places other names of winds, of new coinage and each peculiar to its own region, [p. 191] for example the Atabulus of Horace; 17 these too I intended to discuss; I would also have added those which are called etesiae 18 and prodromi, 19 which at a fixed time of year, namely when the dog-star rises, blow from one or another quarter of the heavens; and since I have drunk a good bit, I would have rated on about the meaning of all these terms, had I not already done a deal of talking while all of you have been silent, as if I were delivering 'an exhibition speech.' But for one to do all the talking at a large dinner-party," said he, “is neither decent nor becoming.” This is what Favorinus recounted to us at his own table at the time I mentioned, with extreme elegance of diction and in a delightful and graceful style throughout. But as to his statement that the wind which blows from the land of Gaul is called circius, Marcus Cato in his Origins 20 calls that wind, not circius, but cercius. For writing about the Spaniards who dwell on this side the Ebro, he set down these words: “But in this district are the finest iron and silver mines, also a great mountain of pure salt; the more you take from it, the more it grows. The cercius wind, when you speak, fills your mouth; it overturns an armed man or a loaded wagon.” In saying above that the ἐτησίαι blow from one or another quarter of the heavens, although following the opinion of many, I rather think I spoke hastily. 21 [p. 193] For in the second book of Publius Nigidius' treatise On Wind are these words: 22 “Both the ἐτησίαι and the annual south winds follow the sun.” We ought therefore to inquire into the meaning of “follow the sun.”