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In like manner I would not deny that winds, or rather sudden gusts, are produced by the arid and dry vapours of the earth; that air may also be exhaled from water, which can neither be condensed into a mist, nor compressed into a cloud; that it may be also driven forward by the impulse of the sun, since by the term 'wind' we mean nothing more than a current of air, by whatever means it may be produced1. For we observe winds to proceed from rivers and bays, and from the sea, even when it is tranquil; while others, which are named Altani, rise up from the earth; when they come back from the sea they are named Tropæi, but if they go straight on, Apogæi2.

(44.) The windings and the numerous peaks of mountains, their ridges, bent into angles or broken into defiles, with the hollow valleys, by their irregular forms, cleaving the air which rebounds from them (which is also the cause why voices are, in many cases, repeated several times in succession), give rise to winds.

(45.) There are certain caves, such as that on the coast of Dalmatia, with a vast perpendicular chasm, into which, if a light weight only be let down, and although the day be calm, a squall issues from it like a whirlwind. The name of the place is Senta. And also, in the province of Cyrenaica, there is a certain rock, said to be sacred to the south wind, which it is profane for a human hand to touch, as the south wind immediately rolls forwards clouds of sand3. There are also, in many houses, artificial cavities, formed in the walls4, which produce currents of air; none of these are without their appropriate cause.

1 Our author's opinion respecting the origin of winds nearly agrees with that of Aristotle; "nihil ut aliud ventus (ἄνεμος) sit, nisi aër multus fluctuans et compressus, qui etiam spiritus (πνεῦμα) appellatur;" De Meteor. This treatise contains a full account of the phænomena of winds. Seneca also remarks, "Ventus est aër fluens;" Nat. Quæst. lib. 3 & 5.

2 Aristotle informs us, that the winds termed apogæi (ἀπόγαιοι) proceed from a marshy and moist soil; De Mundo, cap. 4. p. 605. For the origin and meaning of the terms here applied to the winds, see the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 323.

3 This is mentioned by Pomp. Mela.

4 "In domibus etiam multis manu facta inclusa opacitate conceptacula....." Some of the MSS. have madefacta for manu facta, and this reading has been adopted by Lemaire; but nearly all the editors, as Dalechamps, Laët, Grovonius, Poincinet and Ajasson, retain the former word.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PHASIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), RHIZON
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