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Androni'cus Cyrrhestes

(so called from his native place, Cyrrha), was the builder of the octagonal tower at Athens, vulgarly called "the tower of the winds." Vitruvius (1.6.4), after stating, that some make the number of the winds to be four, but that those who have examined the subject more carefully distinguished eight, adds, " Especially Andronicus Cyrrhestes, who also set up at Athens, as a representation thereof (exemplum), an octagonal tower of marble, and on the several sides of the octagon he made sculptured images of the several winds, each image looking towards the wind it represented," (that is, the figure of the north wind was sculptured on the north side of the building, and so with the rest), "and above this tower he set up a marble pillar (metam), and on the top he placed a Triton in bronze, holding out a wand in his right hand : and this figure was so contrived as to be driven round by the wind, and always to stand opposite the blowing wind, and to hold the wand as an index above the image of that wind." Varro calls the building "horologium." (R. R. 3.5.17, Schn.) It formed a measure of time in two ways. On the outer walls were lines which with gnomons above them, formed a series of sun-dials, and in the building was a clepsydra, supplied from the spring called Clepsydra, on the north-west of the Acropolis. The building, which still stands, has been described by Stuart and others. The plain walls are surmounted by an entablature, on the frieze of which are the figures of the winds in bas-relief. The entrances, of which there are two, on the north-east and the north-west, have distyle porticoes of the Corinthian order. Within, the remains of the clepsydra are still visible, as are the dial lines on the outer walls.

The date of the building is uncertain, but the style of the sculpture and architecture is thought to belong to the period after Alexander the Great. The clepsydra also was probably of that improved kind which was invented by Ctesibius, about 135 B. C. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Horologium.) Müller places Andronicus at 100 B. C. (Attika, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclop. vi. p. 233.)

From the words of Vitruvius it seems probable that Andronicus was an astronomer. The mechanical arrangements of his "horologium" were of course his work, but whether he was properly the architect of the building we have nothing to determine, except the absence of any statement to the contrary.


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