Logical and illogical exegeses of hydrometeorological phenomena in ancient Greece

D. Koutsoyiannis, N. Mamassis, and A. Tegos, Logical and illogical exegeses of hydrometeorological phenomena in ancient Greece, Proceedings of the 1st IWA International Symposium on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations, edited by A. N. Angelakis and D. Koutsoyiannis, Iraklio, 135–143, doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4188.4408, International Water Association, 2006.



Technological applications aiming at the exploitation of the natural sources appear in all ancient civilizations. The unique phenomenon in the ancient Greek civilization is that technological needs triggered physical explanations of the natural phenomena and behaviours, thus enabling the foundation of philosophy and science. Among these, the study of hydrometeorological phenomena had a major role. This study begins with the Ionian philosophers in the seventh century BC, continues in classical Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, and advances and expands through the entire Greek world up to the end of Hellenistic period, when Romans conquered Greece. Many of the theories developed in the course of ancient Greek civilization are erroneous according to modern views. However, many elements in Greek exegeses and interpretations of various hydrometeorological processes, such as the evaporation and condensation of vapour, the creation of clouds, hail, snow and rainfall and the evolution of hydrological cycle, are impressive even today.

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See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.4188.4408

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1. D. Koutsoyiannis, N. Mamassis, A. Efstratiadis, N. Zarkadoulas, and Y. Markonis, Floods in Greece, Changes of Flood Risk in Europe, edited by Z. W. Kundzewicz, Chapter 12, 238–256, IAHS Press, Wallingford – International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 2012.
2. D. Koutsoyiannis, and A. Patrikiou, Water control in Ancient Greek cities, A History of Water: Water and Urbanization, edited by T. Tvedt and T. Oestigaard, 130–148, I.B. Tauris, London, 2014.

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