In antiquity meteorology included the study of the weather, and also the study of geological, seismological and astronomical phenomena, such as earthquakes and comets. Ancient Meteorology explores Greek and Roman approaches and attitudes to this broad subject. Given the importance of farming in ancient society, it is not surprising that so much was written about the prediction and explanation of the weather and about how to respond to its cruelty and kindness. But meteorology was not just for farmers, and it was not just a practical matter. Poets, philosophers and physicians were also interested, and used the subject to raise important questions about the nature of the world and how we understood it, about the unity and character of the cosmos, and about the relationship between meteorology and the divine. Liba Taub discusses the variety of ancient texts which communicate meteorological and scientific ideas, from Homeric epic and didactic poetry of Hesiod, Aratus and Lucretius, to works such as Aristotle's Meteorology , the Hippocratic medical treatise on Airs, Waters, Places and Seneca's Natural Questions.
The range and diversity of this literature highlights questions of intellectual authority in antiquity and illustrates the lively engagement of ancient authors with the worlk of their predecessors. Ancient Meteorology will be a valuable and stimulating resource for classicists and readers interested in the history of science.