Boreas – Bora

Athens’ Tower of Winds, also known as the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestesas, is a 12m high octagonal marble structure built around 50 BC.  It once boasted a sundial, a water clock and a wind vane, prompting DavidH to say, ‘it could be considered the world’s first meteorological station.’   The sides bore images of the eight wind deities: Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Eurus (SE), Notus (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus (W) and Skiron (NW).

DavidH writes:  Boreas was the purple-winged god of the north wind, one of the four seasonal Anemoi (Wind-Gods). He was also the god of winter who swept down from the cold mountains of Thrace, chilling the air with his icy breath.  Boreas is depicted as being very strong, with a violent temper to match. He was frequently shown as a winged old man with shaggy hair and beard, holding a conch shell and wearing a billowing cloak.

I’m reminded of Triste, where Jan Morris says the Bora gives the winter a ‘baleful excitement’ and is ‘fundamental to Trieste’s self-image’ (Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, 2001).  Nick Hunt, in Where the Wild Winds Are (2017), describes the city as one of the ‘mouths’ of the Bora and argues it ‘takes peculiar pride in that status’.  The bronze wind-rose on the Molo Audace indicates the principal Mediterranean winds; the Bora is indicated by ‘a demented cherubic face (puffing) out a wintery blast’.

Photo: 1.  Boreas, Tower of Winds, Athens, Greece, June 2019;  2, Wind-rose, Molo Audace, Trieste, Italy, March 2003

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