Tower of the winds

From Glossary of Meteorology



Tower of the Winds

An octagonal marble building in Athens erected not later than 35 BC and still standing.

The sides face the points of the Athenian compass and carry a frieze of male personifications of the winds from those directions: Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Apheliotes (E), Euros (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyros (W), and Skiron (NW). These figures are reproduced on the tower of the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, United Kingdom, and in the Library of the Blue Hill Observatory near Boston, Massachusetts. The Tower was not a meteorological observatory, though it originally carried a wind vane on the roof, but was built to measure time, the walls bearing sundials, with a water clock inside for use during cloudy weather.