Book 26 is the fourth longest in the Problems. Its topic —winds (ἄνεμοι, πνεύματα)—was a subject of great interest in the Lyceum, judging not only by the length of this book, but also by the number of extant Peripatetic treatments of it. See Aristotle, Meteorology 1.13 and 2.4–6; [Aristotle], On the Cosmos 4 (394b7–95a14); [Aristotle], On the Locations and Names of the Winds; Theophrastus, On Winds; Theophrastus, Meteorology 13;1 and, Theophrastus (?), On Weather Signs (esp. §§ 26–37). Although these works are all part of the background for Pr. 26,2 the primary source is clearly Theophrastus, On Winds.
At the opening of Meteorology 2.6, Aristotle writes: “Let us now speak about the position of the winds, and which ones are opposite to which, and which can blow simultaneously and which cannot, and what sort and how many there happen to be, and in addition to these about any other conditions that have not been discussed in the
- 1See Hans Daiber, “The Meteorology of Theophrastus in Syriac and Arabic Translation,” in William W. Fortenbaugh and Dimitri Gutas, eds., Theophrastus: His Psychological, Doxographical, and Scientific Writings (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transactions, 1992), pp. 166-293 (see esp. pp. 268-69 for the translation of ch. 13, on winds).
- 2See also Hp. Vict. 2.38.
An Aristotelian Wind Rose3 Problems” (363a21–25). This seems to refer to Pr. 26, and suggests that Aristotle himself was the author of at least some of this book.
Virtually without exception, the sixty-two chapters in Book 26 raise and answer questions about the nature of the various winds (on which, see the wind rose above): in what season they blow, under what conditions or owing to what causes, whence and to where, and to what effect. There is a special interest in exploring connections between winds and other meteorological phenomena.