Iris in the Clouds


Many gods and goddesses played a role in the weather. Zeus with his thunderbolt was often referred to as the cloud-gatherer while his wife Hera ruled the air.

Ancient Greeks believed stories were told in real-time as clouds changed shape. Mystics observed closely for omens.

They also recognized a realm between the sea and clouds: the rainbows. When a rainbow appeared, it was believed Iris was replenishing rain clouds with water from the sea.

But who was Iris and what was her role in mythology? There is very little known about her other than she had wings of gold, her parents were Electra (a cloud nymph) and Thaumas (a sea god) and was Hera’s trusted messenger.

Aristotle would change the way we looked at the clouds. In his book Meteorologica, Aristotle tackled weather phenomena from a scientific approach and became the father of meteorological discipline.

Today, weather patterns in Greece are mostly the same as it had been in ancient times.

Watching clouds move over the mountains can be hypnotic. It is fascinating to think that we are experiencing the environment as the ancients did.




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