Climata

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The climata (singular clima) were the ancient divisions of the inhabited portion of the spherical Earth by parallel circles centered on the Pole.[1] The word stems from the Greek κλίμα, Latin clima, terms which are originally geometric in nature, κλίμα meaning inclination or slope of the ground.[2]

Historical Development[edit]

The climata were defined by the length of the longest daylight, and were further associated with specific geographical locations. There were seven classical climata, although in his Almagest Ptolemy gave a more extensive listing of 39 climata, from which the following excerpt is tabulated:[3]

Clima Longest Daylight Location Latitude
12 hours Equator
I 13 hours Meroe 16°27'
II 13½ hours Syene 23°51'
III 14 hours Lower Egypt 30°22
IV 14½ hours Rhodes 36°
V 15 hours Hellespont 40°56'
VI 15½ hours Mid-Pontus 45°1'
VII 16 hours Mouth of Borysthenes 48°32'
17 hours Mouth of Tanais 54°1'
18 hours South of Little-Britain 58°
19 hours North of Little-Britain 61°
20 hours Thule 63°
21 hours Unknown Skythians 64°30'
22 hours 65°30'
23 hours 66°
24 hours 66°8'40"
2 months 69°30'
4 months 78°20'
6 months North Pole 90°

In Medieval Europe, the climates for 15 and 18 hours were used to calculate the changing length of daylight through the year.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, (New York: Springer Verlag, 1975), p. 725. ISBN 0-387-06995-X
  2. ^ H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek English Lexicon.
  3. ^ Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, (New York: Springer Verlag, 1975), pp.43-5. ISBN 0-387-06995-X
  4. ^ Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, (New York: Springer Verlag, 1975), p. 731. ISBN 0-387-06995-X