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The Wind in Antiquity

  • Giovanni SolariEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Springer Tracts in Civil Engineering book series (SPRTRCIENG)

Abstract

This chapter addresses the will of men, which took place in the period that goes from the beginning of history to the Renaissance, to know the wind, to exploit its beneficial aspects and to protect themselves from its harmful effects. Accordingly, it describes a mythological view that emphasises the dualism between the wind as a source of life and as a means of death, the advent of a naturalistic speculation inspired by observation and the first scientific concepts, prodromes of experience, mainly focused on mathematical, mechanical and astronomical problems, as well as the innate interest of man for weather knowledge and forecasting. At the same time, it describes the first man’s attempts to exploit the wind power as an energy source, equipping boats with sails, using atmospheric currents to support kites, taking advantage of wind power to operate mill blades for multiple forms of work. In the same spirit of profound dualism, the development of architectural principles inspired by local climate is described as well as the mechanical role of wind actions and effects on buildings. The chapter ends dealing with the outstanding interest of Leonardo da Vinci towards wind and his studies on fluid and solid mechanics, meteorological instrumentation, aerodynamics and human flight.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic SchoolUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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