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Text #84

Kronk. Cometography: A Catalog of Comets. Series: Cometography. Vol. 1
[p. 5]

The Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote around -329 that during the archonship of Nicomachus, “a comet appeared in the equinoctial circle for a few days (this one had not risen in the west), and this coincided with the storm at Corinth.” A.G. Pingré (1783) specifically gave the year as -340 and said the comet was in Leo.

Sources: Barrett, (7), p. 264.

Text #9132

Yeomans. Comets

341-340 BC, A comet appeared for only a few days in the equatorial zone near Leo. Barrett (7), P264.

Text #9133

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Aristotle’s reference to a “storm at Corinth” probably refers to the storm during the Battle of the Crimisus (near the Crimisus river, today the Belice river in western Sicily) – a battle fought between the Corinthian Timoleon and a Carthaginian army led by Hamilcar and Asdrubal. Diodorus describes it:

…suddenly, from the heavens sheets of rain broke and a storm of great hailstones, while lightning flashed and thunder roared and the wind blew in fierce gusts.

Plutarch writes:

Then the darkness hovering over the hills and mountain summits came down to the field of battle, mingled with rain, wind, and hail. It enveloped the Greeks from behind and smote their backs, but it smote the Barbarians in the face and dazzled their eyes, a tempest of rain and continuous flames dashing from the clouds. In all this there was much that gave distress, and most of all to the inexperienced; and particularly, as it would seem, the peals of thunder worked harm, and the clatter of the armour smitten by the dashing rain and hail, which made it impossible to hear the commands of the leaders. … For the Crimesus, having been already greatly swollen by the rains, was forced over its banks by those who were crossing it, and the adjacent plain, into which many glens and ravines opened from the hills, was filled with streams that hurried along no fixed channels, and in these the Carthaginians wallowed about and were hard beset.

Plutarch says that 10000 were killed; 12500 according to Diodorus, 12500.

See also: E#2699

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