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A Turkish Description of the Tower of the Winds Author(s): Pierre A. MacKay Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol.

73, No. 4, (Oct., 1969), pp. 468-469 I668 the Turkish traveler, Evliya Celebi, A translation of Evliya's description, from the Seyahatname VIII (Istanbul 1928) 261-262, is offered here.

"Athens-Near the Eski Cami, there is a comprehensive scientific school of learned men which is called Plato's pavilion. It consists of a remarkable sort of stone tent, with eight sides facing the eight winds, each side formed from a single slab. On each of the sides of this pavilion a human figure is depicted, formed from a single piece of white marble. Each figure holds in his hands the characteristic implements of one of the winds. Four of the winds are depicted as male and four as female. The four males are shown with the moon-like features of a youth bright as the sun's rays, and the four women are portrayed as lovely creatures. The winds depicted as men are North, Northeast, Northwest and East, and the women are Southwest, West, South and Southeast' In truth it was the magic art that made these images so that each one stands facing one of the winds. "The dome of the pavilion has been formed of white marble inside, and 12 compartments have been established there according to the 12 constellations of the zodiac. One compartment is the constellation of Aries. This is a fiery house, and in it Mars is shown retrograde. In the compartment of the constellation of Taurus, an earthy house, Venus is inscribed; in Gemini, an airy house, Mercury; in Cancer, a watery house, the Moon; in Leo, a fiery house, the Sun; in Virgo, an earthy house, Mercury; in Libra, an airy house, Venus; in Scorpio, a watery house, Mars; in Sagittarius, a fiery house, Jupiter; in Capricorn, an earthy house, Saturn; and in Aquarius, an airy house, Saturn again is inscribed. In the twelfth compartment of the pavilion, that of Pisces, a watery house, Jupiter is marked down. Thus it is a unitary instructional pavilion built of marble, with twelve compartments where the influences of the seven planets and other heavenly bodies dependent on these constellations of the zodiac are determined and recorded at the level of manifest magic. "Inside this pavilion-shaped dome there is

a tomb in which all the Christian infidels believe that the Greek, Philip, is buried, and on their infamous feast- days they visit it. At the extreme head and foot of this tomb, the date has been registered in the Greek tongue. On the outside of this marble pavilion-dome there is a thin pivot, and in the days of the learned ancients they say that there was a mirror of the world set on this pivot, like the mirror of Alexander [on the Pharos]. And they say that whenever an enemy started out against the city from anywhere in the world, the enemy army, as it marched, was revealed along with its commander in this mirror of the world. The place for the mirror remains, but the mirror is no longer there. "In those days also, each of the learned men in the city devised for it a different sort of strange talismanic protection, marvelous to relate. Each day, one of them created a talisman of surpassing wondrousness, so that in this city, it is said, there were no plagues, snakes, centipedes, scorpions, storks, crows, fleas, lice, bedbugs, mosquitoes or houseflies. To put it succinctly, at break of dawn on every one of the 366 days in a year, they threw one talisman on the ground, and one talisman of the sort associated with the sea into the sea. But on the day when the Apostle of God emerged from his mother's womb, the authority of these talismans became as nothing, and on the night of the birth of the Beloved of God, all the talismans and charms were turned topsy-turvy, and their effect was nullified. And even now there are many places visible, which I have seen, where there used to be talismans. And for that matter, even now there are no mosqui- toes, centipedes, storks or crows, and even if they come here, they do not settle down, and if they stay for long, they die. "If a man enters the pavilion when he is feeling nauseated, he will be relieved within the hour, and will vomit up bits of black and yellow bile and phlegm, and other humors. This is because in one of the compartments of the dome there is a piece of Yemeni alum, and in another there is an azure-colored blue vitriol eye-stone. Likewise, by the effect of their odor, a feverish man, once he has vomited, will be cured of his fever. This is a well-tested remedy. "Equivalent to the eight winds on the outside of this pavilion dome, one of the learned men, an accomplished master, has contrived a time-piece based on the knowledge of the stars and of the astrolabe. It consists of a quadrant, together with slanting lines of celestial declination, carved into the marble in such a way that never under all this devious firmament, whether it be by one of the Ptolemies, or by al-Hakim bi-Amr Al- lah, or by

'Ali the Falconer in the age of Mehmed the Conqueror, has such a time-piece been constructed.3 "To sum it all up, this is an exemplary and elevated edifice."