Four Winds Diagram
Austria; ca. 1300
Jörn Günther, Antiquariat, Hamburg
The medieval wind diagram compresses centuries of ancient and medieval scientific teaching into a readily grasped scheme based on a rota, or wheel—the format often favored in the Middle Ages for the presentation of cosmological information. The four heads in roundels, with blasts of air escaping from the sides of their mouths, personify the principal winds. The head, hands, and feet of God that emerge from the cardinal points serve as reminders of the Christian God’s governing role in the cosmos.