mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Canis Major 11

β, 2.3, white.

Murzim, generally but less correctly Mirzam, and occasionally Mirza, is from Al Murzim, Literally the Roarer, and so another of the many words in the Arabic tongue for the lion, of which that people boasted of having four hundred the Announcer, often combined by the Arabs with β Canis Minoris in the plural Al Mirzamāni, or as Al Mirzamā al Shiʽrayain, the two Sirian Announcers; Ideler's idea of the applicability of this title being that this star announced the immediate rising of the still brighter Sirius.
Buttmann asserted that it also was Al Kalb, the Dog, running in front p130of Sirius, but this must have been from early times in the Desert. In our maps it marks the right fore foot of the Dog.
The Chinese called it Kuen She, the Soldiers' Market.
γ, 4.5, is Burritt's Muliphen that properly belongs to δ and to stars in Columba; but the Century Atlas has it Mirza.
It is Isis with Bayer, which Ideler confirms, but Grotius applied the title to the adjacent μ, adding, however, nisi potius quarta sit, thus referring to γ, Diodorus Siculus has Isis herself state in a hieroglyphic inscription that she is the one "who riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of the Dog" (I.27.4). This might be any star of the constellation, but see the translator's note on that passage: at least one ancient authority identifies Isis with Sirius
Montanari said that it entirely disappeared in 1670, and was not again observed for twenty-three years, when it reappeared to Miraldi, and since has maintained a steady lustre, although faint for its lettering.
It marks the top of the Dog's head.
δ, 2.2, light yellow,

is the modern Wezen, from Al Wezn, Weight, "as the star seems to rise with difficulty from the horizon"; but Ideler justly calls this an astonishing star-name.
It also was one of the Muḥlifaïn particularly described under Columba.
The Chinese knew η and κ of Canis Major, with stars in Argo, as Hoo She, the Bow and Arrow.
Gould thought δ variable. It lies near the Dog's hind quarter, and has a 7.5-magnitude companion 2ʹ45ʺ away, readily seen with an opera-glass.

ε, Double, 2 and 9, pale orange and violet.

Adara, Adhara, Adard, Udara, and Udra are from Al ʽAdhārā, the Virgins, applied to this star in connection with δ, η, and ο; perhaps from the Arabic story of Suhail. It has also been designated Al Zara, with probably the same signification, although this form is erroneous.
The component stars are 7ʺ.5 apart, at a position angle of 160°.6.
ζ, 3, light orange.

Furud is either from Al Furud, the Bright Single Ones, or, perhaps by a transcriber's error, from Al Ḳurūd, the Apes, referring to the surrounding small stars with some of those of Columba; Ideler thought the latter derivation more probable. Al Sufi mentioned these as Al Agribah, the Ravens. ζ marks the toe of the right hind foot.

η, 2.4, pale red.

Aludra is from Al ʽAdhrā, the singular of Al ʽAdhārā, and one of that group. This title has been universal from the days of Arabian catalogues and globes to our modern lists.
Smyth wrote in his notes on η, "Well may Hipparchus be dubbed the Praeses of ancient astronomers!" for that great man used this star, then at 90° of right ascension, as convenient in astronomical reckoning.
μ, a double, of 4.7 and 8th magnitudes, 2ʺ.9 apart, yellow and blue, was known as Isis by Grotius, although he admitted that γ might have been the one referred to by this title.
ο1, a red star of the 4th magnitude, and π, a double, of 5th and 10th magnitudes, with other small stars in the body of the Dog, were the Chinese Ya Ke, the Wild Cock.
Bayer's star-lettering for this constellation ended with ο, but Bode added others down to ω.

Canis Major 10

for the Egyptians always attributed to the Dog-star the beneficial influence of the inundation that began at the summer solstice; indeed, some have said that the Aethiopian Nile took from Sirius its name Siris, although others consider the reverse to be the case. Minsheu, who dwells much on this, ends thus: "Some thinke that the Dog-starre is called Sirius, because at the time the Dogge-starre reigneth, Nilus also overfloweth as though the water were led by that Starre." Indeed, it has been fancifully asserted that its canine title originated in Egypt, "because of its supposed watchful care over the interests of the husbandman; its rising giving him notice of the approaching overflow of the Nile."
Caesius cited for it Solechin as from that country, signifying the Starry Dog, and derived from the Egypto-Greek word Σολεκήν.
Perhaps it is the ancient importance of this Dog on the Nile that has given the popular name, the Egyptian X, to the figure formed by the stars Procyon and Betelgeuze, Naos and Phaet, with Sirius at the vertices of the two triangles and the centre of the letter. On our maps Sirius marks the nose of the Dog.
The Phoenicians are said to have known it as Hannabeah, the Barker.
The astronomers of China do not seem to have made as much of Sirius as did those of other countries, but it is occasionally mentioned, with other stars in Canis Major, as Lang Hoo; and Reeves quoted for it Tseen Lang, the Heavenly Wolf. Their astrologers said that when unusually bright it portended attacks from thieves.
Some have called it the Mazzārōth of the Book of Job; others the Ḣaṣīl of the Hebrews; but this people also knew it as Sihor, its Egyptian name, and Ideler thinks that the adoration of the Sɛērīm, or "Devils" of the Authorized Version of our Bible, the "He Goats" of the Revision, which, as we see in Leviticus xvii.7, was specially prohibited to the Jews, may have had reference to Sirius and Procyon, the Two Sirii or Shiʽrayān, that must have been well known to them in the land of their long bondage as worshiped by their taskmasters.
The culmination of this star at midnight was celebrated in the great temple of Ceres at Eleusis, probably at the initiation of the Eleusinian mysteries; and the Ceans of the Cyclades predicted from its appearance at its heliacal rising whether the ensuing year would be healthy or the reverse. In Arabia, too, it was an object of veneration, especially by the tribe of Kais, and probably by that of Kodhā'a, although Muḥammad expressly forbade this star-worship on the part of his followers. Yet he himself gave much honor to some "star" in the heavens that may have been this.
In early astrology and poetry there is no end to the evil influences that were attributed to Sirius.
Homer wrote, in Lord Derby's translation,
The brightest he, but sign to mortal man
Of evil augury.
Pope's very liberal version of the same lines,—
Terrific glory! for his burning breath
Taints the red air with fevers, plagues and death,—
seems to have been taken from the Shepheard's Kalendar for July:
The rampant Lyon hunts he fast with dogge of noysome breath
Whose baleful barking brings in hast pyne, plagues and dreerye death.
Spenser, however, was equally a borrower, for we find in the Aeneid:
p126 The dogstar, that burning constellation, when he brings drought and diseases on sickly mortals, rises and saddens the sky with inauspicious light;
and in the 4th Georgic:
Jam rapidus torrens sitientes Sirius Indos
Ardebat coelo,
rendered by Owen Meredith in his Paraphrase on Vergil's Bees of Aristaeus:
Swift Sirius, scorching thirsty Ind,
Was hot in heaven.
Hesiod advised his country neighbors, "When Sirius parches head and knees, and the body is dried up by reason of heat, then sit in the shade and drink," — advice universally followed, even till now, although with but little thought of Sirius. Hippocrates made much, in his Epidemics and Aphorisms, of this star's power over the weather, and the consequent physical effect upon mankind, some of his theories being current in Italy even during the last century; while the result of all physic depended upon the sign of the zodiac in which the sun chanced to be. Manilius wrote of Sirius:
from his nature flow
The most afflicting powers that rule below.
But these expressions as to the hateful character of the Dog-star may have been induced in part from the evil reputation of the dog in the East.
Its heliacal rising, 400 years before our era, corresponded with the sun's entrance into the constellation Leo, that marked the hottest time of the year, and this observation, originally from Egypt, taken on trust by the Romans, who were not proficient observers, and without consideration as to its correctness for their age and country, gave rise to their dies caniculariae, the dog days, and the association of the celestial Dog and Lion with the heat of midsummer. The time and duration of these days, although not generally agreed upon in ancient times, any more than in modern, were commonly considered as beginning on the 3d of July and ending on the 11th of August, for such were the time and period of the unhealthy season of Italy, and all attributed to Sirius. The Greeks, however, generally assigned fifty days to the influence of the Dog-star. Yet even then some took a more correct view of the matter, for Geminos wrote:
It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the dog days; but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun's heat is the greatest.
But he was an astronomer.
The idea prevailed, however, even with the sensible Dante in his "great scourge of days canicular"; while Milton, in Lycidas, designated it as "the swart star." And the notion holds good with many even to the present time. This character doubtless is indicated on the Farnese globe, where the Dog's head is surrounded with sun-rays.
But Pliny took a kinder view of this star, as in the "xii. chapyture of the xi. booke of his naturall hystorie," [XI.XII.30] on the origin of honey:
This coometh from the ayer at the rysynge of certeyne starres, and especially at the rysynge of Sirius, and not before the rysynge of Vergiliae (which are the seven starres cauled Pleiades) in the sprynge of the day;
although he seems to be in doubt whether "this bee the swette of heaven, or as it were a certeyne spettyl of the starres." This idea is first seen in Aristotle's History of Animals. So, too, in late astrology wealth and renown were the happy lot of all born under this and its companion Dog. Our modern Willis wrote in his Scholar of Thebet ben Khorat:
Mild Sirius tinct with dewy violet,
Set like a flower upon the breast of Eve.
When in opposition Sirius was supposed to produce the cold of winter.
It has been in all history the brightest star in the heavens, thought worthy by Pliny of a place by itself among the constellations, and even seen in broad sunshine with the naked eye by Bond at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and by others at midday with very slight optical aid; but its color is believed by many to have changed from red to its present white. This question recently has been discussed, by See in the affirmative and Schiaparelli in the negative, at a length not allowing repetition here, the weight of argument, however, seeming to be against the admission of any change of color in historic times.
Aratos' term ποικίλος, applied to the Dog, is equally appropriate to Sirius now in the sense of many-colored or changeful, and is an admirable characterization, as one realizes when watching this magnificent object coming up from the horizon on a winter evening. Tennyson, who is always correct as well as poetical in his astronomical allusions, says in The Princess:
the fiery Sirius alters hue
And bickers into red and emerald;
this, of course, being largely due to its marked scintillation; and Arago gave Barāḳish as an Arabic designation for Sirius, meaning Of a Thousand Colors; and said that as many as thirty changes of hue in a second had been observed in it. Montigny's scintillometer has marked as many as seventy-eight changes in a second in various white stars standing 30° above the horizon, though a somewhat less number in those of other colors.
Sirius, notwithstanding its brilliancy, is by no means the nearest star to our system, although it is among the nearest; only two or three others having, so far as is yet known, a smaller distance. Investigations up to the present time show a parallax of 0ʺ.39, indicating a distance of 8.3 light years, nearly twice that of α Centauri.
Some are of the opinion that the apparent magnitude of Sirius is partly due to the whiteness of its tint and its greater intrinsic brilliancy; and that the red stars, Aldebaran, Betelgeuze, and others, would appear much brighter than now if of the same color as Sirius; rays of red light affecting the retina of the eye more slowly than those of other colors. The modern scale of magnitudes that makes this star ‑1.43, — about 9 1/2 times as bright as the standard 1st-magnitude star Altair (α Aquilae), — would make the sun ‑25.4, or 7000 million times as bright as Sirius; but, taking distance into account, we find that Sirius is really forty times brighter than the sun.
Its spectrum, as type of the Sirian in distinction from the Solar, gives name to one of the four general divisions of stellar spectra instituted by Secchi from his observations in 1863‑67; these two divisions including nearly 11/12 of the observed stars. Of these about one half are Sirian of a
brilliantly white colour, sometimes inclining towards a steely blue. The sign manual of hydrogen is stamped upon them with extraordinary intensity
by broad, dark shaded lines which form a regular series.
It is found by Vogel to be approaching our system at the rate of nearly ten miles a second, and, since Rome was built, has changed its position by somewhat more than the angular diameter of the moon.
It culminates on the 11th of February.
The celebrated Kant thought that Sirius was the central sun of the Milky Way; and, eighteen centuries before him, the poet Manilius said that it was "a distant sun to illuminate remote bodies," showing that even at that early day some had knowledge of the true character and office of the stars.
Certain peculiarities in the motion of Sirius led Bessel in 1844, after ten years of observation, to the belief that it had an obscure companion with which it was in revolution; and computations by Peters and Auwers led Safford to locating the position of the satellite, where it was found as predicted on the 31st of January, 1862, by the late Alvan Clark,4 at Cambridgeport, Mass., while testing the 18 1/2-inch glass now at the Dearborn Observatory. It proved to be a yellowish star, estimated as of the 8 1/2 magnitude, but difficult to be seen because of the brilliancy of Sirius, and then 10ʺ away; this diminishing to 5ʺ in 1889; and last seen and measured by Burnham at the Lick Observatory before its final disappearance in April, 1890. Its reappearance was observed from the same place in the autumn of 1896 at a distance of 3ʺ.7, with a position angle of 195°. It has a period of 51 1/2 years, and an orbit whose diameter is between those of Uranus and Neptune; its mass being one third that of Sirius and equal to that of our sun, although its light is but 1/10000 its principal, soº that it may be supposed to be approaching non-luminous solidity, — one of Bessel's "dark stars."
It is remarkable that Voltaire in his Micromegas of 1752, an imitation of Gulliver's Travels, followed Dean Swift's so‑called prophetic discovery of the two moons of Mars by a similar discovery of an immense satellite of Sirius, the home of his hero. Swift, however, owed his inspiration to Kepler, who more than a century previously wrote to Galileo:
I am so far from disbelieving in the existence of the four circumjovial planets, that I long for a telescope to anticipate you, if possible, in discovering two round Mars (as the proportion seems to me to require), six or eight round Saturn, and perhaps one each round Mercury and Venus.
Other stars are shown by the largest glasses in the immediate vicinity of Sirius, two additional having very recently been discovered by Barnard at the Yerkes Observatory.

Canis Major 9

Hail, mighty Sirius, monarch of the suns !
May we in this poor planet speak with thee ?

Mrs. Sigourney's The Stars.
α, Binary, ‑1.43 and 8.5, brilliant white and yellow.
Sirius, the Dog-star, often written Syrius even as late as Flamsteed's and Father Hell's day, has generally been derived from σείριος, sparkling or scorching, which first appeared with Hesiod as a title for this star, although also applied to the sun, and by Abychos to all the stars. Various early Greek authors used it for our Sirius, perhaps generally as an adjective, for we read in Eratosthenes:
Such stars astronomers call σειρίους on account of the tremulous motion of their light;
so that it would seem that the word, in its forms σείρ, σείρος, and σείριος, — Suidas used all three for both sun and star, — originally was employed to indicate any bright and sparkling heavenly object, but in the course of time became a proper name for this brightest of all the stars. Lamb, however, thought it of Phoenician origin, signifying the Chief One, and originally in that country a title for the sun; Jacob Bryant, the mythologist, said that it was from the Egyptians' Cahen Sihor; but Brown considers it a transcription from their well-known Hesiri, the Greek Osiris; while Dupuis distinctly asserted that it was from the Celtic Syr.
Plutarch called it Προόπτης, the Leader, which well agrees with its character and is an almost exact translation of its Euphratean, Persian, Phoenician, and Vedic titles; but Κύων, Κύων σείριος, Κύων ἀστήρ, Σείριος ἀστήρ, Σείριον ἄστρον, or simply το ἄστρον, were its names in early Greek astronomy and poetry. Προκύων, better known for the Lesser Dog and its lucida, also was applied to Sirius by Galen as preceding the other stars in the constellation.
Homer alluded to it in the Iliad as Ὀπωρινός, the Star of Autumn; The Greeks had no word exactly equivalent to our "autumn" until the 5th century before Christ, when it appeared in writings ascribed to Hippocrates, but the season intended was the last days of July, all of August, and part of September — the latter part of summer. Lord Derby translated this celebrated passage:

A fiery light
There flash'd, like autumn's star, that brightest shines
When newly risen from his ocean bath;
while later on in the poem Homer compares Achilles, when viewed by Priam, to
th' autumnal star, whose brilliant ray
Shines eminent amid the depth of night,
Whom men the dog-star of Orion call.
The Roman farmers sacrificed to it a fawn-colored dog at their three festivals when, in May, the sun began to approach Sirius. These, instituted 238 B.C., were the Robigalia, to secure the propitious influence of their goddess Robigo in averting rust and mildew from their fields; and the Floralia and Vinalia, to ensure the maturity of their blooming flowers, fruits and grapes.
Among the Latins it naturally shared the constellation's titles, probably originated them; and occasionally was even Canicula; indeed, as late as 1420 the Palladium of Husbandry urged certain farm-work to be done "Er the caniculere, the hounde ascende"; and, more than a century later, Eden, in the Historie of the Vyage to Moscovie and Cathay, wrote: "Serius is otherwise called Canicula, this is the dogge, of whom the canicular days have theyr name."
It has been asserted that Ovid and Vergil referred to Sirius in their Latrator Anubis, representing a jackal, or dog-headed Egyptian divinity, guardian of the visible horizon and of the solstices, transferred to Rome as goddess of the chase; but it is very doubtful whether they had in mind either star or constellation.
Its well-known name, Al Shiʽrā, or Al Siʽrā, extended as al Abūr al Yamaniyyah, much resembles the Egyptian, Persian, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman equivalents, and, Ideler thought, may have had common origin with them from some one ancient, source: possibly the Sanskrit Sūrya, the Shining One, — the Sun. The ʽAbur, or Passage, refers to the myth of Canopus' flight to the South; and the adjective to the same, or perhaps to the southerly position of the star towards Yemen, in distinction from that of Al Ghumaisāʼ in the Lesser Dog, seen towards Shām, — Syria, — in the North. From these geographical names originated the Arabic adjectives Yamaniyyah and Shamāliyyah, Southern and Northern; although the former literally signifies On the Right-hand Side, i.e. to an observer facing eastward towards Mecca.
In Chrysococca's Tables the title is Σιαὴρ Ιαμανὴ; and Doctor C. Edward Sachau's translation of Al Bīrūnī's Chronology renders it Sirius Jemenicus. Riccioli had Halabor, which the 1515 Almagest applied to the constellation; and Chilmead, Gabbar, Ecber, and Habor; while Shaari lobur, another queerly corrupted form, is found in Eber's Egyptian Princess. In the Alfonsine Tables the original is changed to Asceher and Aschere Aliemini; while Bayer gives plain Aschere and Elscheere for the star, with others similar for both star and constellation. Scera is cited by Grotius for the star, and Sceara for the whole, derived from an old lexicon; and Alsere; but he traced all to Σείριος.
In modern Arabia it is Suhail, the general designation for bright stars.
The late Finnish poet Zakris Topelius accounted for the exceptional magnitude of Sirius by the fact that the lovers Zulamith the Bold and Salami the Fair, after a thousand years of separation and toil while building their bridge, the Milky Way, upon meeting at its completion,
Straight rushed into each other's arms
And melted into one;
So they became the brightest star
In heaven's high arch that dwelt —
Great Sirius, the mighty Sun
Beneath Orion's belt.
The native Australians knew it as their Eagle, a constellation by itself; while the Hervey Islanders, calling it Mere, associated it in their folklore with Aldebaran and the Pleiades.
Sharing the Sanskrit titles for the whole, it was the Deer-slayer and the Hunter, while the Vedas also have for it Tishiya or Tishiga, Tistrija, Tishtrya, the Tistar, or Chieftain's, Star. And this we find too in Persia; as also Sira. The later Persian and Pahlavi have Tir, the Arrow. Edkins, however, considers Sirius, or Procyon, to be Vanand, and Arcturus, Tistar.
Hewitt sees in Sirius the Sivānam, or Dog, of the Rig Veda awakening the Ribhus, the gods of mid-air, who "thus calls them to their office of rain sending," a very different office from that assigned to this star in Rome. Yet these gods, philologically, had a Roman connection, for Professor Friedrich Maximilian Mueller, writing the word Arbhu, associates it with the Latin Orpheus. Hewitt also says that in the earliest Hindu mythology Sirius was Sukra, the Rain-god, before Indra was thus known; and that in the Avesta it marked one of the Four Quarters of the Heavens.
Although the identification of Euphratean stellar titles is by no means settled, especially and singularly so as to this great star, yet various authorities have found for it names more or less probable.
Berlin and Brown think it conclusively proved that it was Kak-shisha, the Dog that Leads, and "a Star of the South"; while Kak-shidi is Sayce's transliteration of the original signifying the Creator of Prosperity, a character which the Persians also assigned to it; and it may have been the Akkadian Du-shisha, the Director — in Assyrian Mes-ri-e. Epping and Strassmaier have Kak-ban as a late Chaldaean title, which Brown renders Kal‑bu, the Dog, "exactly the name for Sirius we should expect to find"; Jensen has Kakkab lik-ku, the Star of the Dog, revived in Homer's κύων; and it perhaps was the Assyrian Kal-bu Sa-mas, the Dog of the Sun; and the Akkadian Mul-lik-ud, the Star Dog of the Sun. Jensen also gives Kakkab kasti, the Bow Star, although this may be doubtful; and Brown has, from the Assyrian, Su-ku-du, the Restless, Impetuous, Blazing, well characterizing the marked scintillation and color changes in its light. Hewitt cites an Akkadian title Tis-khu.
Its risings and settings were regularly tabulated in Chaldaea about 300 B.C., and Oppert is reported to have recently said that the Babylonian astronomers could not have known certain astronomical periods, which as a matter of fact they did know, if they had not observed Sirius from the island of Zylos in the Persian Gulf on Thursday, the 29th of April, 11542 B.C.!
It is the only star known to us with absolute certitude in the Egyptian records — its hieroglyph, a dog, often appearing on the monuments and temple walls throughout the Nile country. Its worship, chiefly in the north, perhaps, did not commence till about 3285 B.C., when its heliacal rising at the summer solstice marked Egypt's New Year and the beginning of the inundation, although precession has now carried this rising to the 10th of August. At that early date, according to Lockyer, Sirius had replaced γ Draconis as an orientation point, especially at Thebes, and notably in the great temple of Queen Hatshepsu, known to-day as Al Dēr al Bahārī, the Arabs' translation of the modern Copts' Convent of the North. Here it was symbolized, under the title of Isis Hathor, by the form of a cow with disc and horns appearing from behind the western hills. With the same title, and styled Her Majesty of Denderah, it is seen in the small temple of Isis, erected 700 B.C., which was oriented toward it; as well as on the walls of the great Memnonium, the Ramesseum, of Al Ḳurneh at Thebes, probably erected about the same time that this star's worship began. Lockyer thinks that he has found seven temples oriented to the rising of Sirius. It is also represented on the walls of the recently discovered step-temple of Saḳḳara, dating from about 2700 B.C., and supposed to have been erected in its honor.
Great prominence is given to it on the square zodiac of Denderah, where it is figured as a cow recumbent in a boat with head surmounted by a star; and again, immediately following, as the goddess Sothis, accompanied by the goddess Anget, with two urns from which water is flowing, emblematic of the inundation at the rising of the star. But in the earlier temple service of Denderah it was Isis Sothis, at Philae Isis Sati, or Satit, and, for a long time in Egypt's mythology, the resting-place of the soul of that goddess, and thus a favorable star. Plutarch made distinct reference to this; although it should be noted that the word Isis at times also indicated anything luminous to the eastward heralding sunrise. Later it was Osiris, brother and husband of Isis, but this word also was applied to any celestial body becoming invisible by its setting. Thus its titles noticeably changed in the long period of Egypt's history.
As Thoth, and the most prominent stellar object in the worship of that country, — its heliacal rising was in the month of Thoth, — it was in some way associated with the similarly prominent sacred ibis, also a symbol of Isis and Thoth, for, in various forms, the bird and star appear together on Nile monuments, temple walls, and zodiacs.
Sirius was worshiped, too, as Sihor, the Nile Star, and, even more commonly, as Sothi and Sothis, its popular Graeco-Egyptian name, the Brightly Radiating One, the Fair Star of the Waters; but in the vernacular was Sept, Sepet, Sopet, and Sopdit; Sed, According to Mueller, this Sed, or Shed, of the hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared in Hebrew as El Shaddar and Sot, — the Σήθ of Vettius Valens.
Upon this star was laid the foundation of the Canicular, Sothic, or Sothiac Period named after it, which has excited the attention and puzzled the minds of historians, antiquarians, and chronologists. Lockyer has an admirable discussion of this in his Dawn of Astronomy.
Sir Edwin Arnold writes of it in his Egyptian Princess:
And even when the Star of Kneph has brought the summer round,
And the Nile rises fast and full along the thirsty ground;

Canis Major 8

Fierce on her front the blasting Dog-star glowed.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's On the French Revolution.

One blazes through the brief bright summer's length,
Lavishing life-heat from a flaming car.

Christina G. Rossetti's's Later Life.
Canis Major, the Greater Dog, of the southern heavens, and thus Canis Australior, lies immediately to the southeast of Orion, cut through its centre by the Tropic of Capricorn, and with its eastern edge on the Milky Way.
It is Cane Maggiore in Italy; Cães in Portugal; Grand Chien in France; and Grosse Hund in Germany.
In early classical days it was simple Canis, representing Laelaps, the hound of Actaeon, or that of Diana's nymph Procris, or the one given to Cephalus by Aurora and famed for the speed that so gratified Jove as to cause its transfer to the sky. But from the earliest times it also has been the Dog of Orion to which Aratos alluded in the Prognostica, and thus wrote of in the Phainomena in connection with the Hare:
The constant Scorcher comes as in pursuit,
. . . and rises with it and its setting spies.
Homer made much of it as Κύων, but his Dog doubtless was limited to the star Sirius, as among the ancients generally till, at some unknown date, the constellation was formed as we have it, — indeed till long afterwards, for we find many allusions to the Dog in which we are uncertain whether the constellation or its lucida is referred to. Hesiod and Aratos gave this title, both also saying Σείριος, and the latter μέγας; but by this adjective he designed only to characterize the brilliancy of the star, and not to distinguish it from the Lesser Dog. The Greeks did not know the two Dogs thus, nor did the comparison appear till the days of the Roman Vitruvius. p118Ptolemy and his countrymen knew it by Homer's title, and often as Αστροκύων, although it seems singular that the former never used the word Σείριος.
The Latins adopted their Canis from the Greeks, and it has since always borne this name, sometimes even Canicula in the diminutive (with the adjectival candens, shining), Erigonaeus, and Icarius; the last two being from the fable of the dog Maera, — which itself means Shining, — transported here; her mistress Erigone having been transformed into Virgo, and her master Icarius into Boötes. Ovid alluded to this in his Icarii stella proterva canis; and Statius mentioned the Icarium astrum, although Hyginus had ascribed this to the Lesser Dog.
Sirion and Syrius occasionally appeared with the best Latin authors; and the Alfonsine Tables of 1521 had Canis Syrius.
Vergil brought it into the 1st Georgic as a calendar sign,—
adverso cedens Canis occidit astro,—
instructing the farmer to sow his beans, lucerne, and millet at its heliacal setting on the 1st of May; the adverso here generally being referred to the well-known reversed position of the figure of Taurus, but may have been intended to indicate the hostility of the Bull to the Giant's Dog that was attacking him.
Custos Europae is in allusion to the story of the Bull who, notwithstanding the Dog's watchfulness, carried off that maiden; and Janitor Lethaeus, the Keeper of Hell, makes him a southern Cerberus, the watch-dog of the lower heavens, which in early mythology were regarded as the abode of demons: a title more appropriate here than for the so-named modern group in the northern, or upper, sky.
Bayer erroneously quoted as proper names Dexter, Magnus, and Secundus, while others had Alter and Sequens; but these originally were designed only to indicate the Dog's position, size, and order of rising with regard to his lesser companion.
The aestifer of Cicero and Vergil referred to its bright Sirius as the cause of the summer's heat, which also induced Horace's invidum agricolis; and Bayer's Ὑδροφοβία was from the absurd notion, prevalent then as now, of the occurrence of canine madness solely during the heat from the Dog-star: an idea first seen with Asclepiades of the 3rd century before Christ. Or it may have come from being confounded by Bayer, none too careful a compiler, with the Ὑδραγωγόν, which Plutarch applied to Sirius in his De Iside, What Allen actually has is "De Isidoro"; but there is no such work by Plutarch. The reference is to the opening sentence of chapter 38 (366A) of De Iside et Osiride, Τῶν τ᾽ ἄστρων τὸν σείριον Ἴσιδος νομίζουσιν, ὑδραγωγὸν ὄντα. The lesson a student can learn from this, of course, is to make quite sure you know what you're abbreviating! "Isid." usually stands for Isidore, a different writer altogether; and "de Isid." for the work by Plutarch. signifying the Water-bringer, i.e. the cause of the Nile flood.
Aratos termed the constellation ποικίλος, as of varying brightness in its different parts; or mottled — the Dog, lying in as well as out of the Milky Way, being thus diversified in light.
In early Arabia, as indeed everywhere, it took titles from its lucida, although strangely corrupted from the original Al Shīʽrā al ‘Abur al Yamaniyyah, the Brightly Shining Star of Passage of Yemen, in the direction of which province it set. Among these we see, in the Latin Almagest of 1515, "canis: et est asehere, alahabor aliemenia"; in the edition of 1551, Elscheere; in Bayer's Uranometria, Elseiri (which Grotius derived from σείριος), Elsere, Sceara, Scera, Scheereliemini; in Chilmead's Treatise, Alsahare aliemalija; and Elchabar, which La Lande, in his I'Astronomie, not unreasonably derived from Al Kabir, the Great.
The Arabian astronomers called it Al Kalb al Akbar, the Greater Dog, so following the Latins, Chilmead writing it Alcheleb Alachbar; and Al Bīrūnī quoted their Al Kalb al Jabbār, the Dog of the Giant, directly from the Greek conception of the figure. Similarly it was the Persians' Kelbo Gavoro.
It was, of course, important in Euphratean astronomy, and is shown on remains from the temples and mounds, variously pictured, but often just as Aratos described it and as drawn on maps of the present day, — standing on the hind feet, watching or springing after the Hare. Professor Young describes the figure as one "who sits up watching his master Orion, but with an eye out for Lepus."
Bayer and Flamsteed alone among its illustrators showed it as a typical bulldog.
A Dog, presumably this with another adjacent, is represented on an ivory disc found by Schliemann on his supposed site of Troy; and an Etruscan mirror of unknown age bears it with Orion, Lepus, the crescent moon, and correctly located neighboring stars, while both of the Dogs, the Dragon, Fishes, Swan, Perseus, the Twins, Orion, and the Hare are described as on the Shield of Hercules in the old poem of that title generally attributed to Hesiod. The Hindus knew it as Mrigavyādha, the Deer-slayer, and as Lubdhaka, the Hunter, who shot the arrow, our Belt of Orion, into the infamous Praja-pati, where it even now is seen sticking in his body; and, much earlier still, with their prehistoric predecessors it was Saramā, one of the Twin Watch-dogs of the Milky Way.
Among northern nations it was Greip, the dog in the myth of Sigurd.
All of these doubtless referred solely to Sirius.
Novidius, who imagined biblical significance in every starry group, said that this was the Dog of Tobias in the Book of Tobit, v.16, which Moxon p120confirmed "because he hath a tayle," and for that reason only; but Julius Schiller, another of the same school, saw here the royal Saint David.
Gould catalogued 178 stars down to the 7th magnitude.

Sagitta 5

There is in front another Arrow cast
Without a bow; and by it flies the Bird
Nearer the north.

Brown's Aratos.
Sagitta, the Arrow, the French Flèche, the German Pfeil, and the Italian Saetta, lies in the Milky Way, directly north of Aquila and south of Cygnus, pointing eastward; and, although ancient, is insignificant, for it has no star larger than the 4th magnitude, and none that is named.
It has occasionally been drawn as held in the Eagle's talons, for the bird was armor-bearer to Jove; but Eratosthenes described it separately, as Aratos had done, and as it now is on our maps. The common belief that the latter included it with his Αἰετός was based, Grotius said, on an error in the version of Germanicus. And it has been regarded as the traditional weapon that slew the eagle of Jove, or the one shot by Hercules towards the adjacent Stymphalian birds, and still lying between them, whence the title Herculea; but Eratosthenes claimed it as the arrow with which Apollo exterminated the Cyclopes; and it sometimes was the Arrow of Cupid. The Hyginus of 1488 showed it overlying a bow; indeed, Eratosthenes called it Τόξον, a Bow, signifying Arrows in its plural form; Aratos mentioned it as the Feathered Arrow and the Well-shaped Dart, the ἄλλος ὀϊστός of our motto, "another arrow," in distinction from that of Sagittarius. Still, it has often been thought of as the latter's weapon strayed from its owner. Hipparchos and Ptolemy had plain Ὀϊστός.
Latin authors of classical times and since knew it as Canna, Calamus, and Harundo, all signifying the Reed from which the arrow-shafts were formed; and as Missile, Jaculum, and Telum, the Weapon, Javelin, and Dart; Telum descending even to Kepler's day. But Sagitta was its common title with all the Romans who mentioned its stars; Cicero characterizing it as clara and fulgens, which, however, it is not.
Bayer, who ascribed to it the astrological nature of Mars and Venus, picked up several strange names: Daemon, Feluco, and Fossorium, apparently unintelligible here; Obelus, one of the σεμεῖαι, or notae, of ancient grammarians, or, possibly, an Obelisk, which it may resemble;a Orfercalim, cited by Riccioli and Beigel from Albumasar for the Turkish Otysys Kalem, a Smooth Arrow; Temo meridianus, the Southern Beam; Vectis, a Pole; Virga and Virgula jacens, a Falling Wand. The Missore attributed to Cicero is erroneous, and was never used by the latter as a star-name, but for the one who shot the arrow; while the Musator of Aben Ezra is either a barbarism for Missore, or may be for the Arabic Saṭar, a Straight Line.
The Hebrews called it Ḥēṣ or Ḥēts; the Armenians and Persians, Tigris; and the Arabians, Al Sahm, all meaning an Arrow; this last, given on the Dresden globe, being turned by Chilmead into Alsoham, by Riccioli into Schaham, and by Piazzi into Sham.
In some of the Alfonsine Tables appeared Istusc, repeated in the Almagest of 1515 as Istiusc, both probably disfigured forms of ὀϊστός; and the Alfonsine Tables of 1521 had Alahance, perhaps from the Arabic Al Ḣams or Ḣamsah, the Five (Stars), its noticeable feature. The same Almagest also had Albanere, adding est nun, all unintelligible except from Scaliger's note:
legendum Alhance, id est Sagitta, hebraicae originis, converso Dages in Nun, ut saepe accidit in Arabismo et Syriasmo.
Schickard wrote it Alchanzato.
Sagitta is not noticed in the Reeves list of Chinese asterisms.
Caesius imagined it the Arrow shot by Joash at Elisha's command, or one of those sent by Jonathan towards David at the stone Ezel; and Julius Schiller, the Spear, or the Nail, of the Crucifixion.
Originally only 4° in length, modern astronomy has stretched the constellation to more than 10°; Argelander assigning to it 16 naked-eye stars, and Heis 18. Eratosthenes gave it only 4.
It comes to the meridian on the 1st of September.
None of Sagitta's stars seem to have been named, but its triple ζ is an interesting system. It has long been known as double, but the larger star was discovered by the late Alvan G. Clark to be itself an extremely close double and rapid binary.
The components are of 6, 6, and 9 magnitudes; the two larger 0ʺ.1 apart in 1891, at a position angle of 182°.8. The smallest star is 8ʺ.5 distant. The colors are greenish, white, and blue.

Eridanus 9

α, 0.4, white.

Achernar is from Al Āḣir al Nahr, the End of the River, nearly its present position in the constellation, about 32° from the south pole; but the p218title was first given to the star now lettered θ, the farthest in the Stream known by Arabian astronomers. For α Bayer had Acharnar pro Acharnahar vel Acharnarim, and Enar; Caesius, Acarnar; Riccioli, Acarnaharim and Acharnaar; Scaliger, Acharnarin; Schickard, Achironnahri; while Achenar and Archarnar are still occasionally used.
This star is supposed to be one of Dante's Tre Fascelle, notwithstanding its invisibility from Italy. Nowhere in Dante, neither in the Commedia nor in the minor works, does the word fascelle appear, at least according to the search engines at the Princeton Dante Project based on the respective editions reproduced there.
Chinese astronomers knew it as Shwuy Wei.
Ptolemy did not mention it, although he could have seen it from the latitude of Alexandria, 31°11ʹ, — a fact, among others, which argues that his catalogue was not based upon original observations, but drawn from the now lost catalogue of Hipparchos, compiled at Rhodes, more than 5° further north, from which place Achernar was not visible.
It culminates on the 4th of December, due south of Baten Kaitos.

β, 2.9, topaz yellow.

Cursa, 3° to the northwest of Rigel in Orion, is the principal star in this constellation, seen from the latitude of New York City.
The word is from Al Kursiyy al Jauzah, the Chair, or Footstool, of the Central One, i.e. Orion, formed by β, λ, and ψ Eridani with τ Orionis, and regarded as the support of his left foot; but in the earlier astronomy of the nomads it was one of Al Udḥā al Naʽām, the Ostrich's Nest, that some extended to ο1 and ο2.
The Century Cyclopedia gives Dhalim as an alternative title, undoubtedly from Al Ṭhalīm, the Ostrich; but, although used for β by several writers, this better belongs to θ.
The Chinese called β Yuh Tsing, the Golden Well.
γ1, 3, yellow.

Zaurac and Zaurak are from the Arabic Al Nāʼir al Zauraḳ, the Bright Star of the Boat; but Ideler applied this early designation to the star that now is α of our Phoenix.
With δ, ε, η, and others near, it made up the Chinese Tien Yuen, the Heavenly Park.

η, 3.7, pale yellow.

Azha is supposed to have been the Azḥā of Al Sufi, and the equivalent Ashiyane of the Persians, and was known by Kazwini as Al Udḥiyy, being p219chief among the stars of the Ostrich's Nest, which the word signifies. The other components were ζ, ρ, and σ; but this last, the 17th of Ptolemy, is not now to be identified in the sky, although it may be one of the three stars ρ displaced by proper motion since Ptolemy's time.
Near η, towards τ, are some other stars — ε and π Ceti among them — which in early days were included in the Nest, but later were set apart by Al Sufi as Al Sadr al Ḳetus, the Breast of the Whale.
θ, Double, 3 and 5.25.

Achernar was the early name for this at the then recognized end of the stream, Halley saying of it, ultima fluminis in veteri catalogo, referring to Tycho's work, of which his own was a supplement. Various forms of its title are given under α, but Acamar, from the Alfonsine Tables, is peculiar to θ.
Ulug Beg called it Al Ṭhalīm, the Ostrich, but Hyde rendered this the Dam, as if blocking the flow of the stream to the south.
Bullialdus, in his edition of Chrysococca's work, had it Αὖλαξ, the Furrow, equivalent to the sulcus used by Vergil to denote the track of a vessel, appropriate enough to a star situated in the Stream of Ocean; and Riccioli distinctly gave Sulcus for it in his Astronomia Reformata.
It is the solitary star visible from the latitude of New York City in early winter evenings, low down in the south, on the meridian with Menkar of the Whale; but Baily said that its brilliancy has probably lessened since Ptolemy's time, for the latter designated it by α — i.e. of the 1st magnitude.
Between it and Fomalhaut lie many small stars, not mentioned by Ptolemy, that Hyde said were Al Zibāl; but Al Sufi had already called them Al Riʼāl, the Little Ostriches.
ι, κ, φ, and χ, of about the 4th magnitude, were another Tien Yuen of the Chinese, different from that marked by γ; ι and κ are the lowest in the constellation visible from the latitude of New York.
μ and ω, 4th‑magnitude stars lying westward of β, were Kew Yew in China; Reeves including under this title b and the stars of the Sceptre.
ο1, 4.1, clear white.

In early Arabia this was Al Baīḍ, the Egg, from its peculiar white color, as well as from its position near the Ostrich's Nest. Modern lists generally write it Beid.
Situla, the Urn, also has been used for it, although there is no apparent applicability here, and the title is universally recognized for κ Aquarii.
ο2, Triple, 4, 9.1, and 10.8, orange and sky blue,

is the Keid of modern lists, Burritt's Kied, from Al Ḳaid, the Egg-shells, thrown out from the nest close by.
The Abbé Hell used it in the construction of his constellation Psalterium.
Its duplicity was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1783, and in 1851 Otto Struve found the smaller star itself double and a binary of short period. The system is remarkable from its great proper motion of 4ʺ.1 annually. The two larger stars are 83ʺ apart, at a position angle of 108°, and the smaller 4ʺ apart, at an angle of 111°. The parallax by Elkin indicates a distance of twenty light years.
τ2, 4, yellow.

Angetenar of the Alfonsine Tables, now the common title, the Argentenar of Riccioli and Anchenetenar of Scaliger, is from Al Ḥināyat al Nahr, the Bend in the River, near which it lies; Ideler transcribing this as Al Anchat al Nahar. This is one of Bayer's nine stars of the same letter lying just above Fornax; he said of them, sibi mutuo succedentes novem.
See found, in 1897, a 14.9‑magnitude bluish star, about 52ʺ away, at a position angle of 128°.3.


mark another series of seven stars called in Bayer's text Beemim and Theemim. This last, used by Bode and now in current use, is perhaps the Arabic Al Tauʼamān and the Jews' Tĕōmīm, the Twins, from the pairs υ1, υ2, and υ3, υ4. Grotius thought it derived either from the foregoing or from an Arabic term for two medicinal roots; but Ideler's suggestion that it is from the Hebrew Bammaʼyim, In the Water, would seem more reasonable, although we have but few star-names from Judaea, and he intimated that it might be a distorted form of Al Ṭhalīm, the Ostrich. The Almagest of 1515 has Beemun; and the Standard Dictionary, The.eʽ.nim.

Eridanus 8

. . . amnis, quod de coelo exoritur sub solio Jovis

Plautus' Trinummus [Act IV, Scene II, v. 940].

. . . the starry Stream.
For this a remnant of Eridanos,
That stream of tears, 'neath the gods' feet is borne.

Brown's Aratos.
The River Eridanus, the French Eridan, the Italian Eridano, and the German Fluss Eridanus, is divided into the Northern and the Southern Stream; the former winding from the star Rigel of Orion to the paws of Cetus; the latter extending thence southwards, southeast, and finally southwest below the horizon of New York City, 2° beyond the lucida Achernar, near the junction of Phoenix, Tucana, Hydrus, and Horologium. Excepting Achernar, however, it has no star larger than a 3d‑magnitude, although it is the longest constellation in the sky, and Gould catalogues in it 293 naked-eye components.
Although the ancients popularly regarded it as of indefinite extent, in classical astronomy the further termination was at the star θ in 40°47ʹ of south declination; but modern astronomers have carried it to about 60°.
With the Greeks it usually was ὁ̔ Ποταμός, the River, adopted by the Latins as Amnis, Flumen, Fluvius, and specially as Padus and Eridanus; this last, as Ἐριδανός, having appeared for it with Aratos and Eratosthenes. Geographically the word is first found in Hesiod's Θεογονία for the Phasis1 in Asia, celebrated in classic history and mythology,
That rises deep and stately rowls along
into the Euxine Sea near the spot where the Argonauts secured the golden fleece.
Other authors identified our Eridanus with the fabled stream flowing into the ocean from northwestern Europe, — a stream that always has been a matter of discussion and speculation (indeed, Strabo called it "the nowhere existing"), — or with Homer's Ocean Stream flowing around the earth, whence the early titles for these stars, Oceanus and the River of Ocean. They also have been associated with the famous little brook under the Acropolis; with the Ligurian Bodencus — the Padus of ancient, and the Po p216of modern, Italy, — famous in all classical times as the largest of that country's rivers, Vergil's Rex fluviorum; with the Ebro of Spain; with the Granicus of Alexander the Great; with the Rhenus and the Rhodanus, — our Rhine and Rhone; and with the modern Radaune, flowing into the Vistula at Danzig.
Some of these originals of our River, especially the Padus, were seats of the early amber trade, thus recalling the story of the Heliades, whose tears, shed at the death of their brother Phaëthon, turned into amber as they fell into "that stream of tears" on which that unfortunate was hurled by Jove after his disastrous attempt to drive the chariot of the sun. This was a favorite theme with poets, from Ovid, in the Metamorphoses, to Dean Milman, in Samor, and the foundation of the story that the river was transferred to the sky to console Apollo for the loss of his son.
But none of these comparatively northern streams suit the stellar position of our Eridanus, for it is a southern constellation, and it would seem that its earthly counterpart ought to be found in a corresponding quarter. In harmony with this, we know that Eratosthenes and the scholiasts on Germanicus and Hyginus said that it represented the Nile, the only noteworthy river that flows from the south to the north, as this is said to do when rising above the horizon. Thus it is Nilus in the Alfonsine Tables, the edition of 1521 saying, Stellatio fluvii id est Eridanus sive Gyon sive Nilus; Gyon, The word Sihor for the Nile, in our Authorized Version of Jeremiah ii.18, is Γηων in the Septuagint, Josephus also using it in his Ἰουδαϊκή Ἀρχαιολογία, or Jewish Antiquities, in referring to the Nile as one of the four great branches of the River of Paradise, coming from the statement in Genesis ii.13:
the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush;
this latter being misunderstood for the Nile country instead of the Asiatic Kush that was unquestionably intended by the sacred writer. La Lande cited Mulda, equivalent to another title for the stellar Eridanus, — Μέλας, Black, — and so again connected with Egypt, whose native name, Khem, has this same meaning, well describing the color of the fertile deposit that the Nile waters leave on the land. This became the Latin Melo, an early name for the Nile [Serv. ad Georg. IV.291], as it also was for the constellation.
This allusion to the Nile recalls the ancient wide-spread brief that it and the Euphrates were but different portions of the same stream; and Brown, in his monograph The Eridanus, argues that we should identify the Euphrates with the sky figure. He finds his reasons in the fact that both are frequently alluded to, from very early days to the classical age, as The River, the Euphrates originally being Pura or Purat, the Water, as the Nile was, and even now is, Ioma or Iauma, the Sea; that they resemble each other as long and winding streams with two great branches; that each is connected with a Paradise — Eden and Heaven; that the adjoining constellations seems to be Euphratean in origin; and that each is in some way associated with the Nile, and each with the overthrow of the sun-god.
There is much in the Euphratean records alluding to a stellar stream that may be our Eridanus, — possibly the Milky Way, another sky river; yet it is to the former that the passage translated by Fox Talbot possibly refers:
Like the stars of heaven he shall shine; like the River of Night he shall flow;
and its title has been derived from the Akkadian Aria-dan, the Strong River. George Smith thinks that the heavenly Eridanus may have been the Euphratean Erib-me‑gali.
Its hither termination at the star Rigel gave it the title River of Orion, used by Hipparchos, Proclus, and others; and Landseer wrote:
the stars now constellated as Erydanus were originally known in different countries by the names of Nile, Nereus, and Ocean, or Neptune.
Riccioli cited for it Vardi, and a Moorish title, according to Bayer, was Guad, — the 1720 edition of the Uranometria has Guagi, — all these from the Arabic wādī, and reminding us of the Wādī al Kabīr, the Great River, the Spaniards' Guadalquivir; but the common designation among the Arabians was Al Nahr, the River, transcribed Nar and Nahar, — Chilmead's Alvahar; this Semitic word, occasionally written Nahal, also having been adduced as a derivation of the word Nile.
Assemani quoted Al Kaff Algeria from the Borgian globe for stars in the bend of the stream; but Ideler claimed these for Al Kaff al Jidhmah of Cetus.
Caesius thought our Eridanus the sky representative of the Jordan, or of the Red Sea, which the Israelites passed over as on dry land.
Old illuminated manuscripts added a venerable river-god lying on the surface of the stream, with urn, aquatic plants, and rows of stars; for all of which the Hyginus of 1488 substitutes the figure of a nude woman, with stars lining the lower bank. Bayer's illustration is quite artistic, with reeds and sedge on the margins. The monster Cetus often is depicted with his fore paws, or flippers, in the River.

Draco 9

δ, 3.1, deep yellow,

is the Nodus secundus of several catalogues, as marking the 2d of the four Knots, or convolutions, in the figure of the Dragon.
Al Tizini called it Al Tāis, the Goat, as the prominent one of the quadrangle, δ, π, ρ, and ε, which bore this title at a late period in Arabic indigenous astronomy; although that people generally gave animal names only to single stars. The Jais, which is found in various lists, maps, and globes, would seem to be a typographical error, or an erroneous transliteration of the original Arabic. δ also may have been one of Firuzabadi's two undetermined stars Al Tayyasān, the Two Goatherds.
p210 δ, ε, π, ρ, and σ were the Chinese Tien Choo, Heaven's Kitchen.
ζ, a 3d‑magnitude, was Al Dhiʽbah, that we have also seen for α.
The Chinese knew it as Shang Pih, the Higher Minister.
Half-way between it and δ, within 7ʹ of the planetary nebula NGC 6543, is the north pole of the ecliptic; the south pole being in the head of Dorado. Denning considers ζ the radiant point of the meteor streams of the 19th of January and of the 28th of March.
η, a double 2d- and 8th‑magnitude, deep yellow and bluish star, was known in China as Shang Tsae, the Minor Steward.
The components are about 5ʺ apart, and the position angle is 143°.1.
ζ and η together were Al Dhīʼbain, the Duo Lupi of early works, the Two Hyaenas or Wolves, lying in wait for the Camel's Foal, the little star Al Rubaʽ, protected by the Mother Camels, the larger stars in our Draco's Head. They also were Al ʽAuhaḳān, the Two Black Bulls, or Ravens, the Arabic signifying either of these creatures; but this last word likewise appears for ω and f, and for χ and ψ; all of these titles being from Arabia's earliest days.
θ, a 4.3‑magnitude, is Hea Tsae, the Lowest Steward; while the smaller stars near it were Tien Chwang.
ι, 3.6, orange.

Smyth mentioned this as Al Ḍhibaʼ of the Dresden globe and of Ulug Beg, but Kazwini had called it Al Dhīḣ, the Male Hyaena, from which comes Ed Asich, its usual title and, the Eldsich of the Century Cyclopedia.
In China it was Tsao Choo, the Left Pivot.
It marks the radiant point of the Quadrantid meteors of the 2d and 3d of January, so called from the adjacent Mural Quadrant.
A 9th‑magnitude pale yellow companion is 2ʹ distant.

λ, 4.1, orange.

Giansar and Giauzar are variously derived: either from Al Jauzāʼ, — a little star is in close proximity, — or from Al Jauzah, the Central One, as it is nearly midway between the Pointers and Polaris; or, and still better, from the Persian Ghāuzar, — Al Bīrūnī's Jauzahar of Sāsānian origin, — the Poison Place, referring to the notion that the nodes, or points where the moon crosses the ecliptic, were poisonous because they "happened to be called the Head and Tail of the Dragon." This singular idea descended into comparatively modern times, and, although these points are far removed p211 from Draco, still obtains in the name for λ. Juza is another popular title.
It also has been known as Nodus secundus, the Second Knot, possibly because thus located on some drawings; yet it is far removed from δ, which usually bears that name.
In China it was Sang Poo, or Shaou Poo.
Although the last lettered star in the figure, it lies at a considerable distance from the end, as figured on the atlases of Heis and Argelander.
μ, Binary, 5 and 5.1, brilliant white and pale white.

Al Rāḳis, from Ulug Beg's catalogue, turned into Arrakis and Errakis, generally has been thought to signify the Dancer, perhaps to the neighboring Lute-player, the star β; but here probably the Trotting Camel, one of the group of those animals located in this spot. Ideler added for it Al Rāfad, the Camel Pasturing Freely, that the original, differently pointed, may mean. The little star in the centre of the group of Camels, β, γ, μ, ν, and ξ, is named Al Rubaʽ on the Borgian globe, although almost invisible; but did not appear in the catalogues till Piazzi's time, except with Julius Schiller in his Coelum Stellatum Christianum of 1627, where it is the 37th star in his constellation of the Holy Innocents.
Assemani mentioned μ as Al Caʽab, the Little Shield or Salver, but gave no reason for this, and its inappropriateness renders the claim very doubtful.
In modern drawings it marks the nose or tongue of Draco.
The components are 2ʺ.5 apart, with a position angle of 165°; and their period is long, although not yet accurately determined.
ν, on the Dragon's head, already mentioned in connection with β, γ, μ, and ξ, is an interesting double for a small telescope. The components are each of 4.6 magnitude, about 62ʺ apart, with a position angle of 313°.
According to Wagner's determination of the parallax, — not yet, however, confirmed, — they are near neighbors to us, at a distance of about eleven light years.
ξ, 3.8, yellow,

was one of the Herd of Camels; but its modern individual name, Grumium, is the barbarism found for it in the Almagest of 1515, an equivalent of γένυς used by Ptolemy for the Dragon's under jaw. The word is now seen in the Italian grugno and the French groin.
Bayer followed Ptolemy in calling the star Genam.
p212 Proctor thought that it marked Draco's darted tongue in the earliest representations of the figure, — unless ι Herculis were such star; while Denning considers it the radiant point of the meteor stream seen about the 29th of May, — the Draconids.
σ, 6.5, in the second coil northeast from δ, is Alsafi, corrupted from Athāfi, erroneously transcribed from the Arabic plurarl Athāfiyy, by which the nomads designated the tripods of their open-air kitchens; one of these being imagined in σ, τ, and υ. Uthfiyyah is the singular form. It probably is one of the nearest stars to our system, — about thirteen light years away according to Brunowski's unconfirmed determination.
φ, a 4th‑magnitude double, was the Chinese Shaou Pih, the Minor Minister; and χ, of slightly greater brilliancy, was Kwei She.

ψ1 and ψ2, 4.3 and 5.2, pearly white and yellow.

Dsiban, from Al Dhībain (the Arabs' title for ζ and η), has been given by some to this pair, and Lach thought that with χ it also was Al ʽAuhaḳān, which we similarly find for ζ and η.
In China it was Niu She, the Palace Governess, or a Literary Woman.
The components of ψ1 are about 30ʺ apart, with a position angle of 15°.
ω, 4.9, and f, 5.1.

These dim stars, between ζ and the group φ, χ, and ψ, were Al Aṭhfār al Dhīb, the Hyaena's claws, stretched out to clutch the Camel's Foal. They thus appear with Ulug Beg and on the Dresden globe; but elsewhere occasionally were known as Al ʽAuhaḳān, a designation shared with ζ and η, and with φ and χ. They also sometimes were Al Dhīḣ, the Wolf.
There seems to be confusion, and some duplication, in the nomenclature of Draco's stars, but their many titles show the great attention paid to the constellation in early days.

Draco 8

α, 3.6, pale yellow.

Thuban and Al Tinnin are from the Arabic title for the whole of Draco, and Azhdeha from the Persian.
It is also Adib, Addib, Eddib, Adid, Adive, and El Dsib, all from Al Dhiʽbah, the Hyaenas, that also appears for the stars ζ, η, and ι, as well as for others in Boötes and Ursa Major. Al Tizini called it Al Dhīḣ, the Male Hyaena.
Among seamen it has been the Dragon's Tail, a title explained under γ.
In China it was Yu Choo, the Right-hand Pivot; the space towards ι being Chung Ho Mun.
Sayce says that the great astrological and astronomical work compiled for the first Sargon, king of Agade, or Akkad, devoted much attention to this star, then marking the pole, as Tir-An‑na, the Life of Heaven; Dayan Same, the Judge of Heaven; and Dayan Sidi, the Favorable Judge, — all representing the god Caga Gilgati, whose name it also bore. Brown applies these titles to Wega of the Lyre, the far more ancient pole-star, — but this was 14,000 years ago! — and cited for α Draconis Dayan Esiru, the Prospering Judge, or the Crown of Heaven, and Dayan Shisha, the Judge Directing, as having the highest seat amongst the heavenly host. About 2750 B.C., it was less than 10ʹ from the exact pole, although now more than 26°; and as it lies nearly at the centre of the figure, the whole constellation then visibly swung around it, as on a pivot, like the hands of a clock, but in the reverse direction.
The star could be seen, both by day and night, from the bottom of the p207central passage This passage, 4 feet by 3 1/2 feet in diameter and 380 feet long, was directed northward to this star, doubtless by design of the builder, from a point deep below the present base, at an inclination of 26°17ʹ to the horizon. At the time of its building, perhaps four millenniums before our era, the Southern Cross was entirely visible to the savage Britons, of the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Knum Khufu) at Ghizeh, in 30° of north latitude, as also from the similar points in five other like structures; and the same fact is asserted by Sir John Herschel as to the two pyramids at Abousseir.
Herschel considered that there is distinct evidence of Thuban formerly being brighter than now, as its title from its constellation, and its lettering, would indicate; for with Bayer it was a 2d‑magnitude, — in fact only one of that brilliancy in his list of Draco, — and generally so in star-catalogues previous to two centuries ago. It culminates on the 7th of June.
β, probably Binary, 3 and 14, yellow.

Rastaban and Rastaben are from Al Rās al Thuʽbān, the Dragon's Head, — Schickard's Raso tabbani.
In early Arab astronomy it was one of Al ʽAwāïd, the Mother Camels, γ, μ, ν, and ξ completing the figure, which was later known as the Quinque Dromedarii. From the Arabic word comes another modern name, Alwaid, unless it may be from a different conception of the group as Al ʽAwwād, the Lute-player. Still other Desert titles were Al Rāḳis, the Dancer, or Trotting Camel, now given to μ; and it formed part of Al Ṣalīb al Wākiʽ, the Falling Cross, β and ξ forming the perpendicular, γ, μ, and ν the traverse; and thus designated as if slanting away from the observer to account for the paucity of stars in the upright.
Asuia, current in the Middle Ages and since, was from Al Shujāʽ, and often has been written Asvia, the letter u being incorrectly considered the early v. The companion, 4ʺ away, at a position angle of 13°.4, was discovered by Burnham.
β and γ, 4° apart, near the solstitial colure, have been known as the Dragon's Eyes, incorrect now, although Proctor thought them so located in the original figuring of a front view of Draco. Modern drawings place them on the top of the head.
In the China they were Tien Kae.
γ, Double, 2.4 and 13.2, orange.

Eltanin, also written Ettanin, Etannin, Etanim, Etamin, etc., is from Ulug Beg's Al Rās al Tinnīn, the Dragon's Head, applied to this, as it also p208is to α; Riccioli wrote it Ras Eltanim. The word Tinnīn is nearly synonymous with Thuʽbān, and Bayer mentioned Rastaben as one of its titles, the Alfonsine Rasaben, and now Rastaban in the Century Cyclopedia; but in early Arabic astronomy it was one of the Herd of Camels alluded to at β.
Firuzabadi referred to a Rās al Tinnīn and Dhanab al Tinnīn in the heavens, the Dragon's Head, and Tail; but these have no connection with our Draco, reference being there made solely to the ascending and descending nodes in the orbits of the moon and planets known to Arabian astronomers under these titles. Primarily, however, these were from India, and known as Rahu and Kitu. This idea seem to have originated from the fact that the moon's undulating course was symbolized by that of the stellar Hydra; and had the latter word been used instead of "Dragon," the expression would now be better understood. But it was familiar to seamen as late as the 16th century, for "the head and tayle of the Dragon", The nodical month also is called the Dracontic, or Draconitic, appears in Eden's Dedication, of 1574, to Sir Wyllyam Wynter; and even now with the symbols, ☊ for the ascending node and ☋ for the descending, are used in text-books and almanacs.
γ has been a notable object in all ages. It was observed with the telescope by Doctor Robert Hooke in the daytime in 1669 while endeavoring to determine its parallax, but his result afterwards was found to be due to the effect of aberration. Subsequently this star was used by Bradley for the same purpose, although unsuccessfully; but, on the other hand, it gave him his great discovery of the aberration of light, The date of this discovery has been variously given as from 1726 to 1729, although it was first called to Bradley's attention on the 21st of December, 1725, by an unexplained discordance in his observations; but it took some time for him to complete this explanation, of which Hooke of course was ignorant.
Millenniums before this, however, it was of importance on the Nile, as it ceased to be circumpolar about 5000 B.C., and a few centuries thereafter became the natural successor of Dubhe (α Ursae Majoris), which up to that date had been the prominent object of Egyptian temple worship in the north. γ was known there as Isis, or Taurt Isis, — the former name applied at one time to Sirius, — and it marked the head of the Hippopotamus that was part of our Draco. Its rising was visible about 3500 B.C. through the central passages of the temples of Hathor at Denderah and of Mut at Thebes; Canopus being seen through other openings toward the south at the same date. And Lockyer says that thirteen centuries later it became the orientation point of the great Karnak temples of Rameses and Khons at Thebes, the passage in the former, through which the star was observed, being 1500 feet in length; and that at least seven different temples were oriented toward it. When precession had put an end to this use of these temples, others are thought to have been built with the same purpose in view; so that there are now found three different sets of structures close together, and so oriented that the dates of all, hitherto not certainly known, may be determinable by this knowledge of the purpose for which they were designed. Such being the case, Lockyer concludes that Hipparchos was not the discoverer of the precession of the equinoxes, as is generally supposed, but merely the publisher of that discovery made by the Egyptians, or perhaps adopted by them from Chaldaea.
He also states that Apet, Bast, Mut, Sekhet, and Taurt were all titles of one god in the Nile worship, symbolized by γ Draconis.
It is interesting to know that the Boeotian Thebes, the City of the Dragon, from the story of its founder, Cadmus, shared with its Egyptian namesake the worship of this star in a temple dedicated, so far as its orientation shows, about 1130 B.C.: a cult doubtless drawn from the parent city in Egypt, and adopted elsewhere in Greece, as also in Italy in the little temple to Isis in Pompeii. Here, however, the city authorities interfered with this star-worship in one of their numerous raids on the astrologers, and bricked up the opening whence the star was observed.
γ lies almost exactly in the zenith of Greenwich, in fact, has there been called the Zenith-star; and, being circumpolar, descends toward the horizon, but, without disappearing, rises easterly, and thus explains the poet's line:
the East and the West meet together.
It was nearer the pole than any other bright star about 4000 years ago.
Its minute companion, 21ʺ distant, at a position angle of 152°, was discovered by Burnham.

Draco 7

With vast convolutions Draco holds
Th' ecliptic axis in his scaly folds.
O'er half the skies his neck enormous rears,
And with immense meanders parts the Bears.

Erasmus Darwin's Economy of Vegetation.

Draco, the Dragon,
The German Drache, the Italian Dragone, and the French Dragon, was Δράκων with the Greeks — indeed this has been the universal title in the transcribed forms of the word. Classic writers, astronomers, and the people have known it thus, although Eratosthenes and Hipparchos called it Ὄφις, p203and in the Latin Tables, as with some of the poets, it occasionally appeared, with the other starry snakes, as Anguis, Coluber, Python, and Serpens. From the latter came Aesculapius, and perhaps Audax.
It was described in the Shield of Hercules, with the two Dogs, the Hare, Orion, and Perseus, as
The scaly horror of a dragon, coiled
Full in the central field;
and mythologists said that it was the Snake snatched by Minerva from the giants and whirled to the sky, where it became Sidus Minervae et Bacchi or the monster killed by Cadmus at the fount of Mars, whose teeth he sowed for a crop of armed men.
Julius Schiller, without thought of its previous character, said that its stars represented the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem; others, more consistently, that it was the Old Serpent, the tempter of Eve in the Garden; Caesius likened it to the Great Dragon that the Babylonians worshiped with Bel; and Olaus Rudbeck, Rudbeck perhaps was "the sagacious Swede" of whom the Pope speaks in Browning's The Ring and the Book, the Swedish naturalist of about 1700, said that his countrymen considered it the ancient symbol of the Baltic Sea; but he also sought to show that Paradise was located in Sweden!
Delitzsch asserted that a Hebrew conception for its stars was a Quiver; but this must have been exceptional, for the normal figure with that people was the familiar Dragon, or a sea monster of some kind. Renan thought that the allusion of Job to "the crooked serpent" in our Authorized Version is to this, or possibly to that of Ophiuchus; but the Dragon would seem to be the most probable as the ancient possessor of the pole-star, then, as ours now is, the most important in the heavens; while this translation of the original is specially appropriate for such a winding figure. The Reverend Doctor Albert Barnes renders it "fleeing," and Delitzsch, "fugitive "; but the Revised Version has "swift," a very unsuitable epithet for Draco's slow motion, yet applicable enough to the more southern Hydra.
Referring to Draco's change of position in respect to the pole from the effect of precession, Proctor wrote in his Myths and Marvels of Astronomy:
One might almost, if fancifully disposed, recognize the gradual displacement of the Dragon from his old place of honour, in certain traditions of the downfall of the great Dragon whose "tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven," alluded to in The Revelation xii.4;
and the conclusion of that verse, "did cast them to the earth," would show a possible reference to meteors.
In Persia Draco was Azhdehā, the Man-eating Serpent, occasionally transcribed Hashteher; and, in very early Hindu worship, Shi-shu‑mara, the Alligator, or Porpoise, which also has been identified with our Delphinus.
Babylonian records allude to some constellation near the pole as a Snail drawn along on the tail of a Dragon that may have been our constellation; while among the inscriptions we find Sīr, a Snake, but to which of the sky serpents this applied is uncertain. And some see here the dragon Tiāmat, This notable creation of Euphratean mythology was the personification of primeval chaos, hostile to the gods and opposed to law and order; but Izhdubar conquered the monster in a struggle by driving a wind into its opened jaws and so splitting it in twain. Cetus, Hydra, and the Serpent of Ophiuchus also have been thought its symbols. Its representation is found on cylinder seals recently unearthed overcome by the kneeling sun-god Izhdubar or Gizdhubar, our Hercules, whose foot is upon it. Rawlinson, however, said that Draco represented Hea or Hoa, the third god in the Assyrian triad, also known as Kim‑mut.
As a Chaldaean figure it probably bore the horns and claws of the early typical dragon, and the wings that Thales utilized to form the Lesser Bear; hence these are never shown on our maps. But with that people it was a much longer constellation than with us, winding downwards and in front of Ursa Major, and, even into later times, clasped both of the Bears in its folds; this is shown in manuscripts and books as late as the 17th century, with the combined title Arctoe et Draco. It still almost incloses Ursa Minor. The usual figuring is a combination of bird and reptile, magnus et tortus, a Monstrum mirabile and Monstrum audax, or plain Monstrum with Germanicus. Vergil had Maximus Anguis, which, after the manner of a river, glides away with tortuous windings, around and through between the Bears; —
a simile that may have given rise to another figure and title, found in the Argonauticae, — Ladon, from the prominent river of Arcadia, or, more probably, the estuary bounding the Garden of the Hesperides, which, in the ordinary version of the story, Draco guarded, "the emblem of eternal vigilance in that it never set." Here he was Coluber arborem conscendens, and Custos Hesperidum, the Watcher over the golden fruit; this fruit and the tree bearing it being themselves stellar emblems, for Sir William Drummond wrote:
a fruit tree was certainly a symbol of the starry heavens, and the fruit typified the constellations;
and George Eliot, in her Spanish Gypsy:
p205 The stars are golden fruit upon a tree
All out of reach.
Draco's stars were circumpolar about 5000 B.C., and, like all those similarly situated, — of course few in number owing to the low latitude of the Nile country, — were much observed in early Egypt, although differently figured than as with us. Some of them were a part of the Hippopotamus, or of its variant the Crocodile, and thus shown on the planisphere of Denderah and the walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes. As such Delitzsch says that it was Hes‑mut, perhaps meaning the Raging Mother. An object resembling a ploughshare held in the creature's paws has fancifully been said to have given name to the adjacent Plough.
The hieroglyph for this Hippopotamus was used for the heavens in general; while the constellation is supposed to have been a symbol of Isis Hathor, Athor, or Athyr, the Egyptian Venus; and Lockyer asserts that the myth of Horus which deals with the Hor-she‑shu, an almost prehistoric people even in Egyptian records, makes undoubted reference to stars here; although subsequently this myth was transferred to the Thigh, our Ursa Major. It is said that at one time the Egyptians called Draco Tanem, not unlike the Hebrew Tannīm, or Aramaic Tannīn, and perhaps of the same signification and derived from them.
The Egyptian Necht was close to, or among, the stars of Draco; but its exact location and boundaries, how it was figured, and what it represented, are not known.
Among Arabian astronomers Al Tinnīn and Al Thuʽbān were translations of Ptolemy's Δράκων; and on the Borgian globe, inscribed over β and γ, are the words Alghavil Altannin in Assemani's transcription, the Poisonous Dragon in his translation, assumed by him as referring to the whole constellation. That there was some foundation for this may be inferred from the traditionary belief of early astrologers that when a comet was here poison was scattered over the world. Bayer cited from Turkish maps Etanin, and from others Aben, Taben, and Etabin; Riccioli, Abeen vel Taeben; Postellus, Daban; Chilmead, Alanin; and Schickard, Attanino. Al Shujāʽ, the Snake, also was applied to Draco by the Arabians, as it was to Hydra; and Al Ḥayyah, the Snake, appeared for it, though more common for our Serpens, with which word it was synonymous.
Bayer had Palmes emeritus, the Exhausted Vine Branch, that I do not find elsewhere; but the original is probably from the Arabs for some minor group of the constellation.
Williams mentions a great comet, seen from China in 1337, which passed through Yuen Wei, apparently some unidentified stars in Draco. The p206creature itself was the national emblem of that country, but the Dragon of the Chinese zodiac was among the stars now our Libra: Edkins writes that Draco was Tsï Kung, the Palace of the Heavenly Emperor, adding, although not very clearly, that this palace
is bounded by the stars of Draco, fifteen in number, which stretch themselves in an oval shape round the pole-star. They include the star Tai yi, ξ, ο, σ, s, of Draco, which is distant about ten degrees from the tail of the Bear and twenty-two from the present pole. It was itself the pole in the Epoch of the commencement of Chinese astronomy.
Draco extends over twelve hours of right ascension, and contains 130 naked-eye components according to Argelander; 220, according to Heis: but both of these authorities extend the tail of the figure, far beyond its star λ, to a 4th‑magnitude under the jaws of Camelopardalis, — much farther than is frequently seen on the maps.

Delphinus 9

α, 4, pale yellow; β, Binary, 4 and 6, greenish and dusky.

The strange names Sualocin and Rotanev first appeared for these stars in the Palermo Catalogue of 1814, and long were a mystery to all, and p201seemingly a great puzzle to Smyth, which he perhaps never solved, although he was very intimate with the staff of the Palermo Observatory. Webb, however, discovered their origin by reversing the component letters, and so reading Nicolaus Venator, the Latinized form of Niccolo Cacciatore, the name of the assistant and successor of Piazzi. But Miss Rolleston, in her singular book Mazzaroth, considered in some quarters as of authority, wrote that they are derived, α from the

Arabic Scalooin, swift (as the flow of water);

and β from the

Syriac and Chaldee Rotaneb, or Rotaneu, swiftly running (as water in the trough).

For no part of this scholarly (!) statement does there seem to be the least foundation. Burritt gave these titles as Scalovin and Rotanen, This offers us a nice pair of cautionary morals:
1. Before inventing something and passing it off as truth, make sure it's completely unverifiable. Mind you, there is almost nothing that cannot be checked: like Frances Rolleston, you will eventually be caught out, and from there on for the rest of time be branded as a fool or a liar, or both. (If on the other hand you are a presumably well-intentioned scholar like the hapless Burritt or Johann Bayer of the Uranometria so often pilloried by Allen, rely as little as you can on secondary sources, and check your facts and your spelling; don't let your printer establish your reputation.)
2. Conversely, readers beware, there's a lot of falsehood and downright lies out there, not magically transmuted into truth by being committed to print or slithering onto a widely known website.
But there's also a sort of a sequel in Navi, Dnoces and Regor, three star names that memorialize the astronauts who died in the 1967 Apollo fire; see the interesting article at The asteroids in their multitudes have proven an even more fertile field for fancies of this order; but even the rather tightly controlled nomenclature of planetary features has not been immune.
α may be variable to the extent of half a magnitude in fourteen days.
β is a very close pair, 0ʺ.68 apart in 1897, at a position angle of 357°, with the rapid orbital period of about twenty-six years. Another companion, purple in color and of the 11th magnitude, 6ʺ away, has lately been discovered by See, and so β may be ternary; while two other stars of the 10th and 13th magnitudes are about 30ʺ away.
γ is a beautiful double of 4th and 5th magnitudes, 11ʺ apart, with a position angle of 270°; but, if binary, their motion is extremely slow. The components are golden and bluish green, and a fine object for small glasses.
ε, a 4th‑magnitude, although lying near the dorsal fin of our present figure, bears the very common name Deneb, from Al Dhanab al Dulfīm, the Dolphin's Tail. But in Arabia it also was Al ʽAmūd al Ṣalīb, as marking the Pillar of the Cross. In China it was Pae Chaou, the Rotten Melon.
The comparative brilliancy of β, γ, δ, and ε has been variously estimated — a fact which the observations of Gould at Albany in 1858, and at Cordoba in 1871‑74, prove to be occasioned by variability, within moderate limits, of all four.

Delphinus 8

. . . the Delphienus heit
Up in the aire.

King James I, in Ane schort Poeme of Tyrne.
Delphinus, the Dolphin, is Dauphin in France, Delfino in Italy, and Delphin in Germany: all from the Greek Δελφίς and Δελφίν, transcribed by the Latins as Delphis and Delphin. This last continued current through the 17th century, and in our day was resumed by Proctor for his reformed list. Chaucer, in the Hous of Fame, had Delphyn, and later than he it was Dolphyne.
It now is one of the smallest constellations, but originally may have included the stars that Hipparchos set off to form the new Equuleus; and in all astronomical literature has borne its present title and shape, with many and varied stories attached, for its namesake was always regarded the most remarkable of marine creatures.
In Greece it also was Ἵερος Ἰχθύς, the Sacred Fish, the creature being of as much religious significance there as a fish afterwards became among the early Christians; and it was the sky emblem of philanthropy, not only from the classical stories connected with its prototype, but also from the latter's devotion to its young. It should be remembered that our stellar Dolphin is figured as the Common cetacean, Delphinus delphis, of Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, not the tropical Coryphaena that Dorado represents.
Ovid, designating it as clarum sidus, personified it as Amphitrite, the goddess of the sea, because the dolphin induced her to become the wife of Neptune, and for this service, Manilius said, was "rais'd from Seas" to be
The Glory of the Flood and of the Stars.
From this story the constellation was known as Persuasor Amphitrites, as well as Neptunus and Triton.
With Cicero it appeared as Curvus, an adjective that appropriately has been applied to the creature's apparent form in all ages, Huet, in his notes on Manilius, quoted many examples of the use of this term by the Latins, and said Perpetuam hoc Delphinum Epitheton, down to the "bended dolphins" in Milton's picture of the Creation. Bayer's Currus merely is Cicero's word with a typographical error, for he explained it, Ciceroni ob gibbum in dorso; but he also had Smon nautis, and Riccioli Smon barbaris, which seems to be the Simon, Flat-nosed, of old-time mariners, quoted by Pliny for the animal.
Another favorite title was Vector Arionis, from the Greek fable that attributed to the dolphin the rescue of Arion on his voyage from Tarentum to Corinth — a variation of the very much earlier myth of the sun-god Baal Hamon. Hence comes Henry Kirke White's
lock'd in silence o'er Arion's star,
The slumbering night rolls on her velvet car.
In continuation of the Greek story of Arion and his Lyre appears Μουσικόν ζώδιον, the Musicum signum of the Latins; or this may come from the fact mentioned in Ovid's Fasti that the constellation was supposed to contain nine stars, the number of the Muses, although Ptolemy prosaically catalogued 10; Argelander, 20; and Heis, 31.
Riccioli and La Lande cited Hermippus for Delphinus, and Acetes after the pirate-pilot who protected Bacchus on his voyage to Naxos and Ariadne; while to others it represented Apollo returning to Crissa or piloting Castalius from Crete.
The Hindus, from whom the Greeks are said to have borrowed it, although the reverse of this may have been the case, knew it as Shī-shu-māra, or Sim-shu-māra, changed in later days to Zizumara, a Porpoise, also ascribed to Draco. And they located here the 22d nakshatra, Çravishthā, Most Favorable, also called Dhanishthā, Richest; the Vasus, Bright or Good Ones, being the regents of this asterism, which was figured as a Drum or Tabor; β marking the junction with Catabishaj.
Brown thinks that it may have been the Euphratean Makhar, although Capricorn also claimed this.
Al Bīrūnī, giving the Arabic title AI Ḳaʽūd, the Riding Camel, said that the early Christians — the Melkite, these Melkites, or Royalists as the name indicates, were of the Greek Church, whose spiritual head now is the Czar, the Royal head of Russia and successor of the Byzantine Church. and Nestorian sects — considered it the Cross of Jesus transferred to the skies after his crucifixion; but in Kazwini's day the learned of Arabia called α, β, γ and δ Al ʽUḳūd, the Pearls or Precious Stones adorning Al Ṣalīb, by which title the common people knew this Cross; the star ε, towards the tail, being Al ʽAmūd al Ṣalīb, the Pillar of the Cross. But the Arabian astronomers adopted the Greek figure as their Dulfīm, which one of their chroniclers described as "a marine animal friendly to man, attendant upon ships to save the drowning sailors."
The Alfonsine Tables of 1545 said of Delphinus, Quae habet stellas quae sapiunt naturam, a generally puzzling expression, but common in the 1551 translation of the Tetrabiblos, where it signifies stars supposed to be cognizant of human births and influential over human character, — naturam. Ptolemy, as is shown in these Four Books, was a believer in the genethliacal influence of certain stars and constellations, of which this seems to have been one specially noted in that respect, Ptolemy mentions the Dolphin only once in the Tetrabiblos, somewhat incidentally with Cancer and Capricorn as influencing "the creatures of the sea and the sailing of fleets" (II.7, Cam.2 p80: καὶ τούτων ἐν μὲν τοῖς θαλαττίοις, οἷον Καρκίνῳ, Αἰγόκερῳ, Δελφῖνι, περὶ τὰ θαλάττια, καὶ ἔτι τὰς τῶν στολῶν ἀναγωγάς.).
Delphinus lies east of Aquila, on the edge of the Milky Way, occupying, with the adjoining aqueous figures, the portion of the sky that Aratos called the Water. It culminates about the 15th of September.
Caesius placed here the Leviathan of the 104th Psalm; Novidius, the Great Fish that swallowed Jonah; but Julius Schiller knew some of its stars as the Water-pots of Cana. Popularly it now is Job's Coffin, although the date and name of the inventor of this title I have not been able to learn.
The Chinese called the four chief stars and ζ Kwa Chaou, a Gourd.

Cygnus 8

α, 1.4, brilliant white.

Deneb is from Al Dhanab al Dajājah, the Hen's Tail, which has become Denebadigege, Denebedigege, Deneb Adige, etc.
In the Alfonsine Tables Arided appears, and is still frequently seen for this star, as Al Ridhādh and El Rided formerly were for the constellation. Referring to this last title, Caesius termed α Os rosae, the German Rosemund, although he also designated it as Uropygium, the Pope's Nose of our Thanksgiving dinner-tables.
α also, and correctly enough, is Aridif, from Al Ridf, the Hindmost; but Bayer changed it to Arrioph, and Cary to Arion.
Bayer gave Galina as an individual title.
Mr. Royal Hill says that this and the three adjacent bright stars in the figure are known as the Triangles.
Deneb has no sensible proper motion, and hence had been considered as deserving the term, generally inappropriate, of a "fixed star"; but spectroscopic investigations made at Greenwich seemed to show motion at the rate of thirty-six miles a second toward the earth, and so only apparently stationary. Such motion, Newcomb says, would eventually carry it at some time, — probably between 100,000 and 300,000 years hence, — past our system at about 1/100 part of its present distance, making it the nearest and the brightest of the earth's neighbours. But Vogel's recent and more trustworthy measures at Potsdam give its rate as about five miles a second.
Elkin estimated its parallax in 1892 as 0ʺ.047, — practically insensible. Its spectrum is Sirian.
Photographs by Doctor Max Wolf, of Heidelberg, in June, 1891, show that it and γ are involved in one vastly extended nebula.
It rises in the latitude of New York City at sunset on the 12th of May, culminating on the 16th of September, and lies so far to the north that it is visible at some hour of every clear night throughout the year.
β, Double, — perhaps binary, 3.5 and 7, topaz yellow and sapphire blue.

Albireo, the now universal title, is in no way associated with Arabia, but apparently was first applied to the star from a misunderstanding as to the words ab ireo in the description of the constellation in 1515 Almagest. Albirco in the Standard Dictionary undoubtedly is from a type error, as also may be Abbireo, Alberio, and Albeiro, which occasionally are used.
The Arabians designated β as Al Minḣar al Dajājah, the Hen's Beak, where it is still located on our maps. Riccioli wrote this Menkar Eldigiagich; and also had Hierizim.
β is one of the show objects in the sky, and Miss Clerke, calling its colors golden and azure, says that it presents "perhaps the most lovely effect of colour in the heavens." Being 35ʺ apart, the components can readily be resolved by a field-glass. The system, if binary, has a very long period of revolution, as yet undetermined, the present position angle being 56°.
Close to β appeared a nova on the 20th of June, 1670, described by the Carthusian monk Anthelmus of Dijon. This disappeared after two years of varying brilliancy, but may still exist as a 10th- to 11th‑magnitude variable, discovered, in the supposed location, by Hind in 1852.
In the neck of the Swan, not far from β, is the variable χ2, ranging from 4.5 to 13.5 in 406 days. Sometimes, at its maximum, it is of only the 6th magnitude.
γ, 2.7, is Sadr, — incorrectly Sudr, — from Al Sadr al Dajājah, the Hen's Breast, and one of the Fawāris of the Arabs.
Reeves said that in China it was Tien Tsin, the name of a city; but this generally was given to the group of four stars, α, β, γ, and δ.
γ is in the midst of beautiful streams of small stars, itself being involved in a diffused nebulosity extending to α; while the space from it to β perhaps is richer than any of similar extent in the heavens. Espin asserts that around γ and the horns of Taurus seem to centre the stars showing spectra of the fourth type. Its own spectrum is Solar. According to observations at Potsdam, it is in motion toward us at the rate of about four miles a second.
ε, 2.6, yellow,

on the right wing, is Gienah, from the Arabic Al Janāḥ, the Wing.
Between α, γ, and this star is the Northern Coal-sack, an almost vacant space in the Milky Way; another, still more noticeable and celebrated, coincidently being located in the Southern Cross.
6° to the northeast from ε is 61 Cygni, with a parallax of 0ʺ.5, and thus, so far as we now know, the nearest star to us in the northern heavens, with the exception of La Lande 21185 Ursae Majoris. If the distance from the earth to sun be considered as one inch, that to this star would be about seven and one half miles. It also is remarkable for its great proper motion toward the star σ, — 5ʺ.16 annually, — near to which it probably will be in 15,000 years. 4000 years ago it was near ε.
It is a double 6th‑magnitude, and may be binary, the components 20ʺ apart, with a position angle of 121° in 1890. It was the first star successfully observed for parallax, — by Bessel between the years 1837 and 1840.
ζ and ρ, with two other adjacent small stars, were the Chinese Chay Foo, a Storehouse for Carts.
π , 4.8,

is Azelfafage, possibly a corrupted form of Adelfalferes, from Al Ṭhīlf al Faras, the Horse's Foot or Track; and, to quote Idler,
It follows either that the foot of Pegasus [now marked by π Pegasi] extended to this star, or that in this region was supposed to be located the feet of the Stallion which, as we shall see farther on, some Arab astronomer introduced between Pegasus and the Swan.
Or the title may be, as seems more probable, from Al ʽAzal al Dajājah, the Tail of the Hen, which it exactly marks. It is sometimes Azelfafge; but p198Bayer, with whom the word apparently first occurs, had "Azelfage id est Tarcuta." What is this last? It seems to have escaped comment by all of the authorities.
π1, with about twenty other stars in Cygnus, Andromeda, and Lacerta, was comprised in the early Chinese Tang Shay, the Dragon.
P, or Fl. 34, a 5th‑magnitude, located at the base of the Swan's neck, is one of few so‑called gaseous stars having bright lines in their spectra. It was discovered by Janson, as a nova of the 2d magnitude, on the 18th of August, 1600; was numbered 27 in Tycho's catalogue, with the designation of nova anni 1600 in pectore Cygni; and Kepler thought it worthy of a monograph in 1606. Christian Huygens, the Dutch astronomer of the 17th century, called it the Revenante of the Swan, from its extraordinary light changes; but these now seem to have ceased.

ω3, Double, 5 1/2 and 10, pale red,

is Ruchba from Al Rukbah al Dajājah, the Hen's Knee; but the three stars ω now mark the tertiaries of the left wing.
The components of ω3 are 56ʺ.3 apart, at a position angle of 86°.3; and other minute stars are in the same field.