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1. Of the Rising and Setting of the Stars. The attention of a people who, like the ancient Greeks, dwelt in a region where, during a great part of the year, the night might be passed in the open air, and no mists or clouds obscured the heaven, must have been early drawn to those luminous points which are scattered over it in such profusion. They must have early learned to distinguish various clusters of them, and thence to give them appropriate names. Accordingly, in the most ancient portion of Grecian literature, the Homeric and Hesiodic poems, we find various groupes of the stars designated by peculiar names. Such are Orion, the Hyades, the Pleiades, the Bear or Wain, the Dog and the Ploughman or Bear-ward (Botes or Arcturus). The case was the same in the East; we meet in the book of Job (c. ix. 9.) names for the Pleiades, Hyades and Orion, and (xxvi. 14.) the constellation named the Great Serpent. The people of ancient Italy appear to have done the same: the Latin name of the Pleiades was Vergiliae, that of the Hyades Suculae, the seven stars, which form the constellation of the Great Bear, were named by them the Septem Triones, or Seven Oxen; for, as they go round and round the pole without ever setting, the analogy between them and the oxen, which trod out the corn by going round and round the area, or threshing-floor, was an obvious one. Doubtless, the brilliant constellation Orion, had a peculiar Latin name, which has not come down to us; of the others, none but Greek appellations occur. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 8738
Author: Keightley, Thomas
Release Date: Aug 1, 2005
Contributor (Author): Ovid, 43 BCE-18?
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