Such is the endowment prescribed by the years of the Maid and the flowers of the Crown" [Manilius, Astronomica , 1st century AD, book 5, p.
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It was the only stellar crown known to Eratosthenes and the early Greeks, but they called it Stephanos , a Wreath; and their successors, who had begun to locate the Southern Crown Corona Australis , added to this title of the original the distinguishing protos ; and beta Borelos to show its priority and its northern position.
The Latins adopted the Greek name and adjectives in Corona borea , borealis , and septentrionalis ; and further knew it as the Crown of Vulcan fashioned ex auro et indicis gemmis ; or of Amphitrite , probably from its proximity in the sky to the Dolphin Delphinus associated with that goddess. When deserted by him she became the wife of Liber Bacchus, and so took his name Libera; while the crown that Theseus — or, as some said, the goddess Venus — had given her was transferred to the sky, where it became our Corona; and, as early as the 3rd century B.
This legend of Ariadne and her Crown seems to have been first recorded by Pherecydes early in the 5th century before Christ. Dante, referring to Ariadne's descent, called these stars la Figliuola di Minoi , the poet giving much prominence to her father King Minos who "was so renowned for justice as to be called the Favorite of the Gods, and after death made Supreme Judge in the Infernal Regions.
In all ages Corona has been a favorite, popularly as well as in literature, and few of our stellar groups have had as many titles, although the English of the Middle Ages usually wrote its wearer's name "Adrian" and "Adriane.
These, however, lie in the heavens just opposite the Crown, and Skeat ingeniously suggests that Chaucer may have meant that when the Sun was in Taurus the Crown was specially noticeable in the midnight sky, as is exactly the case. The Wreath of Flowers , occasionally seen for it, is merely the early signification of the words Stephanos and Corona. Oculus was another name of the constellation — a term common in poetry and post-Augustan prose for any celestial luminary; and Prudens 3 [Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, the Latin Christian poet of our 4th century] called it Maera , the Shining One.
As the ardens corona of the Georgics , Vergil included it with the Pleiades as a calendar sign.
May translating the passage:. Columella, in a similar connection, called it Gnosia Ardor Bacchi , and Naxius Ardor , from Naxos, where Ariadne had been deserted by Theseus; and specially designated its lucida as clara Stella. Bayer said of it Azophi Parma , by which he meant that Al Sufi called it a Shield; but the majority of Arabian astronomers rendered the classical title by Al Iklil al Shamaliyyah , which degenerated into Acliluschemali and Aclushemali , and appeared with Ulug Beg as plain Iklil.
Bullialdus latinized some of these titles in his Discus parvus confractus , evidently taken from Chrysococca's Pinakin keklasmenon , a Small Broken Dish, which, however, should read Pinakion A " pinax " or "pinakion", meaning "tablet," because of its flat shape. Thus, if Dupuis be correct, the origin of the figure, as well as of the name, may lie far back of Cretan days. Reeves catalogued it as the Chinese Kwan Soo , a Cord. In Celtic story Corona was Caer Arianrod , the House of Arianrod or Ethlenn, the sister of Gwydyon and daughter of Don, the Fairy King, this name bearing a singular resemblance to that of the classical owner of the Crown.
Tlie Leyden Manuscript shows it as a laurel wreath, and thus, or as a typical crown, it appears on the maps. In the Firmamentum Firmianum , a work of , in honor of the persecuting bishop of Salzburg, of the Firmian family, the figuring is that of the Corona Firmiana , with a stag's antlers from the coat of arms of that family.
But an exception to the rule may be noted in an illustration, in the original Alfonsine Tables , of a plain three-quarter circle, entirely unlike either crown or wreath. Proctor suggested that in the earliest astronomy it may have formed the right arm of Bootes. It certainly is much more like that for which it is named than usually is the case with our sky figures; and it is equally suggestive to the Australian native of the Woomera , our Boomerang, his idea of Corona's stars.
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Although called a nova , Argelander had already mapped it on the 18th of May, , and again noted it on the 31st of March, , probably at its normal magnitude. It was the first temporary star to be "studied by the universal chemical method" — the spectroscope. Near its place the Variabilis Coronae , now lettered R, was discovered by Pigott in , still varying from 5. Professor Young repeats the bagdel of Cassiopeia as a help to the memory in locating the stars of this constellation.
The extreme northern one is theta, but then follow in order beta, alpha, gamma, delta, epsilon, iota. Constellations of Words.
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Esoteric rulers. Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Bacchus Bacchus was the Roman god of wine, agriculture and fertility.
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