The Stars in Song and Legend

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The Minerva Group, Inc., 2000 - 184 Seiten
The writer of this notice has for several years had in mind the preparation of a book connecting the study of the constellations with classical legends and folklore referring to them, but Dr. Porter's elegant little volume makes it unnecessary to proceed further with the matter. The remarkable discoveries of modern astronomy have caused people to leave the study of the sky to observatories, whereas the most interesting observations can be made with the naked eye. Before learning about spectrum analysis applied to celestial bodies, or the surface markings on planets as revealed by the telescope, students of astronomy should become familiar with the skies, note the stars in the seasons, the relative positions of the sun and moon during a lunation, the apparent motions of planets and similar phenomena. These appearances were followed with intelligence thousands of years ago, yet most people to-day are unacquainted with them. In early days the heavens were closer to the earth than they are now; so we find that classical myth often has an astronomical significance, the constellations and their apparent motions representing the apotheosis of the actors in a terrestrial drama, though whether the legend suggested the designation of star-groups or the stars gave birth to the legend cannot easily be decided. Dr. Porter brings together much simple legendary lore of the heavens, and the teacher of classics will find his volume just as inspiring as the observer of the skies. The illustrations show the constellations with the figures found on old star-maps and celestial globes. It is a little surprising that, as the book is of American origin, Dr. Porter only mentions a few of the astronomical beliefs and ceremonies of American Indians. For instance, we find no reference to the tradition of the Micmac Indians, that the stars are watch-fires, the bright ones being those of chiefs, or of Dr. Fewkes' detailed studies of the Hopi Indians at Walpi, where observations of the positions of the sun at sunrise and sunset are used to regulate the commencement of a ritual connected with sun-worship. It is also worth consideration whether a short chapter on the planets known to the ancients might not be added with advantage, as most people are unable to distinguish them from stars.
-The School World, Vol. 4
 

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Inhalt

The Day StarSun Myths and Sun Worship
1
Lunar Fables and Fancies
13
The Starry Heavens
22
Aries the Ram
27
Taurus the Bull
30
Gemini the Twins
39
Cancer the Crab
43
Leo the Lion
45
Perseus and Andromeda
74
Auriga the Charioteer
77
Coma Berenices Berenices Hair
80
Bootes the Herdsman
82
Corona Borealis the Northern Crown
85
Hercules
88
Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer
90
Lyra the LyreDelphinus the DolphinAquila the Eagle
92

Virgo the Virgin
47
Libra the Scales
50
Scorpio the Scorpion
52
Sagittarius the Archer
54
Capricornus the Goat
55
Aquarius the Water Bearer
57
Pisces the Fishes
58
Ursa Major The Great Bear
61
Ursa Minor The Little Bear
67
Cepheus and Cassiopeia
72
Cygnus the Swan
96
Pegasus the Winged Horse
99
Orion
101
Canis Major and Canis Minor the Great and Little Dogs
107
Argo Navis the Ship Argo
111
Crux the Southern Cross
116
The Galaxy or Milky Way
119
Index
125
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