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Forums ► Other Paths ► Katasterismoi
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Post # 1

It took me a while to organize this and type it all up, so enjoy!

I will be posting links after I'm finished with this, you're welcome to take a look.

Part 1

Katasterismoi is the Greek word for "Constellations".

Of these the twelve signs whose risings intersected the sun's at dawn were known as the zodiakos (zodiac) or zodiakos kyrklos (circle of little animals). The constellations, as they were described in Greek mythology, were mostly god-favoured (or cursed) heroes and beasts who received a place in the heavens in memorial of their deeds. They were regarded, as semi-divine spirits, living, conscious entities who strode across the heavens.

Here I will be identifying the zodiacs and individual constellations. Their names and how they came to be from the perspective of the Greeks. There are different stories about how the constellations came to be, and Ill happily type them all up for you to read.

Andromeda Constellation

Name: Andromeda

Andromeda - A Princess of Ethiopia, daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Her mother offended the gods by boasting that the girl was more beautiful than the Nereids. Poseidon in wrath sent a sea-monster to devour the girl. When she was chained to the rocks, the hero Perseus spied her, slew the beast, and carried her off as his wife. The gods as a memorial, set the whole family amongst the stars as constellations.

Aquarius Constellation

Name: Hydrokhoos (Water-Bearer)

Ganymedes - A handsome Trojan prince. He was seized and carried off to heaven by an eagle sent down by Zeus, to become the cup-bearer of the gods. The eagle and boy were subsequently placed amongst the stars as the constellations Aquila and Aquarius.

Deucalion - An early Greek king who managed to survive the great Deluge that was sent by Zeus to destroy mankind. Because so much rain fell during his reign he was represented amongst the stars as the Water-Pourer.

Cecrops - An early king of Athens who was the first to pour libations in honour of the gods. In memory of this he was placed in the heavens as the water-pourer Aquarius.

Aquila Constellation

Name: Aitos (the Eagle)

Eagle of Aphrodite- When Zeus wished to seduce the Goddess Nemesis, he transformed himself into a swan, and bade Aphrodite pursue him into her lap in the guise of an eagle. In this way he accomplished his seduction and in memorial placed an eagle and swan amongst the stars.

Eagle of Prometheus - An eagle which was set by Zeus feed on the liver of the chained Titan Prometheus. When Heracles freed him from his chains, he slew the eagle with an arrow, and Zeus placed the pair amongst the stars as Aquila (eagle) and Sagitta (arrow).

Eagle of Zeus (1) - The eagle which Zeus sent to snatch the handsome Trojan youth Ganymedes up to heaven. The boy and eagle were placed amongst the stars as the adjacent constellations Aquarius and Aquila.

Eagle of Zeus (2) - An eagle which appeared to Zeus as a sign of good omen when he was sacrificing on an altar prior to the commencement of his war against the Titans. To commemorate the event he placed the eagle and altar amongst the stars as the constellations Aquila and Ara.

E agle of Zeus (3) - When Hermes was wooing the goddess Aphrodite she spurned his advances. Zeus, pitying his son, sent an eagle which snatched away her sandal and delivered it the God, which he used to barter for her favours. The eagle was rewarded with a place amongst the stars.

Meropes- A King of Cos whose wife was killed by Artemis for spurning her worship. When he was about to commit suicide in his grief, Hera transformed Meropes into an eagle and placed him amongst the stars in the form of Aquila.

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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 2
Part 2

Ara Constellation

Name: Thytrios (the Altar)

Altar of Zeus- When Zeus had gathered allies for the Titan War, they made sacrifices on an altar constructed by the Cyclopes to pledge their allegiance. In memorial the god placed it amongst the stars as the constellation Ara. The rising of its stars heralded the storms of late autumn.

Altar of Pholus- The kindly centaur Pholus was set amongst the stars by Zeus for his skill in augury. He was depicted pouring libations at the altar in the form of the three constellations Ara (the Altar), Crater (the Cup), and Centaurus (the Centaur)

Argo Constellation

Name: Argo (the Silver Ship)

Argo- The ship of the hero Argonauts which was constructed by Argus and Athena, with a talking beam placed on its prow. After their voyage in search of the Golden Fleece, the ship was placed amongst the stars in memorial as the constellation Argo. Only half of the ship can be seen in the stars, the forepart from stern to mast.

Aries Constellation

Name: Krios (the Ram)

Chrysomallus- A flying, golden-fleeced ram. It was sent by the cloud nymph Nephele to rescue her children, Phrixus and Helle, who were about to be sacrificed to the gods. The ram carried them across the seas, but Helle lost her grip and fell. Upon reaching Colchis the ram shed its golden fleece for Phrixus who hung it in a sacred grove, and flew up to the heavens to take a place amongst the stars as the dimly shining constellation Aries.

Ram of Ammon (1) - When the god Dionysus led his armies into Africa and they were suffering in the desert, a ram appeared and guided him to the springs of Ammon. As a memorial the god set the creature amongst the stars as the constellation Aries, first of the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Ram of Ammon (2) - An Egyptian (God) named Hammon was the first to herd flocks of sheep. To honour his gift to mankind, a ram was set amongst the stars.

Auriga Constellation

Name: Heniokhos, or Heniochus (the Charioteer)

Erichthonius- An early King of Athens who invented the four-horse chariot. As a reward for his gift to mankind Athena placed him amongst the stars as the constellation Auriga.

Myrtilus - The charioteer of King Oinomaos of Pisa, and a son of the god Hermes. When he was murdered by Pelops, his father set him in the heavens as the constellation Auriga.

Orsilochus - An Argive man who in local legend was the inventor of the chariot. The gods placed him amongst the stars as Auriga in memorial. (Hyginus 2.13)

Aex of Helios - A goatish daughter of Helios the sun, who was hidden away in a cave by the Titan gods because of her fearsome face. When Zeus sought to overthrow these same Titans he was told by an oracle to make a goat-skin cape, and so he slew Aex and crafted the aegis. He then placed Aex among the stars as Capra. (Hyginus 2.13)

Aex of Pan - The goatish wife of the god Pan. Zeus coupled with her and she bore the god Aegipan. Because Zeus was fond of both he placed the pair amongst the stars as the constellations Capra and Capricorn. (Hyginus 2.13 from Euhemerus)

Amalthea & The Kids - A she-goat which nursed the infant Zeus with milk on the Cretan Mount Ida. As a reward for its service the god placed the goat and its two kids amongst the stars about the constellation Auriga: Capra the goat sitting on his left shoulder, and the Kids in his left hand.

Bootes Constellation (not booties)

Name: Botes (the Wagon-Driver) or Arktophylax (the Bear-Watcher)

Arcas - An early king of Arkadia. When he was about to kill his mother Callisto who had been transformed into a bear, Zeus raised the pair to heavens as the constellations Arktophylax (the Bear-Watcher) and Ursa (the Bear).

Bootes- The inventor of the wagon or plough, a son of the goddess Demeter. As a reward for this service to mankind he was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Bootes. His oxen and plough were set alongside him as the Wain, i.e., the constellations Ursa Major and Minor.

Icarius - An Athenian devotee of Dionysus. He was instructed by the god in the art of winemaking, but was murdered by peasants who mistook the draught for poison. Dionysus then placed him, his daughter Erigone and their dog Maira, amongst the stars as the constellations Bootes, Virgo and Canis Major.

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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 3

Part 3

Cancer Constellation

Name: Karkinos (the Crab) and Oinoi

Carcinus- A crab of the Lernaean swamp which assisted the Hydra in her battle with Heracles. The hero crushed it beneath his heel, and also despatched the serpent, but as a reward for their service Hera placed the pair amongst the stars in the form of the constellations Cancer and Hydra.

Oinoi of Dionysus (1) - The Oinoi were two stars set on the back of the constellation Cancer. They were a pair of donkeys who helped Dionysus cross a swamp when he was on his way to Dodona in search of a curse for the madness inflicted upon him by Hera. Upon recovering, the god awarded the pair with a place in the heavens as stars.

Oinoi of Dionysus(2) - The two Oinoi of Cancer were also said to have been placed there as a reward for their service in the Giant War. For when Dionysus and Silenus rode into battle upon their backs, the strange sound of their braying put the Giants into a rout.

Oinoi of Silenus- The donkey mount of the old rustic god Silenus. The beast once entered into a contest with Priapus over the size of their erect members. The god won and killed the beast, but Dionysus in pity set it amongst the stars on the back of Cancer.

Canis Major Constellation

Name: Kyon (the Dog)

Laelaps - A magical dog which was destined never to surrender a chase. It was first bestowed on Europa by Zeus, who passed it to her son Minos, and from him to Procris and Cephalus. The last of these set it to hunt down the Teumessian fox, which was destined never to be caught. To resolve the contrary fates of the two animals, Zeus placed them amongst the stars as the constellations Canis Major and Minor to play out the chase unresolved for eternity.

Dog of Orion - The dog of the giant hunter Orion who stands above it in the heavens. He leads it in the chase of the hare (Lepus) or the fox (Canis Minor).

Maera- The dog of Icarius, a devotee of the god Dionysus. When his master was murdered, and his mistress committed suicide, the dog threw himself down a well. All three were then placed amongst the stars as Procyon (Canis Minor), Bootes and Virgo.

Sirius(not Black)- The dog-star which crowns the head of the constellation Canis Major. Its rising in conjunction with the sun at dawn was thought to bring on the scorching heat of midsummer. The Egyptians called it the star of Isis.

Canis Minor Constellation

Name: Prokyon (the Fore Dog)

Teumessian Fox- A monstrous fox which ravaged the Boeotian countryside. The hero Cephalus set the magical dog Laelaps to hunt it down. But because the pair had conflicting fates - one was destined never to be caught, and the other never to surrender the chase - Zeus transferred the pair to the heavens to play out their contest unresolved for all eternity.

Other dogs - The dogs of Icarius and Orion were sometimes identified with Canis Minor instead of the usual Canis Major.

Capricorn Constellation

Name: Aigokeros (the Goat Horn)

Aegipan (1)- A goatish sea god who came to the assistance of Zeus in the War of the Titans, and filled the enemy with panic. As thanks for his help the god set him amongst the stars as the goat-fish constellation Capricorn.

Aegipan (2) - When the monster Typhon attacked Olympus, the gods fled in a body to Egypt and hid themselves away in the form of animals. The god Pan transformed himself into a goat-fish and hid dived into a river. Later after Zeus had been disabled by the giant, Aegipan recovered his stolen sinews and so restored him. For this service he was awarded with a place amongst the stars as the constellation Capricorn.

Cassiopea Constellation

Name: Kassiepeia

Cassiopea- A Queen of Ethiopia, mother of the lovely Andromeda. When she boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sent a sea monster to devour the girl. She was rescued by Perseus, who slew the beast. As a memorial the whole family were placed amongst the stars, but Cassiopea because of her pride, was set to hang eternally upside down on her throne.

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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 4
I really like this post, .Zeus!!
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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 5

Thank you, hun!

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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 6
Organize and type up what? All of this is taken directly from: http://www.theoi.com/Cat_Astraioi.html

Seriously, if you're going to post something from another site, you need to give credit and not try and make it seem like it's you're own.
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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 7
Part 4 and final!

Centaurus Constellation

Name: Kentauros (the Centaur)

Chiron- The wisest of the Centaurs, a son of the Titan Cronus. He once entertained Heracles, but when examining his poisonous arrows dropped one on his foot. Because of the unbearable pain of the wound, he surrendered his immortality and was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Centaurus. Others say he became Sagittarius.

Pholus - A centaur of Mt Pholoe in Arcadia who entertained Heracles in his cave. But when he opened the wine, the smell drew the other centaurs who attacked. Heracles slew them, but Pholus examining one of the poisonous arrows let it fall on his foot and died. The gods placed him amongst the stars as the constellation Centaurus, along with his drinking cup Crater. Some say Centaurus is depicted pouring a libation at the altar, Ara.

Cepheus Constellation

Name: Kepheus

Cepheus - A King of Aethiopia and father of the lovely Andromeda. He was forced to sacrifice his daughter to a sea monster because the boasts of his wife Cassiopea offended the gods. But the hero Perseus slew the beast and rescued her. As a memorial the whole family - Cepheus, Cassiopea, Andromeda and Perseus - were placed amongst the stars.

Cetus Constellation

Name: Ketos (the Sea Monster or Whale)

Ethiopian Cetus - A sea monster which was sent by Poseidon to ravage the land of Ethiopia to punish Queen Cassiopea for her prideful boasts comparing her daughter Andromeda to the Nereids. The girl was offered up as sacrifice to the monster, but was rescued by the hero Perseus. To commemorate the event, the monster was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Cetus, along with Perseus and Andromed


Corona Constellation

Name: Stephanos (the Crown)

Crown of Ariadne- The crown of the Cretan princess Ariadne. She received from the gods as a wedding gift upon her marriage to the god Dionysus. After her death it was set amongst the stars as the constellation Corona.

Crown of Dionysus - The crown of the god of wine. He received it as a gift from Aphrodite and after his return from the underworld with his mother Semele he set it amongst the stars in memorial of the event.

Crown of Theseus- The crown of the Athenian hero Theseus which he received from the goddess Amphitrite as a mark of his divine paternity. He in turn gave it to Ariadne as reward for the assistance she provided him in navigating the passages of the Labyrinth. At her death it was placed amongst the stars.

Corvus Constellation

Name : Koronis (the Crow) or Korakos (the Raven)

Coronis- A Thessalian girl loved by the god Apollo. But she proved unfaithful and Artemis slew her with her arrows. The god then placed Coronis (literally, "the Crow") amongst the stars as the constellation Corvus. Her son by Apollo was Asclepius, the constellation Ophiochus.

Crow of Apollo - A crow which was sent by Apollo to fetch water for libations. It tarried in the task, and as punishment was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Corvus, along with the serpent Hydra, and the water-cup Crater. The serpent prevented the crow from drinking at the bowl leaving it eternally parched in the heavens.

Crater Constellation

Name: Kreter (the Drinking Cup)

Cup of Pholus- The drinking cup of the the centaur Pholos. It and its owner were placed amongst the stars as the adjacent constellations Crater and Centaurus.

Cup of Apollo - A cup placed amongst the stars by Apollo in form of the constellation Crater, next to Corvus the crow and Hydra the serpent. The serpent was set to guard the bowl, preventing the crow from drinking.

Cygnus Constellation

Name: Ornis (the Bird) or Kygnos (the Swan)

Swan Zeus- When Zeus wanted to seduce the goddess Nemesis he transformed himself into a swan, and bade Aphrodite in the guise of an eagle pursue him into her lap. As a memorial of this successful ruse he placed an eagle and swan in the sky as the constellations Cygnus and Aquila.

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Re: Katasterismoi
Post # 8

October, that link was going to be listed in my links after I posted everything.

I do not take credit from this, but thanks for your consideration.





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