vendredi 12 septembre 2008

Corona Borealis 4

Once each year, Minos demanded that the king of Athens send him the seven most handsome young men and the seven most beautiful maidens of the land. These fourteen youths were then forced into the maze where one by one they were found and devoured by the Minotaur. When Theseus became of age he told his father that he wanted to be one of the youths to be sent to the King Minos so that he might slay the Minotaur. His father agreed. When King Minos' daughter, Ariadne, saw Theseus, she immediately fell in love with him. She told him of her love and gave him a small sword and a ball of thread. As Theseus led the way into the maze, he carefully unwound the ball of thread step-by-step. Eventually, he heard the ferocious roars of the Minotaur as it came charging around the corner of the maze to attack him. Theseus dropped the ball of thread and began slashing at the beast with the sword of Ariadne's. He managed to weaken the Minotaur and then cut off its head. He then picked up the thread and followed it out of the maze, on the way leading his thirteen companions to safety also. Theseus and the others escaped the island with Ariadne. As they sail back to Athens, they stopped to take on fresh water and rest. As Theseus slept he received a message from a goddess telling him that Ariadne had been promised to a god and that no mortal should interfere. So he silently crept back to the ship leaving Ariadne on the island. When Ariadne awoke see found herself abandoned and wept. The god Bacchus came upon her and seeing her great beauty begged her to marry him. Ariadne did not believe he was a god and refused to marry him. To prove he was a god, Bacchus produced the most beautiful golden crown she had ever seen. Ariadne did marry Bacchus and they had a long life of happiness together. When his beloved wife died, Bacchus placed the golden crown high in the heavens to honor her for her kindness to Theseus and to him as her husband.

According to a Greek myth going back about 450 B.C., a young man named Theseus, son of the king of Athens, touched off the chain of events that led to the Corona Borealis. At this time the ruler of the Island of Crete, King Minos, kept a fierce monster called the Minotaur, a beast that was half-bull and half-man and fed on human flesh. The monster lived in a maze that was so complex that once in it no one could find the way out without help.

According to Shawnee Indian legend, twelve beautiful maidens who inhabited the stars of the Northern Crown nightly descended on Earth and danced on the fields.

The early Arabs knew the constellation as the Dish, and as the Broken Platter, because it forms an incomplete circle.

The ancient Chinese called the constellation Kwan Soo, meaning "a Cord."

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