Ras alhague, or Rasalgue, is from Rās al Ḥawwāʽ, the Head of the Serpent-charmer, the Moorish El Hauwe, the first being its only title with Bayer. The Alfonsine Tables of 1521 have Rasalauge, and the original has been variously altered into Ras Alhagas, Ras Alhagus, Rasalange, Ras al Hangue, Rasalangue, Ras Alaghue, Rasalhagh, Alhague, and Alangue. The occasional Azalange has been traced to the Turkish title for the constellation; but "a universal star-name for that nation does not seem probable," and it is more likely that the Turks adopted and altered the Arabic. Ras al Hayro also has been seen for the star; and the Century Cyclopedia mentions Hawwa as rarely used.
Kazwini cited Al Rāʽi, the Shepherd, from the early Arabs, which, although now a title for γ Cephei, may have come here from the adjacent Rauḍah, or Pasture; the near‑by α Herculis, 6° to the west, being Kalb al Rāʽi, the Shepherd's Dog; while neighboring stars, the present Club of Hercules, marked the Flock.
In China α was How, the Duke; and the small surrounding stars, Hwan Chay, a title duplicated at those in the hand.
Its spectrum is Sirian, and the star is receding from us about twelve miles a second. It culminates on the 28th of July.
β, 3.3, yellow.
Cebalrai, Celbalrai, and Cheleb are from Kalb al Rāʽi. "The Heart of the Shepherd," which Brown gives as the meaning of his Celabrai, is erroneous, doubtless from confusion of the Arabic Ḳalb and Kalb, Dog.
The star is 9° southeast of α, and 5° west of Taurus Poniatovii, the Polish Bull, now included in Ophiuchus.
has been called Muliphen, but I cannot trace it here, although this title is famous in other parts of the sky.
β and γ were Tsung Ching in China.
70 Ophiuchi, east of β and γ in the stars of the Polish Bull, now discarded, is a most interesting binary system, with a period of about eighty-eight years. The component stars are of 4.1 and 6.1 magnitudes, yellow and purple in color, their distance varying from 1ʺ.7 to 6ʺ.7; in 1898 it was 2ʺ.05, and the position angle 280°. Its parallax, 0ʺ.16, indicates a distance of twenty light years, and certain irregularities in motion show that there may be an invisible companion.
δ, 2.8, deep yellow,
is Yed Prior, the Former of the two stars in the Hand, — the Arabic Yad, — originating with Bayer, adopted by Flamsteed, and now common. It is sometimes written Jed.
Yed Posterior, the star Behind, or Following, δ, is found on our modern lists, but was not given by Bayer.
In China it was Tsoo, the name of one of the feudal states; and, with ι and some other stars, is said to have formed Hwan Chay.
The two stars Yed, with ζ and η Ophiuchi and α, δ, and ε of Serpens, constituted the Nasaḳ al Yamaniyy, the Southern Boundary Line of the Rauḍah, or Pasture, which here occupied a large portion of the heavens; other stars in Ophiuchus and Hercules forming the Nasaḳ al Shāmiyyah, or Northern Boundary. The stars between these two Nasak marked the Rauḍah itself and Al Aghnām, the Sheep within it, now the Club of Hercules. These sheep were guarded by the Shepherd and his Dog, the two lucidae marking the heads of Ophiuchus and Hercules.
ε was the Euphratean Nitaχ‑bat, the Man of Death. Coincidently, "in modern astrology, which contains some singular survivals, the Hand of Ophiuchus is said to be a star 'of evil influence.' "
δ and ε point out the left hand grasping the body of the Serpent; τ and ν, the other hand, holding the tail.
ζ, 2.8, near the left knee, was the Chinese Han, an old feudal state.
It sometimes shared with η the title Sābiḳ, or Preceding One, attached to the latter star in Al Tizini's catalogue.
Brown thinks that, with ε, it marked the Akkadian lunar asterism Muluabat, the Man of Death; with η, θ, and ξ, the Persian Garafsa, or Serpent-tamer; with η, the Sogdian Bastham, Bound, "i.e. Ophiuchus enveloped in the coils of Ophis"; and the Khorasmian Sardhiwa, the Head of the Evil One.
is Sābiḳ with Al Tizini, ζ often being included; but Beigel thought that the name should be Sāīḳ, the Driver.
Brown combines η, θ, and ξ in the Akkadian Tsir, or Sir, the Snake.
In China it was Sung, another of the early feudal states.
It was Leang, a Mast, in China.
lies on the right foot, only a little to the southwest of the place of the noted Kepler's Star, the nova of 1604.
Epping says that the 25th ecliptic constellation of Babylonia was marked by it as Kash-shud Sha‑ka-tar‑pa, of undetermined signification.
With ξ it was the Sogdian Wajrik, the Magician; the Khorasmian Markhashik, the Serpent-bitten; and the Coptic Tshiō, the Snake, and Aggia, the Magician; η being included in the last two.
With adjacent stars it was the Chinese Tien Kiang, the Heavenly River.
ι, a 4 1/2‑magnitude, was Ho, one of the dry measures of China, but this title included κ and two other near‑by stars of Hercules.
Gould thinks that it may be variable.
Marfic, or Marfik, is from the similar Arabic Al Marfiḳ, the Elbow, which it marks. Bayer, Burritt, and probably others have it Marsic, doubtless from confounding the antique forms of the letters f and s. This same title appears for κ Herculis.
With neighboring stars the Chinese knew it as Lee Sze, a Series of Shops.
The components are 1ʺ.6 apart, with a position angle of 53° in 1897, and an estimated period of revolution of 234 years.
υ, a 4 1/2‑magnitude, was She Low, a Market Tower; and the 5th‑magnitudes φ, χ, ψ, and ω were Tung Han, the name of a district in China