mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Andromeda 12

Andromeda! Sweet woman! why delaying
So timidly among the stars: come hither!
Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither
They all are going.

John Keats' Endymion
The Ἀνδρομέδη of Aratos and Ἀνδρομέδα of Eratosthenes, Hipparchos, and Ptolemy, represents in the sky the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of Aethiopia, chained in exposure to the sea monster as punishment of her mother's boast of beauty superior to that of the Nereids. Sappho, of the 7th century before Christ, is supposed to mention her, while Euripides and Sophocles, of the 5th, wrote dramas in which she was a character; but she seems to go far back of classical times, and we probably must look to the Euphrates for her origin, with that of her family and Cetus. Sayce claims that she appeared in the great Babylonian Epic of Creation, of more than two millenniums before our era, in connection with the story of Bēl Mardūk and the dragon Tiamat that doubtless is the foundation of the story of Perseus and Andromeda. She was noted, too, in Phoenicia, where Chaldaean influence was early felt.
As a constellation these stars have always borne our title, frequently with the added Mulier Catenata, the Woman Chained, and many of the classical Latins alluded to her as familiar and a great favorite. Caesar Germanicus called her Virgo Devota; a scholiast, Persea, as the bride of Perseus; while Manilius, and Germanicus again, had Cepheis, from her father.

In some editions of the Alfonsine Tables and Almagest she is Alamac, taken from the title of her star γ; and Andromada, described as Mulier qui non vidit maritum, evidently from Al Bīrūnī, this reappearing in Bayer's Carens Omnino viro. Ali Aben Reduan (Haly), the Latin translator of the Arabian commentary on the Tetrabiblos, had Asnade, which in the Berlin Codex reads Ansnade et est mulier quae non habet vivum maritum; these changed by manifold transcription from Alarmalah, the Widow, applied by the Arabians to Andromeda; but the philologist Buttmann said from Anroneda, another erroneous form of our word. The Antamarda of the Hindus is their variation of the classical name.

The original figure probably was, as Dürer drew it, that of a young and beautiful woman bound to the rocks, Strabo said at Iope, the biblical Joppa; and Josephus wrote that in his day the marks of her chains and the bones of her monster foe were still shown on that sea-shore. But this author, "who did not receive the Greek mythology, observes that these marks attest not the truth but the antiquity of the legend."

Others, who very naturally thought her too far from home at that spot, located Iope in Aethiopia and made her a negress; Ovid expressing this in his patriae fusca colore suae, although he followed Herodotus in referring her to India. Manilius, Manilius, author of the Poeticon Astronomicon, frequently quoted throughout these pages, flourished under Augustus and Tiberius, and probably was the first Latin author to write at length on astronomy and astrology; but he adhered closely to Aratus' scheme of the constellations, making no mention of Berenice's Hair, Equuleus, or the Southern Crown. The text, as we have it, is from a manuscript exhumed in the 15th century from an old German library by Poggius, the celebrated Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini, who rescued so much of our classic literature from the dust of ages, on the contrary, in his version of the story described her as nivea cervice; but the Aethiopia of this legend probably was along the Red Sea in southwestern Arabia.
Arabian astronomers knew these stars as Al Marʼah al Musalsalah, their equivalent of the classical descriptive title, — Chilmead's Almara Almasulsala, — for Western mythological names had no place in their science, although they were familiar with the ideas. But they represented a Sea Calf, or Seal, Vitulus marinus catenatus, as Bayer Latinized it, with a chain around its neck that united it to one of the Fishes; their religious scruples deterring them from figuring the human form. Such images were prohibited by the Ḳurʼān; and in the oral utterances attributed by tradition to the Prophet is this anathema:

Woe unto him who paints the likeness of a living thing: on the Day of Judgment those whom he has depicted within rise up out of the grave and ask him for their souls. Then, verily, unable to make the work of his hands live, will he be consumed in everlasting flames.

This still is the belief of the Muslīm, for William Holman Hunt was warned of it, while painting his Scape Goat in the Wilderness, by the shaykh under whose protection he was at the time.
The Spanish edition of the Alfonsine Tables pictures Andromeda with an unfastened chain around her body, and two fishes, one on her bosom, the other at her feet, showing an early connection with Pisces; the Hyginus, printed at Venice anno salutiferi incarnationis, 7th of June, 1488, by Thomas de blauis de alexandria, with some most remarkable illustrations, has her standing between two trees, to which she is bound at the outstretched wrists; in the Leyden Manuscript The figures in this old manuscript are spirited, many of them beautiful, and all studded with stars, but with no attempt at orderly arrangement; and, although in perfect preservation, high antiquity has been claimed for them as of ancient Roman times. Hugo Grotius reproduced them in his Syntagma Arateorum, and the Manuscript is still preserved in the University Library at Leyden, she is partly clothed on the sea beach, chained to rocks on either side.
Caesius The work of Caesius (Philip Zensen), the Coelum Astronomico-Poeticum, published by Johannes Blaeu at Amsterdam in 1662, is much quoted by La Lande, and is a most interesting source of information as to star-names and the mythology of the constellations, with many extracts from Greek and Roman authors. He mentions sixty-four figures, but some of his star-titles, as also perhaps those of other astronomical writers, would seem merely to be synonyms for the human originals erroneously assumed as for their sky namesakes, said that she represented the biblical Abigail of The Books of Samuel; and Julius Schiller, in 1627, made of her stars Sepulchrum Christi, This appeared in the Coelum Stellatum Christianum, which, according to its title-page, was the joint production of Schiller and Bayer, an enlarged reprint of the Uranometria of 1603: and Gould says that it was in reality the 2d edition of Bayer's work, almost ready for the press at the latter's death in 1625, but appropriated by Schiller to embody his own absurd constellation changes, the "new Sepulchre wherein was never man yet laid."
The apparently universal impulse of star-gazers to find earthly objects in the heavens is shown in the Cross which is claimed for some of Andromeda's stars; β, γ, and δ marking the upright, α and κ the transverse. But a much more noticeable group, an immense Dipper, is readily seen in following up its γ and β to the Square of Pegasus, far surpassing, in extent at least, the better-known pair of Dippers around the pole.

Andromeda is bounded on the north by Cassiopeia and Perseus; on the east by Perseus; on the south by Pisces and Triangulum; and on the west by Lacerta and Pegasus.
Milton's passage in Paradise Lost, where Satan surveys our world
from eastern point
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears
Andromeda far off Atlantic seas
Beyond th' Horizon,
seems to have puzzled many; but the poet was only seeking to show the comprehensive view had by the arch-fiend east and west through the six signs of the zodiac from the Scales to the Ram with the golden fleece; Andromeda, above the latter, apparently being borne on by him to the westward, and so, to an observer from England, over the Atlantic.
Kingsley's Andromeda well describes her place:
I set thee
High for a star in the heavens, a sign and a hope for the seamen,
Spreading thy long white arms all night in the heights of the aether,
Hard by thy sire and the hero, thy spouse, while near thee thy mother
Sits in her ivory chair, as she plaits ambrosial tresses;
All night long thou wilt shine;

these members of the royal family, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Perseus, lying contiguous to each other, wholly or partly in the Milky Way.
The stars that mark her right arm may be seen stretching from σ to ι and κ; ζ marking the left arm with the end of the chain towards Lacerta; but in early days she was somewhat differently located, and even till recently there has been confusion here; for Smyth wrote:
Flamsteed's Nos. 51 and 54 Andromedae are ψ and υ Persei, though placed exactly where Ptolemy wished them to be — on the lady's foot: so also α in this asterism has been lettered δ Pegasi by Bayer, and β has been the lucida of the Northern Fish.
Argelander has 83 stars here, and Heis 138.
La Lande and Dupuis asserted that the Phoenician sphere had a broad Threshing-floor in this spot, with stars of Cassiopeia as one of the Gleaners in the large Wheat-field that occupied so much of that people's sky; its exact boundaries, however, being unknown to us.

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