β, 3.6, golden yellow.
Nakkar and Nekkar are from the Arabic name for the whole constellation.
The Chinese knew it as Chaou Yaou, or Teaou, words meaning "to beckon, excite, or move."
With γ, δ, and μ, it constituted the trapezium Al Dhiʼbah, The Female Wolves, or, perhaps, Hyaenas, an early asterism of the Arabs before they adopted the Greek constellation; these animals, with others similar shown by stars in Draco and near it, lying in wait for the occupants of the ancient Fold around the pole.
β marks the head of the modern figure.
Seginus appears on Burritt's Atlas from the Ceginus of the constellation.
Manilius termed it prona Lycaonia, "sloping downwards, or in front of, Lycaon," referring to the Greater Bear, as the star marks the left shoulder of Boötes near to that constellation; and Euripides similarly wrote in his Ἴων of about 420 B.C.:
Above, Arcturus to the golden pole inclines.
Flammarion gives to it the Alkalurops that is better recognized for μ. The Chinese called it Heuen Ko, the Heavenly Spear.
It is interesting to know that the variable ν is in the telescopic field with γ.
δ, 3,5, pale yellow.
This star does not appear to be named, but in China was part of Tseih Kung, the Seven Princes; the other components being μ, ν, φ, ψ, χ1 and χ2, or b, in the right hand and on the Club, 20° northeast of Arcturus.
ε, Binary, 3 and 6, pale orange and bluish green,
lying 10° northeast of Arcturus, bore these titles in Arabia: Al Minṭakah al ʽAwwāʼ, the Belt of the Shouter; Izār, the Girdle; and Miʼzar, the Waist-cloth, — all references to its place in the figure. This last word was turned by early European astronomical writers into Micar, Mirar, Merer, Meirer, Mezen, Mezer, Merak, and Mirak, similar to the title of β Andromedae, and all appropriate. The analogous Perizoma was used for it in the Alfonsine Tables.
Why it was so favored in nomenclature is not known, for with us it is noticeable only from its exquisite beauty in the telescope, whence it is fast monopolizing the name Pulcherrima, given to it by the elder Struve.
The components can be seen with a 2 1/4‑inch glass, about 3ʺ apart, at a position angle of 325°. The period of their revolution is as yet undetermined, but they are thought to be approaching us at the rate of ten miles a second.
This pair was the chief object of Sir William Herschel's investigations for stellar parallax about 1782, in which, of course, he was unsuccessful, although he did not know the cause of his failure till years thereafter, when he recognized its binary character.
ζ, ξ, ο, and π were Tso She Ti, an Officer, in China, on the left hand of the emperor.
η, 2.8, pale yellow.
Muphrid, Mufrid, and Mufride, of the Palermo and other catalogues, is from Ulug Beg's Al Mufrid al Rāmiḥ, the Solitary Star of the Lancer, and inexplicable unless on the supposition that it formerly was regarded as outside of the figure lines. Kazwini called it Al Rumḥ; and Al Tizini, with Al Naṣr al Din, more definitely, Al Rumḥ al Rāmiḥ, the Lance of the Lance-bearer, although inappropriately, for they designated its position as on Al Sāḳ, the Shin-bone, and it thus appears as Saak in some lists; but as the figure is now drawn η lies above the left knee.
It seems to have been included with Arcturus in the Euphratean Sib-zi‑anna.
p105 With υ and τ in the feet, it was Yew She ti in China, the Officer standing on the right hand of the emperor.
θ, 4.1; ι, Triple, 4.4, 4.5, and 8; and κ, Double, 4.5 and 6.6.
Bayer called these Asellus — primus, secundus and tertius respectively, — although without explanation; but the title is well known for each of the two stars in Cancer flanking Praesaepe. They mark the finger-tips of the upraised left hand just eastward from Alkaid, the last star in the Greater Bear's tail.
In China they were Tseen Tsang, the Heavenly Lance.
The members of the larger component of ι are 0ʺ.8 apart; the smaller is 38ʺ away.
κ is pale white, and the two stars are about 12ʺ apart, making it an easy object in a small telescope.
All of these, with the 4th‑magnitude λ on the lower part of the left arm, were Al Aulād al Dhiʼbah, the Whelps of the Hyaenas, shown by β, γ, δ, and μ, and so given on the earliest Arabic maps and globes.
μ1, Ternary, 4.2, 8, and 8.5, flushed white, the last two greenish white,
the small companion μ2 being a close double.
Alkalurops was the Arabian adaptation of Κᾶλᾶυροψ, used by Hesychios for the Herdsman's Club, Crook, or Staff, analogous to the Ρόπαλον of Hyginus and the Clava of the Latins.
Inkalunis appears in some of the Alfonsine Tables; Icalurus in those of 1521, and Incalurus in the 1515 Almagest, all long supposed to be bungled renderings of Ptolemy's Κολλορόβος, itself probably a word of his own coining to designate the position of the star in the club; Riccioli writing it Colorrhobus. But Ideler, rejecting this, thought Schickard more correct in deriving these words from ἐν κολούρῳ,º "in the colure," a statement that was nearly right as to Arcturus 2000 years ago; the name since then having, in some way, been transferred to this star, as also to the constellation. The editor of the 1515 Almagest added to his title for μ et est hastile habens canes, which, Ideler said, — and Homer is for once caught nodding, — "is with reference to the surrounding hyaenas." This most erroneous explanation is corrected by the late Professor C. H. F. Peters of the Hamilton Observatory, whose private copy of this rare edition is now in my possession, in his autographic annotation that the original Arabic should have been rendered ferrum curvatum instead of canes. Some Latin writers have called this star Venabulum, a Hunting-spear.
p106 ρ and σ, 4th- and 5th‑magnitude stars, were Kang Ho, a river in China; and ψ, according to Assemani, with another in the right arm that may have been ε, constituted the Arabs' Al Aulād al Nadhlāt, which he rendered Filii altercationis; but the original signifies the Low, or Mean, Little Ones.
h, or Fl. 38, a 5 1/2‑magnitude hardly visible to the naked eye, is Merga, and marks the Reaping-hook held in the left hand of the figure. This word is from Marra, a Hoe, or Rake, used by Columella and Juvenal, and still is sometimes seen as Marrha for the star. The latter was well known to Pliny as Falx Italica.