mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Bootes 9

Columella, Palladius, Pliny, Vergil, and others have similar references to Boötes, or to Arcturus, as indicating the proper seasons for various farm-work, as in the 1st Georgic:
Setting Boötes will afford the signs not obscure.
Icarus, or Icarius, also was a title for our constellation, from the unfortunate Athenian who brought so much trouble into the world by his practical expounding of Bacchus' ideas as to the proper use of the grape, and who was so unworthily exalted to the sky, with his daughter Erigone as Virgo, and their faithful hound Maera as Procyon or Sirius. From this story came the Icarii boves applied to the Triones by Propertius, and in the Andrews-Freund Lexicon to Boötes himself.
Ceginus, Seginus, and Chegninus, as well as the Cheguius of the Arabo-Latin Almagest, may have wandered here in strangely changed form from the neighboring Cepheus; although Buttmann asserted that they probably came, by long-repeated transcription and consequent errors, from Kheturus, the Arabian orthography for Arcturus. Bayer had Thegius, as usual without explanation; still I find in Riccioli's Almagestum Novum: Arabicē Theguius, quasi plorans aut vociferans; but Arabic scholars do not confirm this.
La Lande cited Custos Boum, the Keeper of the Oxen, and Bubulus, or Bubulcus, the Peasant Ox-driver, although Ideler denied that the latter ever was used for Boötes. Juvenal, however, had it, and Minsheu defined Boötes as Bubulcus coelestis. Landseer, following La Lande, said that the Herdsman was the national sign of ancient Egypt, the myth of the dismemberment of Osiris originating in the successive settings of its stars; and that there it was called Osiris, Bacchus, or Sabazius, the ancient name for Bacchus and Noah; and that Kircher's planisphere showed a Vine instead of the customary figure, thus recalling incidents in the histories of those worthies, as well as of Icarius.
Homer characterized the constellation as ὀψε δύων, late in setting, a thought and expression now become hackneyed by frequent repetition. Aratos had it:
he, when tired of day,
At even lingers more than half the night;
Manilius somewhat varying this by
Slow Boötes drives his ling'ring Teams;
Claudian, Juvenal, and Ovid, by tardus, slow, piger, sluggish, which their later countryman Ariosto, of the 16th century, repeated in his pigro Arturo; and Minsheu, in the 17th century, wrote of it as
Boötes, or the Carman, a slow moving starre, seated in the North Pole neere to Charles Waine, which it followes.
And all this because, as the figure sets in a perpendicular position, eight hours are consumed in its downward progress, and even then the hand of Boötes never disappears below the horizon — a fact more noticeable in early days than now. The reverse, however, takes place at its rising in a horizontal position; hence the ἀθρόος, "all at once", of Aratos.
Some say that these expressions of sluggishness are from its setting late in the season when the daylight is curtailed, or a reference to the natural gait of the Triones that Boötes is driving around the pole; while still others, more astronomically inclined, attributed them to his comparative nearness to
that point where slowest are the stars,
Even as a wheel the nearest to its axle,
that Dante wrote of in the Purgatorio.
Boötes' association with the Mons Maenalus, on which he is sometimes shown, is unexplained unless by the suggestion found under that constellation heading. This association was current even in early days, if Landseer be correct where he says:
Eusebius, quoting an ancient oracle which has apparent reference to this constellation as formerly represented, writes —

A mystic goad the mountain herdsman bears.
Brown says that it was known in Assyria as Riu-but-same, "that reappears in Greek as Boötes"; and thus
the idea of the ox-driving Ploughman or Herdsman, as applied to the constellation, is Euphratean in character.
Among its Arabian derivatives are Nekkar, often considered as Al Naḳḳār, the Digger, or Tearer, analogous to the classic Trencher in the vineyard; but Ideler showed this to be an erroneous form of Al Baḳḳār, the Herdsman, found with Ibn Yunus (or Yunis).
Alkalurops, which appeared for Boötes in the Alfonsine Tables as Incalurus, is from Κᾶλᾶυροψ,º a herdsman's Crook or Staff, with the Arabic article prefixed; this now is our title for the star μ. The staff, ultimately figured as a Lance, gave rise to the name Al Rāmiḥ, which came into general use among the Arabians, but subsequently degenerated in early European astronomical works into Aramech, Ariamech, and like words for the constellation as well as for its great star.
The same figure is seen in Al Ḥāmil Luzz, the Spear-bearer, or, as Caesius had it, Al Kameluz, Riccioli's Kolanza, and the Azimeth Colanza of Reduan's translator, which Ideler compared to the Latin cum lancea and the Italian colla lancia. Similarly, Bayer said that on a Turkish map it was Ὀϊστοφόρος, the Arrow-bearer; and elsewhere Sagittifer and Lanceator.
Al Ḥāris al Samā’ of Arabic literature originally was for Arcturus, although eventually applied to the constellation. But long before these ideas were current in Arabia, that people are supposed to have had an enormous Lion, their early Asad, extending over a third of the heavens, of which the stars Arcturus and Spica were the shin-bones; Regulus, the forehead; the heads of Gemini, one of the fore paws; Canis Minor, the other; and Corvus, the hind quarters.
In Poland Boötes forms the Ogka, or Thills, of that country's much-extended Woz Niebeski, the Heavenly Wain; and in the Old Bohemian tongue it was Przyczck, as unintelligible as it is unpronounceable.
The early Catholics knew it as Saint Sylvester; Caesius said that it might represent the prophet Amos, the Herdsman, or Shepherd Fig-dresser, of Tekoa; but Weigel turned it into the Three Swedish Crowns.
Proctor asserted that Boötes, when first formed, perhaps included even the Crown, as we know that it did the Hunting Dogs; and that, so constituted,
it exhibits better than most constellations the character assigned to it. One can readily picture to one's self the figure of a Herdsman with upraised arm driving the Greater Bear before him.
The drawing by Heis, after Dürer, is of a mature man, with herdsman's staff, holding the leash of the Hounds; but earlier representations are of a much younger figure: in all cases, however, well equipped with weapons of the chase, or implements of husbandry; the earliest form of these probably having been the winnowing fan of Bacchus.
The Venetian Hyginus of 1488 shows the Wheat Sheaf, Coma Berenices, at his feet; Argelander's Uranometria Nova has different figures on its two plates — one of the ancient form, the other of the modern holding the leash of the Hounds in full pursuit of the Bear.
This constellation and the Bear, Orion, the Hyades, Pleiades, and Dog were the only starry figures mentioned by Homer and Hesiod; the latter's versifier, Thomas Cooke, giving as a reason therefor — "the names of which naturally run into an hexameter verse"; but the general assumption that these great poets knew no other constellations does not seem reasonable, although it will be noticed that all those alluded to are identical with each author.
Boötes is a constellation of large extent, stretching from Draco to Virgo, nearly 50° in declination, and 30° in right ascension, and contains 85 naked-eye stars according to Argelander, 140 according to Heis.

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