mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Cepheus 9

Kepheus is like one who stretches forth both hands.

Brown's Aratos.
Cepheus, the French Céphée and the Italian Cefeo, is shown in royal robes, with one foot on the pole (Polaris), the other on the solstitial colure, his head marked by a triangle, the 4th‑magnitudes δ, ε, and ζ; γ and κ, near the knees, forming an equilateral triangle with Polaris; and almost universally has been drawn as Aratos described in the motto. Some see in his stars a large K open towards Cassiopeia, — ε, ζ, ξ, β, and κ, with ν and γ. Achilles Tatios, probably of our 5th century, claimed that the constellation was known in Chaldaea twenty-three centuries before our era, when the earthly King was recognized in that country's myths as the son of Belos, of whom Pliny wrote, Inventor hic fuit sideralis scientiae.
In Greek story, like so many other stellar personages, Cepheus was connected with the Argonautic expedition.
The figure bore our title among all early astronomers and classic authors, but Germanicus added Iasides from the Ιασίδαο of Aratos; Nonnus had Ἀνήρ βασιλήϊος; from his royal station, which became Vir regius and even Regulus. Others said that he was the aged Nereus and thus also Senex aequoreus, and others strangely called it Juvenis aequoreus.
Cantans, Sonans, and Vociferans show early confusion with the not far distant Boötes; while Dominus solis, Flammiger, Inflammatus, and Incensus are fiery epithets that do not seem appropriate for so faint a figure, unless originating from the fable that the tables of the Sun were spread in Aethiopia, the land where Cepheus reigned when on earth. Someone, however, has suggested that they are from the fact that his head is surrounded and illuminated by the Milky Way, although itself in an entirely bare spot in that great circle of light. This appeared in Horace's lines:
Clarus occultum Andromedae pater
Ostendit ignem.
Cepheus is an inconspicuous constellation, but evidently was highly regarded in early times as the father of the Royal Family, and his story well known in Greek literature of the 5th century before Christ. The name Κηφεῦς, compared by Brown to Khufu of Great Pyramid fame, was the source of many queer titles from errors in Arabic transcription — first into Ḳifaūs, Ḳikaūs, Kankaus; later into Fikaus, Fifaus, and Ficares, or Phicares, its usual designation in Persia, and Phicarus. Chilmead suggested that Phicares was a Phoenician title equivalent to Flammiger, and identical with Πυρκᾶεύς, the Fire-kindler, which, transliterated as Pirchaeus, has been used for these stars. Later on in astronomical literature we find Caicans, Ceginus, Ceichius, Chegnius, Chegninus, Cheguinus, and Chiphus, some of which also are seen for Boötes.
The later Hindus knew Cepheus as Capuja, adopted from Greece; but Hewitt claims that with their prehistoric ancestors it represented Kapi, the Ape-God, when its stars α and γ were the respective pole-stars of 21,000 and 19,000 B.C.
Dunkin derives our title from the Aethiopic Hyk, a King, but the connection with Aethiopia probably can only be allowed by considering that country the Asian Aethiopia, for our Cepheus is unquestionably of Euphratean origin. Still Bayer's illustration of it is that of a typical African.
In China, somewhere within this constellation's boundaries, was the Inner Throne of the Five Emperors.
Arabian astronomers translated Inflammatus into Al Multahab; but the nomads knew Cepheus, or at least some of its stars, as Al Aghnām, the Sheep, and thus associated with the supposed Fold, a large figure around the pole very visible traces of which appear in the nomenclature of components of this and other circumpolar constellations. Bayer specified certain of these, — η, θ, γ, κ, π, and ρ, — as the Shepherd, his Dog, and the Sheep; but Smyth alluded to the whole of Cepheus as the Dog, Cassiopeia being his mate. Riccioli quoted from Kircher, as to these, the Arabic "Raar, Kelds & San: nempe Pastorem, Canem, Oves," more correctly transcribed Raiʽ, Kalb, and Shām.
A translator of Al Ferghani's, This author was Aben al Khethir of Fergana in Sogdiana, prominent in 9th‑century astronomy and much quoted from the 16th to the 18th century is as Alfergan, Alferganus, Alfragani, and Alfraganus. His work, a valuable one for its day, was translated with notes by Golius (the Dutch Jakob Gohl), and published after the latter's death in 1669, Elements of Astronomy called the constellation Al Radif, the Follower, which may have come by some misunderstanding from the near-by Al Ridf in the tail of the Swan, for Cepheus does not seem ever to have been known by any such title. The early Arabs' Kidr, the Pot, was formed by the circle of small stars from ζ and η on the hand of our figure extending to the wing of the Swan.
In the place of Cepheus, Caesius wished to substitute King Solomon, or Zerah, the Aethiopian, whom King Asa overthrew, as told in the 2nd Book of the Chronicles, xiv, 9‑12; but Julius Schiller said that it should be Saint Stephen.
Argelander gives 88 naked-eye components; Heis, 159.

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