dimanche 5 octobre 2008

Hercules 8

Other titles are Ixion, laboring at his wheel, perhaps because Hercules also labored; or from the radiated object shown on Euphratean gems, a supposed representation of the solar prototype of Hercules, which in later times may easily have been regarded as a wheel; Prometheus, bending in chains on Caucasus; Thamyris, sad at the loss of his lyre; Amphitryoniades, from the supposed sire of Hercules; Heros Tirynthius, from the place where he was reared; and Oetaeus, from the mountain range of Thessaly whence he ascended the funeral pyre. The Sanctus that has appeared as a title is properly Sancus, the Semo Sancus, of Sabine-Umbrian-Roman mythology, identified with Hercules. Theseus was a name for this constellation, from the similar adventures of the originals; Mellus and Ovillus trace back to the Malum and Ovis in the myth of the Apples, or Sheep, of the Hesperides, with which the story of Hercules is connected, — different ideas, but both from μῆλον, with this double signification; although La Lande thought that reference was made to the skin of the lion thrown over the hero's shoulder. We also occasionally see Diodas, Manilius, Orpheus, and Trapezius, the exact connection of which with our sky figure is not certain.
The 4th edition of the Alfonsine Tables singularly adds Rasaben, from the neighboring Draco's Al Ras al Thuʽban.
Bayer erroneously quoted Γνύξ ἐριπών, on Bended Knee, as if from Homer; and gave Ἔιδωλον ἄπευθος, the Unknown Image, and Imago laboranti similis. He also cited the Persians' Ternuelles, which Beigel suggested might be from their mistaken orthography of the word Hercules; and Hyde added another term, from that people, in Ber zanū nisheste, Resting on his Knees, a repetition of the earliest idea as to the figure.
Flammarion states that he found our modern title first mentioned in an edition of Hyginus of 1485, — but he had not read Eratosthenes; and some say that even this Hercules of Hyginus was really designed for the adjacent Ophiuchus.
The modern Italians' Ercole is like their Roman predecessors' abbreviated name for the deity, who was one of their most frequent objects of adjuration.
Our stellar figure generally has been drawn with club and lion-skin, the left foot on Draco and the right near Boötes, the reversal of these by Aratos being criticized by Hipparchos; but the Farnese globe shows a young man, nude and kneeling; while the Leyden Manuscript very inappropriately drew it as a young boy, erect, with a short star-tipped shepherd's crook, bearing a lion's skin and head. Bayer shows the strong man kneeling, clothed in the lion's skin, with his "all brazen" club and the Apple Branch.
p242 This last he called Ramus pomifer, the German Zweig, placing it in the right hand of Hercules, on the edge of the Milky Way; but this even then was an old idea, for the Venetian illustrator of Hyginus in 1488 showed, in the constellation figure, an Apple Tree with a serpent twisted around its trunk. Argelander followed Bayer's drawing, but Heis transfers the Branch to the left hand, with two vipers as a reminder of the now almost forgotten stellar Cerberus with serpents' tongues, which Bayer did not know. The French and Italians, who give more prominence to these adjuncts of Hercules than do we, have combined them in a sub-constellation Rameau et Cerbère ( The foregoing Dancer, Beigel said, was in the East merely a posture-maker, which the configuration of these stars plainly shows, and hence this title is appropriate. It seems to have wandered to the near-by Draco for the faint μ, although with a different signification, — the Trotting Camel ) as also Ἐνγόνασι, into Al Jathiyy aʽla Rukbataihi, the One who Kneels on both Knees; this subsequently degenerating into Elgeziale rulxbachei, Alcheti hale rechabatih, Elzegeziale, and Elhathi. It also has often appeared as Alchete and Alcheti; as Algethi, and, in the 1515 Almagest and Alfonsine Tables of 1521, as Algiethi incurvati super genu ipsius.
Argelander catalogues 155 naked-eye stars in Hercules, and Heis 227.
Between ζ and η, two thirds of the way from ζ, is NGC 6205, 13 M., the finest cluster in the northern heavens. Halley discovered this in 1714 and thought it a nebula, whence its early title, the Halley Nebula; but it is remarkable that it was not sooner seen, for it is visible by the unaided eye, although only 8ʹ in diameter. Herschel's estimate that it contains 14,000 stars is so high that some regard it as a typographical error for 4000; the number counted by Harvard observers is 724, outside of the nucleus. Miss Clerke records an opinion that it may be 558,000 millions of miles in diameter, and distant from us sixty-five light years; but we have as yet no certain determination of either size or distance. Burnham notes one of its central stars as double, an infrequent occurrence in compressed clusters; and Campbell of the Lick Observatory writes:
p243 In the Hercules cluster the stars are perhaps very little denser than the streams of nebulous matter in which they are situated, and hence their density is [i.e. may be] only something a thousand millionth part of that of the sun.
Bailey finds no variables in it.
In the early days of Arab astronomy a space in the heavens, coinciding with parts of Hercules, Ophiuchus, and Serpens, was the Rauḍah, or Pasture, the Northern Boundary of which, the Nasaḳ Shāmiyy, was marked by the stars β and γ Herculis, the Syrians' Row of Pearls, with β and γ Serpentis in continuation of the Pasture line; while δ, α, and ε Serpentis, with δ, ε, ζ, and γ Ophiuchi, formed the Southern Boundary, the Nasaḳ Yamaniyyah. The group of stars now known as the Club of Hercules was the Sheep within the Pasture.

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