dimanche 5 octobre 2008

Orion 11

The Syrians knew it as Gabbārā;b the Arabians, as Al Jabbār, both signifying "the Giant," Γίγας with Ptolemy, — and in Latin days occasionally Gigas; p307the Arabian word gradually being turned into Algebra, Algebaro, and especially in poetry, Algebar, which Chilmead gave as Algibbar.
In early Arabia Orion was Al Jauzah, a word also used for stars in Gemini, and much, but not satisfactorily, discussed as to its derivation and meaning in its stellar connection. It is often translated Giant, but erroneously, for it, at first, had no personal signification. Originally it was the term used for a black sheep with a white spot in the middle of the body, and thus may have become the designation for the middle figure of the heavens, which from its preëminent brilliancy always has been a centre of attraction. Some think that the Belt stars, δ, ε, ζ, known to the Arabs as the Golden Nuts, first bore the name Jauzah, either from another meaning of that word, — Walnut, — or because they lay in the centre of the splendid quadrangle formed by α, β, γ, and κ; or from their position on the equator, the great central circle; the title subsequently passing to the whole figure. Grotius adopted the first of these derivations, quoting from Festus the passage quasi nux juglans, that a lesser light, Robert Hues, thus enlarged upon:
Now Geuze signifieth a Wall-nut; and perhaps they allude herein to the Latine word Jugula, by which name Festus calleth Orion; because he is greater than any of the other Constellations, as a Wall-nut is bigger then any other kinde of nut.
In mediaeval as well as in later astronomy, the original appears in degenerate forms, such as Elgeuze, Geuze, Jeuze, and the Geuzazguar of Grotius.
Al Sufi's story of the feminine Jauzah has been noticed at the star Canopus and under Canis Minor.
Hyde quoted from an Arabian astronomer, Al Babādur, the Strong One, as a popular term for the constellation. Sugia and Asugia were thought by Scaliger to be corruptions of the Arabs' Al Shujāʽ, the Snake, applied to Orion in the sense of Audax, Bellator and Bellatrix, Fortis and Fortissimus, Furiosus and Sublimatus, and all proper names for it in Bayer's and other early astronomical works, Chilmead translating Asugia as "the Madman." Similar titles at one time obtained for Hydra.
Al Firuzabadi's Al Nusuḳ may be equivalent to the Nasaḳ, a Line, or Row, applied to the Belt stars, but there signifying a String of Pearls.
Niphla, attributed to Chaldaea, has not been confirmed by modern scholars.
In Egypt, as elsewhere, Orion was of course prominent, especially so in the square zodiac of Denderah, as Horus (Plutarch (Is. et Or. 21) understands the Egyptians as believing that Orion is "the soul of Horus") in a boat surmounted by stars, followed by Sirius, shown as a cow, also in a boat; and nearly three thousand years previously had been sculptured on the walls of the recently discovered step-temple of Saḳḳara, and in the great Ramesseum of Thebes about 3285 B.C. as Sahu. This twice appears in the Book of the Dead:

The shoulders of the constellation Sahu;

I see the motion of the holy constellation Sahu.

A similar title, but of Akkad origin, appeared for Capricornus. Egyptian mythology laid to rest in this constellation the soul of Osiris, as it did in the star Sirius that of Isis; and, again, in the Book of the Dead we read:

The Osiris N is the constellation Orion;

in this connection, Orion was known as Smati-Osiris, the Barley God.
The Giant generally has been represented with back turned toward us and face in profile, armed with club, or sword, and protected by his shield, or, as Longfellow wrote,

on his arm the lion's hide
Scatters across the midnight air
The golden radiance of its hair.

Dürer drew him facing the Bull, whose attack he is warding off; but the Leyden Manuscript has a lightly clad youth with a short, curved staff in the right hand, and the Hare in the background.
The head is marked by λ, φ1, and φ2, the stars α and γ pointing out the shoulders, β and κ the left foot and right knee. But Sir John Herschel observed from southern latitudes that the inverted view of the constellation well represents a human figure; the stars that we imagine the shoulders appearing for the knees, Rigel forming the head, and Cursa of Eridanus, one of the shoulders.
In astrology the constellation was Hyreides, Bayer's Hyriades, from Ovid's allusion to it as Hyriea proles, thus recalling the fabled origin from the bull's hide still marked out in the sky. This, formerly depicted as a shield of rawhide, is now figured as a lion's skin; and it perhaps was this Hyriean story that gave the stellar Orion the astrological reputation, recorded by Thomas Hood, of being "the verie cutthrote of cattle"; ( For a somewhat more balanced astrological view of Orion, see Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 1.9. ) at all events, it certainly gave rise to the τρίπατρος and Tripater, applied to him
Saturnus has been another title, but its connection here I cannot learn, although I hazard the guess that as this divinity was the sun-god of the Phoenicians, his name might naturally be used for Uruanna-Orion, the sun-god of the Akkadians.

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