mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Piscis Austrinus 6

Next swims the Southern Fish which bears a Name
From the South wind, and spreads a feeble Flame.
To him the Flouds in spacious windings turn.

Creech's Manilius.
Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish, is the Italian Pesce Australe; the French Poisson Austral; and the German Südliche Fisch. It lies immediately south of Capricorn and Aquarius, in that part of the sky early known as the Water, Aratos describing the figure as "on his back the Fish," and
The Fish reversed still shows his belly's stars;
but modern representations give it in a normal attitude. In either case, however, it is very unnaturally drinking the whole outflow from the Urn. This idea of the Fish drinking the Stream is an ancient one, and may have given rise to the title Piscis aquosus, found with Ovid and in the 4th Georgic, which has commonly been referred to this constellation; Vergil mentioning it in his directions as to the time for gathering the honey harvest; but the proper application of this adjectival title is uncertain, for Professors Ridgeway and Wilkins, in their admirable article on Astronomia in Doctor Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, write:
The Piscis in question has been variously supposed to be one of the Fishes in the Zodiac — the Southern Fish — Hydra — the Dolphin — or even the Scorpion.
Smyth said that
In the early Venetian editions of Hyginus, there is a smaller fish close under it, remora fashion, interfering with the Solitarius by which that astronomer, from its insulated position, designated Piscis Notius.
Accordingly the edition of 1488, with this representation, had it Pisces, and the German manuscript of the 15th century showed it with a still larger companion.
The figure is strangely omitted from the Farnese globe, the stream from the Urn of Aquarius ending at the tail of Cetus.
In early legend our australis was the parent of the zodiacal two, and has always been known under this specific title, varied by the other adjectives of equivalent signification, austrinus, meridionalis, and notius.
La Lande asserted that Dupuis had proved this to be the sky symbol of the god Dāgōn of the Syrians, the Phagre and Oxyrinque adored in Egypt; and it even has been associated with the still greater Oannes.
It also was Ἰχθύς and Ἰχθύς νότιος; Ἰχθύς μέγας and Piscis magnus; Ἰχθύς μονάζων and Piscis solitarius; Piscis Capricorni, from its position; and it is specially mentioned by Avienus as the Greater Fish. Longfellow, in the notes to his translation of the Divine Comedy, called it the Golden Fish, probably as being so much more conspicuous than those in the north.
When the Arabians adopted the Greek constellations and names this became Al Ḥūt al Janūbiyy, the Large Southern Fish, distorted in late mediaeval days into Haut elgenubi, and given by Chilmead as Ahaut Algenubi; but their figure was extended further to the south than ours, and so included stars of the modern Grus. Smyth wrote of it:
The Mosaicists held the asterism to represent the Barrel of Meal belonging to Sarephtha's widow; but Schickard pronounces it to be the Fish taken by St. Peter with a piece of money in its mouth.
Bayer said that it partook of the astrological character of the planet Saturn.
Gould assigns to it 75 naked-eye components.

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