See also:partition of the stellar expanse into areas characterized by specified stars can be traced back to a very remote antiquity . It is believed that the ultimate origin of the
See also:constellation figures and names is to be found in the corresponding systems in vogue among the
See also:primitive civilizations of the
See also:Euphrates valley—the Sumerians, Accadians and Babylonians; that these were carried westward into
See also:Greece by the Phoenicians, and to the lands of
See also:Asia Minor by the
See also:Hittites, and that Hellenic culture in its turn introduced them into
See also:Persia and India . From the earliest tines the
See also:star-groups known as constellations, the smaller groups (parts of constellations) known as asterisms, and also individual stars, have received names connoting some meteorological phenomena, or symbolizing religious or mythological beliefs . At one
See also:time it was held that the constellation names and myths were of Greek origin; this view has now been disproved, and an examination of the Hellenic myths associated with the stars and star-groups in the
See also:light of the records revealed by the decipherment of Euphratean cuneiforms leads to the conclusion that in many, if not all, cases the Greek myth has a Euphratean, parallel, and so renders it probable that the Greek constellation
See also:system and the cognate legends are primarily of Semitic or even pre-Semitic origin . The origin and development of the grouping of the stars into constellations is more a
See also:matter of archaeological than of astro nomical
See also:interest . It demands a careful study of the myths and religious thought of primitive peoples; and the tracing of the names from one language to another belongs to
See also:philology . The Sumerians and Accadians, the non-Semitic inhabitants of the Euphrates valley
See also:prior to the Babylonians, described the stars collectively as a " heavenly
See also:flock "; the
See also:sun was the " old
See also:sheep "; the seven
See also:planets were the " old-sheep stars"; the whole of the stars had certain " shepherds, " and Sibzianna (which, according to
See also:Sayce and Bosanquet, is the
See also:Arcturus, the brightest star in the
See also:sky) was the " star of the shepherds of the heavenly herds." ; The Accadians bequeathed their system to the Babylonians, and cuneiform tablets and cylinders, boundary stones, and Euphratean
See also:art generally, point to the existence of a well-defined system of star names in their early
See also:history . From a detailed study of such records, in their nature of rather speculative value, R .
See also:Brown, junr . (Primitive Constellations, 1899) has compiled a Euphratean planisphere, which he regards as the
See also:mother of all others . The tablets examined range in date from 3000-500 B.C., and hence the system must be anterior to the earlier date .
See also:great importance is the Creation
See also:Legend, a cuneiform compiled from older records during the reign of Assur-bani-
See also:pal, c . 65o s.e., in which there occurs a passage interpretable as pointing to the acceptance of 36 constellations: 12 northern, 12 zodiacal and 12
See also:southern .
CONSTIPATION (from Lat. constipare, to press closel...
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