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Constellations
(2,459 words)

[German version]

I. Ancient Orient

In Mesopotamia, the visible stars were combined into constellations; some of these notions about constellations were communicated to other cultures as early as the 2nd millennium BC and, through Greek-Roman transmission, are still common today. The constellations of the  zodiac ─ Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces ─ can be traced back to Babylonian models, also the Big Dipper (Ursa Maior), the Raven, and the Eagle, among others.

Babylonian  lis…

Cite this page
Hunger, Hermann (Vienna) and Hübner, Wolfgang (Münster), “Constellations”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1122390>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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