Ancient Zodiacs, Star Names, and Constellations: Essays and Critiques
The Constellation Detectives: A Concise History of Investigators and Their Methods and Mistakes by Gary D. Thompson
Copyright © 2014-2018 by Gary D. Thompson
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The Constellation Detectives: A Concise History of Investigators and Their Methods and Mistakes
This essay is a much delayed completion of research notes made during the late 1990s. An attempt has been made 2014-2015 to check and correct/revise the material. The draft essay was completed during early 2016. Some additional material remains to be added.
There has been considerable speculation regarding the origin of the Western constellations. Until recently it has usually been assumed that they developed over time and were related to the fancies of primitive imaginations. The research methods used by some investigators suggests that the Western constellations were designed as a pictorial scientific coordinate system. A coordinate system is a set of imaginary lines for measuring positions, like the lines of latitude and longitude for determining locations on the earth. The constellations are held to perform a similar function, but they employ pictures, which make it easy to identify stars without need of instruments. Using particular research methods it is claimed that the evidence points to the time and place that the Western constellations originated: circa 2500 BCE at about 36° north latitude. There are 2 particular methods used to provide the claimed evidence that points to this date and location - the polar alignment argument, and the void zone argument.
The term 'constellation detective' is given to any person involved in making a significant contribution - or having influential ideas - in determining the origin of the Western constellations; specifically date(s) (when) and location(s) (where). Key supporters of the methods and arguments of the 'constellation detectives' are also included. Also included are significant critics of the various theories and ideas of the 'constellation detectives.' The 2 main arguments of the majority of the 'constellation detectives' were - and remain - (1) the polar alignment argument, and (2) the vacant space argument. Both arguments are locked into the constellations described in Aratus' Phainomena. A re-examination of these ideas - their methods still frequently repeated - is overdue. The 100's of pages of pointlessness with their continuing arguments needs to be avoided in the future and a new approach undertaken.
Excluded mostly are proponents of Paleolithic constellations and their methods.
That the constellations originated as a single set (which then remained largely unchanged) in a specific location, and in a short time (perhaps less than 100 years), is the "corner-stone" of the so-called "constellation detectives." This sort of idea originated with Charles Dupuis, etc., and later with the Panbabylonists (such as Hugo Winckler and Fritz Hommel). Alex Gurshtein (with some modifications) is a modern proponent. (See the (Dutch-language) book: De waare oorsprong der Mosaische en Christelyke godsdiensten, onderzogt en verdedigd, tegen derzelver nieuwe bestryders Dupuis en Volney by Jan Frederik van Beeck Calkoen (1800). A later, French-language translation appeared as: Examen du système de Dupuis et Volney, sur l'origine de la religion mosaique et chrétienne by Jan Frederik van Beeck Calkoen (1802; 1803). The book is an examination of myth as allegory. Calkoen studied philosophy and mathematical sciences in Groningen and in 1797 published a thesis on ancient sundials. The Dutch scholar Calkoen was Professor of Mathematics (and/or astronomy?) at Leiden University (appointed 1799). He was also appointed to the same position at Utrecht in 1805. Due to ill-health he resigned both positions in 1809. He published mainly on mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. Life dates 1772-1811. Calkoen was opposed to the ideas of Dupuis and Volney on the allegorical/astronomical interpretation of mythology, especially Biblical stories. For example: The interpretation that Dupuis gave was the Book of Revelation was a constellational allegory. Among other things the book is a criticism of the astronomical interpretation Dupuis gave to the New Testament Book of Revelation. Jan Calkoen was the son of the preacher Wilhelmus Jabes Calkoen)
Contenders for identification as the inventors of the Western constellations presently known to us are: (1) Obviously the Greeks. It is accepted that they originated many of their own constellations. (2) The Babylonians. It is accepted that they had definite influences on Greek constellation iconography. (3) The Egyptians. It is accepted that they had limited influence on Greek constellation iconography. (4) The Phoenicians. It is accepted that they had some influence on Greek constellation iconography. (5) The Minoans. No Minoan influence on Greek constellation iconography has been established.
By the last half of the 19th-century there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the constellations known throughout the Hellenistic Mediterranean World (323-31 BCE) are somehow related to Mesopotamian uranography. Though this conclusion remains unchanged and has been strengthened by 20th-century studies it is not precluded attempts by a number of persons to extricate (basically deduce) information from what they see as features/aspects that are inherent in the Greek constellation data. The starting point for this method of investigation has usually always been the astronomical poem Phainomena by Aratus of Soli (3rd-century BCE). (The starting point for a few has been the Commentary on Eudoxus and Aratus by Hipparchus of Rhodes (2nd-century BCE).) A common starting point for the 'constellation detectives' using the Phainomena of Aratus has been the uncharted southern region. This is the vacant space (void zone) argument and comprises an historical inquiry based on speculative deductions.
Most professional historians have avoided making conclusions from Aratus' Phainomena about the origin and development of the constellations prior to Eudoxus. However, other investigators have been convinced that their method(s) of analysis of Aratus' poem Phainomena enables them to identify that all the classical Greek constellations were designed as a set at one definite period in time and one location, according to a preconceived plan. Also argued for was the early origin of the zodiacal constellations (circa 2500-3000 BCE) and a sophisticated positional astronomy of the constellation makers. The idea of a very early zodiac suffered the same fate as the ideas of Charles Dupuis on the zodiac. The idea that circa 2500 BCE there existed at some cultural location a sophisticated knowledge of positional astronomy is pure speculation and without any supportive evidence.
Some of the Aratean constellations did exist back circa 2nd-millennium BCE but in the Babylonian scheme of constellations. However, no unique Aratean constellation set can be shown to exist back circa 2nd-millennium BCE. What is known of the history of the Greek constellations is that the earliest that were in use were the same constellations as found in the existing Babylonian uranography for that period. The Eudoxan-Aratean constellations are a mix/combination of existing Babylonian and later Greek developments. That the Greeks borrowed from the Babylonians can be traced in the early Babylonian "three stars each" and the later, more developed, constellation scheme of Mul.Apin.
The ancient Greeks are the main source of present-day Western star/constellation names. The 3 classical texts setting out the constellation set we have inherited are: (1) Aratus' Phaenomena (3rd-century BCE, 45 constellations described); (2) Hyginus' De astronomia (1st-century BCE, 44 constellations described); and (3) Ptolemy's Syntaxis [Almagest] (2nd-century CE, 48 constellations described). The constellations described by Hyginus are mostly the same constellations described by Aratus, but some are given different names. In Germanicus only 42 constellations are described. Other major Latin translations of Aratus' Phainomena were done by Cicero, and Avienus. (However, the Latin constellation-titles used are from medieval European tradition, and are still current today. The ancient Greeks named the most prominent stars and established the most obvious constellations by circa 800 BCE. The Greeks never thought of constellating the entire visible sky until circa the 5th-century BCE. By circa 400 BCE (likely under the influence of Babylonian uranography) the Greeks had, by borrowing and invention, established the majority of the 48 classical constellations. The Romans derived a considerable portion of their star lore and uranography from the Greeks.
The first complete description of the Greek constellations to survive is given by the Greek poet Aratus circa 270 BCE. Aratus began his versification of Eudoxus' writing(s) with a description of the polar axis and an account of the constellations. The zodiacal constellations were not treated separately. Aratus first listed the constellations north of the ecliptic, then those constellations south of it. No detailed account of the planets follow. what follows instead is a detailed discussion of the celestial circles (including the Milky Way), the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the celestial equator, and then the zodiac (with a minimal mention of the movements of the 7 planets, including the Sun and Moon in the vicinity of the ecliptic). In the concluding part of the poem Aratus deals with the paranatellonta (whose astrological significance was a current topic). In addition to the astronomical and mythological material the Phaenomena contains some astrometeorology (an early precursor of astrology). With only a few exceptions no actual stars are described by Aratus - only constellation figures. This method was undoubtedly inherited from the pioneering Greek Eudoxus who produced a set of descriptions of constellations in which the relative positions of stars in each of the constellations was described. Eudoxus was likely the first Greek to summarise the Greek system of constellations. The purpose of the Phaenomena by Aratus was to describe the appearance and the organisation of the constellations in the sky with reference to each other. (The Greek 'Phaenomena' = 'Visible Signs.')
Aratus of Soli was a Greek didactic poet who flourished in Macedonia in the early 3rd-century BCE (circa 315 BCE/310 BCE–240 BCE). Several accounts of his life are extant, by anonymous Greek writers. His only surviving work is his hexameter poem Phainomena (Phaenomena) ("Visible appearances") a book describing the constellations, some other celestial phenomena, and weather signs. The Phainomena of Aratus, probably composed in the period circa 280-260 BCE is an account in 1154 hexameters of: (1) the fixed constellations and their conjunctions, and (2) of weather-signs associated with both heavenly bodies and other natural phenomena. The opening of the poem asserts the dependence of all things upon Zeus.
Aratus authored other poems but his Phainomena is his only extant work. It has been described as a tedious poem. Several poetical works on various subjects, as well as a number of prose epistles, are attributed to Aratus, but none of them have come down to us, except his 2 astronomical poems in hexameter. These have generally been joined together as if parts of the same work; but they seem to be distinct poems, the 1st, called Phainomena ("Visible appearances"), consists of 732 verses; the 2nd, Diosemeia ("On Weather Signs"), of 422 verses. The 2nd part of the poem, on weather signs, is identified as being in debt to a now lost 4th-century BCE treatise known principally from a surviving prose version (On Weather Signs) that was probably copied later than Aratus' time. The author is thought to be Theophratus a native of Eresus in Lesbos (circa 372-286 BCE).
The Phaenomena of Aratus was not a scientific work. Aratus was a poet - not an astronomer. There is no reason to believe that Aratus had any personal expertise in astronomy. The Phaenomena described the sky in poetic language and remained a major influence throughout classical antiquity. Without using technical terms, Aratus described the layout of the constellations in the sky and the myths behind their names, as well as meteorological implications of the rising and setting of certain stars. (The Phaenomena of Aratus was modelled on Hesiod's Works and Days.) Cicero (1st-century BCE) wrote that Aratus' poem was essentially a description of a celestial globe constructed by Eudoxus of Cnidos (circa 390-340 BCE): "[He] … described it in verse, not displaying any knowledge of astronomy but showing considerable poetical skill." Aratus' poetical slant and identification of constellation with mythological identities was continued by later authors, who assigned further mythological identities to constellations: Catasterismi falsely ascribed to Eratosthenes of Cyrene (circa 275-194 BCE), and Poetica Astronomica by Hyginus (1st /2nd-century CE). Whether Eudoxus had a celestial globe is somewhat controversial. If he did, then whether it was marked with the colures or other celestial circles is also controversial. (Interestingly, Aratus believed the colures to have widths.)
The purpose of the Phainomena is to give an introduction to the constellations as a star calendar, with the rules for their risings and settings (as parapemata for meteorological phenomena); and of the circles of the sphere, amongst which the Milky Way is also included. The positions of the constellations, north of the ecliptic, are described by reference to the principal groups surrounding the north pole (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, and Cepheus), whilst Orion serves as a point of departure for describing the constellation to the south. The immobility of the earth, and the revolution of the sky about a fixed axis are maintained; the path of the sun in the zodiac is described; but the planets are introduced merely as bodies having a motion of their own, without any attempt to define their periods. Nothing is said about the moon's orbit.
The popularity of the Phainomena in the ancient world was both widespread and enduring. After the epic Homeric poems Iliad and Odyssey it was the most widely read poem. Its use as a practical manual of sidereal astronomy continued to as late as the 6th-century CE. Aratus' Phainomena was also one of the very few Greek poems translated into Arabic. An Arabic translation was commissioned in the 9th-century CE by the Caliph Al Ma'mun.
There are numerous known Greek commentaries on the poem. In antiquity some 30 separate commentaries were known to have been written of the Phainomena by Aratus. The ones by Theon of Alexandria, Archilles Tatius, and Hipparchus of Nicea survive. Several Roman writers translated it into Latin, including Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE), the author presumed to be Iulius Caesar Germanicus (15 or 16 BCE-19 CE), and Postumius Rufius Festus Avienus (flourished mid 4th-century CE). The poem of Aratus was introduced at Rome by Cicero. It has continually been translated, versified, commented upon, and quoted from. Of the several 19th-century English translations the most literal and useful was that published by Robert Brown Junior in 1885.
Descriptions of constellations in Greece existed as early as Eudoxus, circa early 4th-century BCE). The Greek astronomer Eudoxus, circa 375 BCE, appears to have been the first person to develop a standardised map of the Greek constellations. A complete set of Greek constellations appears to have been first described by Eudoxus in two works called the Enoptron and the Phaenomena. (Whether there were actually 2 works on the constellations by Eudoxus is controversial.) (Eudoxus appears to have been the first person to have comprehensively arranged and described (i.e., consolidated) the Greek constellation set.) The early method of the Greek astronomer Eudoxus for determining the places of the stars was to divide the stars into named constellations and define the constellations partly by their juxtaposition, partly by their relation to the zodiac, and also by their relation to the tropical and arctic circles. The complete (and standardised) constellating of the Greek sky (with 48 constellations) was possibly first achieved by Eudoxus in his work Phaenomena. (The fragments of Eudoxus' lost works, Phaenomena and Enoptron, were collected and published by the classical scholar F. Lassere in his Die Fragmente des Eudoxus von Knidus (1966).)
According to an anonymous Greek commentator of Aratus it was Eudoxus who brought Assyrian uranography to the Greeks. In his works Eudoxus gave descriptions of a large number of constellations known in Mesopotamia. Eudoxus continued the Mesopotamian traditions of constellations in the Mul.Apin series. There is a case for Babylonian astronomy being introduced to the Greeks through Philip of Opus and Eudoxus of Knidos. (Philip (or Philippus) of Opus (Opous), was a Greek philosopher and a member of Plato's Academy during Plato's lifetime. Philip of Opus is probably identical with the Philip of Medma (or Mende).)
In the Phainomena of Aratus (circa 275 BCE) the constellations are descriptively arranged into two main areas, the northern constellations (including all of the zodiacal constellations), and the southern constellations. The poem of Aratus was a product of the Hellenistic Greek culture centred not at Alexandria, where scientific activity flourished, but at Athens and the Macedonian court there. The Phainomena describes the constellation figures of the night sky that embodied the cultural history and traditions of the world of Aratus. The constellation scheme described by Ptolemy (Almagest, circa 140 CE) consisted of 21 northern constellations, 12 zodiacal constellations, and 15 southern constellations.
Circa the 5th-century BCE many of the constellations recognised by the Greeks had become associated with myths. Both the star catalogue (constellation description) of Eudoxus (4-century BCE) and the star catalogue (constellation description) of Aratus (3rd-century BCE) adopted the vocabulary of myth. In his Castasterismi Eratosthenes (284-204 BCE) completed and standardised this process with each of the constellations being given a mythological significance.
The final consolidation of the classical Greek star names and constellation figures was accomplished by the polymath Ptolemy circa 150 CE in his book The Great System of Astronomy. (Originally called the Syntaxis by Ptolemy and then called the Almagest by the later Arabic translators.) The constellation scheme established in Ptolemy's Almagest remained virtually unchanged until the European era of celestial mapping in the 17th- and 18th-centuries.
Aratus' Phainomena draws extensively upon two prose sources which modern scholars can reconstruct with some confidence. For the constellations Aratus was very heavily indebted to the prose Phainomena of the pioneering Greek astronomer Eudoxus, written perhaps as much as a century before Aratus' poem. The relationship of Aratus' work to that of Eudoxus has been a matter of discussion since antiquity. The 2nd-century BCE Greek astronomer Hipparchus emphasised Aratus' debt in his extant commentary (exégesis) on the works of Eudoxus and Aratus which preserves many fragments of the former's treatise. It is generally accepted that the 1st half of Aratus' Phainomena is a verse setting of a lost work of the same name by the Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus. In composing his astronomical poem Phainomena, Aratus utilised an earlier prose work on the constellations by the astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidos, known also as the Phainomena. It contained detailed information about the constellations and may have been one of the earliest works establishing a Greek constellation set. In his Phainomena Eudoxus provided calendaric notices of the risings and settings of stars. Eudoxus' Phainomena provided the basis for the 1st part of Aratus' poem. (The Phainomena appears to be based on two prose works - Phainomena and Enoptron ("Mirror", presumably a descriptive image of the heavens) - by Eudoxus of Cnidus, written about a century earlier. We are told by the biographers of Aratus that it was the desire of Antigonus to have them turned into verse, which gave rise to the Phainomena of Aratus; and it appears from the fragments of them preserved by Hipparchus, that Aratus has in fact versified, or closely imitated parts of them both, but especially of the first.) However, some modern scholars have suggested that Aratus' poem differed in numerous ways from the prose of Eudoxus. There is also reason to believe that Hesiod's Works and Days was the model used for Aratus' Phainomena.
The poem can be divided/separated into 3 parts, the most important being his poetical description of the constellations, which forms the 1st part; followed by a discussion of the rising and setting of the constellations forming the 2nd part. The 3rd part is called the Diosemeia ("Forecasts"), and is mostly about weather lore. The 3rd part of Aratus' poem concerned with weather signs may have been derived from the work, On Weather Signs by Theophrastus. Possibly Eudoxus may have made extensive use of On Weather Signs. When this part of Aratus' Phainomena was first given the separate title 'Signs' is unclear. The Diosemeia consists of forecasts of the weather from astronomical phenomena, with an account of its effects upon animals. It appears to be an imitation of Hesiod, and to have been imitated by Virgil in some parts of the Georgics. The materials are stated to have been taken almost wholly from Aristotle's Meteorologica, from the work of Theophratus, On Weather Signs, and from Hesiod. No mention of Hellenistic astrology is made in either of these poems.
The archaic Greek zodiac of the Aratean-Eratosthenic period was comprised of 11 figures positioned along the ecliptic. The 12 constellation zodiac of the Greek-Roman world originated in the 1st-century CE with the introduction of the Libra (in place of the Claws of the Scorpion). The different versions survive in a number of different celestial maps (likely produced to support to the comprehension of the first part of the Phaenomena) depicting either the Greek Aratean tradition or the later Latin Aratean tradition.
Aratus did not target his poem towards readers with extensive knowledge or experience of astronomy or the practical uses of astronomy. The astronomical information contained in Aratus' Phainomena was not always correct. The lack of precision in the constellation descriptions indicate that Aratus was neither a mathematician nor observer or, at any rate, that in his Phainomena he did not aim at scientific accuracy. He not only represents the configurations of particular groups incorrectly, but describes some phenomena which are inconsistent with any one supposed latitude of the observer, and others which could not coexist at any one epoch. These errors are perhaps partly to be attributed to Eudoxus himself, and partly to the way in which Aratus has used the materials by Eudoxus. Hipparchus (about a century later), who was a scientific astronomer and observer, left a commentary upon the Phainomena of Eudoxus and Aratus, accompanied by the discrepancies which he had noticed between his own observations and their descriptions. Aratus' debt to Eudoxus was conclusively identified by Hipparchus whose extant commentary on the astronomical works of Eudoxus and Aratus preserves numerous fragment of eudox' works.
However, the main appeal of Aratus' Phainomena may well have been its literary charm and also its numerous mythological allusions. Aratus enjoyed immense prestige among Hellenistic poets, including Theocritus, Callimachus and Leonidas of Tarentum. This assessment was picked up by Latin poets, including Ovid and Virgil.
Aratus Leitmotif in Phainomena
The Phaenomena (literally, "things that appear") is about the fixed stars (constellations), and their annual motion, and also about atmospheric occurrences, and the behaviour of the flora and fauna. Treating Aratus' Phainomena with exactness in its description and position of the constellations is likely not justified. It has limitations with its exactness. It is a poem, not an accurate scientific treatise on descriptive astronomy. It provides, amongst other things, information about the general location of constellations in the sky. The central intention (leitmotif) of Aratus within the poem is to draw attention to the perceivable signs in nature, which the god Zeus has benignly given to humankind.
Astronomical Information in Aratus' Phainomena
By the early 4th-century BCE the basic theory of the celestial sphere (i.e., ecliptic (and zodiac), equator, tropics, arctic circle, horizon, wandering stars (= planets), and the Milky Way) had been established by the Greeks.
The astronomical sense of phainomai = "things that are seen/appear in the heavens."
The multiple but uneven translations of Aratus' Phainomena shows the direct astronomical information in the poem includes:
(1) The names and related positions of 46 constellations, beginning at the north celestial pole.
(2) The design of the heavens by means of the polar axis, the 4 celestial circles (the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn defined, the ecliptic, the celestial equator), and these related to the Milky Way.
(3) The demarcation/separation of the constellations in the northern celestial hemisphere from the constellations in the southern celestial hemisphere.
(4) The names of the Signs of the Zodiac, beginning with the Crab through to the Twins, and the explanation that the sun moves around this circle.
Not included or lacking in the original Greek poem and/or in Latin translations are discussions of:
(1) The particular (individual) stars that make up the constellations. (Even at this period very few stars were named.)
(2) The number or position of the stars within each constellation. (Added later through the scholia.)
(3) There is only minimal mention of the planets. (No specific information concerning their order, movements, names, or traditional attributes.)
(4) There is no information on transitory events. (Such things as comets, solar and lunar eclipses, hours of daylight, are ignored.)
(5) There is no mention of the moon's orbit.
The interest of Aratus' Phainomena is the perfection of the celestial realm.
Note: Firm evidence of a 360 degree zodiac in Greece comes only from the 2nd-century BCE with Hypsicles (a Greek astronomer of Alexandria, circa 190-120 BCE) and Hipparchus. The zodiac became one of the fundamental tools of Greek astronomy and astrology.
When were the first Western constellations originated?
Was the process of originating constellation gradual or rapid or abrupt?
Were the Western constellations developed by a class of 'professional' sky watchers or were they originated from rustic traditions?
Were the majority of Greek constellation established early (before 500 BCE) or late (after 500 BCE)?
Were the mythical ideas (catasterisms) of the Babylonians regarding the constellation figures - and not the actual constellations figures - possibly what most influenced the Greeks in their adoption of Babylonian constellations?
Are the Babylonian constellations of the Neo-Babylonian, Persian, and Seleucid periods (circa 539-100 BCE) perhaps the most important to consider regarding influence on the Greeks. Should the period for consideration include the Neo-Assyrian period, 745-612 BCE?
Basic Methods of the Constellation Detectives
The basic methods employed all involve the precessional dating of the constellations: (1) The unconstellated space around the south celestial pole. (2) The orientation of the constellations to the north celestial pole. (3) The constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles' per Aratean lore. (4) simultaneous rising and setting stars per Aratean lore. (5) The constellations marking the colures.
(1) Void zone argument (vacant space argument) or "latitude circle" approach. This argument is based on the premise that the time and place of the origin of the Western constellations can be calculated from the consideration of the extent of the vacant space remaining around the south celestial pole when the modern constellations have been removed and only the 48 Eudoxan-Aratean constellations remain. In other words, the defined boundaries of the 48 classical Greek constellations bordering - and defining - the vacant southern space can be used to calculated the time and the place of the origin of the constellations. There is a circle of about 36° radius in the southern part of the sky which does not contain any of the original 48 constellations. This implies that the originators of the constellations lived at about 36° north latitude because at that location, exactly such an area of southern sky would be invisible to them. Moreover, the centre of that circle moves very slowly through the sky because of the motion of the earth's axis. The location of the centre of the empty part of the sky implies an origin date of circa 2500 BCE. See: "The Latitude and Epoch for the Formation of the Southern Greek Constellations." by Bradley [Brad] Schaefer (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 33, Part 4, Number 113, November, 2002, Pages 313-350). (Note: An important paper by an astronomer comprising a critical quantitative analysis of the "void zone" arguments for the origins of the Greek constellations in the third Millennium BCE.. A suitable discussion of numerous problems with the basic methodologies of Maunder-Crommelin-Ovenden-Roy has been undertaken Schaefer in this paper.)
As an observation, most early proponents of the renewed "void zone" argument were British.
(2) Polar alignment argument (slanted constellations argument). This argument is based on the premise that the time and place of the origin of the Western constellations is able to be calculated from consideration of the original symmetrical alignment of the constellations to the north equatorial pole. In other words, the Western constellations were designed to be individually orientated to the north celestial pole. Presently, many of the constellations are tipped at an angle to the natural directions of north, east, south and west. Establishing a time and place when they would have all been much aligned vertically and horizontally provides the answer circa 2500 BCE. Much is made of the fact that though this method is an entirely different line of reasoning it yields a very similar date (but no location) of origin. It is further proposed, moreover, that several of the constellations mark astronomically important areas at that early date. As example: The long snake Hydra would have coincided with the particular celestial circle called the celestial equator. This argument is based on the assumption that the data recorded for the Eudoxan-Aratean night sky (i.e., constellation alignments to the north equatorial pole) do not refer to the night sky of the time of Eudoxus/Aratus but refer to the night sky of a much earlier epoch (i.e., circa 2500 BCE). However, the positions of actual stars are not described by Aratus in his astronomical poem describing the Eudoxan constellations.
A slight variation of this method is the claim that the orientation of the early Western constellations was 'orthogonal' i.e., their boundaries were parallel or perpendicular to the celestial equator. (Modern constellation boundaries are orthogonal for the equinox of 1875.)
Problems with the symmetrical alignment of the constellations to the north celestial pole
It is not applied to all the constellations i.e., to the constellations as a recognised set.
(3) The constellations marking the 11 "heavenly circles"/Aratus’ celestial equator argument. Aratus' Phainomena describes constellations on the 11 so-called "heavenly circles."
Problems with Aratus celestial equator
It has some very particular problems. In his Phainomena, Aratus, in describing the celestial equator states: "On it is the belt of the radiant Orion ...." This statement by Aratus creates problems within the particular precessional method. Discussions of these problems date back to contemporary critics of Robert Brown Junior. Simply, the belt of Orion deviates the most (nearly 15 degrees) from the celestial equator circa 2500 BCE. Why then is it not delineated by the stars Hamal (alpha Arietis), Aldebaran, Procyon, or alpha Pesagi (all less than 5 degrees distant)?
Main argument undermining the reliability of the use of the tropical circles to date the Aratean constellations
(4) Mary Evershed has pointed out that the matching of the tropic stars is weak for any date. This is evidence of uncertainty that is so large that the results of the method are not useful.
(5) Additionally, 'star' risings and settings (simultaneously rising and setting constellations). Aratus states that certain stars rise at the same time, or set at the same time, or that one rises as another sets on opposite points on the horizon. Because of the earth's precession, such coincidences depend on both the location on the earth and on the date of observations. Using statistical methods, it has been claimed that Aratus was describing the stars at a north latitude of about 36° (± 2°) at about 2500 BCE (± 800 years). Mostly constellations are meant, not particular stars. On the technical aspects of the simultaneous risings and settings in Aratus' Phainomena see the discussion in Aratus: Phaenomena (Edited) by Douglas Kidd (1998). Also, "Ardua et Astra: On the Calculation of the Dates of the Rising and Setting of Stars." by Matthew Robinson (Classical Philology, Volume 104, Number 3, July, 2009, Pages 354-375).
The 3 types of arguments as traditionally made (and without critical comment) are summarised in Early Astronomy by Hugh Thurston (1994, Pages 135-138).
(6) Also, Eudoxus' placement of colures argument. According to proponents of this argument Eudoxus - in his placement of the colures passing through the middle of what Hipparchus interpreted as zodiacal signs - was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE (perhaps circa 1100 BCE), and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE. Dependent on Hipparchus' discussion in his critique (Commentary on Aratus and Eudoxus) of Aratus' Phainomena. (Note: Ancient literary sources offer 3 distinct descriptions of the celestial sphere: one by the Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (born circa 395–390 BCE--died circa 342–337 BCE), one by the Roman poet and astrologer Marcus Manilius (flourished 1st-century CE), and one by the Latin prose writer Martinius Cappela (flourished 5th-century CE).) The earliest description of what the colures are and how they are positioned with respect to the constellations are recorded by Hipparchus and attributed by him to Eudoxus. However, recent investigations show that in describing the colures and how they are positioned Eudoxus was referring to zodiacal constellations and not to zodiacal signs. When Eudoxus described the colures through the middle of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricornus, he meant the constellations.
See the important essays: "Statistical Dating of the Phenomena of Eudoxus." by Dennis Duke (DIO-The International Journal of Scientific History, Volume 15, December 2008, Pages 7-23). And, "A 'Watermark' of Eudoxan Astronomy." by Elly Dekker (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume XXXXIX, Part 2, Number 135, 2008, Pages 213-238). (Note: Important articles for correcting the mistaken notion that Eudoxus was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE, and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE.)
(7) Note: There is a variant of the 'Eudoxus' placement of colures argument' known as the 'precession of the equinoxes argument.' It comprises a precessional argument without recourse to Eudoxus. See: Goguet, Du Coutant, Hales, and Brinkley below. All of the arguments for the 5 methods are necessarily tied to the precessional argument.
If the precessional approach to the Aratean sphere has validity regarding dating then the results of all 5 of the above mentioned methods deriving from it should show consistent outcomes, at least for dating, or any discrepancies occurring between them should be reasonably explainable in terms of expected error and the reasons for such. (Each of the above 4 methods has its particular problems.)
(8) Yet another argument is that the constellation Taurus was the original lead zodiacal constellation. The date for the origin of the zodiac obtained with this argument ranges from circa 4000 BCE to circa 2000 BCE.
(9) Some persons seeking a very early date for the origin of the Western constellations propose that because of the similarities between the Greek and the Babylonian constellation systems it is likely that there was some common earlier tradition that played a significant role in shaping these 2 particular ways of constellating the visible northern sky. This form of argument is found in: "Constellations." by Sara Genuth. (1997, Pages 160-164). In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. It is essentially the Minoan argument originated by Ovenden and Roy, for the origin of the Western constellations. The argument pivots on the assertion that Aratus is describing the Eudoxan globe (it is thought that Eudoxus had one) and this globe was more than 1500 years out of date (due to precession). Further, this sky globe which came into the possession of Eudoxus was designed for a latitude south of Greece and north of Egypt (where Eudoxus did not live). The argument is completely speculative. The speculation naturally extends to the questions: How did Eudoxus come into possession of this globe depicting the constellations? Why did Eudoxus fail to notice that the positions of the constellations on the globe were different to the positions of the constellations in the night sky of his day? The content of the argument is speculative and deductive, comprising: The constellation globe of Eudoxus predated the fixing of the Babylonian constellations. The cuneiform texts show that the Babylonians used some star groups that were not mentioned by Eudoxus. Consequently, it must be recognised that the Western constellations were invented, developed, transmitted, and adapted within and across cultures. (It is also an argument against the notion that the classical (i,e., Western) constellations were designed at one definite time, in one definite place, and according to a preconceived plan.)
Summary of the principal arguments of the 'Constellation Detectives.' Source: Early Astronomy by Hugh Thurston (1994), extracts from Pages 135-138.
The Precessional Argument Using Aratus and its Problem of its Early Dates versus Late Dates for Constellation Origin
With the precessional dating of the constellations it is important to distinguish between the different techniques that have been used as each requires a different approach in assessing the reliability. There are lots of problems with many of the precessional arguments that have made. There are many technical problems with all analyses of things like the void zone in the south and the stars near the tropics in Aratus. There has been lack of attention to extinction (much less seasonal variation) when attempting to identify the stars in the southern edge of the constellations bordering the void zone. Many of Michael Ovendon's arguments i.e., the circle of figures and the orientation of those figures to the north pole are highly subjective and speculative, so much that they can hardly be given significant weight or mention. Analyses of Aratus' positional information have been constantly published without adequate explanatory information. Critical to this has been the utter lack of any real error analysis (i.e., do they get 2400 BCE ± 75 years or 2400 BCE ± 1970 years at the one-sigma level? (It is generally accepted that part of Aratean lore (weather lore/seasonal signs) is taken from earlier writers and dates back to at least Homer/Hesiod.) However, another component of Aratean lore, such as the constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles,' is a different issue.
Example 1: The earliest method - which originated with Carl Swartz in the very early 19th-century - makes use of the void space centred around the ancient celestial south pole (of the equator). The accuracy of of this method is determined by how precisely the extent and the centre of the "void zone" can be pinpointed. There is uncertainty associated with the identification of the southernmost stars catalogued by the ancient Greek astronomers which will form the boundary of the "void zone." Additionally, it is also assumed that the same Greek astronomers attempted a complete survey of the stars visible to them that had a certain level of brightness (i.e., at least the brightest were included). But, the article by Owen Gingerich and Barbara Welther in Sky and Telescope, Volume 67, 1984, Pages 421-423, clearly indicates that such a complete survey was never realised (at least not from the evidence in Ptolemy's Almagest).
Example 2: Another method - which originated with Robert Brown Junior in the 2nd half of the 19th-century - is based on the position of the ancient celestial equator and other position circles. Robert Brown Junior, and later Edward Maunder - used the celestial equator alone. The precision of this method is determined by how precisely we can identify the stars or asterisms marking these circles, especially the celestial equator when used alone. There can be no doubt about the asterism for Orion's belt. Orion's Belt is an asterism consisting of 3 bright stars that appear about midway in the constellation Orion. The three stars that traditionally make up the belt are, from east to west: Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. The belt of Orion asterism deviates the most of all the constellations identified by Aratus as marking the celestial equator. In 2500 BCE the asterism was nearly 15 degrees away from the celestial equator. There is also an important question: If the Aratean material is based on the celestial equator circa 2500 BCE then why is it not delineated by the star Hamal (alpha Arietis), Aldebaran, Procyon, or alpha Pegasi (all less than 5 degrees distant)?
At the Oxford VI [The Sixth Oxford International Conference [Symposium] on Archaeoastronomy] and SEAC 1999 [Seventh Annual Meeting] conference in La Laguna, Tenerife [Canary Islands], Spain, Göran Henriksson presented a simple statistical analysis of the data in Aratus' Phaenomena which specifies which stars are near the equator and tropics. Regarding the stars described near the equator. Aratus states (Phaenomena (Loeb edition, Page 247) line 515 and following), that the celestial equator passes through the Ram, the knees of the Bull, the belt of Orion, the coil of Hydra, the Cup and the Crow, the Claws, the knees of Ophiuchus, the Eagle, and the neck and head of the Horse. For historians of astronomy it is an easy technical task to determine what year seemingly best represents this data. An important issue is it is more difficult to come up with a realistic error bar. Göran Henriksson estimated something like 2500 BCE ± 400 years. Archibald Roy had previously made an analysis of other data from the Phaenomena and had estimated a similar date. However, a lacl of statistical rigour is indicted. These results if "correct" (and with reasonably small error bars) present a new set of problems. (Note: Error bars relate to significance - how far from the reported value the true (error free) value might be. They give a general idea of how precise/uncertain a measurement is.) What is indicated is that it is really the date of the origin of aspects of the constellation lore used by Aratus that is being estimated. If we believe the claims of proponents of this method then the origin of this lore is in the 3rd-millennium BCE. However, the problem is: How can the astronomical lore be generated for constellations that were created only later? The date of the origin of components of the Aratean lore can only be after the date of the origin of the constellations. Written evidence exists for Babylonian constellations. This evidence is relevant to Greek uranography. A strong Babylonian legacy is evident in Greek uranography. The ancient Greeks borrowed some 24 constellations from Babylonian uranography. The cuneiform texts provide sufficient evidence to show that most Babylonian constellations only came into existence in the late 2nd-millennium BCE. This argues against this type of precessional analysis and dating method and those proponents using it who claim a quite early date for the constellations.
An example of the problem using only (1) Orion, (2) Hydra, (3) Crater, and (4) Ophiuchus. (1) The Greek constellation Orion was one of the earliest Greek constellations. First mentioned in Greek uranography by Homer, 8th-century BCE. Orion has been identified with the Babylonian SIPA.ZI.AN.NA (sipa.zi.an.na), "The true shepherd of Anu" (Orion). Sibzianna was the shepherd god; "The True Shepherd of Heaven." Orion appears in star names and constellations mentioned in The Prayer to the Gods of the Night (AO 6769 and Erm. 15642). AO 6769 preserves one of two of the earliest examples of the Prayer to the Gods of the Night. The prayer is addressed to the nocturnal stars and constellations. Though preserved on a Middle Babylonian copy (from Uruk-Warka) the text is dated to the Old Babylonian Period circa 1700 BCE. Orion had much the same star configuration as the Babylonian shepherd god. Interestingly, the belt of Orion (the identification of which is without doubt) deviates nearly 15 degrees from the Greek celestial equator circa 2500 BCE. (2) The Greek constellation Watersnake (Hydra) has been identified with the Babylonian MUSH (MUŠ) (Horned Serpent). Hydra appears in the 10-Star Text/Version (AO 6769) which dates to the Old Babylonian Period circa 1700 BCE. It was the sacred animal of Marduk. The symbolism of Babylonian snakes is different to that of dragons, bašmum was a mythical poisonous snake, a horned viper (a kind of serpent-dragon or snake-dragon) possessing several tongues and jaws. Hydra is a very long constellation - the largest in the sky - and is located in the region of the celestial equator. A late 1st-millennium BCE date (circa 500-400 BCE) is indicated for its inclusion in Greek uranography. Hydra was discussed by Pseudo-Eratosthenes and Hyginus. It was first catalogued by Ptolemy (2nd-century CE). (3) The Greek constellation Bowl/Water-Cup (Latin names, Crater) appears to have been unknown to the Babylonians (the stars forming Crater were used by another constellation). It was most likely the invention of the Greeks, by Eudoxus or earlier. Within the initial Greek scheme Crater was associated with Corvus (Raven) and Hydra. Both Crater and Corvus were position on the coils of the Hydra. A late 1st-millennium BCE date is indicated. Crater was discussed by Pseudo-Eratosthenes and Hyginus. It was first catalogued by Ptolemy (2nd-century CE). Crater and Corvus were usually considered to be equatorial constellations. (4) The Greek constellation Serpent Holder (Ophiuchus, Serpentarius). It is not suggested as having a Babylonian origin. The Serpent Holder appears to be a Greek constellation in its origin. A late 1st-millennium BCE date (circa 500-400 BCE) is indicated. The earliest mention of the constellation Ophiuchus is by Aratus (3rd-century BCE). Undoubtedly it was listed in the now lost catalogue of Eudoxus of Cnidus (4th-century BCE). These examples suffice to show that the foundations for an early date for the origin of the constellations exists in a flawed and subjective methodology.
Back to error bars. The introduction of a real error bar for date(s) and latitude(s) based on using both the void zone argument and the stars marking the celestial equator would likely result in a result that is so large that it would demonstrate the results to be useless.
Key Constellation Detectives
Isaac Newton (placement of colures argument), Antoine-Yves Goguet (placement of colures argument), [Jean?] du Coutant (placement of colures argument), Carl Swartz (void zone argument), William Hales (placement of colures argument), Richard Proctor (void zone argument, polar alignment argument), Robert Brown Junior (polar alignment argument, placement of colures argument), Edward Maunder (void zone argument, polar alignment argument, placement of colures argument/constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles' argument), William Peck (early origin argument), Edmund Webb (late origin argument), Andrew Crommelin (void zone argument), Robert Böker, Manfred Erren, Willy Hartner (precession of equinoxes argument), Michael Ovenden (void zone argument, polar alignment argument, constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles' argument), Archibald Roy (void zone argument, polar alignment argument, constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles' argument), Frederick Millar (precessional argument), Alexander Gurshtein (precession of equinoxes argument), and Sergey Zhitomirsky (void zone argument).
Key Supporters of the Methods and Arguments of the Constellation Detectives
Alexander von Humboldt (void zone argument), Camille Flammarion (stated to have acknowledged the void zone argument), Charles Pierce, Richard Allen (void zone argument), Mary Proctor (void zone argument, polar alignment argument?), Peter Doig (void zone argument), Peter Lancaster-Brown (void zone argument), Leon Pomerance (void zone argument), David Hughes (void zone argument), Ian Ridpath (void zone argument), Hugh Thurston (void zone argument, polar alignment argument, 'star' risings and settings argument), John Barrow (void zone argument, polar alignment argument), and John Rodgers (void zone argument, polar alignment argument, constellations marking the 11 'celestial circles' argument).
Note: Supposedly, Flammarion mentioned the void zone argument in his book Histoire du Ciel. He could of course have mentioned this idea after writing Histoire du Ciel. However, I cannot find it mentioned in any of his other publications.
Key Critics of the Methods and Arguments of the Constellation Detectives
Hipparchus of Rhodes (critique of Aratus' Phainomena), T[homas] Arnold, Mary Evershed, Edmund Webb, David Dicks (critique of void zone argument), Owen Gingerich, Edwin Krupp (critique of void zone argument, critique of polar alignment argument), Bradley Schaefer (critique of void zone argument, critique of polar alignment argument), Dennis Duke (critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument), and Elly Dekker (critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument).
T[homas] Arnold was a classicist, Mary Evershed was an astronomer, Edmund Webb was a classicist, David Dicks was a classicist, Owen Gingerich is an astronomer, Edwin Krupp is an astronomer, Dennis Duke is an astronomer, and Elly Dekker is a science historian. Note: Regarding the identity of one of Maunder's constellation theory critics who simply signs letters "T. K. Arnold (see letter "The Antiquity of the Constellations." in Knowledge & Scientific News, June 1904, Pages 118-119. It is hardly likely to be Thomas Arnold the Younger (1823-1900). I am certain that the identification is Thomas Kerchever Arnold born at Wimbledon, Surrey, 4 March 1865, the 1st son of Charles Thomas Arnold, Solicitor. Thomas Kerchever Arnold matriculated from Clifton College in 1863 and then undertook classical studies and obtained a BA (Honours) from Magdalen College, Oxford in 1887. I have no information regarding date of his death but presume it would be circa 1935.
Polar Alignment Argument
Adherents/proponents of this argument include Edward Maunder, Richard Proctor, Robert Brown Junior, Mary Proctor, Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, Peter Lancaster-Brown, Robert Böker, David Hughes, Alexander Gurshtein, Hugh Thurston, and John Barrow. The "polar alignment" argument (constellation orientation argument) appears to originate with the English solicitor and antiquarian Robert Brown Junior.
The polar alignment argument is based on the premise that the time and place of the origin if the constellations is calculable from consideration of of the original symmetrical alignment of the constellations to the north equatorial pole. (That is, the constellations were designed to be individually oriented to the north celestial pole.) This argument is based on the assumption that the data recorded for the Eudoxan-Aratean celestial sphere (i.e., constellation alignments to the north equatorial pole) do not refer to the sky of that time but to the sky of a much earlier epoch (i.e., circa 2500 BCE). (However, the positions of actual stars are not described by Aratus in his poem of the Eudoxan constellations.
Problems with the symmetrical alignment of the constellations to the north celestial pole
It is not applied to all the constellations i.e., to the constellations as a recognised set.
Void Zone Argument
Adherents/proponents of this argument include Carl S(ch)warts, Edward Maunder, Richard Proctor, Richard Allen, Andrew Crommelin, Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, Peter Lancaster-Brown, Ian Ridpath, Hugh Thurston, John Barrow, and Frederick Millar.
The vacant space argument is based on the premise that the time and place of the origin of the constellations is calculable from the consideration of the extent of the vacant space left around the south pole of the celestial sphere when all but the 48 ancient constellations have been removed. (Put another way: the defined boundaries of the 48 ancient constellations bordering - and defining - the vacant southern space (frequently termed the 'zone of avoidance') can be used to calculate the time and place of the origin of the constellations. Crommelin estimated that the radius of the 'zone of avoidance' is about 36°. This means - according to the theory - that the early people who invented the constellations lived about 36° north of the equator. (Earlier, Maunder and others had also calculated the radius of the 'zone of avoidance'.)
Due to our lack of knowledge of the boundaries of the Aratean constellations the "void zone" argument is subjective and its use has led to no real agreement regarding the latitude and date for the constellations being designed at one definite time and place. The results obtained by various "constellation detectives" using the "void zone" approach of the precessional method are too diverse regarding time, and little better regarding place (latitude).
The 20th-century consolidation of the "void zone" argument
The resurgence of the "void zone" argument, and its expansion was undoubtedly due to its promotion in a series of articles by Edward Maunder (E. Walter Maunder). Maunder's discovery and reintroduction of the "void zone" argument, originally put forward by the Swedish amateur astronomer Carl Swartz in 1809 ensured it was noticed in the 20th-century. From 1898 to 1907 Maunder published at least 6 articles and devoted a chapter in 2 books actively promoting the "void zone" argument. These multiple essays were pivotal to the renewal of the "void zone" argument in the 20th-century by numerous other persons. Previous to Maunder, writers who discussed the "void zone" argument did so in a single article or book chapter, and then only briefly. Maunder's close friend and fellow-astronomer Andrew Crommelin (A. C. D. Crommelin) was the most influential 20th-century person to ensure the "void zone" argument was not lost.
Problems with the void zone method
It has the problem that we cannot suitably establish the boundary of the early unconstellated region of the sky. Aratus was describing constellation figures - not cataloging the individual stars. Also, down to Ptolemy we know that the Greek changed their constellation boundaries ("tradition" counted for little). Additionally, there is no reason to believe the visible sky was completely constellated - including down to the horizon - by the Greeks (or others). All this affects the accuracy with which the centre and extent of the unconstellated region can be determined.
Argument undermining the reliability of the use of the void zone to date the Aratean constellations
(1) We do not know if the ancient constellation makers developed their constellations/asterisms all the way to their southern horizon. (Note: We know the ancient Greeks didn't.)
(2) It is not known whether the Aratean constellation list is complete for southern constellations. If other southern constellations had been developed this would relocate the observations to a more southerly latitude and alter the centre of the void zone.
(3) The ancient constellations boundaries are not known. Our knowledge of the southern edge of the southern constellations may be incorrect. The constellation boundaries may have been mutable. These unresolved issues may result in an incorrect date and latitude. Knowledge of specific stars in most constellations only dates back to Hipparchus' Commentary. (Note: We know the Greeks changed the boundaries of some of the Aratean constellations. Aratus likely changed the boundaries of some of the Eudoxan constellations.)
(4) The void zone method assumes that the constellations (or at least those positioned on the southern edge) were all developed at the same time and place. There is no particular reason to believe this assumption. If the assumption is significantly incorrect then the southern limits used would comprise a 'mix-and-match' and lead to errors. (Note: Edward Maunder realised the problems inherent with arguing for a static constellation set.)
(5) The void zone method is used in isolation. The evidence from archaeology, anthropology, philology, mythology, and history is ignored. These other methods provide evidence that the development of the constellations was substantially later than the dates indicated by the void zone method.
(6) The unlikelihood that Aratean lore would not be updated when identified as being incorrect. It the Aratean lore was updated then this has become lost. The argument that people did not observe the sky critically is contradicted by the function of Aratus' Phainomena as an astronomical calendar based on the stars. The 2nd part of the Phaenomena, called the Diosemeia ("Weather-Signs"), gives attention to ancient principles of meteorological forecasting. Aratus provides an explanation of celestial order; a celestial (star) calendar, and also an explanation of the type of meteorological phenomena that accompany the movement of the constellations. The 2nd half of Phaenomena (the Diosemeia, the "Signs of Zeus") explains what constellation signs bring what type of weather, at which times of year, and what agricultural and nautical activities accompany them. In the proem the constellations are signs provided by the benevolent Zeus The poem is about reading signs and the knowledge that they provide. The intention of Aratus was not not primarily to write an astronomical didactic poem, but rather to draw attention to the perceivable constellation signs in nature, which Zeus has benignly given to humankind. The closing section, ends with a concluding remark (Aratus: Phaenomena by Douglas Kidd, 1997, Page 157): "If you have watched for these [constellation] signs all together for the year, you will never make an uninformed judgment on the evidence of the sky." Evershed claimed that the date of of Aratus' celestial equator is 800 BCE. This conflicts directly with other claims (for example, by Archibald Roy and Göran Henriksson) that the date is approximately 2500 BCE. (Note: Hipparchus was in broad agreement with the sphere described by Aratus. This point is often overlooked.)
(7) There is no evidence that an Aratean scheme of constellations existed long before Aratus (and Eudoxus) - and certainly not in the 3rd-millennium BCE. To argue that the evidence is now lost or not yet recovered is specious/unsound. (Note: We know that over 20 Greek constellations originated in Mesopotamia. The constellations comprising the Greek zodiac certainly did. Some of the Greek constellations existed in Babylonian scheme of constellations circa 2nd-millennium BCE.)
(8) It is not indicated that proponents of the void zone method give attention to extinction and refraction in their calculations. Even 1st magnitude stars cannot be seen to the horizon. This affects the deduced latitude. (Note: These important issues have remained relatively unexplored by the main "constellation detectives.")
Note: The fact that there is no legitimate evidence for a very early Aratean scheme of constellations does not mean that the later (earliest) surviving mention of constellations is actually proof of their later origin. There really is no evidence that the first surviving mention of constellations is actually their origin. This does not make the void zone method and conclusions legitimate and reliable. Some of the Aratean constellations did exist back circa 2nd-millennium BCE - in the Babylonian scheme of constellations. However, no unique Aratean constellation set can be shown to exist back in the 2nd-millennium BCE. What we actually know of the history of the Greek constellations is that the earliest are the same as found in the existing Babylonian uranography for the period. The Eudoxan-Aratean constellations are a mix of existing Babylonian and later Greek developments. What the Greeks borrowed from the Babylonians can be traced in the early Babylonian "three stars each" scheme, and the later and more developed constellation scheme of Mul.Apin.
There are 4 basic methods involved with the precessional argument for dating the Western constellations: (1) The constellations marking the ecliptic of in Aratean lore. (2) The constellations marking the 11 "heavenly circles" in Aratean lore. (3) The unconstellated space around the south celestial pole (void zone) based on Aratean lore. (4) The orientation of the constellations to the north celestial pole based on Aratean lore. Carl Swartz originated method 3. Robert Brown Junior made use of methods 1 and 2. Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy used methods 3 and 4. Brad Schaefer also encompassed method 2.
If the precessional approach to the Aratean sphere has validity regarding dating then the results of all 4 of the above mentioned methods deriving from it should show consistent outcomes, at least for dating, or any discrepancies occurring between them should be reasonably explainable in terms of expected error and the reasons for such. (Each of the above 4 methods has its particular problems.)
Constellation Set or Chance Medley?
The proponents of the 'polar alignment' argument and the 'void zone' argument also hold that the constellations are not a chance-medley over time but came into being as a definite set on some preconceived plan at a definite time and place. Part of the 'void zone' argument rests on the assumption that the ancient constellation-makers attempted to design constellations right down to the horizon. The 2 major problems with the void zone argument are that you have to: (1) Accept that the constellation figures originated as a single scheme. (2) Ignore all problems with our lack of understanding of the original boundaries of the constellation figures.
Two Critical Arguments Against the Void zone Approach and the Constellation Set Approach
The "void space" argument is a simplistic substitution for the more rigorous application of historical evidence (i.e., extent cuneiform and classical texts, philological analysis of constellation names, and constellation iconography and mythology). The 200 year-old "void space" originated at a time when philology and archaeology were both under-developed and unable to be applied in any meaningful way. The main premise of the "void zone" argument is that the Classical constellations were designed at one definite time and in one place, according to a preconceived plan. The argument by Michael Ovenden (a modern proponent of the "void zone" argument) for establishing the time and place of the origin of the Aratean constellations is based on the extent of the vacant space left around the south pole of the celestial sphere when all but the Aratean constellations are removed (that is, when the post Aratean constellations are removed); and the apparent movement of the stars due to precession is taken into account. The further assumption made is that the area of the celestial globe that was not constellated in the description of Aratus was centred on the south celestial pole at the date when the constellations were fixed. The size of the "void zone" is taken as a clue to the latitude at which the constellation inventors lived. A date is found when, by allowing for precession, the centre of the "void zone" on the celestial globe in in the position of the south celestial pole. The subjectivity of the method is demonstrated by the varying estimates of the radius of the "void zone" (30 degrees to 40 degrees) and the varying estimates of the date of origin given by precession (1400 BCE to 2800 BCE with ± varying between 200 years and 800 years). Anyway, the boundaries of the "void zone" cannot be accurately defined as we lack the understanding of the original boundaries of the Classical constellation figures.
The importance of the ecliptic and the development of the equally divided 12-constellation zodiac does not appear until after the start of the Persian Period in Mesopotamia (circa 500 BCE). The evidence indicates that it was the astronomy of the Babylonian Mul.Apin scheme (circa 1000 BCE) that established the preconditions for the importance of the ecliptic and the establishment of the Babylonian zodiacal scheme which was later adopted by the Greeks. The Babylonian scheme of 12 zodiacal constellations was derived from a system of 18 constellations (established during the Assyrian Period, starting circa 1100 BCE) along the ecliptic to mark the path of the moon. The question remains how can a late Babylonian zodiac (developed circa 450 BCE) comprised of 12 constellations (and 12 equal divisions) have been in use by Homer some 300 years earlier? (And also have had an even earlier origin circa 8000 BCE - which is well prior to the existence of both the Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations.) This point can be expanded further. Babylonian constellations of the 2nd-millennium BCE appear in the Greek constellation scheme of Aratus. (The few known constellations of Homer mirror the constellations already existing in the Babylonian scheme.) The Aratean constellations also show a similarity with the later Babylonian constellations listed in Mul.Apin. A definite Babylonian influence on the Greek scheme of constellations is reasonably indicated. If the constellations originated as a set circa 2000-2800 BCE then they cannot have originated with the Greeks. However, the latitude at which the constellations were believed to have originated as a single scheme cannot refer to Mesopotamia because at this time their scheme of constellations was a mix of constellations mentioned by Aratus and other constellations outside this scheme. Crediting the Minoans, as Michael Ovenden did, as the makers of the Classical constellations and offering explanations based on the destruction of Minoan civilisation and the later ineptitude of the Greeks as observers are not convincing.
The Constellation Detectives (listed mostly in order of their date of birth)
(1) Circa 18th-Century
(a) Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Isaac Newton was an English natural philosopher (scientist); a mathematician and physicist, and is acknowledged as one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time. He was also a chronologist. In his work on ancient chronology he attempted to make Jewish and pagan dates compatible, and to fix them absolutely from an astronomical argument about the earliest constellation figures devised by the Greeks. Posthumously published writings include The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728). See: Isaac Newton: Historian by Frank Manuel (1963). Frank Manuel was an American historian. Also, Newton and the Origin of Civilization by Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold (2012).
"Isaac Newton commencing with a loose description (by Hipparchus) of the way in which Eudoxus had made the colures of the solstices and equinoxes pass through the constellations, derived what he considered a precise enough position for the equinoxes to allow the sphere of Eudoxus to be dated (at 939 BCE) [also, 1420 BCE] using an argument from precession. The sphere could not have been made by Eudoxus himself: It must be the first ever fashioned by the Greeks. Other evidence suggested to him that it was the time of the Argonautic expedition." (Stars, Mind and Fate by John North (1989).)
Newton did not interpret the Greek epic of the Argonauts as "precessional allegory." He accepted the Argonautic expedition as historical and used precession (applied to the position of the colures in the Aratean sphere) and other astronomical tools to determine the date for the event. Newton believed that all the Greek constellations related in some way to the Argonautic expedition. Newton also believed that the Greek constellations were originated at the time of the Argonautic expedition. (See: "Chapter IV: A Demonstration of Astronomical Dating" in Isaac Newton Historian by Frank Manuel (1963).)
Newton believed that all the Greek constellations relate in some way to the Greek epic of the Argonauts who sailed the ship Argo in quest of the golden fleece. In 1704 Newton used precession and the position of the colures in the constellations of the Eudoxan-Aratean sphere to date such at 939 BCE. In doing so, Newton immediately precedes the 19th-century astronomers (amateur or otherwise), Swartz, Flammarion, Proctor,, and Maunder. with their use of precession as a tool to attempt to fix the date of the constellations by use of the "polar alignment" and/or "void space" arguments.
Nearly 200 years later Robert Brown Junior (The Phainomena or 'Heavenly Display' of Aratos (1885) used the same precessional method and some other astronomical tools to date the constellations - to 2084 BCE.
Relevant key publication (placement of colures argument): The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728). (Republished as Histories and Mysteries of Man (1988).)
Source: "How Newton Dated the Argonauts." by Scott Mandelbrote (The Times Literary Supplement, published online 22 January, 2014).
(b) Antoine-Yves Goguet (1716-1758)
Antoine-Yves Goguet was a French historian was born in Paris and died there. In his book, De l'origine des loix, des arts et des sciences (1758) he astronomically calculates the date of the Book of Job. The English-language translation, The Origin of Laws, Arts and Sciences was published in 1761. Though in many ways a rational historian his history operates wholly within the Mosaic and Noachic chronology.
Relevant key publication (placement of colures argument): De l'origine des loix, des arts et des sciences (1758).
Source: Egypt's Record of Time to the Exodus of Israel, Critically Investigated by William Galloway (1869, Pages 440 to 443).
(c) M. Ducoutant (flourished circa 1765)
M. Ducoutant undoubtedly = Monsieur Ducoutant = perhaps Monsieur du Coutant (but incorrectly, spelled Ducoutant) = perhaps [Jean?] Du Coutant. (In the 'Indexes to the Four Volumes' to his 2nd edition of A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography (see specifically page 501), Hales uses the spelling Du Coutant when referring to Volume II, Page 56.) The only details known to early writers for Ducoutant are his last name and that his (PhD) thesis undertaken at the Sorbonne - in which he astronomically calculates the date of the Book of Job - was published in Paris in 1765 (and described as a tract). The latter details indicate he was a scholar/academic. A description of him as a mathematician (The Bible Encyclopedia (1841)) is likely without basis. However, it appears that (Jean?) du Coutant was a theologian/priest and from (circa?) 1773 he was for 25 years a priest of the diocese of Besançon. His 1765 Sorbonne thesis was for his doctor of theology. See: Bulletin de la Société nivernaise des lettres, sciences et arts, Volume 21, 1906, Page 80. The National Library of France does not appear to hold a copy of the publication.
Relevant key publication (placement of colures argument): Sorbonne PhD thesis (published 1765). (The University of Paris (L'Université de Paris) is commonly referred to as the Sorbonne or la Sorbonne.)
It is indicated by agreement in dates that Ducoutant has adopted his ideas from the French historian Antoine-Yves Goguet's, De l'origine des loix, des arts et des sciences (1758). Hales' mention (and quote) of the astronomical calculation in Ducoutant's tract identifies that it was only 1 short passage (= 2 short paragraphs). What the rest of the thesis was about is unfortunately not mentioned. (Though the original tract is now likely inaccessible the content relating to the precession argument is indicated as being fully preserved in Hales' book.)
Passage from du Coutant's 1765 PhD thesis. Source: A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography by William Hales (2nd (revised) edition, Volume II, Pages 55-56).
Source: The Bible Encyclopedia edited by William Goodhugh and William Taylor (1841, Page 139).
(d) Carl Swartz (1757-1824)
Carl Swartz, a Swedish amateur astronomer and correspondent of Charles Dupuis, Jean Delambre, and Jean Bailly, wrote a treatise in Swedish on the origin and meaning of the constellations, which was translated into French and was published in Paris in 1807. It went through several editions. Carl Gottlieb Swartz (1757-1824) was born in Norrköping, Sweden (the 2nd son of Petter Swartz (1726-1789) and died in Paris, France. His father, Petter Swartz, was a prominent snuff manufacturer and patron of the arts and sciences. In about 1770 Petter Swartz started large-scale production of snuff in Norrköping. (To my knowledge 7 copies of the above book by Carl Swartz have appeared on the European antiquarian book market between circa 2004 and 2016 (variously priced between approximately Euros 600 and Euros 80, with one auctioned for Euros 245). A digital copy has been freely available on the internet since early 2008 at least.) Initially Carl Swartz chose to publish anonymously. Carl Swartz attended the University of Uppsala as did both his brothers. In 1774 Carl enrolled at the University of Uppsala. (Uppsala Universitets Matrikel på uppdrag av universitetets rektor utgiven, Tredje Bandet 1750-1800, utg. av A. B. Carlsson (Uppsala 1925-1946) p 191, Octob. 14. The source was located by Robert H. van Gent. The section seems to start at page 190 and is headed: Quartum Rectore Academiæ Upsaliensis Johanne Ihre Prof. Reg. Et Skyttiano. Entry details: Octob. 14. Carl Gottl. Swartz, Ostrogoth. 1757. See also: Upsala Universitets Historia : Delarna I-III jamte bihang I-V, 1477-1792, register utarbetadt af Elof Colliander by Claes Annerstedt (1931, Page 75).) In 1778, after presumably completing university, Carl obtained his first job as a civil clerk. This position does not appear to have been with the Swedish Government Offices. In 1781 Carl then obtained employment with the Kanskollegium (Swedish Government Offices) as a secretary or clerk (kopyist). In 1782 he was a clerical officer keeping office records or accounts (presumably still with the Swedish Government Offices). When Carl left (presumably resigned) his employment at the Swedish Government Offices (date unknown) his position title was prot.-sekreterare ((Protokollsekreterare) meaning 'Protocol-Secretary' (clerical officer (= civil servant)) = person who takes the minutes. This seems to be all that is known of his career in the Government offices. (See: also "Upsala Universitets Historia : Delarna I-III jamte bihang I-V, 1477-1792, register utarbetadt af Elof Colliander" by Claes Annerstedt (1931, Page 75).) In 1787 (at least) he was the secretary (sekreteraren) for one of the numerous Swedish scientific societies that were coming into existence during the 18th-century. In August 1787 he purchased an important mineralogy collection (mineral cabinet) belonging to Johan Gottschalk Wallerius. It was planned/hoped that Johan Gottschalk Wallerius' mineral cabinet would be given to Uppsala University. (See: Upsala universitets historia: d. 1719-1792, förra afdelningen, Universitetets öden (Volume 3, Issue 2 of Upsala universitets historia), by Claes Annerstedt (1914, Page 448).) Interestingly, it is indicated by one source that in 1876 Carl Swartz had his own firm and founded a new snuff manufacturing mill. In 1795 he married 24 year old Catherina Arosenius (1771-1816) and in 1796 they divorced. The reason is presently not known. (She married again to Joackin Almgren in 1799. Carl Swartz did not remarry. Carl Swartz had no children.) Carl Swartz was a frequent traveller in Europe (but not Asia Minor) and also a keen amateur astronomer (and amateur philologist). He corresponded with, and was a personal friend to, Charles Dupuis, Jean Delambre, and Jean Bailly. He appears to have settled in Paris circa 1805. Peter Doig (A Concise History of Astronomy, 1951) - borrowing from Edward Maunder (JBAA, 1909) - reinforced the error that Carl Swartz was, for several years, the Swedish consul at Baku on the Caspian Sea. (It was also taken up earlier by Claude Conder: "This observation was first made by the Swedish astronomer, Carl G. Schwartz, residing at Baku, near, the Caspian, at the end of the eighteenth century." (The First Bible by Claude Conder (1902, Page 155).). A minor issue remains. Was Carl Swartz offered a consulship in Baku? He had an academic training and would have had a suitable age for a consular position in the 1780s or 1790s.
In 1807 his ideas on the origins of the constellations were first published in his Recherches sur l'origine et le signification des Constellations de la Sphère greque (1807). The (shorter) revised (standard) edition was published as Le Zodiaque expliqué (1809). Unlike Charles Dupuis and others he identified a recent date for the constellations and the zodiac. (His (flawed) methods for exclusion of fabulous ancient dates for the origin of the constellations and zodiac still constituted an important step.) In the first and second editions of his book Carl Swartz proposed that the unconstellated area of the southern sky gave an approximate date for the formation of the constellations. Specifically he: (1) identified the unmapped space in the southern sky as significant for determining the origin of the constellations; (2) argued a case for the essential unity of the constellations as a single set; (3) estimated that the radius of the "void zone" was about 40 degrees; (4) deducted from the "void zone" that the date of origin of the constellations was 1400 BCE; (5) argued a case that astronomy arose with a seafaring people and navigational requirements; and (6) identified the port city of Baku (north latitude 40 degrees) as the place of origin of the constellations. He speculated that the city of Baku was the centre/capital of an ancient empire. Carl Swartz thought that the whole system of the constellations referred to the geography of the Caucasus (Caucasia) (a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas), and the borders of the Caspian. Swartz endeavoured to prove that the constellations were nothing but a sort of symbolical geography of the west shore of the Caspian Sea. This idea is the most fanciful part of his publications. Carl Swartz's ideas for the origin of science and culture in the Caucasus region were based on Von den kaukasischen [kaukcasischen] Völkern der mythischen Zeit, ein abermaliger Beytrag zur Historie und Geographie der Mythologie by Theodor Ditmar (1789). (Theodor Ditmar (1734-1791) was a Prussian historian, a professor of history.) The Royal Observatory, Greenwich sun spot specialist Edward Maunder discovered a copy of Le Zodiaque expliqué in the observatory library and in a series of articles from 1898 to 1913 reintroduced many of the ideas of its author. The copies may have been donated by Carl Swartz. He presented copies of his publications to the Royal Society of London.
There is perhaps a portrait of Carl Swartz existing in Svenskt Porträttgalleri edited by Albin Hildebrand (45 Volumes, 1895-1911) which contains Swedish portraits of 20,602 persons. A bibliography of Swedish portrait literature is contained in Svenskt porträttlitteratur by Carl Björkborn (1941).
Note: Oxford University and the BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France)) hold copies of a little-known response by Peter Körner. The Oxford University catalogue lists: Widerlegung einiger Stellen der ... in den Goettingenschen gelehrten Anzeigen ... eingerückten Beurtheilung eines ... Werkes: Mémoire explicatif sur la sphère caucasienne ... par C.G.S. by Peter Körner (1813). The BNF general catalogue lists: Körner, Peter. (1813). Widerlegung einiger Stellen der am 10n Juni 1813 in den goettingenschen ["sic"] gelehrten Anzeigen No. 92 eingerückten Beurtheilung eines zu Paris unter folgendem Titel erschieneven ["sic"] Werkes : "Mémoire explicatif sur la sphère caucasienne... par G. C. S.",... herausgegeben von Peter Körner. gedruckt bei J.-B. Sajou. 1813. (45 pages.) It was republished (Widerlegung Einiger Stellen Der Am 10 Juni 1813 in Den Goettingenschen Gelehrten Anzeigen No. 92 Eingeruckten (1813)) in both paperback and hardback format (in German and English) by Kessinger Publishing, in 2010. Presently I know nothing about Peter Körner excepting he apparently was German. See also: "Darstellung und Beurtheilung einer neuen Hypothese über den Ursprung der Sternbilder." In: Berliner astronomisches Jahrbuch (1815, Pages 188-197).
Source: Berliner astronomisches Jahrbuch (1813, Page 253).
Once the void zone (vacant space) argument had been offered by Swartz it passed unnoticed for some 60 years until it came to the attention of Richard Proctor: Proctor, Richard. (1878). "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." by Richard Proctor in (one of a series of essays in) Belgravia: A London Magazine (1877). (One of a series of essays for that magazine in 1877.) "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." In: Proctor, Richard. Myths and Marvels of Astronomy. (Pages 331-363. New Edition, 1896, Pages 332-365.) (Note: Chapter XIII of his book (of collected essays).) Also (polar alignment argument and void zone argument), The Flowers of the Sky (1879). For a discussion of the wide appeal of Richard Proctor see "The Visual Theology of Victorian Popularizers of Science." by Bernard Lightman, in Isis, Volume 91, Number 4, December 2000, Pages 651-680.)
Relevant key publication (void zone argument/precessional argument): C. G. S. [Swartz, Carl.] (1809). Le Zodiaque Expliqué ou Recherches sur L'Origine et la Signification des Constellations de la Sphere Greque. Note: The premier edition of the authors 1807 publication that originated the "void zone" form of argument. The author, Carl Gottlieb Swartz [Schwartz] (1757-1824), was a Swede who lived the latter part of his life in France. For critical (English-language) book reviews see "Origin and Antiquity of the Zodiac," by Anon [William Roberts ?] in The British Review and London Critical Journal, Volume 9, Number 17, February 1817, Pages 136-150; and by Anon in The Literary Panorama, and National Register, New Series, Volume 1, November, 1814, Columns 257-259. The reviewers do not mention the "void zone" argument. Most of the unsigned articles in the British Review were written by the editor William Roberts. (See: British Literary Magazines: The Romantic Age, 1789-1836 by Alvin Sullivan (1983, Pages 68-76).) (William Roberts (1767-1849) was the editor of the British Review from 1811 to 1822. He was a barrister and author. He is mentioned in The Dictionary of National Biography (Volume XVI, Pocock-Robins).) There is no reason to assume the review was written by an astronomer. S(ch)wartz's "void zone" argument for dating the antiquity of the constellations is not mentioned. The reviewer (probably Franz von Zach (1754-1832)) of S(ch)wartz in the German journal Monatliche Correspondenz did note this (albeit briefly). The 1813 issue of Göttingsche Gelehrte Anzeigen has a 5/6-page book review of Schwartz's Mémoire Explicatif which mentioned that it was written in response to Charles-Robert Gosselin's (1740-1820), L'Antiquité dévoilée au moyen de la Genèse (1817) that criticised Schwartz's theories. It furthermore mentioned that Schwartz's claims for the origin of science and culture in the Caucasus region were based on Theodor Ditmar's, Von den kaukcasischen Völkern der mythischen Zeit (1789). (Theodor Ditmar (1734-1791) was a Prussian historian, a professor of history.) From the 1813 book review in Göttingsche Gelehrte Anzeigen it would appear that Schwartz's earlier works of 1807 and 1809 were also reviewed in Göttingsche Gelehrte Anzeigen, as well as his Qu'est-ce que le zodiaque ? (20 pages) that was published in 1810. Further, Encore quelques argumens contre le Zodiaque (1812/1813? also 1814-1815 edition, 16 pages). The Göttingsche Gelehrte Anzeigen contains a 7-page book review of S(ch)wartz's Le Zodiaque Expliqué (1807) and a brief note of the 1809 edition (which seems to be an unchanged reprint of the 1807 book except for the title); an 8-page review of Qu'est-ce que le zodiaque ?; as well as the 5/6 page book review of Mémoire Explicatif (1813).
Ideas adopted from: Nobody, apparently original to Carl Swartz.
Ideas adopted by: Richard Proctor (?), Edward Maunder and perhaps Camille Flammarion. (But indicated that Flammarion made no mention of the "void zone" argument.)
Note: Edward Maunder's article in the Nineteenth Century Review clearly states that some other astronomer(s) knew of Carl Schartz. Unfortunately, no other details are given. Maunder in "The Oldest Astronomy IV." (1909), is skeptical regarding Proctor possibly having access to information about S(ch)artz and his ideas. (Maunder is not always clear in the way he writes but it seems clear that he is not saying that Proctor had knowledge of a paper regarding S(ch)artz and his ideas. Proctor may have developed his idea from a published letter from Alexander von Humboldt to Carl Gauss (2 of the most distinguished scientists of their day).
Carl Swartz (his surname commonly appearing a Schwartz) was obviously a fluent French-language speaker. His 1st edition of Le Zodiaque expliqué (1807) was stated to be translated from Swedish. Swartz had settled in Paris circa 1805. It is not established whether his manuscript was written in Sweden or only after he had settled in Paris. Perhaps it was the former.
There is no reason to believe that Carl Swartz was for some time the Swedish Consul at Baku (or even a secretary to the Swedish consul there). (There is no reason to believe that Carl Swartz had travelled anywhere near Baku.) His knowledge seems to have been obtained from at least one publication by an earlier European traveller/explorer. Baku is now the capital of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan. It has been the Republic of Azerbaijan since regaining independence in 1991. Baku is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Ethnically and linguistically, the Azerbaijani people are descended from the nomadic Turkish tribes that migrated west across Transcaucasia into present-day Turkey more than 1000 years ago. In 1723, Peter 1 the Great, Czar of Russia, captured Baku, but it was returned to Persia in 1735. Russian troops captured the town in 1806, and in 1920 it became the Azerbaijan capital. Baku is considered the birthplace of the modern oil industry.
Edward Maunder acknowledged obtaining the idea of the 'vacant space' argument from the book Le Zodiaque expliqué, by Anon (actually S. G. C.) It appears that Maunder did not check the British Museum catalogue for possible author information. At some time in the BM catalogue entry for Le Zodiaque expliqué, the author C. G. S. is identified as C. G. Schwartz. It was only some years after the publication of "The Oldest Astronomy" the Maunder identified C. G. S. as the Swede Carl G. Schwartz. "I must freely confess my great indebtedness, both in this paper and in the one which preceded it, to the unknown author of a little book which I found in the Library of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, entitled "Le Zodiaque Expliquè." [(sic) correctly, expliqué] He was, I believe, the first writer to point out the significance of the un mapped space in the southern heavens, and he argued, I think, very ingeniously and ably for the essential unity of the constellations. He concluded, and I think that our modern experience which shows how closely the progress of navigation and astronomy have gone hand in hand, confirms his conclusion, that the necessities of early navigation are far more likely to have given rise to astronomy than anything else, and that the sailor, not the shepherd or peasant, was the actual author of the sphere." ("The Oldest Astronomy II." by Edward Maunder (Papers Communicated to the [British Astronomical] Association, Number 7, Volume IX, Pages 317-321).)
"Curiously enough he [Swartz] wound up with a most absurd conclusion. He considered that the constellation figures arose amongst a seafaring nation; but the only great port he could find in N. latitude 40° was Baku, on the Caspian Sea. He considered that the people of Baku must have meant the constellation Argo to represent their own city. If so, since Baku was always celebrated for its petroleum, they must have put some sign representing naphtha near it. The coils of the Hydra were evidently meant to represent the slow oily flow of the liquid, whilst the cup was added because you could hold naphtha in a cup, and the crow because crude naphtha was a black as a crow ! Having got so far, he easily proved that all the other constellations represented cities and countries near to Baku. It is curious that a more recent and more eminent astronomer has interpreted the same constellation of Argo in a no less absurd manner." ("The Oldest Astronomy II." by Edward Maunder (Papers Communicated to the [British Astronomical] Association, Volume IX, Number 7, Pages 317-321).)
"The suggestion that the blank area in the sky referred to gave an approximate date for the formation of the constellations appears to have been first put forward in 1807 by Carl Schwartz, for some time Swedish Consul at Baku." (A Concise history of Astronomy by Peter Doig (1950, Page 7).)
Key publications by Carl Swartz: Le Zodiaque expliqué ou recherches sur l'origine et la signification des constellations de la sphere Greque by C. G. S. (Paris, 1809; the shorter, premier seconde edition (151 pages + Errata + 3 plates) of the authors 1807 publication also published in Paris). Mémoire explicatif sur la sphère Caucasienne, et spécialement sur le zodiaque by C. G. S. (Paris, 1813; 53 pages + 2 plates). Lettre critique de Mr. C.G.S. à un ami en Angleterre sur la zodiacomanie d'un journaliste anglais, Avec la traduction de l'article de ce même Journaliste inséré dans le British Review, de février 1817, sur la Sphère Caucasienne de C.G.S. by C. G. S. (Paris, 1817; 36 pages).
Key contrary publications: Encore quelques argumens contre le zodiaque by ARGUMENTS (Paris, 1812; 16 pages). "Tracts on the Zodiac." by Anon (The Monthly Review; or Literary Journal, Enlarged, Volume LXXVI, 1815, Pages 539-542). "Origin and Antiquity of the Zodiac." by Anon. (The British Review and London critical journal, Volume IX, February, 1817, Pages 136-150).
(e) William Hales (1747-1831)
William Hales (born 8-4-1747-died 30-1-1831) was an Irish clergyman, experimental scientist, science writer, and chronologist. He was born in Cork (city), Cork, Ireland, the son of Samuel Hales, the curate at the cathedral church there. He went to Trinity College, Dublin in 1764 and became a fellow there, graduating with a BA and DD. He published several volumes on the theories of Isaac Newton, and also a highly regarded mathematical text (all in Latin). He became Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Dublin. In 1788 Hales resigned as professor and became Church of Ireland rector of Killeshandra, county Cavan, and lived there for the rest of his life. In 1791 he married and he and his wife had two sons and two daughters. In 1798 he obtained government troops to regain control of the country round Killeshandra, following the landing by a French army at Killala. From circa 1812 was chancellor of the diocese of Emly. His best-known work is A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography (3 Volumes, 1809 - 1812), which took 20 years to complete. A later edition in 1830 comprised 4 volumes. In this book, which deals with the chronology of the whole Bible, Hales made it his rule as far as possible to use original sources. Hales, also using the argument from precession, with the help of John Brinkley, calculated that the vernal equinox was in the constellation Taurus in 2337 BCE. He first published his results in 1802 in the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine (shortly renamed the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine and Review), Volume 2, (see pages 240-242). It was then that he found the method and calculation had been published earlier by du Coutant in France. His other works include The Inspector, or, Select Literary Intelligence for the Vulgar and Irish Pursuits of Literature (both 1799), Methodism Inspected (1803-1805), and Letters on the Tenets of the Romish Hierarchy (1813). From circa 1820 or earlier he suffered from depression.
Relevant key publication (placement of colures argument): "Essays on Sacred Criticism" by The Inspector (Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, Volume 2, 1802, Note: see Pages 240-242 of his lengthy multi-part article series). A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography by William Hales (1809-1812, 3 Volumes; 2nd edition 1830, 4 Volumes).
Source: Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, Volume 2, 1802, Pages 240-242 of his lengthy multi-part article series "Essays on Sacred Criticism" under the name, The Inspector.
Source: An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Bible by Thomas Horne (1818, Volume 2, Pages 123 (including footnote), 124).
(f) John Brinkley (1767(1763?)-1835)
English-born (Woodbridge in Suffolk) bishop and astronomer. Brinkley worked his way through university and one vacation job for the years 1787 and 1788 was assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. MA from Cambridge in 1791, D.D. from Dublin in 1806, PhD. In 1792 (until 1827) he became the 2nd Andrews Professor at Dublin University (Professor of Astronomy) and in that same year the first director of the Dunsink Observatory (8 kilometres northwest of Dublin city centre). Also in 1792 (until 1827) he became the first Astronomer Royal for Ireland. (Francis Andrews, Provost of Trinity, died on 18 June 1774 leaving £3,000 in his Will to provide a new observatory, to be built at Dunsink, and to establish a Dublin chair in astronomy. The position also entailed being the astronomer in charge of the Dunsink Observatory. The position was regulated by a new Statute of Trinity College, which required the new Andrews professor to "make regular observations of the heavenly bodies ... and of the sun, moon and planets". The first professor, Henry Ussher, was appointed in 1783. Between the years 1792 and 1921, the holder of the chair also held the title of Royal Astronomer of Ireland of Ireland, granted under letters patent of King George III.) Brinkley authored, Elements of Astronomy (1808 (1813?)) which went through many editions and became a standard reference work. FRS, 1803. Brinkley was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society for his work on stellar parallax (for which his results were ultimately proved wrong). President of the Royal Irish Academy (1822-1833), and President of the Royal Astronomical Society (1823-1827 and 1831-1833). Bishop of Cloyne in Cork, 1826. Died in Dublin, Ireland.
Relevant key publication (placement of colures argument): Personal communication to William Hales mentioned in A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography by William Hales (1830, 3 Volumes(?) (revised edition 4 Volumes?)). In the revised edition the mention of Brinkley's assistance is given on Page 55 of Volume II.
Source: The Scripture Testimony to the Messiah by John Smith (1859 (1st published 1818), Volume 1, Pages 191-192).
Source: A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography by William Hales (2nd revised edition, Volume II, Pages 55-56).
Critical response to placement of colures argument/precessional argument applied to the constellations in the Book of Job
The principal criticism made is the identification of the names Chimah and Chesil mentioned in the Book of Job, with the constellations Bull (specifically brightest/principal star Aldebaran) and Scorpion (specifically brightest star/principal star Antares) respectively, as the cardinal constellations marking/identifying the colures for the seasons Spring and Autumn respectively, when the Book of Job was composed, is not certain. The use of Chimah and Chesil was only proverbial/poetical, with centuries of tradition for such, and not indicative of identifying any exact astronomy or calendrical system.
Source: The Eclectic Review, Volume 8, Part 1, March, 1812, Page 303. (Part 1 of lengthy book review essay (pages 298-304) of Volume II of Hales' A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography.)
Source: The Pathfinder conducted [edited] by Philip Perfitt, Volume 1, Number 19, May 21, 1859, Page 295. (Part 2 of 2-Part article by Philip Perfitt, "Was "Job" a real person?", Part 1 (Issue Number 18, May 14), Pages 276-278 14, Part 2 (Issue Number 19, May 21), Pages 295-298.)
(g) Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
Prussian explorer and naturalist. Charles Darwin described him as "the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived." Humboldt's travels, experiments, and knowledge transformed western science in the nineteenth century. He is considered to be the founder of modern geography.
Relevant key publications (mentioning the void zone argument of Carl Swartz): Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique [Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas] by Alexander von Humboldt (1810-1813, 2 Volumes). (A massive 'coffee-table' book Humboldt published after settling in Paris following his monumental 5 year journey through the Americas. (References the constellation ideas of Carl Swartz.) Kosmos. Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung [Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe] by Alexander von Humboldt (1845-1862, 5 Volumes). (References the constellation ideas of Carl Swartz; Volume 1, Page 198.)
Kosmos began as a lecture series delivered by Humboldt at the University of Berlin, and was published in 5 volumes between 1845 and 1862 (the 5th volume was posthumous and completed based on Humboldt's notes). From November 1827 to April 1828, Humboldt delivered a series of 61 lectures at the University of Berlin. In 1828 after the Berlin lectures, Humboldt began formulating his vision of producing a physical description of the universe in book form. In total, Cosmos took 25 years to write. Humboldt felt as if publishing Kosmos was a race against death. The 1st volume was published in 1845 when he was 76, the 2nd volume when he was 78, the 3rd volume when he was 81, and the 4th volume when he was 89. The 5th volume, however, was only half-written when Humboldt died in 1859 and had to be completed from his notes and provided with an index. The book was widely read by both academics and lay persons.
Ideas adopted from: Carl Swartz.
Ideas adopted by: Perhaps Camille Flammarion.
(2) Circa 19th-Century
(a) John Blake (1839-1906)
John Blake was a clergyman turned scientist. From 1859 to 1862 he studied at Cambridge University under the English geologist Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) one of the founders of modern geology. Blake taught mathematics and was assistant chaplain at St. Peter's School, York, until 1874, when he ceased teaching and embarked on a career in science. He eventually gained a chair in natural science at Nottingham in 1880, and remained there until 1888. He served as president of the Geologists' Association from 1891 to 1893, and was also the editor of the association's Geological Magazine.
In Chapter 3 "Origin of the Constellations" in his Astronomical Myths (1877) Blake briefly mentions (Pages 85-86) the void zone argument. Astronomical Myths is commonly stated to be a translation of Flammarion's Histoire du Ciel (1872). If so, it is with the abandonment of the conversational form of Histoire du Ciel. Flammarion's Histoire du Ciel is a very "chatty" book and it is understandable that Blake left out parts of it. (Flammarion does not mention the "void zone" argument in the "chatty parts" of Histoire du Ciel.) More correctly, Astronomical Myths is not exactly a translation but rather a book based on Flammarion's Histoire du Ciel. Blake also introduced a considerable amount of new material. Blake's additional material was included from Robert Haliburton's, New Materials for the History of Mankind. There were 3 different essays issued to form the title but it is indicated that Number 1, The Festival of the Dead - the Year of the Pleiades was primarily used. However, no "void zone" argument appears in this publication. Blake has no identifiable link to either S(ch)wartz or Proctor but is aware of a particular latitude and date version of the "void zone" argument. Blake's latitude and date version of the "void zone" argument does perhaps provide a way to match with a source.
Relevant key publication (void zone argument): Astronomical Myths (1877).
Ideas supposedly adopted from: Camille Flammarion (but perhaps Richard Proctor)? Blake's use of Flammarion's Histoire du Ciel "provides" the sole reason for assuming that Flammarion is connected with the "void zone" argument. Blake differs from Proctor and this makes it difficult to believe he used Proctor's 1877 articles as a source. Blake's "void zone" argument includes 40/49 degrees north latitude circa 3000 BCE. Proctor's "void zone" argument includes 38 degrees north latitude for 2170 BCE. Proctor ("The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." In: Proctor, Richard. Myths and Marvels of Astronomy. (Pages 331-363. New Edition, 1896, Pages 332-365) includes mention of Blake's book but makes no reference to its "void zone" argument. More likely Blake's mention of the void zone argument was adopted (with changed latitude and date) from Alexander von Humboldt's mention of S(ch)wartz. . Note: Supposedly, Flammarion mentioned the void zone argument in his book Histoire du Ciel. There is little doubt that Histoire du Ciel is the source of Blake's book (Astronomical Myths (1877). However, there is no mention of it in this book. He could of course have mentioned this idea after writing Histoire du Ciel. However, I cannot find it mentioned in any of his other publications. Perhaps the solution - for both Blake and Proctor -lies in a British journal from circa 1850-1877. There is perhaps some other British writer who published on the "void zone" and who also perhaps mentioned S(ch)wartz. The journal would likely be one which published science articles. (nothing relevant appears in A Calender of the Correspondence of Sir John Herschel (1998).)
(b) Richard Proctor (1837-1888)
Obtaining reasonably accurate detailed biographical information for Richard Proctor is somewhat difficult. Through both his parents Richard Proctor was descended from wealthy English families. His father, William Proctor, had passed the English Bar, but never practiced law. Richard Proctor was born in Chelsea, London. As a child Richard Proctor's health was thought to be 'delicate' and for this reason he was educated at home by his parents until he was 11 years old. In 1848, he was sent to school at a large academy in Milton-on-Thames, where he remained until 1851. He was further educated at Saint John's College Cambridge. In January of 1860, he graduated from Saint John's College, Cambridge as a Bachelor of Arts. He made no attempt to proceed with studies for a post-graduate MA degree. During his 2nd year at Cambridge his mother died. He was devotedly attached to her and her death made him lose interest in his studies. He married while he was still an undergraduate, and went on to study law. Distraught when his first-born child (a son) died in 1863 he distracted himself with the study of astronomy. In 1867 he drew the first real map of Mars (from 27 drawings by the English observer William Dawes). (A Mars crater is named after Richard Proctor.) In 1873, using old drawings of Mars dating back to 1666 to try to determine the sidereal day of Mars, he measured the length of a Mars day as 27 hours, 37 minutes, and 22.7 seconds, which is accurate within a tenth of a second. For his extensive astronomical work he was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of Great Britain in 1866 and he became honorary secretary in 1872. While he was still very young, the sudden and complete collapse of the New Zealand Banking Corporation at the end of May 1866 left him without financial independence (his entire fortune was lost) and consequently he had the immediate necessity to earn a living. (The New Zealand Banking Corporation was one of the banks brought to ruin by the failure of the great discounting house Overend, Gurney & Co., the famous "Corner House." Proctor was the 2nd largest share-holder in the New Zealand Banking Corporation. The bulk of his assests/investment/property had been invested with the New Zealand Banking Corporation.) He initially tried teaching. Although teaching was uncongenial to him he initially tried teaching mathematics. He took pupils in mathematics, and held for a time the position of mathematical teacher/coach at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and Sandhurst. However, he found he didn't like it. He found that, in addition to serious science writing, he could also write popular astronomy. He eventually proved to be very successful as an astronomy populariser. (His earliest efforts were not successful.) When his literary standing improved he became a regular contributor to The Intellectual Observer, Chamber's Journal, and the Popular Science Review. It is worth noting that in the late 19th-century astronomy had tremendous popular appeal, both in the United Kingdom and Europe and also in North America, amongst all classes of society. His first popular book, Other Worlds Than Ours (1870), explored the possibility that we are not alone in the universe. The book stayed in print for decades, but is now long forgotten. Proctor's 1st marriage was to Mary Mills (stated to be born in England but also stated to be Irish). Proctor had 9 children by his 1st marriage (4 children dying in infancy). His 2 (surviving) daughters by his 1st marriage were Mary (oldest) and Agnes (youngest). Proctor's wife, Mary Proctor, died in 1879. It appears that the Proctors at this time were living at 5 Trigon Road, Kennington. Proctor's 2nd marriage was to a young American widow, Mrs Sallie Crawley (Mrs Robert Crawley), a woman he had first met in Australia circa 1879-1880 (when she was there with her very ill husband and he was there with his very ill wife). (Proctor was 'down-under' for a public lecture series in Australia and New Zealand. He was well known as a popular lecturer on astronomy in England, America and Australia.) When Proctor remarried in 1871 the Proctor family emigrated to the USA in 1882, to Saint Joseph, Missouri. Proctor had 2 children by his 2nd marriage (but both died in infancy). In 1881 he founded Knowledge, a popular weekly magazine of science which had a considerable circulation. In 1885 it was changed into a monthly publication. Proctor died of yellow fever (or at least is believed to) at New York City on 12 September 1888. A monument was later erected in his memory. His largest and most ambitious work, Old and New Astronomy, left unfinished at his death, was completed by the English astronomer (and friend of Proctor) Arthur Ranyard (1845-1894) and published in 1892. Proctor wrote a total of 57 books. Ranyard undertook to finish the book (which included Ranyard writing 3 of its chapters) for the benefit of the author's family. Ranyard also succeeded Proctor as editor of Knowledge. For details of Proctor's funeral and later burial arrangements see: The New York Times, October 4, 1893. For details of Proctor's personality see: "The Proctor Interlude in St. Joseph and in America: Astronomy, Romance and Tragedy." by Lewis Saum in American Studies International, February, 1999, Volume XXXVII, Number 1, Pages 34-54. Still work reading is, "Richard Anthony Proctor." by John Fraser (Scribners Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 2, December 1873, Pages 172-175. (Very detailed.) More recently, "An Historian of the Constellations." by Allan Chapman (Astronomy Now, August 1999, Pages 46-49). For a detailed biography with a portrait and photograph of the grave monument in the Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn (New York) see, Popular Astronomy, Volume 1, Pages 319-321. A little-known biography (which includes a portrait, and biographical details, some not mentioned elsewhere) is: "Biography of the late Prof. Richard A. Proctor." By his daughter Mary Proctor (The Freethinkers' Magazine, Volume XII, January (E.M.) 294, Number 1, Pages 41-45). For Proctor's visit to Australia (which includes biographical details, some not mentioned elsewhere) see: "Mr. Richard Anthony Proctor." (The Argus [Newspaper], Monday, May 24, 1880, Page 7).
Excursus: The journal English Mechanic and World of Science, January 7, 1881, Number 824, Page 419 has: "The London correspondent of the Manchester Guardian says:- "... Mr R. A. Proctor is also mentioned as successor to the Astronomer Royal whose early retirement is predicted in scientific circles. The name of Professor Piazzi Smyth is also current in the same connection."
Method: Use of constellation orientation argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2170 BCE. Method: Use of vacant space argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2170 BCE. Locations: Between 38° & 41° north latitude (38° north latitude) (35° to 39° north latitude). (Mary Evershed (née Orr) in her Dante and the Early Astronomers (1913/1914, Page 34) concludes that Richard Proctor independently suggested the "void zone" argument.) Note: Alexander von Humboldt and John Blake briefly mention Carl Swartz's void zone argument. It appears, however, that Richard Proctor was the first to re-apply this argument after S(ch)wartz. It was Edward Maunder who (one would think rather easily) traced the argument back to Carl Swartz.
Relevant key publication (polar alignment argument, void zone argument): Proctor, Richard. (1878). "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." by Richard Proctor in (one of a series of essays in) Belgravia: A London Magazine (1877). (One of a series of essays for that magazine in 1877.) "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." In: Proctor, Richard. Myths and Marvels of Astronomy. (Pages 331-363. New Edition, 1896, Pages 332-365.) (Note: Chapter XIII of his book (of collected essays).) Also (polar alignment argument and void zone argument), The Flowers of the Sky (1879). For a discussion of the wide appeal of Richard Proctor see "The Visual Theology of Victorian Popularizers of Science." by Bernard Lightman, in Isis, Volume 91, Number 4, December 2000, Pages 651-680.)
Ideas adopted from: Perhaps Camille Flammarion? (But this is problematic.) Proctor may have independently originated the "void zone" argument. Flammarion does not mention the "void zone," and Proctor does not seem to have known of S(ch)wartz. Proctor, according to Maunder, may have independently originated the "void zone" argument.)
Note: Edward Maunder had changes of opinion whether Richard Proctor was influenced by Carl S(ch)wartz. Maunder in "The Oldest Astronomy IV." (1909), is skeptical regarding Proctor possibly having access to information about S(ch)artz and his ideas. (Maunder is not always clear in the way he writes but it seems clear that he is not saying that Proctor had knowledge of a paper regarding S(ch)artz and his ideas. Proctor may have developed his idea from a published letter from Alexander von Humboldt to Carl Gauss (2 of the most distinguished scientists of their day).
Ideas adopted by: Mary Proctor.
Proctor concluded that the ancient arrangement of the constellations in the northern night sky was not Hellenic in origin. (The view that was later constantly promoted by Robert Brown Junior.) In his essay, "The Origin of the Constellation Figures.' Proctor acknowledged that other researchers before him had understood the believed significance of the "great space" in the heavens over which none of the [classical Greek] constellations existed. But Proctor suggested an important point had gone unnoticed. The "great space" was not symmetric around the south celestial pole. He thought this could be explained by precession, and with the use of spherical trigonometry, he dated his assessment for the best fit date to 2100-2200 BCE. Proctor wrote: "Grotius erred in asserting that the phenomena of Aratus can be assigned to no fixed epoch and to no fixed place. With the exception of a few which Aratus inserted from his own unskilful observations, all of the phenomena found, when due correction has been made for the effects of precession, to correspond very satisfactorily with a latitude between 38° and 41° and an epoch about 4000 years ago." Proctor guessed that the constellation figures were designed first and the constellations myth narratives were contrived later to explain them.
(c) Richard Allen (1838-1908)
Star-lore enthusiast Richard Hinckley Allen was interested in astronomy from childhood. He was born in the village of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where his father, Richard L. Allen, purchased a large tract of land in the 1830's. Richard Allen briefly attended Yale College (later to become Yale University). He completed 1 year (with honour) at Yale College in the class of 1860, with the hope of becoming an astronomer. He dropped out because of permanent serious problems with his eyesight. He initially withdrew for a year but he then went into business with his father. From 1860 to 1865 he was actively involved in his father's export trade business. (His brother Arthur Allen became a minister.) He also spent some time travelling. He tried his hand at various business enterprises and became a moderately successful businessman. After the death of his father in 1869 he became the manager of his father's estate. Richard Allen had a wide range of scientific interests and continued his interest in scientific pursuits as a life-time hobby. His pastimes included farming, stock raising, amateur ornithology, and astronomy. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the National Geographic Society. His research into star-names and star-lore was primarily pursued for his own personal enjoyment. His wide range of interests and knowledge resulted in his friends naming him "the walking encyclopedia." He lived most of his life in New Jersey either at Newark (his usual residence because of his business dealings in New York) or Chatham (his country home). In his latter years he spent more time at Chatham where he was an elder and trustee of the Ogden Presbyterian Church (and an important financial benefactor), and superintendent of the Sunday School. He suffered from poor health in his later years and died after a severe bout of influenza which worsened into pneumonia. His death occurred 6 days after travelling to attend the funeral of his sister. At the time of his death the author was working on a revised edition but it remained unfinished. His book on star-names was only published after the encouragement of some close friends, and was the only book on astronomy that he published. See the (English-language) article "Richard Hinckley Allen." by Lucy Morris in Popular Astronomy, Volume 14, 1906, Pages 592-594.
Method(s): Use of constellation orientation argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2000-2200 BCE. (Dated the sphere/globe of Aratus and the sphere/globe of Eudoxus to 2000-2200 BCE.) Method(s): Use of vacant space argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2000-2400 BCE. In his Star-Names, Allen wrote: "His [Aratus'] sphere, probably identical with that of Eudoxus of a century previous, represented the heavens of about 2,000-2,200 BC, a fact which has induced many to think it is a reproduction from Babylonia. The disagreement in the poet's description with the sky of his day led Hipparchus, the first commentator on the Phainomena to much needless although in some cases well-founded criticism for Aratos was, as Cicero said hominem ignarum astronomaie."
Relevant key publication (void zone argument): Star-Names and Their Meanings by Richard Allen (1899). (See pages 14-15.) (Later reprinted as: Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning.)
Ideas adopted from: Perhaps most directly Edward Maunder and Robert Brown Junior; but also likely Camille Flammarion and Richard Proctor.
Ideas adopted by: [Generally influential.]
The original 1899 edition (U.S.A.), and the 1936 reprint (France), was titled Star-Names and Their Meanings. (The 1936 reprint is hardly mentioned and seemed almost unknown until I started mentioning it.) The 1963 reprint title was Star-Names: Their Lore and Meaning. The 1936 reprint was simply a reprint of the original 1899 edition. The 1963 reprint only included grammatical corrections. (The original edition is now very scarce.) It remains a very influential book. The book should really not be used as it is an uncritical compilation from out-dated secondary sources and contains numerous errors; especially regarding Arabic, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian constellations and star names. (As example: Regarding his discussion of Arabic star names. Allen had no knowledge of Arabic and he uncritically relied upon Ideler's outdated book Sternnamen. Allen never made any attempt to check the accuracy of this secondary source he used with any of the primary sources - as Paul Kunitzsch did in the 1950s for his doctoral thesis.) The Arabist scholar Paul Kunitzsch has demonstrated the unreliability of Ludwig Ideler as a reliable source for Arabic material. Though a number of his bibliographical references are obscure it is possible to successfully identify most of his main sources. In the "Introduction" to his book Richard Allen indicates the main core of his sources as comprising Untersuchungen über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen, by Ludwig Ideler (1809) (main source of Arabic and other European material); The Cycle of Celestial Objects, by William Smyth (the edition used is not identified but either 2 volumes 1844, or the revised one volume edition by George Chambers, 1881) (the main source of Western historical star lore and general material); The Dawn of Astronomy, by Norman Lockyer (1894) (the main source of Egyptian material); Observations of Comets: from B.C. 611 to A.D. 1640: extracted from the Chinese Annals, by John Williams (1871) (a main source of Chinese material); A Dictionary of the Chinese Language, by Robert Morrison (3 Parts, 1815-1823) (a main source of Chinese material); and unspecified publications by Johann Strassmaier and Joseph Epping, Archibald Sayce, Robert Brown Junior, Peter Jensen, and Fritz Hommel (the main sources of Mesopotamian material, generally circa 1895 latest). As an example of how unreliable Richard Allen's book on star names can be simply refer to one of books by James Hewitt (one of the sources Allen uses). Primitive Traditional History (2 Volumes, 1907) will suffice as an illustrative example. James Hewitt is described by Allen as an "English essayist." Allen used material by Hewitt when discussing the identification of the star Vanant (See page 59 of the 1963 edition of Allen's book on Stars Names). James Hewitt (1835-1908) was actually a civil servant (Bengal Civil Service) - Commissioner of Chutia Nagpur - for much of his career, and considered himself to be an anthropologist. Also, Richard Allen incorrectly lists Brown Junior as an Orientalist and Ovenden and Roy uncritically copied such. Brown Junior was a Solicitor and amateur antiquarian living in Barton-upon-Humber. Barton-upon-Humber is a town and civil parish in North Lincolnshire, England. It is situated on the south bank of the Humber Estuary at the southern end of the Humber Bridge. All reviewers/commentators agree that Hewitt's books on what he calls "mythic history" are largely fantasies, and make no sense at all. The Assyriologist and Panbabylonist Peter Jensen, in his 1890 book Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, proposed (erroneously) an original 6-constellation Babylonian zodiac (dating to circa 4000 BCE. Richard Allen was one of a number of people who picked up the idea and repeated it. Because Allen's book is dated and has been twice reprinted without corrections Jensen's dated and erroneous idea is still repeated. Richard Allen stated that European star names came chiefly from the Arabs. Allen, who had no real understanding of Arabic, also concluded that many Arabic star-names were actually translations of Greek descriptive terms transmitted through Arabic into Latin (and from Latin into English and other languages). When the linguist Maio Pei made a check of 183 English star-names he concluded that 125 were from Arabic, and 9 were from Arabic-Latin. (See: Story of the English Language by Mario Pei (1967; Page 225).) Paul Kunitzsch and Tim Smart (A Dictionary of Modern Star Names (2006; Page 11) write: "A statistical analysis of the 254 star names here presented reveals that (counting five double entries only once) 175 names (= 70%) are Arabic and 47 (= 19%) are Greek or Latin." The modern authority on such matters is Paul Kunitzsch. Emilie Savage-Smith wrote (Islamicate Celestial Globes (1985; Page 114)): "The star names used in the classical Islamic world were derived from two distinct sources: the names used by pre-Islamic Bedouins, and those transmitted from the Greek world. As Greek astronomy and astrology were accepted and elaborated, primarily through the Arabic translation of Ptolemy's Almagest, the indigenous Bedouin star groupings were overlaid with the Ptolemaic constellations that we recognize today." For Western constellations and star names use of Richard Allen's Star-Names should be replaced with: Planetarium Babylonicum, by Felix Gössmann (1950) (but now becoming outdated); Egyptian Astronomical Texts, by Otto Neugebauer and Richard Parker (3 Volumes (plus 1 Volume of photographs/illustrations), 1960-1969); Gestirnnamen bei den indogermanischen Völken, by Anton Scherer (1953); (importantly) Le vocabulaire latin de l'Astronomie, by André Le Boeuffle (3 Volumes, 1973) (who traces both Greek and Babylonian antecedents for Latin constellation/star names); and Arabische Sternnamen in Europa, by Paul Kunitzsch (1959); and for star lore its use can be replaced with Mythen der Sterne, by Friedrich Norman (1925); The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars, by Julius Staal (1988); and (importantly) Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets, by Ed. Krupp (1991). Note: The most recent and the most satisfactory likely identifications of ancient Egyptian constellations (with modern Western constellations) is set out in Table 6.1 (Pages 162-163) in Lull, José. and Belmonte, Antonio. (2009). "The constellations of ancient Egypt." In: Belmonte, Juan. and Shaltout, Mosalam. (Editors). In Search of Cosmic Order: Selected Essays on Egyptian Archaeoastronomy. Identifications are made for 31 ancient Egyptian constellations.
Richard Allen lists Robert Brown Junior as an Orientalist and many person, including Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy, have uncritically copied such. (Brown was a solicitor and amateur antiquarian living in Barton-on-Humber.)
(d) Camille Flammarion (1842-1925)
Nicolas Camille Flammarion (born in Montigny-le-Roi, Haute-Marne, France, 26-2-1842 – died 3-6-1925) was a French astronomer, astronomy populariser, and prolific author (including science fiction and psychical research). He was a highly successful international populariser of astronomy and the author of numerous books, many of which were translated into other languages. He was also interested in psychical research and was an investigator and popular writer on so-called paranormal phenomena. He was of humble parents but was a precocious child and apparently had mastered of reading and writing at the age of 4 years. He did more than any of his contemporaries to encourage public interest in astronomy. Camille Flammarion was the brother of Ernest Flammarion (1846–1936), founder of the Groupe Flammarion publishing house. He has been described as an astronomer, mystic and storyteller who was obsessed by life after death, and on other worlds, and who seemed to see no distinction between the two. Many of his scientific and philosophical arguments were eccentric. At the age of 10 years, Flammarion was placed in a seminary, and continued his education under the Jesuits. After family moved to Paris, Flammarion was transferred to another Jesuit school, in the St. Roch quarter of Paris. (Flammarion because interest in astronomy as a young child and purchased a small badly made telescope.) At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to an engraver, and worked in his shop for several months. He also managed to continue his studies, mastered English and the classics, and was able to pass his 2 examinations for the degree of bachelor, as well as his matriculation to the Polytechnic School, and at the age of 16 years to enter the Paris observatory as pupil astronomer. At that time he was already the author of a small booklet entitled The Cosmogony of the Universe, which was greatly admired by Leverrier, to whose influence he principally owed his admission to the observatory. Flammarion remained 4 years at the observatory, where he was attached to the Bureau des Calculs, and had the opportunity to be able to make certain observations of comets which have been described as the most interesting that have been made during this century. He worked for some years at the Paris Observatory (beginning in 1858) and at the Bureau of Longitudes. In this very early 20‘s he left his position at the Paris observatory, and had entered the Bureau des Longitudes, continuing his astronomical studies in a small private observatory which he had established in a house in the Rue Gay-Lussac (Rue Gay Lussac) (located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, and very near to the Luxembourg Gardens). Here he principally devoted himself to the study of the spots on the sun and the geological formations on the moon. Whilst employed at the Bureau des Longitudes, at the age of 22 years, he joined the staff of a scientific magazine called Cosmos in succession to Abbé Moigno, collaborating at the same time on a scientific review known as Le Magasin Pittoresque. In the following year he was asked by Henri Martin, the well-known historian, to contribute regularly to what was then the most important daily in Paris, the Le Siècle. Some months later he was appointed professor in the École Turgot, his lectures being attended by exceptionally large audiences. He resigned from the Bureau des Longitudes in 1867 in order to become a full-time writer and lecturer. Also, in 1867, he joined the French Aërostatic Society, and was created president. It was at this period that he commenced his remarkable series of ascensions, a full description of which is published in his book, Voyages in a Balloon. He has made 12 ascensions in all, the longest one being from Paris to Cologne, in 1880. In 1883 he established and maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, near Paris, and continued his studies, especially of double and multiple stars and of the Moon and Mars. In 1882, Meret who lived in Bordeaux, an admirer of Camille Flammarion, wrote to him and offered him (for a low fee?) use of an estate known as the "Cour-deFrance," at Juvisy, a village within 20 kilometres from Paris. Flammarion accepted, and established his private observatory there (and began working there circa 1882/1883), the maintenance of which, as well as the salaries of the employees, was provided for by subscription amongst other admirers. (It was called the Observatoire de Juvisy.) However, apparently he only worked at Juvisy during the warmer months. It seems that during the winter he would live at his apartment on the 5th floor of a house at 16, rue Cassini (located very close to the Paris observatory (l'Observatoire de Paris). Whilst raised a Catholic, whilst still young, Flammarion was exposed to 2 significant social movements in the western world: the theories Darwin and the theories of Lamarck, and also the rising popularity of spiritism with spiritualist churches and organizations appearing all over Europe. He was very much influenced by Jean Reynaud (1806–1863) a French socialist philosopher and member of the Saint-Simonian community, and his book Terre at ciel (1854) (a late and particularly virulent statement of his opposition to materialism as a false, incomplete, and inadequate doctrine), which Reynaud described a religious system based on the transmigration of souls believed to be reconcilable with both Christianity and pluralism. Reynaud believed that souls after the physical death of the body pass from planet to planet, progressively improving at each new incarnation. While at the Paris observatory he found time to write his next book, La pluralité es mondes habité. Camille Flammarion's 2nd book, La pluralité es mondes habité (The Plurality of Inhabited Worlds), originally published in 1862, secured his reputation as both a great populariser and a leading advocate of extreme pluralism. He wrote several notable early science fiction novels. In his science fiction novel, Recits de l'infini (1872) he describes the reincarnation of a spirit on other worlds in various alien forms. (He linked pluralism with transmigration (an old idea).) Flammarion's best-selling work, his epic Astronomie populaire (1880), translated into English as Popular Astronomy (1894), is filled with speculation about extraterrestrial life. An entire chapter is taken up in arguing the case for lunar life, while Mars he considers as earth-like. He concluded it was probable that Mars was inhabited by a race superior to our own. He also founded the magazine L'Astronomie (“The Monthly Review of Astronomy”), starting in 1882. (It was never successful financially.) In 1887 was a founder (along with a group of friend of science) and the first president (and remained the general secretary until his death in 1925) of the Société astronomique de France (French Society of Astronomy), which originally had its own independent journal (Bulletin de la Société astronomique de France), first published in 1887. In January, 1895, L'Astronomie and Bulletin de la Société astronomique de France merged, making L’Astronomie the Bulletin of the Societé. During the French war with Prussia he was appointed Captain of Engineers. He married his 1st wife Sylvie Pétiaux in August 1874. In 1919, Camille married his 2nd wife Gabrielle Renaudot (1876–1962) and for 6 years they collaborated to promote astronomy in France. His later studies were focused on psychical research and he published numerous books on the subject, including Death and Its Mystery (3 volumes, 1920–1921). He was described as a rather credulous psychical researcher. After Camille Flammarion died, his widow Gabrielle continued to maintain Juvisy Observatory and made arrangements for work to continue after her death. She is buried next to her husband in the observatory park. In his book, Histoire du Ciel (1872) Flammarion drew attention to the uncharted zone of the southern sky as a means of of possibly identifying the peoples who originally invented the constellations.
Excursus: Flammarion's 1888 book, L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire ("The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology") is best remembered for the illustration of a kneeling man, clothed in a long robe and carrying a staff, gazing at the wonders of the cosmos through the outer divide of the earth and the starry sky. The caption that accompanies the engraving in Flammarion's book reads: "A missionary of the Middle Ages tells that he had found the point where the sky and the Earth touch." The engraving has often, but erroneously, been referred to as a woodcut. It has been frequently used in latter publications to represent a supposedly medieval cosmology, including a flat earth bounded by a solid and opaque sky, or firmament, and also as a metaphorical illustration of either the scientific or the mystical quests for knowledge. In 1957 the German astronomer Ernst Zinner incorrectly claimed that the image dated to the German Renaissance. Further investigation by others revealed that the work was a composite of images characteristic of different historical periods, and that it had been made with a burin, a tool used for wood engraving only since the late 18th-century. The image was traced to Flammarion'' book by Arthur Beer, an astrophysicist and historian of German science at Cambridge, and, independently, by Bruno Weber, the curator of rare books at the Zürich central library. Flammarion had been apprenticed at the age of 12 years to an engraver in Paris and it is believed that many of the illustrations for his books were engraved from his own drawings, probably under his supervision. Therefore it is plausible that Flammarion himself created the image, though the evidence for this remains circumstantial. Like most other illustrations in Flammarion's books, the engraving carries no attribution. According to Bruno Weber and to astronomer Joseph Ashbrook, the depiction of a spherical heavenly vault separating the earth from an outer realm is similar to the first illustration in Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia of 1544, a book which Flammarion, an ardent bibliophile and book collector, might have owned. Although it is sometimes referred to as a forgery or a hoax, Flammarion does not characterize the engraving as a Medieval or Renaissance woodcut, and the mistaken interpretation of the engraving as an older work did not occur until after Flammarion's death. See: "Ubi caelum terrae se coniungit: Ein altertümlicher Aufriβ des Weltgebäudes von Camille Flammarion." by Bruno Weber. In: Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 1973, Pages 381-408. A summarized version of Weber's account was given by Joseph Ashbrook. In: The Astronomer's Scrapbook (1984).
A revealing obituary of Camille Flammarion appeared in MNRAS, LXXXVI, February 1926, Pages 178-180.
Relevant key publication (void zone argument): Histoire du Ciel [History of the Heavens, but literally History of the Sky] by Camille Flammarion (1872).
Note: It appears the citing of Histoire du Ciel for Flammarion using the void zone argument is a mistake. On 21-April-2016 I retrieved from a notebook 2 personal communications from the Dutch astronomer Robert van Gent, sent years earlier. Robert van Gent writes (personal communication, 13 May 2001): "I have now seen the original version of Flammarion's "Histoire du Ciel" in the Leiden university library. ... There is definitely no mention of the "void zone" argument or the works of S(ch)wartz. So, it appears that Proctor was indeed the first to re-apply this argument after S(ch)wartz and that it was Maunder who first traced back the origin of the argument to S(ch)wartz." Robert van Gent also writes (personal communication, 13-May-2016): "Flammarion could of course have picked up this idea after writing his :Histoire du Ciel" though I still haven't found a Flammarion publication that mentions S(ch)wartz." The belief that Maunder was influenced by Flammarion regarding the void zone argument is realistically defunct. It appears that Proctor was the first to re-apply the void zone argument after S(ch)wartz, and it was Maunder who first traced back the origin of this argument to S(ch)wartz. However, there is still a puzzle remaining. John Blake provides the sole reason for connecting Flammarion to the void zone argument. Blake used the void zone argument in his Astronomical Myths (1877) which was essentially founded on Flammarion's History of the Heavens [= Histoire du Ciel]. Blake [= John Frederick Blake (1839-1906)] also introduced a considerable amount of new material. A check of the titles of Flammarion's books shows that Histoire du Ciel is the only book that Blake can being referring to. If he didn't obtain the void zone argument from Flammarion then did he obtain it from Proctor's article, "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures."? "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." by Richard Proctor first appeared in Belgravia: A London Magazine (1877) before it appeared in his book Myths and Marvels of Astronomy (1878). Ed Krupp in his article "Night Gallery." also incorrectly attributed Blake's use of the void zone to Flammarion's Histoire du Ciel (but believed Blake was simply translating Flammarion's book). This what the Introduction to Blake's book states. Basically all the void zone writers after S(ch)wartz were British. (Alexander von Humboldt doesn't count. He was only making an inquiry about the method. Flammarion is indicated as being redundant. The 3 early British void zone proponents are Blake, Proctor, and Maunder. Blake had details of the void zone theory that appears not to have been obtained from Flammarion or Proctor. Proctor, according to Maunder, may have independently originated the void zone argument. Proctor does not seem to have known of S(ch)wartz. Maunder came upon the void zone argument via S(ch)wartz's book in the Royal Greenwich Observatory library, but later also knew of biographical details of Swartz. At least 2 sources are indicated. The key likely lies in a British journal publishedcirca 1850-1880, or earlier. There is likely some other British writer who published on the void zone and likely mentioned S(ch)wartz. The journal would be indicated as one that published science articles. Possibly indicated as journals and writer(s) : Critical (English-language) book reviews of S(ch)wartz per "Origin and Antiquity of the Zodiac," by Anon [William Roberts] in The British Review and London Critical Journal, Volume 9, Number 17, February 1817, Pages 136-150; and by Anon in The Literary Panorama, and National Register, New Series, Volume 1, November, 1814, Columns 257-259. The reviewers do not mention the void zone argument. (It was usual for almost all newspaper and periodical literature of mid 19th-century Britain to be published anonymously.) Robert van Gent (personal communication, 17-May-2001) writes: "... I had a look in M.J. Crowe, D.R. Dyck & J.R. Kevin, A Calendar of the Correspondence of Sir John Herschel (Cambridge, 1998) to see whether JH could have been involved. ... From the correspondence and publications cited in this work I see no evidence that JH was familiar with the work of S(ch)wartz. There are several letters preserved between JH and Proctor in the years 1869 to 1871 (the year of JH's death) but noting on "void space" or the antiquity of the constellations. ... There is no correspondence between JH and Blake. ... It thus seems that John Herschel can be ruled out as the 'missing link' between S(ch)wartz and Blake/Proctor/Maunder."
Ideas adopted from: It is unknown where he obtained his ideas for the void zone argument.
Ideas adopted by: John Blake.
The Greek constellations were arranged by Eudoxus of Cnidus from Babylonian constellations. The exact epoch of the origin of the Babylonian constellations is unknown. The earliest constellations did not originate as a set but were formed over time.
(e) Robert Brown Junior (1844-1912)
Robert Brown Junior (1844-1912) was an English solicitor and registrar of the county court in Barton-upon-Humber. He worked for the legal firm of Brown and Son (later renamed Brown and Sons). He was born in Barton-upon-Humber and worked and died there. (He lived at Priestgate House - inherited/purchased from his parents.) Usually Robert Brown Junior, FSA (Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries), MRAS (Member of the Royal Astronomical Society), A.M., (1844-1912) is mistakenly described as an English Orientalist or Assyriologist. (As recently as 1965 he was misdescribed as an Assyriologist and Egyptologist (Myth: A Symposium, Volume 5, 1965).) Brown Junior was frequently mistaken for other persons with the name Robert Brown. In his presidential address for 1896, the prominent folklorist Edward Clodd erroneously mentioned the death of Robert Brown the preceding year. Robert Brown Junior died at the age of 68 years. A short obituary appeared in Nature, Volume 90, 1913, Pages 227; and in the Annual Register, 1913, Page 123. (Also, he is frequently confused with the American freemason and author Robert Hewitt Brown.) Robert Brown Junior was also a writer on archaic religion, mythology, and astronomy. In his day Brown Junior was quite highly regarded as a popular writer. He can also be regarded as a private scholar. He was an avid amateur antiquarian and amateur philologist and a prolific writer on ancient Near Eastern mythology and astronomy. He was known (locally) as a writer on archaic religion, and was an amateur Orientalist. He was a strong supporter of the Solar mythology school and also a strong supporter of Semitic influence upon Greek mythology. He was educated at Cheltenham College, Gloucestershire (considered one of the greatest public schools of the Victorian period). His father was Robert Brown F.R.S., Solicitor and Registrar of the County Court, Barton-on-Humber. (Robert Brown was admitted to the Queen's Bench as Attorney, in 1850. However, he was established as an Attorney at Burgate by at least 1841.) The business became Brown and Son, Solicitors, when Robert Brown Junior joined it. Some details for Robert Brown Junior for 1885 include: (1) is Clerk to the Magistrates Court, Priestgate; (2) County Court Office: is Registrar and High Bailiff of the County Court, Priestgate; (3) Public Office, Priestgate: is Steward of the Manors of Barton-on-Humber & of Winteringham. Brown Junior was a Fellow of the Antiquarian Society (= Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries), a Member of the Royal Asiatic Society, and a Member of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. He contributed to the journals Archæologia, the Academy, and other publications. On 26 July, 1909, he played host to a visit to St. Peter's Church, by members of the Society of Antiquities. He corresponded with William Gladstone (on Greek literature no doubt) when Gladstone was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1880. According to the folklorist Richard Dorson (History of British Folklore (1999)) Brown Junior claimed to have converted Prime Minister Gladstone from an old-fashioned interpretation of Homer to his own viewpoint (involving Semitic influences). There is little doubt of the accuracy of Brown's claim (see: Homeric Synchronism: An Enquiry into the Time and Place of Homer by William Gladstone (1876)). In 1902 Brown Junior published the book, Mr Gladstone as I knew him, and other essays. It appears that for a time Robert Brown Junior practiced fraudulent physical mediumship (during at least 1890-1891) and his "séances" (mostly resulting in a table levitation trick) were investigated by officers of The Society for Psychical Research. (See: The Founders of Psychical Research by Alan Gauld (1968, Pages 221-222).) His wife Ann was connected with - or a member of - the Society for Psychical Research (London). (See: Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume 21, Pages 539; "Brown, Mrs. Robert, Priestgate House, Barton-on-Huber, Hull.".) In his book Demonology and Witchcraft (1889) a Robert Brown (not Robert Brown Junior ) mentions a lecture and demonstration of mesmerism being held in the Temperance Hall in Barton-on-Humber (in 1889?). Also mentioned is a vicar of the parish practising mesmerism, with the object of curing disease. His major work on the history of astronomy, Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Babylonians (2 Volumes, 1899-1900), is, unfortunately, still relied on by many researchers today. Brown Junior wrote the well received history, Notes on the Earlier History of Barton-on-Humber (2 Volumes, 1906-1908). However, his citing of a number of vernacular words as specimens of the Danish past of Barton-on-Humber was considered erroneous. The Yorkshire Herald (21/02/1893) reported that on this day that Mr [William] Gladstone had conferred a Civic Service pension of £100 a year upon Mr Robert Brown F.S.A., of Barton upon Humber, in consideration of his service to literature. Brown Junior very much felt his isolation in Barton-on-Humber - and his distance from London to attend meetings. Eventually he became the only member of his family to remain living in Barton-on-Humber. (In 1930 the population of Barton-on-Humber was approximately 6,500 people.) A (stained-glass) window by Archibald Nicholson (1872-1937) was placed in the Church of St. Peter in memory of Robert Brown Junior. It was removed in January, 2005 for conservation. (The (Saxon) Church of St. Peter was one of 2 great features of Barton-upon-Humber. The second was the (Norman) Church of St. Mary. Unusually for large mediaeval churches in a small town, they are located only some 150 metres apart. The construction of the Church of St. Peter is dated to the period between the period of King Edgar, 950 CE, and the Norman Conquest (1066 CE). The Church of St. Peter was an Anglican Church and Robert Brown Junior was a member of the Church of England.) The church window was only a small part of the memorial to Brown Junior. A large new school was built to his memory, by his parishioners and friends, at a cost of circa £1800 (including levelling the playground, and building boundary walls.
The "polar alignment" argument (constellation orientation argument) appears to originate with the English solicitor and antiquarian Robert Brown Junior.
Methods(s): Use of constellation orientation argument, and vernal equinox per the key celestial circles of Aratus argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures per vernal equinox of Aratus argument: 2084 BCE. Location: Latitude of Euphrates Valley.
Relevant key publications: (polar alignment argument, placement of colures argument) Brown, Junior., Robert. (1892). "The Celestial Equator of Aratos." In: Morgan, Edward (Editor). Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists. 2 Volumes. (Pages 445-485). (Note: The paper is in Volume 2.) See also: Brown, Junior., Robert. (1897). "On the Origin of the Ancient Northern Constellation-figures." (The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, April, Pages 205-226).
Ideas adopted by (for Mesopotamian origin of the constellations: Edward Maunder, William Peck, and Richard Allen. Also later, ideas adopted by: Davis, George. (1959). "The Origin of the Ancient Constellations." (Sky and Telescope, June, Pages 424-427). (Note: The author uncritically accepted the views expressed in the highly unreliable book Primitive Constellations by Robert Brown Junior (2 Volumes, 1899-1900).
Critique: Brown Junior was keen for recognition and also to promote his particular ideas. More than one writer has commented that if Brown was right then it was usually/often for the wrong reasons. As example: On the origin of the constellations he accepted the erroneous ideas of Fritz Hommel and Peter Jensen, and opposed the ideas of Georg Thiele. In spite of holding some peculiar positions Antike Himmelsbilder (1898) by Georg Thiele is still regarded by some as the standard work on the constellations. Books by Fritz Hommel and Peter Jensen are largely forgotten and their ideas discarded.
In his Phainomena, Aratus always speaks of the constellations as being of unknown antiquity. This has caused Brown Junior (and others) to conclude that Aratus would not be expected to state such if Eudoxus had introduced the constellation figures only a just over century previously.
Robert Brown Junior believed that Aratus' poem embodied astronomical ideas derived from Babylon. Similar to Robert Böker later, Robert Brown Junior argued for the latitude of Babylon being correct for Aratus' Phainomena. (For Brown Junior, Babylonia was the ultimate source of much of Greek astronomy.) Specifically, the constellations described by Aratus - including the zodiacal constellations - are of Babylonian origin and date circa 2000 BCE. In his lengthy article 1892 address/paper in "The Celestial Equator of Aratos." (In: Morgan, Edward. (Editor). Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists. 2 Volumes. (Pages 445-485). [The paper is in Volume 2.]) is the address/publication in which Brown (erroneously) dates the origin of the Babylonian zodiac to 2084 BCE. In this 1892 paper Brown Junior believed he had shown: "... that the statements in Aratos in reference to the principal stars near near the equator, agree with the actual state of things at the vernal equinox B.C. 2084, a date when the Euphratean formal scheme or chart of the heavens had already been completed." Brown Junior believed that by circa 2000 BCE the Babylonians had already established a formal constellation scheme. (The completion of the complete constellating of the Babylonian sky actually dates to circa 1200 BCE.) This error had also been touched upon in his earlier 1885 book The Phainomena, or, 'Heavenly Display' of Aratos: Done into English Verse. Brown believed that nobody was inventing the zodiac circa 500 BCE. See verses 81-87, pages 81-87. (By way of noting Robert Brown Junior was appointed Secretary of the Archaic Greece and the East Section (for the duration/terms of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists?).) Brown believes he has shown " ... that the statements in Aratos in reference to the principal stars near the equator, agree with the actual state of things at the vernal equinox B.C. 2084, a date when the Euphratean formal scheme of chart of the heavens had already been completed." The basic problem with Brown's The Phainomena, or, ‘Heavenly Display’ of Aratos: Done into English Verse is Brown believed that nobody was inventing the zodiac circa 500 BCE. In fact we now know that the zodiac was developed by the Babylonians over circa 700 BCE to circa 400 BCE. Nobody was inventing a zodiac prior to the Babylonians in the first millennium BCE. Other persons have more recently argued that the Phainomena of Aratus can be dated to circa 3000 BCE. However, the assumption of accuracy for Aratus' reworking of Eudoxus' earlier works describing the constellations is perhaps misplaced. The Greeks were not too concerned about accuracy until after the 4th-century BCE. Also, the needs of Aratus for reworking the descriptions of Eudoxus into into suitable versification could easily have introduced some looseness in accuracy of description. Brown's ideas on such have influenced multiple other persons (including modern scholars such as Mary Blomberg and Göran Henriksson, Uppsala University) to ascribe a very early date to the constellations in the Phainomena of Aratus. These ideas are now no longer tenable. In his major work on the history of astronomy, Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Babylonians (2 Volumes, 1899-1900), Brown argued for an early zodiac and accompanying system of constellations. (Robert Brown again (1899) maintained his dating of Aratus's astronomical poem to 2084 BCE, and his belief that the Sumero-Akkadian Euphratean Planisphere (he believed he had determined) shows the Sun in Taurus at vernal equinox, a position that predates 2540 BCE.) A suitable understanding of Babylonian cuneiform sources clearly show a late origin for the zodiac (originating circa 500 BCE in Babylon). The complex set of Babylonian constellations contained in the Mul.Apin series can be dated to the latter half of the 2nd-millennium BCE. Circa 1883, when he believed he had established the origin of the zodiacal constellations, he began working on the origin of the extra-zodiacal constellations. Nowhere does Brown Junior set out any technical arguments.
[Excursus: Ernst Weidner (1915) maintained the main core of MUL.APIN originated 2084 BCE. Vladimir Tuman (1992) maintained the main core of MUL.APIM originated 2084 BCE.]
During the 1870s and 1880s Brown Junior laboured to establish the influence of ancient Semitic cultures on Hellenic religious mythology. Along with George Cox and Abram Palmer he enthusiastically embraced and promoted the school of nature mythology originated by Max Müller. However, at this period when solar, lunar, and stellar interpretations of mythology were being linked to India and the Rig Veda Brown Junior argued for Semitic influences on Greek mythology. In doing this he showed he was not a complete disciple of Max Muller in the interpretation of mythology. (Rather, he applied Müller's approach to uncovering Semitic origins.) One of Brown's better books is Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mythology (1898), which is a critique of the views of Max Müller and Andrew Lang on mythology. (See the supportive (English-language) book review by George Goodspeed in The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Volume 15, Number 1, October, 1898, Pages 60-62.)
On ancient astronomy Brown Junior corresponded/associated with – and relied upon for material and guidance – professional assyriologists such as Archibald Sayce, Theophilus Pinches and George Bertin. Brown Junior was for many years reliant on the guidance given to him, amongst others, by the assyriologist George Bertin (1848-1891). In the pages of the late 19th-century journal The Academy it is clearly Robert Brown Junior who George Bertin is obliquely referring to for breaching trust and publishing some of Bertin's significant work unacknowledged - inferring it was Brown's own work. Trying to work out at this late stage what was Brown's own work and what was a copy of the help of others is impossible. Brown Junior was obviously frequently corresponding with Pinches - in his Primitive Constellations he frequently acknowledges assistance/advice given by Pinches. In a letter to the American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts (1893) he acknowledges that Theophilus Pinches has called his attention to Babylonian tablet BM 85-4-30, 15 in the British Museum which gives the 12 months and month stars connected with each. A number of Brown's mistakes are their mistakes. However, he frequently ignored their expert guidance on a range of issues (such as philology and cultural transmission) and they frequently expressed their disappointment with Brown’s 'independent' (speculative and undisciplined) ideas on a range of issues (such as philology and cultural transmission). In Pinches' review of Volume 1 of Brown's Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians (1899) he states: "... it grieves me that I cannot follow him in much of what says concerning the statements of the Assyro-Babylonian tablets bearing upon the subject." In Pinches' review of Volume 2 of Brown's Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians (1900) he states: "It is a matter of regret to me that I find myself unable to follow the author in all his conclusions, and that my readings, ... often differ greatly to his."
The eminent French historian of ancient astronomy, Paul Tannery, found Brown's work erudite and ingenious, but took issue with the method, and other issues. Others were more critical of the publications on the constellations (and other subjects) by Brown Junior. In his Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie the German assyriologist Ernst Weidner wrote that Robert Brown's studies on the Babylonian fixed stars, most published in PSBA and summarised in the 2 volume Primitive Constellations, is of extremely low value, and comprise a striking example of where dilettantism can get lost. Robert Eisler (1882-1949, Austrian, cultural historian and university lecturer (University of Oxford)) (The Royal Art of Astrology, 1946): "Brown's Researches into the Origin of the Principal (sic) Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians are amateurish and obsolete." Odell Shepard (1884-1967, American, professor, poet, and politician (Professor of English, Yale University)) (The Lore of the Unicorn, 1930): "Brown's books tend to be badly written and arranged. Brown tends to be inaccurate, incautious, disposed to generalize upon insufficient data, and is not above wrenching disputed or disputable points to his purpose. His books tend to be wild but rather brilliant and full of recondite learning and startling surmises." Both volumes of Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians are (1) thoroughly dated and unreliable, and (2) still mistaken as important and the standard work. As late as 1932 Basil Brown in his Astronomical Atlases, Maps and Charts (unreliably) advised that Brown's Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians "should certainly be consulted." The historian Mircea Eliade, in his The Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) also (unreliably) recommended use of Brown's Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians.
In Volume 1 of his Primitive Constellations Brown Junior stated that Aratus possessed the 2 prose works of Eudoxus on the constellations, one or more star maps with constellations, and a star globe. Brown also argued that (1) Babylonia is the ultimate source of much of Greek astronomy, (2) the Western constellations in something like their present form originated in Babylonia as early as 2000-3000 BCE, and (3) the statements of Aratus are wholly incorrect when applied to his own time but correct when applied to the latitude of Babylon circa 2084 BCE.
In his "The Celestial Equator of Aratus," Brown Junior refers to Cicero stating that Gallus assured us that the solid and compact model globe was a very ancient invention, and that the first Hellenic model had been originally made by Thales of Miletus. In his Primitive Constellations, he reminds that Cleostratus (or Kleostratus as he prefers to spell the name) was a populariser of the Babylonian zodiac. (Cleostratus may have introduced the Babylonian zodiac into Greece.)
Brown Junior mistook the early circular "three stars each" texts (commonly called "planispheres" but actually functioning as star calendars, even though planets were also included) as representing the standard Mesopotamian scheme of constellations. The circular "astrolabes" were mistaken by Brown Junior for a Euphratean "mother sphere" of 36 constellations total. (The tablets with "planispheres" belong to the class of omen tablets known as the Enuma (or Ea) Anu Enlil series.) On the basis of three small fragments of these circular "star calendars" (Sm. 162, Sm. 608, and Sm. 94) he attempted to re-establish what he believed was a complete standard Babylonian "planisphere." (In Primitive Constellations, Figure 1 in Volume 2, he sets out he has reconstructed a Sumero-Semitic [Babylonian] Euphratean Planisphere using both monument [Astrolabes?] and the account of Diodorus, II. 30-31. Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian who flourished circa the 1st century BCE.) Brown Junior's speculative and erroneous reconstruction of his so-called "Euphratean Planisphere" was based on his belief that the circular "planispheres" set out an ecliptic based scheme with the 12 stars in the Path of Ea (outer ring) marking southern constellations, the 12 stars in the Path of Enlil (inner ring) marking northern constellations, and the 12 stars in the Path of Anu (middle ring) marking the 12 zodiacal constellations along the ecliptic. (His results mimic an "astrolabe" of 36 constellations - sets of 12 constellations in each of the 3 paths.) On the basis of his mistaken circular "planisphere" reconstruction Brown believed the constellations, including a 12-constellation zodiac scheme, in something like their present form, originated in Mesopotamia in the late 3rd millennium BCE. He denied (quite incorrectly) that anyone in Mesopotamia was inventing the 12-constellation zodiac as late as circa 500 BCE. Brown was unaware of the star lists of the Mul.Apin series. Mul.Apin tablet 1 (BM 86378) was not published until 1912 by Leonard King (CT 33, Plates 1-8) and it was perhaps first discussed by Franz Kugler in his Supplement 1 (1913) to his Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel. The first section of Mul.Apin tablet 1 lists considerably more stars in the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea than are found in the "planispheres." (He was also misled by the limited listing of stars/constellations in the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea through Tablet 82-5-22 512.) He was also led into error by the text of the Enuma Elish ("When on high") the 7 tablet series usually described as the Mesopotamian "Epic of Creation" He began Volume II of Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians with a chapter setting out his analysis of the fifth tablet of the Enuma Elish series. In the fifth tablet there occurs a passage ("For the twelve months he placed three stars (constellations) each.") that is interpretable as pointing to the existence of a scheme of 36 constellations: 12 northern, 12 zodiacal, and 12 southern. These are 36 selected stars (constellations) to mark the progress of the months through the course of the schematic year and not the total number of constellations within the scheme of Mesopotamian uranography.
Interpretation of the 3 Paths on the Circular Planispheres ("Astrolabes")
|Position of "Path"||Robert Brown Junior||Established by Scholars|
|Outer (Way of Ea)||The 12 stars in the Path of Ea (outer ring) marking southern constellations||Constellations/asterisms south of central (equatorial) region|
|Middle (Way of Anu)||The 12 stars in the Path of Anu (middle ring) marking the 12 zodiacal constellations along the ecliptic||Constellations/asterisms along the central (equatorial) region|
|Inner (Way of Enlil)||The 12 stars in the Path of Enlil (inner ring) marking northern constellations||Northern and circumpolar constellations/asterisms (north of central (equatorial) region)|
(f) Edward Maunder (1851-1928)
Edward Walter Maunder (E. Walter Maunder) was an English solar astronomer (he was in charge of the Greenwich sunspot records), writer, and historian of astronomy. Maunder's career in astronomy was spent as a member of staff of the Solar Department of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Edward Maunder was involved with the Greenwich photoheliographic program. He is chiefly remembered for his work in the field of solar studies (i.e., the Maunder butterfly diagram, the Maunder minimum). Edward Maunder, both born and died in London, was the youngest of 3 sons of the Reverend George Maunder, a Wesleyan minister. Maunder's basic education was acquired at the school attached to University College in Gower Street, London, and supplemented with attendance at additional courses at King's College, London. He never graduated. He worked briefly in a London bank to finance his studies. He took the first ever examination set by the British Civil Service Commissioners (1872), designed to fill vacancies created at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. After successfully completing completing a Civil Service Commissioners examination in 1872 Maunder in 1873 was appointed Photographic and Spectroscopic Assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. (Maunder's job classification in 1876 was designated First Class Physical Assistant.) Maunder's main work for 30 years was to make a complete record of sunspots. He was Superintendent, Solar Department, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1873-1913 and 1916-1919. Maunder's other work - in conjunction with William Christie - was in the field of spectroscopy where they measured visually stellar radial velocities. Maunder retired in 1913 but was recalled during WWI to continue photoheliograph observations. (During WWI Annie Maunder also apparently resumed duties at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.) Maunder carried out direct solar photography and spectroscopic sweeps around the Sun's limb to detect prominences. In 1875 Maunder was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, later serving on council, as secretary, and as vice-president. In 1890 he founded the British Astronomical Association (or at least was a key driving force in its establishment), and was President from 1894 to to 1896. (Prior to the founding of the BAA Maunder had become disaffected at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich with the lack of advancement opportunities. When Maunder retired he was the oldest assistant at the Observatory both in terms of age and years of experience.) Maunder was a regular speaker at both the BAA and the Victoria Institute (otherwise known as the Philosophical Society of Great Britain). Maunder also gained recognition through his many published books and papers aimed at both academic and popular audiences. He participated in the BAA eclipse expeditions from 1896 to 1905, and also several Royal Observatory, Greenwich, eclipse expeditions. His last eclipse expedition was to Labrador for the Solar eclipse of 30 August 1905, at the invitation of the Canadian government. In 1875 he married his 1st wife Edith Hannah Bustin and they had 6 children, 3 sons, 2 daughters and a son who died in infancy. Following the death of Edith in 1888 he met Annie Scott Dill Russell (1868–1947) in 1890, a mathematician and astronomer. After 1891, he was assisted in his work by Annie Russell who would later become his 2nd wife. In 1895, when nearly 45 years of age Edward Maunder and Annie Russell aged 27 years married. He had a family of 5 children. He and his 2nd wife had no children of their own. They were collaborators for the remainder of his life. It appears, however, that Edward Maunder had a habit of publishing both his and Annie's work under his name only, and also only in popular journals and books rather than in scientific journals. Their residential address was 8 Maze Hill, Greenwich Park, SE. (In 1916 Annie Maunder became one of the first women accepted by the Royal Astronomical Society.) A crater on the Moon and a crater on Mars were named in honour of Edward Maunder. A crater on the Moon and a crater on Mars were named in honour of his wife Annie Maunder. Maunder was fascinated with those aspects of archaic astronomy dealing with the constellation figures and their date of origin. A short notice of the first retirement of Maunder appeared in The English Mechanic and World of Science, Volume XCVIII, Number 2536, October 31, 1913, Page 312.
Maunder was a prolific writer on the origin of the constellations. (He was a prolific writer who published over 250 articles on a wide variety of subjects.) There appear to be 12 publications in all: (1) "The Oldest Astronomy [I]." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 8, 1898, Pages 373-376); (2) "The Zodiac Explained." (The Observatory, Volume 21, 1898, Pages 438-444); (3) "The Oldest Astronomy II." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 9, 1899, Pages 317-321); (4) "The Oldest Picture-Book of All." (The Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review, Volume 48, 1900, Pages 451-464); (5) A chapter in his book, Astronomy Without a Telescope (1902); (6) "The Oldest Astronomy III." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 14, 1904, Pages 241-246); (7) With Annie Maunder as co-author, "Note on the Date of the Passage of the Vernal Equinox from Taurus into Aries." (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Astronomical Society, Volume 64, 1904, Pages 488-507); (8) "?" (Knowledge and Scientific News, Volume 27, 1904, Pages ?-?); (9) A chapter in his book, The Astronomy of the Bible (1908); (10) "The Oldest Astronomy IV." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 19, 1909, Pages 298-300); (11) "The Origin of the Constellations." (The Observatory, Volume 36, 1913, Pages 329-334); (12) "?" (The Chaldean, ?, Pages ?-?).
Maunder's 1898 article, "The Zodiac Explained." obviously mimics the title of S(ch)wartz's tract, Le Zodiaque expliqué (1807; 1809). In his 1898 article Maunder cannot make the identification of C.G. S. and can only comment that he was possibly the Swedish consul of Baku. In his 1899 article Maunder still cannot make the identification of C.G.S. and offers no biographical details at all. However, in his 1900 article Maunder can now identify Carl G. Schwartz (but not Carl Gottlieb Schwartz). The only 2 biographical details offered are (1) Schwartz appears to have resided at Baku at the end of the 18th-century and the beginning of the 19th-century; and (2) Schwartz appears to have been a correspondent of Dupuis, Delambre, and Bailly. Absent is the Swedish consul details. (The first detail is erroneous.) The only purpose Maunder seems to have had for his 1909 article is to provide the additional biographical details of S(ch)wartz that he had obtained. All biographical details known to Maunder at this time are in the article and also his comments printed in the "Report of Meeting held on April 28, 1909." which is when he delivered the "The Oldest Astronomy IV." paper. In total there are only some 7 biographical details, and apart from the name Carl G. Schwartz, 2 of the details are repeats from his 1900 article. It seems obvious that the additional information must have been obtained recently by Maunder. In 1909 Maunder states that he has not much information about S(ch)wartz and also seems uncertain of the accuracy of most of the information he does have. Interestingly, in the 1909 Report, S(ch)wartz is referred to as a "young man." However, at the time of publication of his Recherches .... (1807), Swartz was 50 years old. What, then, is the context of the "young man" remark, and does it originate with Maunder? By 1909 Maunder still really only knew of 4 of the 6 publications by S(ch)wartz: Recherches .... (1807); Le Zodiaque .... (1809); Encore quelques .... (1813); and Memoire .... (1813). Maunder knew (and it can't have been difficult) that the 1809 book was simply an expanded revision/edition (with a new title) of the 1807 book. The 2nd edition of 1809 would have told him that. Effectively, Maunder only knew of the titles review by Anon in the article review, "Origin and Antiquity of the Zodiac." (British Review .... (1817)). The identity of Anon is perhaps the editor of the British Review. However, it is possible that the British astronomer Francis Baily (1774-1844) was the author of the 1817 paper that was critical of Schwartz. Baily was very much interested in the problem of the origin of the constellations. Baily was on the staff of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (but prior to Maunder's time there). It is possible that Baily knew some biographical details regarding Schwartz. How Maunder obtained his limited biographical information is likely to remain unknown. There is a puzzling passage on Page 137 of the British Review .... (1817) that refers to some "[Gallic] philosophers of the North" who appeared to be more receptive to the fantastical theories of the antiquity of the constellations by the French scholars Nicolas Fréret, Charles Dupuis and others. It does not appear to be a reference to any recent articles appearing in the Edinburgh Review (a similar journal to the British Review ....).
Maunder does state that he researched information on Schwartz but is vague as to what he found (apart from some limited biographical details). Whatever, Maunder appears to have stuck to the name Schwartz and did not know of the spelling, Swartz. It seems clear that Maunder had 2 minor sources and perhaps limited first-hand knowledge of S(ch)wartz's publications past sighting a copy of Le Zodiaque expliqué (1809). (In his article "The Zodiac Explained." in The Observatory, Maunder stated that the library of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich possessed both the 1807 and the 1809 publication by C. G. S.) It also seems that no source of information accessible by Maunder was able to move past 1813 for any of S(ch)wartz's publications or biographical knowledge. This likely explains why Maunder did not know the year of S(ch)wartz's death. (Camille Flammarion was certainly not a source for Maunder's information.) It is possible that aspects of Maunder's "knowledge" of Schwartz was speculative. Maunder lacks knowledge of any Swedish sources and has no knowledge of Swartz's life dates. It would be incorrect to conclude that Maunder may not have been too conversant with the French language. The French translation of his article "The Canals of Mars." in the Supplement section of Scientia, Volume VII, 1910, Pages 253-269, has the credit, "Traduit par E. Philippi, licencié ès, Paris." However, like other Maunder articles in Scientia, it was not original but reproduced from another journal. It was the nature of Scientia to do this.
Most of Maunder's historical publications appeared in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, or in the periodical Knowledge, or in the quarterly publication The Chaldean. Article by Maunder on the history of astronomy and the Bible also appeared in the journal Scientia and the Journal of the Victoria Institute. His book, The Astronomy of the Bible (4 editions) is his only book on the history of ancient astronomy. There are no surviving unpublished manuscripts of any type amongst his papers. Maunder's book, Astronomy of the Bible is an expansion of his article "Astronomy" in the 4-volume, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. It appears that Maunder was considered to be an authority on the Bible.
The English minister Thomas Thorburn (1858-1923) wrote Jesus Christ: Historical of Mythical? (1912). Part of the discussion appears to have prompted a letter from Maunder. In his book The Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels (1916), Thorburn mentions (page xiv; see also page 110) receiving a letter from Maunder dated March 20th, 1914, regarding subject matter discussed in his earlier book. In the letter, Maunder, in discussing the ideas of Charles Dupuis that the constellations originated circa 13,000 BCE, mentions the "vacant space" around the south pole as providing evidence that Dupuis was wrong by ten o or eleven thousand years. When I locate my copy of Thorburn's earlier book I will identify the likely topic that prompted Maunder's letter.
At one time Maunder was the astronomy referee for The Wesley Naturalist. The journal was founded in the late 1880s as the journal of the Wesley Scientific Society. Both he and his 2nd wife Annie were Pentacostalists. Pentacostalism is an evangelical fundamentalist Christian movement. Maunder's Pentacostalism might be associated with the Keswick Conferences of the 1870s. (In the 1870s, the fervour of the Keswick-Holiness revival swept Great Britain, where it was sometimes called the higher life movement after the title of William Boardman's book The Higher Life. Higher life conferences were held at Broadlands and Oxford in 1874 and in Brighton and Keswick in 1875. The Convention (annual Keswick conferences held from 1875) soon became the British headquarters for this movement.) From the late 1870s Maunder's approach to the history of the constellations was shaped by Frances Rolleston's 'Bible in the stars' book Mazzaroth (1862). (Some of Maunder's correspondence in the RAS Letter Archive (for 1877) contain references to Maunder borrowing a copy of Mazzaroth; or The constellations by Frances Rolleston.) Though he later criticised its ideas his articles later in life still showed a 'Bible in the stars' belief, though somewhat more restrained. Maunder believed that the people who originated the constellations did so with the intention of preserving some early parts of Genesis. This religious belief dictated the further belief that the constellations were a set that originated early. To get his early date for the origin of the constellations (as a set) Maunder revived the "void zone" arguments of the Swedish amateur astronomer Carl Swartz [Schwartz]. In doing so it would seem that Maunder was somewhat influenced by his religious convictions regarding an early date for the constellations. Maunder also believed that the early origin of 48 constellations as a set necessarily implied an advanced astronomy. In his own day both the astronomer Mary Orr [Evershed] and the classicist? T[homas] Arnold effectively demolished the reliability of the "void zone" argument.
Another possible influence on Maunder was: The Chaldean Account of Genesis by George Smith (1876) which expanded on "The Chaldean Account of the Deluge." by George Smith (Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Volume 2, 1873, Pages 213-234). In 1880 an edition of The Chaldean Account of Genesis edited by Archibald Sayce was published.
Frances Rolleston (1781-1864) was a pious unmarried woman of some wealth. However, she mostly lived with relatives and friends, occasionally renting a cottage. The genesis of the book dates to the 1820s, and it was substantially written in the early 1840s, with the help and encouragement of one of her sisters. There was a lapse of 15 or more years between the completion of Mazzaroth and its publication. Although it was published by Rivington (Rivington's, London), its publication was subsidized by Rolleston herself. The final version of Mazzaroth is the work of a woman in her 70s, who had had very poor eyesight since the age of 30. Rolleston believed that through the ancient names for the stars (constellations), it was possible to discover the oldest knowledge transmitted from the Judaic-Christian god of the Bible to humankind: the method of peoples redemption and the coming of the Jewish messiah. Rolleston is usually described as a linguist and she claimed to know Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldee and Syriac. She did know Greek and Latin. She wrote to one regular correspondent that wherever the root (of a word) exists in Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldee and Syriac, there we have a relique of the Noachic tongue. She spent her life as a mythographer, poet (she was considered a competent poet), and letter writer. She had a passion for painting and music.
There is a remote possibility that some other proponents of the "Gospel in the Stars" idea may have had knowledge of the "void zone" argument. (I have not yet gotten around to checking.) Maunder is indicated as early believing that the Book of Genesis was set out in the constellations.
See: "Edward Walter Maunder FRAS (1851-1928): his life and times." by Anthony Kinder (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume118, Number 1, 2008, Pages 21-42). It was intended to be followed by a 2nd article. I do not presently know whether the 2nd part of the article was published.Summary: The renewed promotion of the 'vacant space' argument originated with Maunder. who took the idea (and acknowledged doing so) from the book Le Zodiaque Expliqué by Anon [Carl Swartz]. Interestingly, Maunder was somewhat accepting of the books argument for an earlier seafaring origin of the majority of the constellations. (Swartz suggested that the majority of the earliest constellation figures were developed by a seafaring nation.) (See: "The Oldest Astronomy II." by E. Walter Maunder, Papers Communicated to the [British Astronomical] Association, Number 7, Volume IX, Page 321 [article pages 317-321]. However, whilst Maunder ("The Oldest Astronomy II.") is generally accepting of the suggestion by the author of Le Zodiaque Expliqué that the constellation figures arose amongst a seafaring nation he is dismissive of the author's particularly explained ideas.
Method(s): Use of void zone argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2700 BCE. Locations: Between 35° (36°) & 40° north latitude. (Also, circa 2700 BCE, 40° north latitude).
Relevant key publications (polar alignment argument, void zone argument): Maunder, Edward. (1898). "The Zodiac Explained." (The Observatory, Volume XXI, Pages 438-444). Maunder, Edward. (1897/1898). "The Oldest Astronomy." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume VIII, Number 9, Pages 373-376). Maunder, Edward. (1898/1899). "The Oldest Astronomy. II." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume IX, Number 7, Pages 317-321). Maunder, Edward. (1900). "The Oldest Picture-Book of All." (The Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review, Volume 48, September, Pages 451-464). (Note: The article was also reprinted in The Living Age [Littell's Living Age], Seventh Series, Volume IX, October, November, December, 1900, Pages 614-624.) Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1903/1904). "The Oldest Astronomy. III." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XIV, Number 6, Pages 241-246). See also: Astronomy Without a Telescope by Edward Maunder (1902); and "The Oldest Picture-Book of All." In: Our Wonderful World edited by Adolf Berle (1926). (Pages 338-356).
See also Maunder, Edward. (1885). "An Old Monument: or the Story of the Constellations." (Sunday Magazine, April, Pages 158-162). (Note: One of his earliest article on the origin of the constellations and unreliable. Obviously influenced by the ideas of the classicist and linguist Frances Rolleston (1781-1864) in her "gospel in the stars" book Mazzaroth, or The Constellations (4 Volumes, 1862-1865), which has belief in Biblical literalism. The constellations are viewed as descending from Noah and illustrating episodes in Genesis. Maunder employs the "void zone" argument without mention of Swartz. The later articles (1898 onwards) by the Evangelical astronomer Edward Maunder (1851-1928) on the origin of the constellations were influenced by the ideas of the Swedish amateur astronomer Carl Swartz (1757-1824) in his Le Zodiaque expliqué (1809) published in Paris.)
Ideas adopted from: Carl Swartz, Robert Brown Junior, and perhaps Camille Flammarion. Note: Very early in his investigations into the origin of the constellations Maunder was influenced (at least for awhile) by Frances Rolleston's (highly unreliable) Mazzaroth (1865).
Ideas adopted by: Richard Allen, and Andrew Crommelin.
In his discussion in The Astronomy of the Bible, Edward Maunder offers more procedural details than was given by Proctor. Maunder very clearly based his analysis on the Aratean constellations, not Ptolemy's star catalogue. Maunder's estimate of the precessional displacement of the south celestial pole since the implementation of the Akkadian system indicated an origin at 2700 BCE. Maunder expanded upon Proctor's claimed detection of a system of spherical astronomy in the character and configuration of the constellations. Maunder concluded that the constellation myth narratives came first, and the constellations were later drawn to illustrate them.
Source: Extracts from Astronomy Without a Telescope by Edward Maunder (1902, Pages 3-6, 10-11).
(g) Annie Maunder (née Russell) (1868-1947)
Annie Russell was born 14-4-1868 in Strabane, county Tyrone. She was a member of the Presbyterian church. She was initially educated at home and later attended Ladies' Collegiate School (later renamed Victoria College), Belfast. In 1886 she gained a scholarship to Girton College, Cambridge where she took part one of the mathematical tripos with second-class honours. She began her career as a mathematics teacher, but soon - September 1891 - took a post as a 'lady computer' (and assistant to Edward Maunder) in the solar department at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. She resigned her post 4 years later just prior to her marriage to Edward Maunder. She continued her astronomical work in an amateur capacity focusing particularly on solar coronal streamers. She designed a wide-field astronomical camera which she used, among other things, to secure eclipse photographs of the corona extending far above the solar disk. She also accompanied Edward Maunder on eclipse expeditions. They collaborated in writing the book entitled The Heavens and their Story (1908) which was published under joint names, her name appearing first. In the Preface, Edward Maunder explained it was almost entirely her work. Their collaboration is also evident in Edward Maunder's work on the sunspot cycles. In 1907 she produced a catalogue of 600 recurrent sunspot groups based on Royal Observatory, Greenwich observations. Like Edward Maunder she was an active member and speaker at a number of learned societies particularly acting as editor and in other capacities for the British Astronomical Association. She returned to the Royal Greenwich Observatory as a volunteer during WWI, working there from 1915 to 1920. When the Royal Astronomical Society finally extended its membership to women in 1915 she was made a fellow although a paper written by her had been communicated to the RAS by Sir William Christie on her behalf some 8 years previously. Many of her observations were published in popular journals under her husband's name before she was named as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In later years her interest was redirected towards ancient astronomies and she was regarded an authority in the field. However, she was not always reliable. Unfortunately some of her publications on the history of the constellations continue to be used uncritically. She died on 15-9-1947 aged 80 in Wandsworth, London. In 1916 Annie Maunder became one of the first women accepted by the Royal Astronomical Society. A crater on the Moon and a crater on Mars were named in honour of Annie Maunder. Like Edward Maunder, Annie Maunder was fascinated with those aspects of archaic astronomy dealing with the constellation figures and their date of origin.
See: "Alice Everett and Annie Russell Maunder: torch bearing women astronomers." by M[ary]. T. Brück (Irish Astronomical Journal, Volume 21, Number 3/4, 1994, Pages 280- 291). "The Family Background of Annie S. D. Maunder (née Russell)." by M[ary]. T. Brück and S. Grew (Irish Astronomical Journal, Volume 23, Number 1, 1996, Pages 55-56).
Method(s): Use of void zone argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 3000-2800 BCE. Locations: Between 33(35)° & 38° north latitude.
Relevant key publications (polar alignment argument, void zone argument): For articles by Annie Maunder see: Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1903/1904). "The Oldest Astronomy. III." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XIV, Number 6, Pages 241-246). Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1904). "Note on the Date of the Passage of the Vernal equinox from Taurus into Aries." (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 64, Number 3, Pages 488-507). (Note: The discussion on the origin of the constellations is completely unreliable.) Also see: "The Date of the Bundahis." by Annie Maunder (The Observatory, Volume 35, Number 453, October, 1912, Pages 362-367). After Edward Maunder's death, Annie Maunder continued to promote void zone and other associated arguments. Maunder, Annie. (1936). "The Origin of the Constellations." (The Observatory, Volume 59, Number 751, December, Pages 367-375). Attributes the Aratean constellations to an 'Elder Race' circa 2nd-millennium BCE. The author believes she has determined the date of the origin of the constellations - devised as a complete scheme - to 2900 BCE ± 100 years and to north latitude 37°-38°. Her method is only partially explained and the void zone is not mentioned. The author used the translation of Aratos' Phaenomena by G. R. Mair (whom she incorrectly identifies as G. W. Mair) in the Loeb's Classical Library Edition, 1921.) She reinforced her view in a short 1940 note answering Query 9, under Astronomical Queries. The constellations described in the Phainomena of Aratus were devised as a complete scheme between 3000-2800 BCE by an "Elder Race" who lived in Europe between latitudes 37° and 38° north. ("Astronomical Queries." by A. S. D. Maunder (JBAA, Volume 50, Number 4, 1940, Pages 158-159). See also the critical reply by Duncan MacNaughton (which is not free from some errors), "The Scorpion's Claws and the Scales." (JBAA, Volume 50, Number 5, 1940, Pages 185-186 under Communication to the Association).
Ideas adopted from: Edward Maunder, Andrew Crommelin
Ideas adopted by: Unknown
(h) William Peck (1862-1925)
Sir William Peck, FRSE, FRAS, (born 3-1-1862, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire – died 7-3-1925, Edinburgh) was a Scottish 'City Astronomer' (Astronomer to the City of Edinburgh, commencing 1896) and scientific instrument maker, and writer. Despite his lack of a formal education in astronomy he was lecturing on the subject in Edinburgh by 1883. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1885. Also in 1885 he was employed to run a private astronomical observatory for Robert Cox, a businessman and Member of Parliament. Peck was the director of the Edinburgh City Observatory on Calton Hill from 1889 until his death. He was knighted in 1917. In 1924 he was elected Honourary President of the Edinburgh Astronomical Association. Peck was a skilled maker of telescopes and instruments and carefully documented his work. In 1898 he founded a company to build electric motor carriages. He is buried in Warriston Cemetery.
Relevant key publications: Peck, William. (1884). The constellations and how to find them. (Note: In this publication the author believed that the constellations dated back to "Chaldea" circa 2000 BCE. See the (English-language) obituary by H. M. in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume LXXXIX, 1929, Pages 186-187. Life dates: 1862-1925.) Peck, William. (1890). "The Constellation Figures - Their Probable Origin." In: Peck, William. A Popular Handbook and Atlas of Astronomy. (Pages 1-11). (Note: The article is Chapter 1 of his book. He uses several of the arguments and conclusions employed by the "void zone" proponents (i.e., Richard Proctor?). In this publication the author believed that the very earliest constellations were established by the Egyptians circa 15,000 BCE and were further developed by the "Chaldeans" circa 2000 BCE. The chapter on constellation origins does not appear to have been written by either Proctor or Maunder and may well have been written by Peck.)
Ideas adopted from: Perhaps Robert Brown Junior.
(i) Mary Proctor (1862-1957)
Obtaining reasonably accurate detailed biographical information for Richard Proctor is somewhat difficult. Her name variously appears as Mary E. Proctor and Mary A. Proctor - with otherwise the same biographical details. One source has Mary Proctor as the widow of Richard Proctor. (According to one source a Mary A. Proctor was born April 1867, Missouri, USA and died September 1957 at 90 years of age, but this may be an error. According to another source she was born in 1862 (Dublin) and died in 1944.) Mary Proctor is frequently described as an American astronomer, but this is mistaken. It is undoubtedly due to the Proctor family emigrating to the USA in 1882. (In a passenger list circa 1924 she stated her nationality as British.) Her father was Richard Proctor, a noted astronomer and astronomy populariser, the 4th and youngest child of William Proctor, of Chelsea, a very wealthy solicitor. Mary Proctor was born in Dublin, Ireland when Richard Proctor was Richard Proctor was 25 years old (and circa he had begun to study astronomy). She lived to be 96 years of age and she never married. Mary Proctor was very close to her father and while still a child became his constant companion. In many ways she tried to imitate her father's work in popularising astronomy. She became a fixture in the American and the English astronomical communities. She was educated in a convent in Norwood, Surrey, England. From an early age she proudly took care of the organisation of her Father's library. As a young woman she arranged his letters and from the time she was 14 years old she proofread the galley proofs of her father's books. (From a young age she also read all her father's books even though not properly understanding all the contents. She also listened to all of his stories about astronomy as these were told in a way that was within her understanding.) She also assisted her father with the production of his newly established journal Knowledge. Needless to say she gained her knowledge of astronomy and her interest in writing from her father. After the move to the USA she began, under her father's guidance, to seriously study writing. Her earliest publications were a series of articles on comparative mythology. Her later book, Stories of Starland (1898) was adopted by the New York City Board of Education for use as a supplementary reader in New York Schools, Brooklyn, and elsewhere. Mary Proctor also had a regular contract with the New York Board of Education (presumably for student lectures). Mary Proctor was not a professional astronomer. She was a proficient astronomy populariser, a lecturer and writer on popular astronomy. She authored numerous articles for newspapers and journals, and wrote a considerable number of popular books. Magazines she contributed articles to include, Science, Knowledge, Popular Science News, Popular Astronomy, Scientific American, Youth's Companion, The Arena, The Chautauquan, and School Journal. She also taught astronomy in private schools. (As example: Mary Proctor taught (astronomy subjects) at the Young Woman's Institute in St. Joseph circa 1890.) At some early date she spent time lecturing in California. Though she did very little in the way of observational/telescopic astronomy she was widely respected by professional astronomers. She issued a prospectus in 1896 advertising she would lead a cruise ship tour (steamship Ohio) from Philadelphia to the northern coast of Norway where the solar eclipse of August 8, 1896, would be viewed. Her observation of the eclipse, viewed from off Støtt (Stott) island, was later published. Because many of her books and articles were aimed at children/adolescents she became known as the "children's astronomer." She was a FRAS. She was the eldest (surviving?) daughter of Richard Proctor and Mary Proctor (née Mills), the (English) wife of his first marriage. Mrs Mary Proctor died in 1879. During a trip to the USA, she enrolled in Columbia University, New York City. According to one source she graduated in 1888, the same year Richard Proctor died. Other sources simply state she attended (studies writing/journalism?) classes at Columbia University. According to (Sir) Patrick Moore she did graduate from the College of Preceptors at London in 1898. Another source states simply she studied for a time at the College of Preceptors at London. (College of Preceptors = College of Teachers. Founded in Britain in 1846 to standardize the teaching profession, the College of Preceptors is little known today.) In 1896 she was elected a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1916 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Circa 1920 she had returned to England and settled in London (where she eventually died). Mary Proctor co-authored a book on comets with Andrew Crommelin (Comets by M. Proctor and A. C. D. Crommelin (1937)). Her career as a public lecturer began when she came to prominence - thanks to favourable newspaper publicity by attending journalists - with her immensely successful series of astronomy presentations she was engaged to give at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Her address at that time was "No. 293 Forty-sixth Street, New York City, N. Y." (Specifically her engagement for the series of lectures was with "Members of the Board of Lady Managers" The Congress of Women, which was held in the Women’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. In 1893 Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago approached the 31 year old Mary Proctor with a proposal that she lecture on astronomy at the women’s building at the world’s fair.) Following these lectures in Chicago she arranged for a lecture course for the season of 1893-1894 in Eastern states. From a contemporary account (1894): "Miss Proctor made her début as a lecturer at the World's fair. After seeing an appeal in a Chicago paper to all women interested in the furtherance of woman's work at the fair, she wrote to Mrs. Potter Palmer, asking if she would approve of a woman lecturing to children about the wonders of starland. There was a pleasant response and a request for six lectures; but Miss Proctor, surmising that she was to address very young children in the kindergarten department, prepared her lectures with this idea, calling them "Goblins from Starland," and ordering her illustrations from New York. To her utter dismay, on the appointed day after her arrival in Chicago, on going to the children's building, she found, instead of an audience of children, a hall filled with adults. She was obliged to give an impromptu lecture, and to prepare the rest of the lectures from day to day. She was surprised at suddenly finding herself famous, the lecture-hall being crowded with appreciative audiences; and most favourable notice of these lectures appeared in the Chicago leading papers. Since that time she has been in great demand, lecturing under the auspices of the board of education of New York city, and throughout the large cities in the eastern and western states and in Canada, having lectured over 400 times since her debut in 1893." Circa the time of her father's re-burial (October, 1893) Mary Proctor took up residence in New York City. By the mid-1890s all of the other Proctors had left St. Joseph. Her younger sister Agnes taught music in Kansas City for a while, and in later years lived with her husband in Washington, D. C. Her young brother Richard had moved to Denver, and her brother John had moved to Portland, Oregon. Their step-mother Sallie Proctor married yet again and was living with her husband in Belfast, Ireland. During the late 19th-century and early 20th-century Mary Proctor lectured extensively throughout North America and Britain. She did a lecture tour of Australia (and New Zealand?) prior to WWI. (She visited Sydney Observatory in 1912.) For her lecture material she contacted prominent American astronomers. Her constellation ideas first(?) appeared in Everyman's Astronomy (1938) (Pages 141-158). See the 13 page chapter: "What Mary E. Proctor did to popularize astronomy." in How They Succeeded by Orison Marden (1901). (The chapter was reissued as a pamphlet in 2010.) Her religious faith was Episcopalian. The crater Proctor on the Moon was named after her.
A. H. Isham was the vice president of the :World's Proctor Memorial Association." In the mid 1890s Isham planned to build a large observatory in Richard Proctor's memory. The telescope was to be constructed by the German-American engineer and inventor Louis Gathmann (1843(4?)-1917) for US$50,000. The lens - some 120-inch in diameter was to be made using Gathmann's new "sectional lens" design. The sectional lens design for an objective lens was a composite - a number of smaller lenses combined. It was patented in October 1897. Though cheaper to build than a conventional telescope objective a complete telescope was apparently never built, so there is no information on the practical results. The observatory was planned for the top of Mount San Miguel in California. County of San Diego General Plan Update, Spring Valley Community Plan by Spring Valley Community Planning Group (August, 2011) (Pages 15-16): "Isham was in business with H. L. Story who had been part of the construction of the Hotel del Coronado. In 1890, Story and Isham's company announced plans to build an astronomical observatory, park, hotel and music pavilion on 160 acres at the top of San Miguel Mountain. They also had plans for a lift to carry people in a gondola by wire to the top of the mountain and back. In 1890, Mary Proctor, widow of famous astronomer Richard Proctor was looking for a suitable location for an observatory dedicated to her husband. This seemed like an ideal cooperative effort. A party set off to the top of San Miguel Mountain on the Fourth of July to dedicate the land and set off fireworks. Mary Proctor raised the 43-star flag. When the fireworks were set off, they caused a small brush fire that had to be stopped before it destroyed their camp. Many people had gathered to watch the fireworks on surrounding hills, but low clouds prevented their being seen. Mary Proctor approved the site. Isham and his partner later had business problems, and the Story and Isham Commercial Company was dissolved. Shortly after that Mrs. Proctor withdrew her support for the observatory on San Miguel Mountain. On August 4, 1906, Collier’s Magazine exposed California Waters of Life as a fraud, and, along with the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, Isham's water empire began to flow away." Note: Of course Mary Proctor was the daughter, not the wife/widow, of Richard Proctor.
Relevant key publications (polar alignment argument): Everyman's Astronomy (1938 (sometimes mistakenly given as 1939 - the Scientific Book Club edition)). (See pages 141-158.) See the (English-language) book review by C. G. James in Discovery, New Series, Volume II, Number 14, May 1939, Page 270.
Ideas adopted from: Richard Proctor.
(3) Circa 20th-Century
(a) Edmund Webb (1852-1945)
Edmund James Webb was a British classicist who died at the age of 93 years. He was a fine Greek scholar. He was educated at Westminster, where he became Captain of the school in 1870, and whilst at Westminster he was elected in 1871 to a Junior Studentship at Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated in 1875 with a second class in Literae Humaniores. A weakness of the heart, due to rheumatic fever, disqualified him on medical grounds for a post in the British Museum. Webb contributed articles and reviews on subjects connected with the history of ancient astronomy to The Classical Review, The English Historical Review, and other periodicals. The editor of-the new [Henry] Liddell and [Robert] Scott's Greek-English Lexicon relied on Edmund Webb for his knowledge of the Greek astronomical texts. (See the 1925 Preface, Page viii. "In the field of Astronomy and Astrology I have to thank Mr. Edmund J. Webb for reading the Almagest of Ptolemy and other astronomical writings, and thereby greatly increasing the accuracy of the Lexicon in these matters. For the Astrological vocabulary a glossary was drafted by the Rev. C. T. Harley Walker, and the ground has also (as above mentioned) been worked over by Dr. Withington; but in this thorny subject difficulties frequently arise, for which Professor A. E. Housman, when appealed to, never fails to provide a solution.") Webb believed the Classical Greek constellations (including the zodiacal constellations) were wholly of Greek origin.
In his book (published posthumously), The Names of the Stars (1952), he set out his belief that the Greek constellations, including the zodiacal constellations, originated with the Greeks and were not borrowed from the Babylonians.
Source: The Spectator, 10 August 1951, Letters to the Editor, Page 16.
Relevant key publications: The Names of the Stars by Edmund Webb (1952).
Ideas adopted from: Indicated that his ideas were wholly independent.
(b) Andrew Crommelin (1865-1939)
Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin was an Irish astronomer and comet expert, and writer. He was born in the village of Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Andrew Crommelin was of French and Huguenot descent, the 3rd son of Nicholas de la Cherois Crommelin, a descendant of Louis Crommelin, a Huguenot who was the founder of the linen trade in Ulster. He was educated in England at Marlborough College (where he secured a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge), and Trinity College, Cambridge where he graduated with a BA (a first-class honours degree in Mathematics) in 1886. Subsequently he also obtained an honorary DSc from Oxford. (It was awarded in recognition of his Comet Catalogue published in 1925. (The Memoirs of the British Astronomical Association, Vol XXVI, Part 2, Comet Catalogue (1925), prepared by A. C. D. Crommelin.) It was an updating of an 1894 work, Verzeichniss Der Elemente Der Bisher Berechneten Cometenbahnen Nebst Anmerkungen Und Literatur-Nachweisen, by the famous German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.) Crommelin became best known for his involvement with calculating the orbits of comets and asteroids. He was perhaps most famous for his study of Halley's Comet, whose 1910 return to the solar system he predicted with almost perfect accuracy. Crommelin, together with Philip Cowell, a specialist in the mathematics of motion, predicted the comet's return for April 1910 to an accuracy of just over 3 days. (Their suggestion that the 3 day error was due mainly to non-gravitational forces was later confirmed.) Their prediction had appeared in 1909 under the title "A corrected ephemeris for Halley's comet"; the paper, "Essay On The Return Of Halley's Comet" appeared in Publikation der Astronomischen Gesellschaft the following year, written with Cowell. For their work the authors were awarded the Lindemann Prize of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (Astronomical Society) of the University of Jena, and each of them received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Oxford University. In 1897 Crommelin married Letitia Nobel the daughter of Reverend Robert Noble, and they had 2 sons and 2 daughters. In 1933 his eldest son (Claude, 24 years old) and a daughter (Philomena, 27 years old) were killed in a climbing accident on Pillar Rock, Ennerdale Valley, Cumberland (considered a dangerous climb). Roped together they had fallen approximately 200 metres to the base of Pillar Rock. From 1899, for 2 years, Andrew Crommelin was (assistant?) schoolmaster at Lancing College. Andrew Crommelin was assistant at the Royal Greenwich Observatory between 1891 and 1927. Crommelin's work at Greenwich was extensive. As member of staff he made routine observations with the transit circle and the Sheepshanks equatorial. The Sheepshanks Equatorial was a 6.7-inch refracting telescope then used regularly for the observation of comets, occultations, double-stars and planetary measurement. He was officially put in charge of the special altazimuth instrument designed by Airy for observing the Moon. He was also given responsibility for observing the occultations of stars by the Moon, and comets. He was an expert in all his research as both observer and a computer. Crommelin was officially in charge of the altazimuth instrument, but became interest in the orbits of comets and minor planets. He participated in numerous BAA eclipse expeditions, 1896, 1900, and 1905; and other eclipse expeditions as a private member. He took part in the Expedition to Brazil of 1919 which aimed to determine the amount of the deflection of light caused by the gravitational field of the Sun. Crommelin was assigned to lead a team of 2 person from the Royal Greenwich Observatory to Sobral in North Brazil. From Sobral in North Brazil, Crommelin observed the 1919 Solar eclipse using a ‘back-up’ 4-inch (10.2 centimetre) refractor of 19 feet focus (579 centimetres), loaned to the expedition by the Jesuit astronomer Aloysius Cortie, and secured some photographs which were interpreted at the time by the Astronomer Royal Frank Dyson and his team as contributing evidence for the determination there was a deflection of light in the gravitational field of the Sun. Crommelin was elected to the RAS before leaving Cambridge University in 1888. He was elected FRAS in 1888 when he was 23 years old. For many years Crommelin was the Director of the Comet Section of the British Astronomical Association and President of the BAA between 1904 and 1906. It was in his capacity as Director of the Comet Section of the BAA that he was asked in 1922 by the International Astronomical Union to supervise the preparation of a sequel to Johann Galle's 1894 Cometenbahnen. (Another source states that at a meeting of the Astronomical Union in Rome (May 1922) Crommelin expressed his desire to produce a sequel to Galle's Cometenbahnen to bring it up to date and enter improved orbits of comets for the period of time prior to 1893.) The work was to be carried out with the help of the computing section of the Comet Section of the British Astronomical Association. However, it appears he received very little cooperation from BAA colleagues. He did however acknowledged the help he received from Mary Proctor, who copied the orbits given in Astronomische Nachrichten and the bulletin Astronomique. In the Comet Catalogue Crommelin included the results of Dr Philip Cowell and himself of the ancient returns of Halley's Comet. He also included many predicted elements of periodic comets even in the case when the comet was not observed. In 1937 Andrew Commelin received the Goodacre Medal. He was also a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society for over 50 years and served on their Council from 1906 to 1932. He was also Secretary from 1917 to 1922 and became President during the years 1929 and 1931. Crommelin was also the President of the International Astronomical Union’s sub commission on periodic comets from 1935 until his death. Andrew Crommelin died in London, aged 74 years, in 1939, some 9 months after he had been knocked down by a motor cyclist almost outside his home when on his way to church. Crommelin was lauded as a great astronomer. His wife had predeceased him. Named after Crommelin: Comet 27P/Crommelin, Crommelin (lunar crater), Crommelin (crater on Mars), Asteroid 1899 Crommelin. See the (English-language) obituaries by P. J. M. in The Observatory, Volume 63, January, 1940, Number 788, Pages 11-13; and by C. Davidson in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical society, Volume 100, February, 1940, Pages 234-236. Also see the (English-language) biographical entry in Who Was Who, 1929-1940, (published 1941), Page 309.
Method: Use of constellation vacant space argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: 2460 BCE. Location: At 36° north latitude.
Relevant key publication (void zone argument): Crommelin, Andrew. (1923). "The Ancient Constellation Figures." In: Hutchinson's Splendour of the Heavens. (Pages 640-669). (2 Volumes, also later published in one volume but no date.) (Note: Chapter XVII in Volume 2.) Crommelin's chapter was a concise synthesis of the usual main methods and arguments of the 'constellation detectives.' Also, Crommelin introduced a discussion of how important heliacal risings of bright, year-quartering stars may have been. This particular seasonal markers argument was raised again some 40 years later by Willy Hartner in his "The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume XXIV, 1965, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 1-16, and Plates 1-XVI).
Ideas adopted from: Edward Maunder. Both Crommelin and Maunder were associated through working as Assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; and "membership" of the British Astronomical Association. Circa 1901-1902 Crommelin was Secretary of the British Astronomical Association.
Ideas adopted by: Peter Doig, Michael Ovenden, and Peter Lancaster-Brown.
Crommelin estimated that the radius of the void zone is approximately 36°. This means that the early originators of the constellations lived approximately 36° north of the equator. Earlier than Crommelin, Maunder and others had also estimated/calculated the radius of the void zone.
In 1923 in his chapter contribution, "The Ancient Constellation Figures" to Hutchinson's Splendour of the Heavens, Crommelin revived the discussion of the void zone in the southern sky. Somewhat understandably Crommelin adopted the same type of arguments as Edward Maunder. However, Crommelin's particular approach has been described as a more comprehensive and disciplined consideration of the supposed great antiquity of the Western constellations. It appears it was Crommelin who was the first person to identify an important implication of the asymmetry of the Aratean constellation figures. This was that Aratus (and presumably Eudoxus also) had not noticed the inevitable obvious errors introduced by precession regarding the risings and settings of stars/constellations. If the uranography in Aratus' Phainomena was really very old then (1) the data errors (mismatch) for Eudoxus time should have been obvious, and (2) the questions arise regarding how and why the increasingly obsolescent data was preserved (supposedly on a sky globe) for circa two millennium. Influence by Franz Kugler's Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, Crommelin identified the Sumerians as the originators of the Eudoxan constellations.
Crommelin's prominent essay was to be the last substantial essay of a 'constellation detective' for nearly half a century. Following Crommelin's 1923 essay the methods, and claims of the 'constellation detectives' was not raised to prominence again until revived in 1966 in a supportive essay published by the astronomer Michael Ovenden. In between 1923 and 1966 the ideas were only really touched upon by a number of other authors.
(c) Mary Evershed (née Orr) (1867-1949)
Evershed (nee Orr) was a British astronomer (solar physicist), historian of astronomy and Dante Alighieri scholar. Her parents were Lucy Acworth and Andrew Orr. Her father was an officer in the Royal Artillery. When she was 20, Orr travelled abroad with her sisters, and when in Florence (1888-1890) she became interested in Dante and began a study of the works of Dante which lead to her lifelong interest in astronomical references in Dante's poems. (Orr was greatly interested in poetry.) In 1890 Orr moved with her family to Australia. In 1895, she moved back to England and joined the British Astronomical Association, which at the time enjoyed membership from many intellectual women barred from the (then) all-male Royal Astronomical Society. Mary Orr was at one time the Director of the BAA Historical Section. She was also an active variable star observer. During this time she became friends with Agnes Clerke and Annie Scott Dill Maunder, both notable for their contributions to the history of astronomy. She was married to John Evershed who set up a solar observatory at Kodiakkanal. Orr met British fellow astronomer John Evershed when they both participated in an expedition to view a total solar eclipse in Norway in 1896. The two married in 1906. Up to this time Evershed had worked as an industrial chemist, with solar physics as a hobby, but in 1906 was offered a post as assistant astronomer at Kodaikanal Observatory in India. Mary and John moved to Kodaikanal Observatory (visiting notable astronomical locations in the USA on the way) to allow him to take up the post in 1907. Throughout her life Evershed traveled to numerous solar eclipses, including Norway in 1896, Algiers in 1900, Western Australia in 1922, Yorkshire in 1927, and Greece/Aegean Sea in 1936. She directed the Historical Section of the British Astronomical Association from 1930 to 1944. Her 1914 book Dante and the Early Astronomers (published under her maiden name) helped clarify Dante's cosmography, as accurate as it could be given existing knowledge. She wrote most of the book while she was at Kodiakanal Observatory. She includes some discussion on medieval knowledge of the extreme southern stars (possibly referred to in the first canto of Purgatorio (Purgatory)) but there is no reference to Maunder's theories. It is as enjoyable to read as is Maunder's book, The Astronomy of the Bible.
Relevant key publication: "The Origin of the Constellations." by Mary Evershed (Observatory Magazine, Volume 36, April, 1913, Number 460, Pages 179-181). See also: Orr, Mary. (1913/1914, new and revised edition 1956 by Barbara Reynolds). Dante and the Early Astronomers. (See pages 35-38). See also: "M. A. Orr (Mrs John Evershed), astronomer and Dantist." by Mary Brück in Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 38, June/July, 1997, Page 9.)
Ideas adopted from: Unknown, likely original.
Ideas adopted by: Unknown.
In her short article, "The Origin of the Constellations." Evershed includes a succinct presentation of key arguments against 3 main methods used by the 'constellation detectives.' (Critique of void zone argument, polar alignment argument, and Taurus as original lead zodiacal constellation used by Edward and Annie Maunder, and the celestial circles of Aratus argument used by Brown Junior.) It seems to be one of the few cogent attempts to explain the flaws in the main methods used by the 'constellation detectives.' Mary Evershed rejects a 3rd-millennium BCE date for the Greek constellations. She instead dates the Greek constellations to the 1st-millennium BCE.
Source: Extracts from "The Origin of the Constellations." by Mary Evershed (Observatory Magazine, Volume 36, April, 1913, Number 460, Pages 179-181).
(d) Peter Doig (1882-1952)
British (Scottish) amateur astronomer. FRAS. At one time editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Society. Peter Doig was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 26-1-1882 to Peter Doig (1819-1893) and Martha Rodger (1848-1887). He was 1 of 5 children. Peter Doig married Margaret Paterson Scott (Unknown-1952) and they had a daughter (born 1910?). Peter Doig died 13-10-1952. Photometric parallaxes for galactic clusters were first derived in 1922 by Peter Doig who was an amateur astronomer and marine draughtsman, and independently by Sigfrid Raab, also in 1922, at the Lund Observatory in Sweden. Doig explicitly gave the relationship between absolute magnitude and spectral type for both dwarf and giant stars. Doig also authored An outline of stellar Astronomy (1947). Doig was General Secretary, Association of Engineering and Shipbuilding Draughtsmen, 1918–1945.
Key relevant publication (void zone argument): A Concise History of Astronomy by Peter Doig (1950).
Ideas adopted from: Edward Maunder and Andrew Crommelin. Doig repeated the error that at one time Carl S(ch)wartz was for some time the Swedish Consul at Baku. After making extensive inquiries I am satisfied that this claim is mistaken. I am unsure how it originated. In part, Doig wrote (A Concise history of Astronomy (1950, Page 7): "The suggestion that the blank area in the sky referred to gave an approximate date for the formation of the constellations appears to have been first put forward in 1807 by Carl Schwartz, for some time Swedish Consul at Baku."
Ideas adopted from: Andrew Crommelin, and Edward Maunder.
(e) Robert Böker (1885-1980)
German engineer, scholar, historian of science, and writer. (Life dates sometimes given as 1885-1975.) An accomplished German amateur historian of astronomy. Specialist on ancient Greek and Babylonian astronomy. Robert Albert Böker was born May 1885 in Leipzig and died July 1980 in Bad Homburg. Robert Böker was the son of bridge builder Robert Anton Gescheidt Böker (1845-1923) and his wife Anna (née Harkort), daughter of railroad industrialist Johann Caspar Harkort (1817-1896). Böker's grandfather was the entrepreneur Hermann Böker (1803-1884), who had emigrated to the United States in 1837 and was founded in New York the trading company H. Böker & Co. His father Robert Böker returned to Germany and became a resident, but remained a USA citizen, as also did his Leipzig-born children. Robert Böker attended the St. Thomas School in Leipzig. After completing the matriculation examination (1906), he studied engineering and physics at the University of Leipzig. In 1907 he participated in the Saxon citizenship conventions and served as Einjährigfreiwilliger in the army. He then continued his studies at the Technical University of Dresden and at the University of Göttingen. From 1913 to 1914 he worked as an assistant to Richard Mollier at the Technical University of Dresden. In 1914, he was at the Technical University of Aachen and graduated Dr. Ing. (PhD in Engineering). During WWI he served as a junior commissioned officer from 1914 to 1917. He participated in numerous military actions and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class and the Albert Order (Knights 2nd class with swords). After being wounded, he was discharged in 1917. In the same year he married Charlotte Korting (born 1897), daughter of electrical industrialist Max Körting (1862-1948). Böker did industrial work and from 1933 he worked as a civil engineer in lighting technology, reaching a board position. In 1948 he retired in Leipzig. In 1959 he moved with his wife to Bad Homburg, where he remained until his death. Besides his industrial work Böker was scientifically active. He constructed a precession-Skyglobe, which is now in the German Museum in Munich. His research was focused on the history of science in antiquity, especially the technical and economic history, as well as the history of railway construction. He wrote numerous articles for the Real Encyclopedia of Classical Antiquity (RE) and also for the Pauly. The outstanding private library of the Leipzig historian of astronomy, Robert Böker, was purchased by the library of the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt. This book collection assembled by Robert Böker now forms the essential core of historical astronomy books held by the library. This great and valuable private collection put together by Robert Böker is historically oriented (although a significant proportion of the astronomy books belonging to other subject groups). Robert Böker was, through his extensive knowledge and independent financial situation, in a fortunate position to acquire valuable books for his collection. Apart from centuries old rare books it contains the more modern pioneering works of Ideler, Unger, Boll, Kugler, and Hommel.
Relevant key publication: Die Entstehung der Sternsphäre Arats by Robert Böker (1952).
Method(s): Use of constellation orientation argument/precessional argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 1000 BCE. Location: North latitude between 32° 30' and 33° 40'.
Robert Böker argued for the latitude of Babylon being correct for Aratus' Phainomena. Robert Böker proposed the untenable hypothesis of a date circa 1000 BCE for Aratus' (speculated) star globe and an adjustment for a latitude φ = 33°. The latitude arguments say no more than how Eudoxus supposedly fixed the equinoxes and solstices of his "sphere" (Böker was not a supporter of any type of Minoan globe hypothesis with the colures already fixed) - Eudoxus used the Mul.Apin system of the Babylonians.
(f) Giorgio de Santillana (1902-1974)
Italian-born American historian at MIT.
Relevant key publication: The Origin of Scientific Thought by Giorgio de Santillana (1961, Page 13). (Also, Hamlet's Mill, with Hertha von Dechend (1969).)
Method used: Mythology as technical language for astronomical code argument.
Ideas adopted from: Original and also Hertha von Dechend.
Ideas adopted by: Not frequently specifically adopted by proponents.
Hero myths and associated myths have origins in the Bronze Age by as yet unknown astronomers located somewhere in the Near East, who are responsible for the naming of the constellations.
Hertha von Dechend's conception of the development of uranography (Taught by her at MIT seminars)
|Upper Palaeolithic Period (circa 40,000 BCE but at least by circa 25,000 BCE) Note: Modern dating usually circa 35,000 BCE to 8,000 BCE||Constellating of the entire visible sky|
|Neolithic Period (Hamlet's Mill, at least by 4000 BCE; seminar notes, at least by circa 5000 BCE)||Establishment of the equally divided 12 constellation zodiac|
|Neolithic Period (near 5000 BCE)||Establishment of precession ('Time Zero' related to the junction of Galaxy and ecliptic and was the reference point from which precession was imagined to have taken its start; when the vernal equinoctial sun left its position in Gemini.|
|Neolithic Period (circa 4000 BCE)||Rapid adoption/establishment of world (zodiacal) ages|
This fantastic scheme demonstrates no real understanding of the evidence.
(g) Peter Brown (also known as Peter Lancaster-Brown; Peter Lancaster Brown) (1927-[last known publication 1993])
Note: Of two sources I can presently find for biographical information one may have confused biographical details relating to another person of the same name i.e., supposed war service. Though 16 year old youths did serve as Bomber navigators it is difficult to believe they also served with British Army Intelligence. There is also the issue of his early education, and also how he would have travelled to England. Source 1: "Born: 1927 Leeds, England. After serving with British Army Intelligence and as a Royal Air Force navigator during World War II, Lancaster-Brown took part in the Australian Antarctic expedition to Heard Island, 1952-1953 [see: Twelve Came Back (1957)]. A trained astronomer, he has led a varied and interesting life having spent time as a gold prospector in Australia, been a member of an expedition to Siberia and participated in a study of whaling. He also has experience working as a civil engineer, surveyor, construction engineer and mining engineer. Lancaster-Brown has been a full-time writer since 1970. The author of 1 novel, Fjord of Silent Men (1983), he has also published more than 20 books on travel, science, astronomy and literary criticism. (Note: a source indicates that Lancaster-Brown published a second novel in 1986, Caught Deep, but this work remains untraced.) He has lived in Norway and Suffolk, United Kingdom."
Source 2: International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004 (2003, Europa Publications), Page 316.
Deemed reliable biographical details: English. Broadcaster, lecturer, astronomy writer, reviewer. Circa 1979 an influential reviewer credited him with "an admirable talent for popular scientific exposition." Member of the British Astronomical Association (at least as early as 1950). President of the Junior Astronomical Society, 1968 to 1971. Member of the International Astronomical Union. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Studied the problems involved in astro-archaeological interpretations for many years. Involved in the interpretation of the nature of ancient astronomy for many years. (It would be incorrect to describe him as a professional astronomer.)
Method(s): Use of vacant space argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 5000 BCE. Location: Latitude of head of Euphrates Valley.
Relevant key publication (polar alignment argument and void zone argument): Lancaster-Brown, Peter. (1971). "Origin of the constellations." In: Lancaster-Brown, Peter. What star is that? (Pages 9-25; especially Page 13 for polar alignment argument and Pages 10-13 for void zone argument). (Note: Chapter 1 of his book.)
Ideas adopted from: Andrew Crommelin, and Edward Maunder.
(h) Manfred Erren (1928- )
Manfred Erren (born 9-12-1928) in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was Professor für Klassische Philologie at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. He studied classical philology and Romance languages (linguistics/philology) and literatures in Freiburg, Tübingen and Munich from 1948 to 1954. (Romance Philology and Linguistics encompasses the study of Romance languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Provencal, Catalan, etc., that developed from Latin during the Middle Ages, following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. Romance Philology also includes Jewish languages, such as Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) and Judeo-Provençal (Chouadit), which have a rich literary tradition.) Erren was a teaching assistant (Associate Professor?) in Mainz from 1956 to 1959. Erren received his doctorate in 1956 and habilitated in 1966. On 29-5-1972 he was made Extraordinary Professor (Außerplanmäßiger Professor). He has been retired since 31-3-1994. Publications include: Die Phainomena des Aratos von Soloi. Untersuchungen zum Sach- und Sinnverständnis. Habilitationsschrift. by Manfred Erren (1967, Volume 1) (= Hermes. Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie, Heft 19). Aratos, Phainomena. Sternbilder und Wetterzeichen, griechisch-deutsch edited by Manfred Erren (with 23 maps by Peter Schimmel). (1971). "Las constelaciones de la antigüedad." by Manfred Erren (Nova Tellus, Volumen 17, Número 1, 1999, Pages 97-116). Erren was accepting of many of Robert Böker's ideas.
Relevant key publications: Erren, Manfred. (1967). Die Phainomena des Aratos von Soloi. (Note: A detailed study by a classical philologist. The author argues that the Aratean constellations can be dated to Babylonia circa 2000 BCE. Regardless of some of its radical conclusions it is considered to be the standard study in the German-language.) Erren, Manfred. (1971). Aratos: Phainomena. Sternbilder und Wetterzeichen.
Ideas adopted from: Robert Böker.
(i) Willy [Willy/Willi = diminutive of Wilhelm/Wil-helmet] Hartner (1905-1981)
Willy Hartner (born Ennigerloh (district of Warendorf in Münster country) Westfalen (Germany), 22-1-1905, died Bad Homburg, 16-5-1981) was a German scientist and polymath, and a distinguished historian of astronomy; Professor of the History of Sciences specializing in astronomy. He was the author of numerous works devoted to Oriental studies, including ancient Persian calendar systems. After completing High School in Bad Hombug, Hartner studied chemistry at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main and obtained graduate degrees. Hartner then studied astronomy at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, under the German astronomer Martin Brendel (1862-1939), who introduced him to classical and modern celestial mechanics. Hartner obtained a PhD in celestial mechanics for his study of the perturbations of the planets. His doctoral dissertation in physics, Die Störungen der Planeten in Gyldénschen Koordinaten als Funktionen der mittleren Länge (an important contribution to celestial mechanics), was awarded (Doctor Philosophiae Naturalis) in 1928 from the "Naturwissenschaft Fakultät" of Frankfurt University (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main). Hartner's main area of research was the history of the natural sciences. He was very talented in languages and also learned Arabic and Chinese for his work. From his contact with the sinologist Richard Wilhelm, he dealt with astronomy in ancient China. Hartner's interests in the scientific world of the Orient led him to study classical Chinese with Richard Wilhelm the Frankfurter China-Institut, then continued studying with Paul Pelliot in Paris and publishing research on the Chinese calendar. He studied Arabic with Professor Josef Horowitz and gained expertise in the Muslim world, contributing articles to the Encyclopaedia of Islam. His academic influences in Frankfurt included Leo Frobenius. At the Völkerkundeinstitut of Frankfurt University, directed by the ethnologist Leo Frobenius, Hartner also became acquainted with new methodological trends which influenced his future research. During his time as Lector at Frankfurt University (1931-1935) Hartner spent considerable time in Scandinavia - from 1931 he held a position as a university lecturer in Nordic languages - and married the Norwegian Else Eckhoff in Norway in 1935(1937?). In 1935 he was invited to be Visiting Professor of the History of Science (History of Natural Sciences?) at Harvard University under George Sarton. After failing to obtain a permanent position he returned to Germany. When he returned to Germany in 1938, the country was under the rule of the Nazi regime. Hartner's was strongly opposed to the Nazis. On health grounds he was freed from military service. He completed his "Habilitation" in 1940, and in 1943 his work Zahlen und Zahlensysteme bei Primitiv- und Hochkulturen was finally published. From 1940 he served as professor at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, as ordinary professor [German academic terminology] from 1946. Also, in 1943, he was given the opportunity (and succeeded) in establishing an Institute for the History of Natural Sciences in Frankfurt ("Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften"), which was later incorporated into Institute [Department] of Physics at the university. This was the second German "Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften" founded, the first one having been founded in Heidelberg by the Orientalist, historian of science, and teacher, Julius Ruska (1867-1949) in 1924 (1922?). (The Institute in Heidelberg was bombed in 1944. (?)) (At the establishment of the Institute Hartner engaged the ethnologist Hertha von Dechend as a secretary, librarian and assistant.) After the end of World War II - because of his well-known opposition to the Nazis - Hartner (working with Edward Hartshorne) was officially engaged in the reconstruction of the university in Frankfort, playing a key role in the relations with the American Military Government. On 28 August 1946 he became a full professor of history of Science, and in 1946 he also started a productive collaboration with the University of Chicago. He was Rector of Frankfurt University for the academic year 1959-1960 and guest professor at Harvard University a number of times during the years 1961-1965. At Harvard, he dealt with the history of the lunar nodes and the astrolabe. Later he worked on number systems among primitive peoples and wrote a catalog of Arabic manuscripts on the history of science.
Hartner was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1935, of the Academia Real de buenas letras, Spain, in 1968 and of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy, in 1975, and of the Royal Danish Academy in 1980. He was president of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences from 1971 to 1978 (or just 1978?). Hartner was also a corresponding member of many academies: Academia Real de Buenas Letras, 1968; Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1975; Royal Danish Academy, 1980. Hartner also received numerous prizes and official acknowledgements for his scientific achievements. He was awarded the George Sarton Medal in 1971, and in 1968 he also received the Hegel-Medal from the Soviet Academy of the Sciences. In 1975, he received the rank of knight in the Légion d'honneur. In 1968, in honour of his 60th birthday, the 2-volume Oriens-Occidens, containing many of his articles, was published. A second Festschrift, entitled Prismata, was dedicated to him in 1977. The most detailed obituary and bibliography for Willy Hartner is: Matthias Schramm, "Willy Hartner (1905-81)," Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie, Band 13, Heft 1, 1982, Pages 1-21 & 174-79, also by Matthias Schramm in Journal for General Philosophy of Science, Volume 13, Number 1, March, 1982, Pages 1-21.
Relevant key publication: "The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat." by Willy Hartner (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume XXIV, 1965, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 1-16, and Plates 1-XVI). In this essay Hartner explores the premise that constellation origins are more likely to originate in the preliterate era. Hartner focuses on the Elamite Lion-Bull combat/contest iconography circa 4000 BCE as possible constellation representations, with the constellations being used as part of a scheme of year-quartering seasonal markers. The other 2 constellation animals that Hartner thought formed part of the scheme were the Scorpion and the Ibex. Each of these constellations contained one of the brightest stars in the sky. Hartner associated the seasonal replacement of one constellation for another with animals depicted in combat/contest iconography. All of this is speculative.
Method used: Precessional argument.
Hartner, Willy. (1965). "The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume XXIV, Pages 1-16, and Plates I-XVI. (Note: Also reprinted in Oriens-Occidens, Volume 1, 1968, Pages 221-259 (comprising 1 of 2 volumes of Hartner's collected essays). Antonio Painano states (Encyclopaedia Iranica, XII, Fascicle. 1, Pages 16-17): "His essay, "The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat" offers an astronomical evaluation of the motif of the lion-bull combat which appears in the Achaemenid palace of Persepolis; Hartner has in fact shown that during the fifth century B.C.E. the concomitant phenomenon of the heliacal setting of the Pleiades (i.e., of Taurus) while Leo still occupied the zenith, marked the time immediately before the spring equinox (i.e., it served to announce the beginning of the Assyrian luni-solar calendar and the calendar associated with the Zoroastrian Nowruz)." The paper is highly speculative and remains unsupported by any archaeological evidence. Its conclusions have been accepted by Bartel van der Waerden, Owen Gingerich, and Ed Krupp. The paper is 1 of 3 highly speculative (and generally ignored) papers published by the author. The other 2 are: "Eclipse Records and Thales' Prediction of a Solar Eclipse: Historic Truth and Modern Myth." (Centaurus, Volume 14, 1969, Pages 60-71); and "The Young Avestan and Babylonian Calendars." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 10, 1979). (See also Hartner's other essay supporting his view of the lion-bull combat as a depiction of early constellations: "The Conquering Lion, the Life Cycle of a Symbol," by Willy Hartner and Richard Ettinghausen, Oriens, Volume 17, 1964, Pages 161-171. In his 1965 essay Hartner explored the premise that constellation origins are likely to to belong to the preliterate era. As such, Hartner relied on iconography rather than texts. His inquiry centred on the ever-present and persistent Western Asia motif - the Lion-Bull combat/contest. The earliest example in Hartner's catalogue of the theme belongs - he thought - to the 4th-millennium BCE and this earliest artifact comes from Elam. Elam was occupied by the 8th-millennium BCE. Calculating for 4000 BCE and 30° north latitude, Hartner determined prehistoric neolithic settlements there would have witnessed seasonally meaningful heliacal risings of the present-day lion and Bull constellations, as equinoctial and solstitial markers. However, the stylized lion-bull "symplegma" on an Elamite seal from circa 4000 BCE seems hardly convincing - the figures are barely touching and hardly make a convincing combat/contest scene. Actually, Hartner's earliest convincing lion-bull iconographic evidence (on a pitcher from Uruk) originated some 700 years later than the 4000 BCE seasonal marker date he identified. Hartner catalogued numerous examples of lions, bulls, scorpions, and ibex portrayed in what he identified as a celestial context. Hartner's reasoning forming the core of his argument was that the stars forming the constellations of the Lion, the Bull, and the Scorpion all actually resemble the creatures they are named after and each of these constellations is dominated by one of the sky's brightest star's (each being in the top 21 of the brightest stars in the sky), the seasonal replacement of one constellation for another could be linked with these animal combatants/contestants. Hartner also thought that because Mesopotamian cuneiform texts recorded a Sumerian constellation name for these creatures a considerable antiquity was being indicated for these constellations. However, this is mistaken. Sumerian remained in use as a written language of scholarship and education. Even late Babylonian astronomical records have a high logographic content. It was still common practice in 1st-millennium BCE astronomical texts to write star-names with Sumerograms (Sumerian logograms). A logogram is a single symbol, that, for the purpose of brevity, represents an entire word of phase. A Sumerogram can be symbol (sign) and would mean one word, or compound symbols (signs) - separated by spacings - representing multiple words.) It is generally stated that the term logogram is used to describe a Sumerian word that is used in Akkadian cuneiform writing i.e., has been borrowed into the Akkadian language. But it is not always the case that Sumerograms mean the use of Sumerian loan words. Sumerograms did not necessarily represent Sumerian loan words in the Akkadian language. The Sumerian symbols were used because of their shortness. It may be that there has been an Akkadian adaptation of a Sumerian logogram. In Akkadian texts Sumerian words are frequently used to stand for their Akkadian equivalents. A logogram used in an Akkadian text could represent either a loan word from Sumerian or a native Akkadian word.
(j) Frederick Millar (1910-2001)
F. Graham Millar (as he preferred his name to be written) was a Canadian amateur astronomer and a member of the Halifax Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (Note: Soon after the RASC received its Royal Charter in 1903 it began founding "centres" in cities across Canada. Presently (2015) the RASC has Centres in 29 cities. The RASC is basically a federation of 29 local astronomy clubs or Centres. The origins of the Halifax Centre date back to 1951 when, with the help of Father Burke-Gaffney of St. Mary's University, the Nova Scotia Astronomical Society (NSAS) was founded. The NSAS became the Halifax Centre of the RASC in January 1955. It currently is one of the largest Centres) Millar obtained a BA in mathematics and physics in 1933 and an MA in meteorology and geophysics in 1934, both from the University of Toronto. He was subsequently employed in Toronto for 16 years as a meteorologist at the Head Office of the Meteorological Service of Canada (as it was then called). His war service was in the field of the ciphering of weather reports transmission. In 1951 he transferred to the Defence Research Board. He worked for 23 years with the Defence Research Board, doing research on underwater sound and the statistical analysis of antisubmarine exercises. He finished his career as a scientific editor with the Defence Research Analysis Establishment, Ottawa. In retirement he studied modern astronomy and astrophysics in the graduate program at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, but became interested in ancient astronomy and religion. Last known residence for Frederick Millar was 6153 Murray Place, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The article "The Celestial David and Goliath." originally appeared as an EXPAK21 presentation and article. (Millar was a delegate and presenter at the 1993 General Assembly, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, July 1-5, Halifax, Nova Scotia. See page 12 of the published proceedings regarding Millar's presentation of "The Celestial David and Goliath"; presented in Paper Session III, Sunday morning.) Millar published further articles on stellar mythology in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1998/1999). Millar considered the role of meteors in stellar mythology to be his own discovery. In a personal communication he also wrote he "Reveres Hamlet's Mill as true gospel." He virtually never accepted euhemerization as an explanation for mythology. Euhemerism is defined in modern academic literature as the theory that myths are distorted accounts of real historical events. Basically, the idea that the gods were originally mortal beings -- famous kings and heroes -- who were later thought to be gods (or made gods). Millar identified isostatic tipping of the earth's crust, continuing to the present, as a result of the disappearance of the enormous weight of ice. He believed this explained, for example, the flooding of the classical city of Alexandria in Egypt. (Glacial isostatic adjustment: This is in recognition that the response of the Earth to glacial loading and unloading is not limited to the upward rebound movement, but also involves downward land movement, horizontal crustal motion, changes in global sea levels, the Earth's gravity field, induced earthquakes and changes in the rotational motion.)
Key relevant publication: "The Celestial David and Goliath." by Frederick Millar (Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Volume 89, Number 4, 1995, Pages 141-154). (See section heading "Precession and the Fear of the Sky Falling" (Pages 144-147).)
Method used: Precessional argument, void zone argument. Also, likely influenced by Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, and Alexander Gurshtein.
(k) David Dicks (1923-2011)
David Dicks was a Classicist who retired in 1988 as Senior Lecturer in Greek at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (London University). David Dicks was an internationally known scholar of ancient astronomy. The few sources for biographical information differ slightly. Dicks was born in India and returned to England at the age of 5 years. He was educated at Malvern College, Jesus College (Cambridge), and Birbeck College (University of London). His university career was interrupted by national service at the National Physical Laboratory, during World War II. He gained a Ph.D. (London) in 1953, and in 1954 took up a post in the University College of the West Indies, Jamaica. In 1961 he moved to the University College of Ghana as Professor of Classics, returning to England in 1963 to become Director (part-time) of the Institute of Classical Studies for a year. In 1964 he accepted an appointment (which he still held in 1970) as Lecturer in Greek at Bedford College. He twice visited the USA to further his research work; once in 1956 at the invitation of Professor Otto Neugebauer of Brown University, and once in 1966-1967 when he was Visiting Professor at Princeton University and then worked at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. In 1960 he published the first volume of his edition of the fragments of Hipparchus, The Geographical Fragments of Hipparchus. I tried contacting David Dicks by e-mail (I have forgotten the year) but he never replied.
Relevant key publication (critique of void zone argument): Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle by David Dicks (1970; Reprinted 1985). The book describes the working methods of ancient Greek astronomers and examines the influence of Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, Plato, and Callippus. Dicks also briefly critiques the void zone argument. The book was Volume 1 of a projected 2-Volume project. Volume 2 never appeared. See the (English-language) book review by David Hahm in The American Journal of Philology, Volume 94, Number 1, Spring, 1973, Pages 121-123).
Source: Higher, Issue 15, Winter 2011, In memorium Page 33. Some of the biographical information is taken the dust jacket of Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle.
(l) Leon Pomerance (1907 (sometimes given as 1917)-1990)
Leon Pomerance was a highly successful New York based businessman who combined collecting (archaeological artifacts and art) and the sponsorship of field archaeology during the 1960s. His father founded Forest Paper Company in 1918 and worked to establish it as a successful business. The business supported Leon Pomerance through his adulthood and enabled him to collect archaeological artifacts. Pomerance attended New York University where he received a law degree in 1929. During his time in law school, and for a short time after, Pomerance worked for the ACLU. He married (Harriet) in 1936. After his work in law, Pomerance continued with the Forest Paper Company and took on leadership after his father's death in 1945. The Leon Pomerance papers are kept at the University of Florida. Pomerance was aware that most of his astronomical interpretations of the signs on the Phaistos Disk were unconfirmable speculations.
Relevant key publication: See his small (pocket) book: Pomerance, Leon. (1976). The Phaistos Disc: An Interpretation of Astronomical Symbols. (Note: Uncritically uses Michael Ovenden's constellation ideas to support his own theories. See the sympathetic, but skeptical, (English-language) book review by David Kelley in Archaeoastronomy: The Bulletin of The Center for Archaeoastronomy, Volume II, Number 3, Summer, 1979, Pages 20-21). See also the sympathetic, but critical, (English-language) book review by Sharon Gibbs in Archaeology, Volume 30, Number 4, July, 1977, Pages 283-285; and the subsequent exchange between author and reviewer in "Letters to the Editor," in Archaeology, Volume 31, Number 1, January/February, 1978, Page 60. For a calendrical interpretation see the (English-language) book review article "Mediterranean Civilisation and the Phaestos Riddle" by John Griffith (Nature, Volume 86, Number 2168, May 18, 1911, Pages 385-387). Worth reading is the (English-language) book review article "How Not to Decipher the Phaistos Disc: A Review" by Yves Duhoux (American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 104, 2000, Pages 597-600). A must read is "The Phaistos Disk: A One Hundred-Year-Old Hoax:?" by Jerome Elsenberg (Minerva, July/August, 2008, Pages 9-24).)
Ideas adopted from (void zone argument): Michael Ovenden. In his small book, The Phaistos Disc (1976), Pomerance supports the precession argument of Michael Ovenden. In his 1976 booklet, Leon Pomerance argued that the Phaistos Disk was an almanac or calendar. He suggested the hieroglyphs on the disk represented a star map. He identified two celestial symbols on the Disk: the eagle as the constellation Aquila, and the seven dots inside a circle as the Pleiades asterism. Later, Michael Ovenden, using a computer simulation, dated the constellation interpretation of the hieroglyphs to circa 2000 BCE.
(m) Hugh Thurston (1922-2006)
Hugh Ansfrid Thurston was born in Scotland in 1922. During WWII he worked as a cryptographer. Hugh Thurston took his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1956 he moved to Boston in the USA. He then moved to Canada in 1958 to take up a position in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He immediately founded the West Point Grey Scottish Country Dance Club. He married his wife Nina in 1962. After retiring as an Emeritus Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia his interests turned to the history of astronomy. Hugh Thurston died in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, on 29-10-2006. His wife Nina preceded him on 14-9-2006. They had no children. In 1943 he discovered Scottish dancing and it became a passion for him (and also his wife Nina). He also had a detailed knowledge of music. He was a fine dancer and dance teacher and formed and taught Scottish and international groups wherever he went (Bristol, Boston, Vancouver). He devoted time to publishing definitive magazines, books, and articles about Scotland's dances, international folk dancing, ancient astronomy, and mathematical pedagogy. In 1954 he published Scotland's Dances. The book covers the whole gamut of Scottish dancing, from reels, Highland dances, and Hebridean dances to country dances and comprises a meticulous analytical approach to the history of dancing in Scotland. Both he and his wife were active in the international dance community. In the early 1970s, they - with a sabbatical year spent in Turkey - they broadened their interests from Scottish country dancing towards international folk dancing. Hugh Thurston wrote with authority not only on Scottish country dancing, but on Serbian, Bulgarian, Scandinavian, Portuguese, and Irish dancing, and on New England contra dancing. He was also very knowledgable in Swedish dancing.Scottish dances Hugh Thurston taught included Duke of Perth, Flying Scotsman, Last of the Lairds, Schiehallion, and West Point Grey.
Relevant key publication (polar alignment argument, void zone argument, 'star' risings and settings argument): Thurston, Hugh. (1994, reprinted 1996). "A Possible Origin for the Constellations." In: Thurston, Hugh. Early Astronomy. (Pages135-138). (Note: The section is part of Chapter 6: The Greeks.) Thurston was 72 years old and a professor emeritus when the book was published in 1994.
Ideas adopted from: Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy.
(n) Archibald Roy (1924-2012)
Professor Archibald (Archie) Roy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Glasgow University, Glasgow, United Kingdom, was a Scottish astronomer (an expert on celestial mechanics), psychical researcher, and writer. Upon his retirement he was Professor Emeritus of Astronomy. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. He was also a member of the International Astronomical Union, member and past president of the Society for Psychical Research, member and past president of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research (which he founded). Roy conducted research into subjects as varied as astrodynamics, celestial mechanics, archaeoastronomy, psychical research, and neural networks. He published over 18 books , 6 of them science fiction novels, over 70 scientific papers, and scores of articles. Roy also travelled widely and lectured in many countries. I tried contacting Archibald Roy by e-mail in 2001 but he never replied.
Extracts from: "Archie Roy obituary" by Robin McKie, The Guardian (online), Sunday, 3 February 2013: "Archie Roy, who has died aged 88 of pneumonia, was one of Scotland's most distinguished astronomers, and a world expert on celestial mechanics and the movements of heavenly bodies. He was also a gifted writer, publishing 30 books that included six novels, and more than 70 scientific papers. An abiding interest in psychic research led to his achieving fame in his later years as "Glasgow's ghostbuster". ... Roy was the son of a draughtsman at a Clyde shipyard. Educated at Hillhead high school and Glasgow University, gaining a BSc (1950) and a PhD (1954), he became a teacher at Shawlands Academy before joining the university's astronomy department in 1958. He was made a senior lecturer in 1973 and a professor in 1977. ... Roy was an old-fashioned polymath who took an interest in a wide variety of subjects. His research covered neural networks, archaeology, psychic phenomena and many other subjects. He also played the organ, painted and was an adequate amateur magician. His laconic ability as a raconteur and love of poetry also made him a sought-after speaker at Burns suppers. ... However, it was Roy's interest in psychic research that absorbed the last 10 years of his life. The topic may have raised eyebrows in academic circles, but it brought him renown in the Scottish media as Roy set about testing the claims of local clairvoyants. "He was extremely rigorous in his approach," says fellow astronomer Professor Bonnie Steves, of Glasgow Caledonian University and a former PhD student of Roy's. "The subject of psychic phenomena posed puzzles – how could a particular medium know so much about a stranger, for example – that Archie felt a scientist should try to solve. And his accounts of his dealings with haunted houses and mediums were hugely popular with his scientific colleagues." For his part, Roy would never definitively state that he believed that there was life after death. On the other hand, he did claim that "if I die and I find out I have not survived, I will be very surprised". Roy's other great talent – as a gifted proofreader – also made him popular with colleagues, as Brown recalls. "He missed nothing. So anytime I asked him to check draft manuscripts I knew he would be very prompt and accurate. 'That is fine,' he would tell me. 'I wouldn't change a single word – and the single word I wouldn't change is that one,' he would add, pointing arbitrarily to the middle of one of the pages of my manuscript." Roy is survived by his wife, Frances, and their sons, Archie, Ian and David. Archibald Edmiston Roy, astronomer and writer, born 24 June 1924; died 27 December 2012."
Extracts from: "Archie Roy [obituary]" by Lorn Macintyre, The Herald [Scotland] (online), Saturday 29 December 2012: "Professor of astronomy and paranormal investigator; Born: June 24, 1924; Died: December 27, 2012. Professor Archie Roy, who has died aged 88, was an astronomer who became a leading figure in the scientific research of pyschical (sic) phenomena and the paranormal. He would never state definitively that there was life after death but he was fond of saying: "If, when I die, I find that I have not survived, I'll be very surprised." Born in Yoker, Glasgow, the son of a draftsman at John Brown's shipyard, he originally wanted to be an architect. While in hospital with TB as a teenager, he discovered an interest in astronomy while staring out of the window from his bed. He started reading books on the subject and decided to switch subjects. Graduating from Glasgow University with a BSc in 1950, he started teaching science at Shawlands Academy, and in the holidays pursued research in the university's astronomy department. When the department wrote to him in 1958 to intimate that an academic post was about to be advertised, and inviting him to apply, he was in hospital, immobile on his back with a slipped disc. The determination he was to exhibit through his life, whether it was the pursuit of heavenly bodies or earth-bound spirits, was manifest even then when the crippled candidate rose from his bed and hobbled into university for his interview. He got the post. As a student he was browsing in the university library when he came across a shelf of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), and for the rest of his life the paranormal would obsess him, whether holding court in the Rubaiyat as he discussed Frederic Myers's difficult magnum opus Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, or roaming through an allegedly haunted house on the outskirts of Glasgow. He founded the Scottish Society for Psychical Research, based on the SPR, in 1987. In 1966 he was made senior lecturer in astronomy at Glasgow University; reader in 1973; and a professor in 1977. In the 1960s he was a consultant to Nasa when it was working on the mission to the moon. The idea of retirement filled him with revulsion, for his studies into the paranormal had convinced him we need to go on developing to the moment of our death, in preparation for the life to come. Until two years ago he was still contributing to evening classes in pyschical (sic) research at Glasgow University. His memberships included the International Astronomical Union; Royal Astronomical Society (fellow); British Interplanetary Society (fellow); Society for Psychical Research (member of council); Brain Research Association; and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (fellow). ... In the evenings he and his colleague Trish Robertson mounted scientifically controlled trials into extra-sensory perception. At other times they would go to investigate a haunted building, with Prof Roy turning up his hearing aid to try to pick up a signal from those who appeared to have become trapped between this world and the next. He was convinced his friend Albert Best, the Glasgow-based psychic, had genuine powers and wrote about him in A Sense of Something Strange, published in 1990. ... Prof Roy was the author of more than 30 books on astronomy and the paranormal, and also fiction. He had an asteroid, 5806 Archieroy, named after him, which assures him immortality. Into his 80s, the Emeritus Professor was going to the gym for work-outs several mornings a week and keeping an eye on the heavens. ... He died, having used his intellectual gifts to the full, and giving his friends, colleagues and readers much pleasure and stimulation through his formidable erudition. He is survived by his wife Frances, his sister Christine and his three sons: psychologist Archie, designer and film-maker Ian, and drama teacher David."
Source: "Archibald Edmiston Roy 1924-2012." by David Clarke in Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 54, Issue 2, Page 2.38.
An obituary for Archibald Roy, FRSE, FRAS, also appeared in The Times, Obituaries, Sunday, December 28, 2012?/January 16, 2013? See the detailed (English-language) obituary "Archibald Edmiston Roy 1924-2012." by David Clarke in Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 54, Issue 2, Page 2.38.
Archibald (Archie) Roy was a strong modern proponent of the "vacant space" and "polar alignment" approach as methods to determine the origin of the Greek constellations. Ovenden's ideas were elaborated by Roy. Method(s): Use of constellation orientation argument. Date(s) deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2000 BCE ± 200 years. (Circa 2900 BCE ± 500 years).
Relevant key publications (polar alignment argument, void space argument): "The origin of the constellations." by Archibald Roy (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 27, Issue 2, 1984, Pages.171-197). Content summary: "The problem of the origin of the stellar constellations familiar to western astronomers from ancient times is discussed in an attempt to answer the classical detective story questions: Who? When? Why? and Where? The available astronomical, literary and archaeological evidence is examined to suggest a possible solution." However, Roy does not describe in detail the method used to test the fit of the Aratean constellations to the tropical and equatorial circles.. It has never been indicated by Roy that a detailed description of the method used is accessible. In September 2001 I e-mailed Roy requesting assistance with the additional details but received no reply. (Note: The article originated out of the material comprising an earlier series of 3 articles published in the magazine "The Unexplained: Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time," [issued in 13/26 volumes, 84 parts, in early 1980s], Volume 6, Numbers 61-64, 1981 Pages 1201-1205,1258-?, 1274-1277. The magazine was reprinted as a multi-volume book "Mysteries of Mind, Space & Time: The Unexplained," and the 3 constellation articles appeared in Volume 5, Pages 560-574. The article is uncritical, speculative, and unreliable. Also, Roy, Archibald. (1986). "The lamps of Atlantis: An astronomical detective story ((constellations))." In: Hunt, J[?]. (Editor). Cosmos: An Educational Challenge. (ESA Proceedings of the GIREP Conference 1986. (Pages 47-49). (Note: ESA = European Space Agency; GIREP = Groupe International de Recherche sur l'Ensignement de la Physique.)
The 3 original articles by Archie Roy (accuracy of citation to be verified): "Pictures in the Stars." by Archie Roy (The Unexplained: Mysteries of the Mind, Space & Time, Volume 6, Number 61, 1981, Pages 1201-1205). "[Title presently unknown]." by Archie Roy (The Unexplained: Mysteries of the Mind, Space & Time, Volume 6, Number 63[?], 1981, Pages 1258-?). "Stars in Their Eyes." by Archie Roy (The Unexplained: Mysteries of the Mind, Space & Time, Volume 6, Number 64, 1981, Pages 1274-1277).
Roy thought highly of Gurshtein's gradualist ideas. (See: "Conjuring Constellations -- Astronomers Debate Origins of Star Patterns." by Alexandra Witze (Dallas Morning News), The Seattle Times (online). Tuesday June 17, 1997.)
Ideas adopted from/influenced by: Michael Ovenden and especially Robert Brown Junior.
Ideas adopted by: "Star names—origins and misconceptions." by Gwyneth Heuter (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 29, Part 3, 1986, Pages 237–251).: "Abstract: The sources of present day star names used in the western world are examined. Particular interest is shown in the meanings of the most popular names and those whose meanings have proved difficult to trace. A classification of star names is made and attention is drawn to the errors introduced in translation from one language to another. In particular an in-depth study of pre-Ptolemaic Arabic star names is given."
The thesis proposed by Ovenden and Roy is largely speculation and conjecture, devoid of a basis in clear and unambiguous supporting evidence. Roy, in his publications, persists in using the translation of Aratus made by Robert Brown Junior without bothering to inquire into its accuracy. Also, use of later translations by other scholars are not used. The question needs to be asked "Why?" when other later translations of the poem, such as the translation by Jean Soubiran, has approximately half a page of commentary per line of poem.
Ovenden's ideas on constellation origins were embraced by his colleague Archibald Roy. In a series of articles culminating in his 1984 "The origin of the constellations," Roy used a planetarium to evaluate Ovenden's Minoan hypothesis. Roy devised a scheme (since criticised) to score quantitatively the level of error in the 34 statements detailing the relationship of the constellations to the celestial reference circles, provided by Aratus in his Phaenomena. Roy (following Robert Brown Junior as well as Edward Maunder and Andrew Crommelin) also supported the concept of equatorial symmetry in the distribution of the constellation figures. For the location of the originators of the constellations Ovenden settled on Crete. Roy followed Ovenden's conclusion that the Minoans were the likely originators of the Aratean constellations. Roy also speculated that an earlier Mesopotamian constellation tradition had migrated to Minoan Crete and was modified and adapted there to the form that was later acquired by Eudoxus. Roy was later influenced by the fact that anciently the faint stars comprising the constellation Draco housed the pole and the sky turned around it and, as well, it enclosed the ecliptic pole, around which the Sun’s apparent motion is centered. Roy concluded that Draco must have seemed more important when it housed both the major hubs of the sky. In another deductive exercise Roy concluded that since the major civilization of the time in the right latitude was the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia, whose early art he further speculated showed the figures of the polar constellations that we know, he changed his thesis and ascribed the drafting of the constellations to the Sumerians. (80th Birthday Lecture by Archibald Roy presented at the Glasgow Science Centre Scottish Power Planetarium, June 2004.) However, the conclusion is not without serious historical difficulties. Outside of Mesopotamia the only other Western civilisation flourishing circa 2000 BCE at 36° north latitude was the seafaring empire of Minoan Crete. It is unlikely any written material would have survived the centuries of the Greek 'dark ages.' (and spanned the period between Minoan Crete and classical Greece.) The period circa (1100-750 BCE) is conventionally called the Dark Ages of Greece, a period of decline and recovery. Circa 1100 BCE higher civilization in the Aegean ended for hundreds of years. Writing disappeared along with Mycenaean civilization. There is no written evidence existing for this period in the Aegean region. It was also extremely poor and primitive in other respects and the archaeological remains for this period are also quite limited. The ruling upper class of the Helladic times (circa 3000 BCE to 1100 BCE) had disappeared completely along with the rest of civilization. With the exception of Athens the old major settlements were abandoned and the population of Greece dropped dramatically (In about 1100 BCE, a people called the Dorians invaded Greek from the north and spread down the west coast. This is unconnected with the extent of the collapse of civilisation in the Aegean region.) Writing was readopted in Greece in the 8th- or 7th-century BCE.
(o) Michael Ovenden (1926-1987)
Michael Ovenden (BSc, MA, PhD, FRAS, FRSE) was a British-born (north London) Canadian astronomer and writer. He died relatively young in Vancouver of a sudden heart attack. In January 1953 he was appointed lecturer in the Department of Astronomy of Glasgow University, and promoted to senior lecturer in 1964. He was an expert on celestial mechanics and considered a brilliant scientist and a skilled public presenter of astronomy. In December 1966 he was appointed Professor of Astronomy in the Department of Geophysics and Astronomy of the University of British Columbia, Canada. He remained there but because of health issues he had to retire early from this position (2 years before his death).
Ovenden suggested that the asteroids are the remains of a giant planet (90 times as massive as the earth) he called Aztec that mysteriously self-destructed 16 million years ago at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. He speculated that most of the planet was blown into interstellar space but that the fragments left behind are the asteroids. (Note: Recent radiometric dating analysis of rock and ash samples - published in the February 8, 2013, issue of the journal Science - indicates that dinosaurs disappearing some 66 million years ago. The findings of the researchers, from the Berkeley Geochronology Center and the University of California at Berkeley in the USA, Glasgow University in the UK, and Vrije University Amsterdam in the Netherlands supports the theory that the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event was caused by an asteroid or comet slamming into what is now Mexico. The date is supportive of the date for the asteroid collision which created a 110-mile-wide crater near the Mexican town of Chicxulub.)
The authors ideas on the origins of the Western constellations appeared earlier, for example in a talk on "The Origin of the Constellations" given in 1961 at an ordinary general meeting of the British Astronomical Association, and appeared in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 71, 1960-1961, Pages 91-95. The article is unreliable and contains significant errors (and the same applies to the talk). See: "The Latitude and Epoch for the Formation of the Southern Greek Constellations." by Bradley Schaefer (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 33, Part 4, 2002 Pages 313-350); and "The Latitude and Epoch for the Origin of the Astronomical Lore of Eudoxus." by Bradley Schaefer (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 35, Number 2, 2004, Pages 161-223). For his initial talk/article in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, published 1960-1961 (and at least by 1959) Michael Ovenden had sought the advice and collaboration of the classicist Dr Abraham Wasserstein, Department of Greek, University of Glasgow, when developing his ideas on the origin of the constellations. (The University of Glasgow was the same university where Ovenden was teaching at the time. Wasserstein (1921-1995) was Assistant in Greek at Glasgow University from 1951 to 1952 and then Lecturer in Greek at Glasgow University from 1952 to 1960. Wasserstein then then, circa 1960, moved to Leicester University as Professor of Classics.) The core of Wasserstein's advice was the information which the works of Aratus and Hipparchus could give about the origin of the constellation figures. Wasserstein had an interest in Greek astronomy (see: "Thales' Determination of the Diameters of the Sun and Moon." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume LXXV, 1955, Pages 114-116)). In addition to astronomy Abraham Wasserstein also had a deep interest in Greek mathematics and was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Life dates for Michael Ovenden: 1926-1987. See the (English-language) obituaries for Michael Ovenden by Archibald Roy in The Observatory, Volume 108, Number 1082, February, 1988, Pages 31; and the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 29, March, 1988, Pages 90-91. Life dates for Abraham Wasserstein: born 1921, Frankfurt am Main - died 1995, Jerusalem. Assistant in Greek, Glasgow University 1951-52, Lecturer 1952-60; Professor of Classics, Leicester University 1960-69, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1966-69; Professor of Greek, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1969- 89 (Emeritus); married 1942 Margaret (Macca) Ecker (two sons, one daughter). See: "Obituary: Professor Abraham Wasserstein." by Aubrey Newman (The Independent, Tuesday, 8 August, 1995). Extract: "Abraham Wasserstein, classicist: born Frankfurt am Main 5 October 1921; Assistant in Greek, Glasgow University 1951-52, Lecturer 1952-60; Professor of Classics, Leicester University 1960-1969, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1966-1969; Professor of Greek, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1969- 1989 (Emeritus); married 1942 Margaret (Macca) Ecker (two sons, one daughter); died Jerusalem 20 July 1995. ... He was a man of extremely wide scholarship; there can be few professors of Classics who are also Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society, and his inaugural lecture at Leicester, delivered a short while after he had taken up his appointment, moved broadly but confidently over the whole field of Hellenic endeavour. Greek mathematics, astronomy, musical theory, philosophy, and history - all were brought together to illustrate what he termed "Economy and Elegance". ... After the end of the Second World War he came to Britain and studied Classics part-time at Birkbeck College, London, whence he graduated with his BA in 1949 and his doctorate in 1951. That year he was appointed as Assistant to the Department of Greek in Glasgow, where he stayed for nine years, subsequently as Lecturer in Greek; in later years he emphasised the debt he owed to the patterns of Glasgow's teaching and regarded it as a model to be followed. In 1960 Wasserstein applied for the Chair of Classics in Leicester, with so little confidence in himself that he did not even wait to hear the results of the interview. But his stay in Leicester from 1960 to 1969 was to prove memorable for him. He made many friends in the academic community and for him and his wife these were very happy years. These were stirring years too in the university, culminating in the first manifestations of student unrest in Britain. Much later colleagues still recalled how he stood single-handedly at the entrance to the library to prevent students extending their "sit-in" into its precincts. But when some students asked to be allowed to enter and retrieve their possessions, promising not to abuse this permission, he accepted their word and his trust was not betrayed." ("Obituary: Professor Abraham Wasserstein." by Aubrey Newman, The Independent, Tuesday, 23 December 2014.)
The investigations by the astronomer Bradley Schaefer into the particular void zone argument proposed by Michael Ovenden have shown the complete unreliability of Ovenden's method. An important paper by Schaefer, an astronomer, comprising a critical quantitative analysis of the "void zone" arguments for the origins of the Greek constellations in the third Millennium BCE, was published in 2002. A suitable discussion of numerous problems with the basic methodologies of Maunder-Crommelin-Ovenden-Roy has been undertaken Schaefer in his 2002 paper. His conclusions are that the southern Greek constellations originated in the first millennium BCE, and are basically derived from Babylonia. Several opponents/critics claim "they can't understand his statistical argument" and "only Schaefer believes his conclusions." None have offered a detailed rebuttal. See: "The Latitude and Epoch for the Formation of the Southern Greek Constellations." by Bradley [Brad] Schaefer. (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 33, Part 4, Number 113, November, 2002, Pages 313-350). In this paper Schafer identifies that Ovenden's important paper ("The Origin of the Constellations." In: Vistas in Astronomy, 1984) is flawed by (amongst other things) the inclusion of 3 additional but imaginary/false stars in the modern constellation Triangulum Australe (in Figure 4), to make it appear as a circlet - supporting his claim - rather than a triangle. The circlet of stars belong to Corona Australis which is located underneath Sagittarius the Archer. (Simply consult a modern star chart.) Archibald Roy later reproduced Ovenden's Figure 4 as Figure 6 in his own important paper. Archibald Roy apparently failed to perceive there was something curious with Ovenden's depiction of Triangulum Australe.
Method 1: Use of constellation orientation argument. Date(s) deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2600 BCE ± 800 years (Circa 2800 BCE ± 300 years). Method 2: Use of constellation void zone argument. Date(s) deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2800 BCE ± 300 years (Circa 2800 BCE ± 800 years). Location: Between 36° ± ½ (36° ± 1½° north latitude).
Ovenden claimed that the orientation of the early Western constellations was 'orthogonal' (their boundaries parallel or perpendicular to the celestial equator) for the epoch of 2500 BCE. This is, of course, quite subjective. (Modern constellation boundaries are orthogonal for the equinox of 1875.)
Relevant key publication (polar alignment argument, void zone argument): "The Origin of the Constellations." by Michael Ovenden (The Philosophical Journal, Volume 3, Number 1, 1966, Pages 1-18). (Note: The Philosophical Journal = Transactions of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow. Sometimes the place of publication is given as Edinburgh.)
Ideas adopted from/influenced by: Edward Maunder and Andrew Crommelin.
Ideas adopted by: Archibald Roy, Ian Ridpath. Also, Rice, Michael. (1994). The Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf. (Note: The uninformed nonsense contained in a section of this book is a classic example of the influence of Michael Ovenden's ideas in misguiding even academic discussions on the origin of the constellations.)
Ovenden was profoundly influenced by Maunder and Crommelin and resumed the advocacy of their approach. Ovenden reinvestigated and restated the arguments; including that the Western constellations appeared to originate in a Neolithic system of spherical astronomy. Ovenden ignored the agricultural references in Works and Days by Hesiod and believed there was a predominantly nautical background of Aratus' Phaenomena. On this basis he identified the Minoans as the originators of the Western constellations. According to Ovenden the Phainomena of Aratus was a manual in poetic form that enabled seamen to use the stars for navigation. He identified that seagoing Minoans of Crete as the constellation -makers as they flourished at the deduced time and Crete was at the deduced latitude (basically 35° north). It is an imaginative analysis and identification. According to Ovenden, the only plausible centres of civilisation at the time of circa 2500 BCE and between 36° and 40° north latitude are the Mesopotamian (Sumerian/Akkadian) and the Mediterranean (Minoan in Crete). Interestingly, 36° north is also the latitude of the Greek island of Rhodes. (Robert Newton (1918-1991, American physicist, astronomer, and historian of science) introduced the argument (Ancient planetary observations and the validity of ephemeris time (1976)) that tectonic plate shift ("continental drift") does not seem to have been taken into account and that 4000-5000 years ago Babylon would have been at 34° north latitude. Basically, this argument is ignored.)
(p) Owen Gingerich (1930- )
Owen Gingerich is an astrophysicist and historian of science. He is currently (2014) Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University, and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Gingerich was born to a Mennonite family in Washington, Iowa, but was raised in rural Kansas. It was here he first became interested in astronomy. His father, Melvin Gingerich, taught at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, from 1941 to 1947, when he took a job at Goshen College in Indiana. When his family relocated, Owen Gingerich began attending Goshen College without having graduated from high school, having just completed his junior year. (In 2004, Newton High School awarded him an honorary high school diploma.) He continued his studies at Harvard University. Gingerich eventually gained a position teaching astronomy at Harvard University. At Harvard University, Gingerich taught "The Astronomical Perspective," a core science course for non-scientists, which at the time of his retirement in 2000 was the longest-running course under the same management at the University. In addition to his research and teaching, Gingerich has written numerous books on the history of astronomy. In addition to astronomical research, he has also studied the history of astronomy. In the 1950s, he researched Charles Messier's life and the Messier Catalog. Gingerich is a widely recognized authority on both Johannes Kepler and Nicolaus Copernicus, especially in regard to his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. He is also an expert on Galileo's astronomical observations, and took a leading role in establishing that the water colour lunar images in a celebrated copy of Galileo's Sidereus nuncius were modern forgeries and not made by Galileo. His 30 year personal survey of Copernicus’ book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was recounted in The Book Nobody Read (2004). His Copernican researches earned him the Polish government’s Order of Merit in 1981. In addition to over 20 books, Gingerich has published nearly 600 technical or educational articles and reviews, and he has written many other articles for a popular audience. Two anthologies of his essays have also been published. His interests range from the recomputation of Babylonian mathematical tables to the interpretation of stellar spectra. In 1984, he won the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa prize for excellence in teaching. In 2000, he won their Doggett Prize for his contributions to the history of astronomy. He was awarded the Prix Jules Janssen of the French astronomical society in 2006. Also, Gingerich won the Trotter Prize in 2009. Asteroid Gingerich, discovered on February 13, 1980, at the Harvard College Observatory, was named in his honour. Gingerich is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the International Academy of the History of Science. He has been a councillor of the American Astronomical Society, and helped organize its Historical Astronomy Division. Gingerich is a committed Mennonite Christian and has been active in the American Scientific Affiliation, a society of evangelical scientists, and has served on the Templeton Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Gingerich and his wife, Miriam, have been married for over 60 years. They have three sons.
Gingerich has mostly speculated on the origin of paleolithic constellations.
Relevant key publication: Gingerich, Owen. and Welther, Barbara. (1984). "Some Puzzles of Ptolemy's Star Catalogue." (Sky and Telescope, May, Pages 421-423). "The Origin of the Zodiac." In: The Great Copernican Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History by Owen Gingerich (1992).
Efforts to identify paleolithic origins for some present-day Western constellations are understandably speculative. Whilst recognising the argument cannot be proved Gingerich has attempted to place the bear constellation Ursa Major into the Ice Age. Notwithstanding the controversy of whether there is physical evidence of paleolithic bear cults in northern Europe, there is no old stone age iconography of a celestial bear.
(q) Alexandr Gurshtein (also misspelled Gurshstein) (1937- )
Alexander Gurshtein is an eminent/prominent Russian astronomer and historian of science. Gurshtein has a Candidate of Science (1966) from Sternberg State Astronomical Institute in Moscow and also a Doctor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics (1980) from Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg. In Russia, Gurshtein was active as an astronomer in the Soviet Union's Lunar Space Program. Gurshtein helped plan moon missions for the U.S.S.R. at the height of the U.S.A./Soviet space race. (In 1974 Gurshtein was a deputy head of a laboratory in the USSR Institute of Space Research. He specialised in planetology.) Gurshtein has held a number of offices in professional organizations, including Head of Council for Astronomical Education and Vice Director of the Institute for History of Science and Technology, both for the Russian Ministry of Education. As a historian of science, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Annual on History of Science, published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the academic monthly, Nature. He is also the author of several books and articles on planetology, holder of 5 patents, and has presented at many international forums. He was a staff member of the Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Department of the History of Physics and Mathematics. (Grigorii Moiseevich Idlis, Professor of Physics, was head of the department. Gurshtein was Professor of Physics and head of the section/group, History of Astronomy.) In 1995 he took a leave of absence from the Russian Academy and accepted a position as Visiting Professor of Astronomy & History of Science at Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA. Over the past several decades he has developed a concept of history of constellations and the zodiac which was published in American Scientist, Sky & Telescope, and other professional journals. Alexander Gurshtein was a Lecturer of Mathematics, Physics and History of Science (beginning 1995) at Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction, CO, United States. He retired at the end of the Spring 2010 semester. Since 1995 he has resided permanently in the USA. He is permanently Vice Director, Institute for History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences. See the biographical entry in: The Encyclopedia of Russian Jewry edited by Herman Branover, Isaiah Berlin, and Zeev Wagner (Volume 1, Biographies A-I, 1998). His professional interests have included Soviet astronomy, astrometry and planetology, archaeoastronomy, and the philosophy of science.
At some time in the early 1990s (or earlier) Alex Gurshtein (then Institute for History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) initiated a large-scale project in the field of archaeoastronomical analyses of the origin and development of archaic constellations. Unfortunately the key influence for this project was the book Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969). His new hypothesis of the origin of the zodiacal constellations reached back to the Paleolithic period and was based on precession. Under the heading "The ancient world in the light of interdisciplinary studies," the (Russian-language) Journal of Ancient History, Number 1, 1995, published a selection of articles of a round-table discussion Gurshtein's ideas on the origin of the zodiacal constellations. Besides being published in Russian his conclusions were also published in a number of English-language journals. With the involvement of a number of like-minded Russian colleagues (comprising, if you like, a 'Russian School' of constellation investigators) the group performed a broad circle of new archaeoastronomical investigations. (The 'Russian School' includes A. Gurshtein, E. Kaurov [Kaunov], G. Kurtik, A. Kuzmin, N. Nikolov, S. Yershova, and S. Zhitomirsky. It's early history is described by E. Kaurov in his "The development [of] palaeoastronomy in Russia before the conference 'Palaeoastronomy: Sky and Mankind' (1992-1997)." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 20, Issue 6, Pages 1039-1044).) The early results of the 'Russian School' were published in two thematically orientated issues of the English-language Russian journal "Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions (Volumes 17, Issue 6, (1998) and 19 (1999)). Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, 1999, Volume 17, Issue 6, Pages 439-440: "Archaeoastronomy : the Problems of Being EDITORIAL The first National conference of archaeoastronomy was held on 15-18 October, 1996 at the Institute of Archaeology (IA) RAS. The idea of this form of interdisciplinary cooperation was discussed at the interdisciplinary meeting (30th March, 1996), which took place after the first national session on archaeoastronomy (State Astronomical Institute (SAI) of MGU, 30th March, 1996; for the material of this session see Astron. Astrophys. Trans., 1996, Vol. 15, special issue on the conference 'Our Galaxy'). The first national conference on archaeoastronomy, 'Archaeoastronomy: the problems of being' was organized by IA RAS. This conference was sponsored by RFBR. One of the members of the organizing committee (OC) was E. N. Kaurov (EAAS). The OC declared six topics of the conference: 1. Archaeoastronomical memories with astronomical orientiers: types, forms and functional aims. 2. History of research of archaeoastronomy objects. 3. Applications of the methods of astronomy, astrometry and selection mechanics in archaeoastronomy. 4. Astronomical knowledge and rites in antiquity in the light of the archaeological, ethnographical data and data of mythology. 5. The model of the ancient world outlook: sources, forms and transformation. 6. Ancient ornaments in the archaeoastronomical aspect. The talks and the poster papers (in all 48 items of the 53 authors) were published in the summary at the beginning of the conference. The summary presented all of the six declared topics. The conference was successful. Astronomical research in archaeoastronomy was presented at the conference by V. N. Obridko et al., (IZMIRAN), D. D. Polojenzev (GAO), J. A. Nagovizin (GAO), V. A Jurevich ('Earth and Universe' magazine), E. N. Kaurov (EAAS) and others. The experience of organizing the first national conference on archaeoastronomy was used by the organization of the conference 'Palaeoastronomy: Sky and Mankind' (19-24 November 1997, SAI MGU). In this issue we present the materials of some ordinary papers of the conference 'Archaeoastronomy: the problems of being'. Before this issue Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions also published the papers by V. N. Obridko et al., (Astron. Astrophys. Trans. Vol. 17, 29, 1998). The scientific results of this conference were reported briefly in Russian Archaeology, 1998, 1, 230-238 (a science magazine in Russian). Two papers on archaeoastronomy are also published in this special issue (G. E. Kurtik and A. V. Kuzmin); there were discussed at the science seminars after the conference. E. N. Kaurov" It is generally regarded that the most noticeable early achievement of the 'Russian school' of constellation investigators was the publication of the "Transactions" of the international conference held in the Shternberg State Astronomical Institute (Moscow State University) [Sternberg Institute of Astronomy, Moscow State University], November 19-24, 1997, The project the conference project was Dr E[?]. Kaunov [Kaurov]. The 'Russian school' of constellation investigators is basically distinguished by their somewhat speculative high-end dates for the origin of constellations. Its members assert the subdividing of the stars of the northern celestial hemisphere into constellations has archaic sources and reasons, and began most probably in the Paleolithic period. There is a heavy emphasis also on astronomy attributed to the Neolithic-Bronze age (5th- to 2nd-millennium BCE). (See: Gurshtein, A. et al. 1998). "On the Status of Archaeoastronomy in Russia." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 15, Issue 1-4, April, Pages 343-348).) Other Russian supporters from the late 1990s of Gurshtein's ideas are/were I. L. Kyzlasov (Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; A. P. Gulyaev, Sternberg State Astronomical Institute, Moscow; E. O. Berzin, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; T. V. Stepugina, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Alexander Gurshtein was in regular contact with Archibald Roy (or at least for some time).
Relevant key publications (English-language) (void zone argument, precessional argument): Gurshtein, Alexander. (1993). "On the Origin of the Zodiacal Constellations." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 36, Pages 171-190). (Note: This paper is a detailed explanation of his ideas on constellation origins.) Gurshtein, Alexander. (1994). "Dating the Origin of the Constellations by Precession." (Physics-Doklady, Volume 39, Number 8, Pages 575-578). (Note: A succinct explanation of his ideas of the origins of the constellations.) Gurshtein, Alexander. (1995). "Prehistory of Zodiac Dating: Three Strata of Upper Paleolithic Constellations. (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 39, Pages 347-362).
Ideas adopted from/influenced by: Willy Hartner, Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, and the authors of Hamlet's Mill.
Ideas adopted by: Kaurov, E. N. & Raevsky, D. S. (1997) "The zodiac history in the history of culture." (Astronomical & Astrophysical Transactions: The Journal of the Eurasian Astronomical Society, Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 333-334). (Note: E. N. Kaurov, Euroasian Astronomical Society, also was at Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; D. S. Raevsky, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.)
Three early important (English-language) articles by Gurshtein. The methods used are evident from the abstracts.:
"On the origin of the zodiacal constellations." by Alex A. Gurshtein (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 36, Part 2, 1993, Pages 171–190): "Abstract: A reconstruction of the evolution of the zodiacal constellations is made, based on the Indoeuropean and Sumero-Akkadian religio-cultural data, including artifacts such as cult statuettes, cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals and boundary stones. It is argued that the development of the twelve houses of the zodiac in three groups of four over some six millennia was dictated by the changes made by precession in the positions of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and the winter and summer solstices."
"Prehistory of zodiac dating: Three strata of Upper paleolithic constellations." by Alex A. Gurshtein (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 39, Issue 3, 1995, Pages 347–362): "Abstract: A pattern of archaic proto-constellations is extracted from Aratus' "The Phaenomena" didactic poem list according to a size criterion elaborated earlier, and their symbolism is analyzed. As a result of this approach three celestial symbolical strata are discovered to be probably a reflection of the symbols for the Lower, the Middle and the Upper Worlds; the Under-World creatures have a water character, the Middle World ones are mostly anthropomorphic and flying beings are for the Upper World. The strata excerpted from Aratus' sky seems to be in agreement with the well-known Babylonian division into three god pathways for Ea (Enki), Anu and Enlil. There is a possibility of dating the pattern discovered because of precession's strong influence as far back as 16 thousand years, the result being supported by the comparison of different star group mean sizes. The archaic constellation pattern under consideration is a reasonable background of symbolical meanings for the first Zodiacal generation quartet (7.5 thousand years old) examined by the author previously. The enormous size of the Argo constellation (Ship of Argo and his Argonauts) as well as the large sizes of other southern constellations are explained as due to the existence of an accumulation zone near the South celestial pole. Some extra correlations between the reconstruction proposed and cultural data available are discussed. The paper is the second part of the investigation "On the Origin of the Zodiacal constellations" published in Vistas in Astronomy, vol.36, pp.171–190, 1993."
"The evolution of the zodiac in the context of ancient oriental history." by Alex A. Gurshtein (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 41, Issue 4, 1997, Pages 507–525): "Abstract: The dates for the second (ca. 2700 B.C. to within 250 years) and the third ecliptical quartets (ca. 1200 B.C. to within 400 years) evaluated earlier are considered in the context of ancient Egyptian history. The origin of the second quartet coincides with the Great Pyramids and the initiation of the Egyptian solar, or so-called "civil" calendar, the first of such a type in the world. The third quartet is concurrent with the solar conversion of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton) and takes place at the finale of the great Sothic period of 1461 years after the initiation of the solar calendar. It is argued that the Great Pyramids seem to be monuments to the Sun-god built in honor of the Egyptians having reached an understanding of the Sun's track upon the starry background, Akhenaton's conversion being in a direct connection with the original Pyramids' ideology. This paper is the third part of a single investigation. The first two parts "On the Origin of the Zodiacal Constellations" and "Prehistory of Zodiac Dating: Three Strata of Upper Paleolithic Constellations" were published in Vistas in Astronomy in 1993 and 1995."
Some key claims in Gurshtein's thesis presented in the 1990s include: (1) The earliest constellations date back more than 16,000 years (to perhaps 18,000 BCE). (2) Many of the constellations that date to antiquity are often comprised of 7 stars. (3) The oldest constellations are the largest. (4) The oldest constellations fall into 3 categories (strata), representing water, earth, and air. (5) Evidence of a 3 category (strata) arrangement exists in the Babylonian "three ways each" and the arrangement of the Greek constellations in the sky. (Note: Similarly, the Panbabylonist Hugo Winckler (Die Weltanschauung des Alten Orients (1904)) maintained that the zodiac falls into 3 corresponding parts, having its air, earth, and water regions.) (6) The 3 constellation categories (stratum) were centred on the north celestial pole circa 14,000 BCE. (7) The Minoans may have refined and elaborated on a constellation system that existed possibly 18,000 BCE. (8) Eudoxus possessed a Minoan star globe (engraved celestial globe) that represented the sky as it appeared circa 2000 BCE. (9) The constellations on the sky globe were aligned to the north celestial pole circa 2000 BCE. (10) Neither Eudoxus or Aratus understood that the sky they were describing wasn't anything like the real sky of their era. (11) The "void zone" of the Minoan star globe/Greek constellations corresponds to stars that could not have been seen 2000 BCE at 36° north latitude. (12) The development of the 12 zodiacal constellations was a gradual process and due to precession. (13) The development of the first quartet of the zodiac (circa 5,500 BCE was connected with improvements to the solar calendar during the Neolithic period. (14) The enormous size of the Argo constellation as well as the large size of other constellations are explained are explained as being due to the existence of an accumulation zone near the south celestial pole.
Key publications: Gurshtein, Alexander. (1993). "On the Origin of the Zodiacal Constellations." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 36, Pages 171-190). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1994). "Dating the Origin of the Constellations by Precession." (Physics-Doklady, Volume 39, Number 8, Pages 575-578). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1995). "Prehistory of Zodiac Dating: Three Strata of Upper Paleolithic Constellations. (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 39, Pages 347-362). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1995). "When the Zodiac Climbed Into the Sky." (Sky and Telescope, October, Pages 28-33). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1996). "The Great Pyramids of Egypt as Sanctuaries Commemorating the Origin of the Zodiac: An Analysis of Astronomical Evidence." (Physics-Doklady, Volume 41, Number 5, Pages 228-232). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1997). "In Search of the First Constellations." (Sky and Telescope, June, Pages 46-50). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1997). "The Origins of the Constellations." (American Scientist, Volume 85, Number 3, May-June, Pages 264-273). Gurshtein, Alexander. (1998). "The Evolution of the Zodiac in the Context of Ancient Oriental History." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 41, Number 4, Pages 507-525). Gurshtein, Alexander. (2003). "Relevant Queries In Respect To The Archiac Chinese Sky.” In: Orchiston,W., Stephenson, R., Debarbat, S., and Nha, I.-S. (Editors). Astronomical Instruments and Archives From the Asia-Pacific Region. Gurshtein, Alexander. (2004) "Relevant queries in respect to [of] the archaic Chinese sky." In: Orchiston, W., Stephenson, R., Debarbat, S., and Njha, I.-S. (Editors). Astronomical Instruments and Archives from the Asia-Pacific Region. Gurshtein, Alexander. (2005). "Did the Pre-Indo-Europeans Influence the Formation of the Western Zodiac?" (Journal of Indo-European Studies, Volume 33, Number 1 & 2, Spring/Summer, Pages 103-150).
(r) Sergey Zhitomirsky (?-?)
Professor Sergey Zhitomirsky is employed at the Institute of Mechanics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. He has been identified as an astronomer by one source but may be a design engineer involved with designing space/planetary probes for the Russian Space Department.
Relevant key publication: "'Aratus' "Phaenomena": Dating and analysing its primary source." by Sergey Zhitomersky (Astronomical & Astrophysical Transactions [The Journal of the Eurasian Astronomical Society], Volume 17, Number 6, 1999, Pages 483-500).
Ideas adopted from: Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy. Zhitomirsky used a different method to the one used by Ovenden and Roy. His results for a date matched those of Ovenden and Roy.
(s) David Hughes (1941- )
David W. Hughes is an English astronomer, writer, and historian of science. He has spent his career teaching astronomy and doing research into the minor bodies of the solar system, and also the history of astronomy. David Hughes is presently (2014) the Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. (A University of Lethbridge publication lists David W. Hughes as a Chairman Emeriti, 1989-1995, for that university.) Dr David Hughes was Professor of Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has worked there since 1965. (Note: David W. Hughes is not to be confused with David Hughes, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds.) Hughes has published over 200 research papers on asteroids, comets, meteorites and meteoroids. He has been a regular contributor to the journal Nature. He has also written on the history of astronomy, the origin of the solar system and the impact threat to planet Earth. In 1990 asteroid 4205 was named in his honour. Hughes was born in East Retford, Nottinghamshire, and educated at Mundella School, Nottingham, Birmingham University (1959–1962, where he got a degree in physics) and Oxford University (1962–1965, New College and the University Observatory), where he got a D. Phil in solar astrophysics. Hughes also taught undergraduates at the University of Sheffield, specialising in the history of astronomy, solar and planetary studies, and geophysics. As of October 2007 he is retired and was given an emeritus chair by the University. Hughes often appeared on TV, most notably with the live coverage of the ESA Giotto space mission to Halley's Comet and discussing the Star of Bethlehem. (Hughes is an international authority on meteors, comets, and cosmic dust. He was a co-investigator on the extremely successful European Space Agency’s GIOTTO space mission to Comet Halley and also on ESA’s Smart 1 mission to the Moon. His book, The Star of Bethlehem: An Astronomer's Confirmation was published in 1979.) David has served on a host of space and astronomy committees and has twice been a Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Astronomical Association. He has lectured all over the world, led astronomical eclipse expeditions and has three times given the prestigious annual Herschel Lecture in Bath. (Presenter: "Historical cometary discoveries and the possible variability of the influx of comets"; at the Royal Astronomical Society 1-day discussion meeting (as part of the RAS regular monthly program) on Friday October 9, 1998.) During the 1990s he was involved in solar research. Since retiring Hughes has spent his life in Sheffield writing about astronomy, being a member of the Royal Astronomical Society's Astronomy Heritage Committee and collecting livery buttons, Chinese ceramics and cast-iron railway signs. He also gives astronomy talks on cruise ships, where, on many occasions, he represents the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. He is married to Carole Stott (who also writes on astronomy and space) and they have 2 children, Ellen and Owen.
Relevant key publication (polar alignment argument): Hughes, David. (1984). "Draughtsmen of the constellations." (Nature, Volume 312, 20/27 December, Page 697). (Note: See the correction in Nature, Volume 313, 17 January, 1985, Page 182 (News and Reviews).)
Ideas adopted from: Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden. Following Roy, Hughes believes the originators of the constellations lived somewhere on the longitude line 36 degrees north about 2500 BCE. (Note: Hughes is specifying latitude (north-south position) but not longitude (east-west position).)
(t) Roslyn Frank (Unknown- )
Roslyn M. Frank is (2015) Professor Emeritus in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa, specializing in Basque Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, European ethnography, ethnomathematics, ethno- & archaeo- astronomy, informational technologies & orality, ecocriticism, Spanish civilization & Culture and Spanish Women Writers. Higher education: 1972- Ph.D. University of Iowa, Iowa City IA: Spanish. Dissertation Title: "La visión narrativa de Mario Vargas Llosa en Los jefes, La ciudad y los perros y Los cachorros." 1963- M.A. University of Iowa Major in Spanish; Minor in Russian. 1961- B.A. Summa cum laude, University of Iowa Major in Spanish; Minor in English, Russian. Professional history: 2002-present- Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA. 1988-2002- Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA. 1977-1988- Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA. 1972-1977- Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA. 1968-1972- Instructor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA.
Relevant key publication: Frank, Roslyn. and Bengoa, Jesus Arregi. (2001). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: On the origins of the non-zodiacal constellations." In: CLive Ruggles, Frank Prendergast and Tom Ray (Editors). Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape. (Pages 15-43). Frank, Roslyn. (2014). "Origins of "Western" Constellations." In: Ruggles, Clive. (General Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (3 Volumes; Volume 1, Part 1, Pages 148-163).
(u) Edwin Krupp (1944- )
Edwin Charles Krupp is an American astronomer and author. He has been the director of the Griffith Observatory (Department of Recreation and Parks) in Los Angeles for nearly forty years, since first taking over the position in 1974 from his predecessor, William J. Kaufmann III. He received his degrees in astronomy from UCLA, a Master's degree in 1968 and a PhD in 1972. His PhD advisor was George Abell (1927-1983) under whom he studied the properties of rich clusters of galaxies. He received a bachelor's degree in physics and astronomy from Pomona College in 1966.
Edwin Krupp is recognised internationally as an expert on ancient, prehistoric, and traditional astronomy. He has visited more than 1500 sites throughout the world and has regularly led field study tours to locations having astronomical and archaeological interest. He is the author of several books on the celestial component of belief systems. Two of his books have won national prizes from the American Institute of Physics. Krupp is a contributing editor for Sky and Telescope and writes a monthly column, "Rambling Through the Skies," for the internationally distributed magazine. His column emphasises the cultural component of astronomy. In 1989 he received a national prize from the Astronomical society of the Pacific - the Klumpke-Roberts Award - for outstanding contributions to public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. In 1996 he received the G. Bruce Blair Medal for substantive contributions to amateur and public astronomy, from the Western Amateur Astronomers.
Relevant key article (critique of polar alignment argument, critique of void space argument): "Night Gallery: The Function, Origin, and Evolution of Constellations" by Edwin Krupp (Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Volume XV, 2000, Pages 43-63). Note: The best overall summary study to date. It establishes the benchmark for discussions of the origin, development, function and transmission of constellations. (It continues (2015) to be the best article overall on the subject.) For a relatively short article it is very comprehensive in scope and insightful. Originally presented by the author at Oxford VI, June, 1999. Oxford VI was held in the Canary Islands. Supportive of Willy Hartner's controversial views on the earliest constellations.
(v) Ian Ridpath (1947- )
A British science writer and broadcaster and populariser of astronomy. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Former editor of the magazine Popular Astronomy. Has published books and articles on constellation history. A full-time writer, editor and broadcaster on astronomy since 1972.
Method(s): Use of vacant space argument. Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2000 BCE.
Relevant key publication (void zone argument): Ridpath, Ian. (1988). "Stars and storytellers." In: Ridpath, Ian. Star Tales. (Pages 1-12, see page 3). (Note: Chapter 1 of his book.)
Ideas adopted from: Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden.
(w) Gwyneth Heuter (Unknown- )
Finding biographical details for Gwyneth Heuter is extremely difficult. Perhaps a Welsh linguist/historian (and amateur astronomer). Her given address accompanying her article was "1 East View, Rogers Lane, Gwersylit, Clwyd LL11 4SG, U.K.." [Note: A Gwyneth Hueter (not Heuter) is indicated as a British cuneiform philologist/assyriologist. At least her training was in these subject areas. Her 1996 (unpublished) Ph.D. thesis awarded by the University of Oxford is, Grammatical studies in the Akkadian dialects of Babylon and Uruk 556-500 BC. The subject matter of her doctoral thesis is Neo-Babylonian and Semitic language linguistics. The doctorate studies were likely to be for a doctorate of philology. According to the Report of the Committee for Archaeology, 1995-6, University of Oxford, (and the 1996-7 report) Gwyneth Hueter was an archaeology student, studying at Wolfson College (which is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge). It is indicated that a Gwyneth Heuter is an active member of the Oxford City Athletic Club.] It is indicated there may be confusion between the spelling Heuter and Hueter and also that they are the same person. An apparent mismatch in dates is created by the astronomy article being written circa 2008. From http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/wastronhist/astrosocs/welshastronsocsl20.html: "The North Clwyd Astronomical Society: The North Clwyd Astronomical Society operated in the area around the mouth of the River Clwyd in the 1980's. It was founded in October 1981, instigated by Ms. (now Dr.) Gwyneth Hueter and Mr. Robert Newton. It held regular meetings at Ysgol Dewi Sant in Rhyl, usually with talks by members, and sometimes by outside speakers: for example, Dr. Mike Hapgood of the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, a specialist in the Earth's upper atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind, and who came originally from Colwyn Bay, was a frequent visiting speaker. The Society published an occasional newsletter. Several meetings were organised in partnership with the Gwynedd A.S., the A.S. of Wales, and the Chester A.S. Gwyneth Hueter, and later Bob Newton, moved away from the area, leaving the main responsibility for organising the society to Mr. Derek Owen of Pensarn. The society continued until his sudden death from a heart attack at his workplace in February 1989. Without his leadership, the Society was unable to continue and ceased in the spring of 1989." A short news piece by Gwyneth Hueter appears in the Newsletter of the Abingdon Astronomical Society, for 11th June 2012 (Abingdon is now county of Oxfordshire.)
Relevant key publication: Heuter, Gwyneth. (1986). "Star Names - Origins and Misconceptions." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 29, Part 3, Pages 237-251). "Abstract: The sources of present day star names used in the western world are examined. Particular interest is shown in the meanings of the most popular names and those whose meanings have proved difficult to trace. A classification of star names is made and attention is drawn to the errors introduced in translation from one language to another. In particular an in-depth study of pre-Ptolemaic Arabic star names is given." (Note: Although this work is primarily concerned with exploring the Arabic origin of stellar names, it traces several back to the ancient Near East). Unfortunately, considerable mistakes are incorporated into the article.
(x) John Barrow (1952- )
Dr John David Barrow FRS (born 29 November 1952) is an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, mathematician, and science writer. He is currently (2015) Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Barrow is also a writer of popular science and an amateur playwright. Barrow attended Barham Primary School in Wembley until 1964 and Ealing Grammar School for Boys from 1964–71 and obtained his first degree in mathematics and physics from Van Mildert College at the University of Durham in 1974. In 1977, he completed his doctorate in astrophysics at Magdalen College, Oxford, under Dennis William Sciama. He was a Junior Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1977–1981. He did two postdoctoral years in astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Commonwealth Lindemann Fellow (1977–1980) and Miller Fellow (1980–1981). In 1981 he took up a position at the University of Sussex and rose to the rank of Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Astronomy Centre. In 1999, he became Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and a fellow in Clare Hall at Cambridge University. He is Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project. From 2003–2007 he was Gresham Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London, and he has been appointed as Gresham Professor of Geometry from 2008–2011; only one person has previously held two different Gresham chairs. In 2008, the Royal Society awarded him the Faraday Prize. In addition to having published more than 480 journal articles, Barrow has coauthored (with Frank J. Tipler) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, a work on the history of the ideas, specifically intelligent design and teleology, as well as a treatise on astrophysics. He has also published 17 books for general readers, beginning with his 1983 The Left Hand of Creation. Another book was The Artful Universe (1995). He has given many public lectures including the 1989 Gifford Lectures, the Darwin Lecture of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Spinoza Lecture. Barrow has lectured at Downing Street, Windsor Castle, the Vatican, and to the general public. In 2002, his play Infinities premiered in Milan, played in Valencia, and won the Premi Ubu 2002 Italian Theatre Prize. He was awarded the 2006 Templeton Prize for "Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities" for his "writings about the relationship between life and the universe, and the nature of human understanding [which] have created new perspectives on questions of ultimate concern to science and religion". He is a member of a United Reformed Church, which he describes as teaching "a traditional deistic picture of the universe".
Relevant key publications (polar alignment argument, void zone argument): Barrow, John. (1995, revised 2005). "Long day's journey into night: the origin of the constellations." In: Barrow, John. The Artful Universe. (Pages 161-174). (Note: The section is part of Chapter 4: The Heavens and the Earth.) Also, lecture and transcript, "The Origin of the Constellations.", Thursday 23 January 2007, 1.00 pm, Museum of London. (The lecture and transcript emphasises the polar alignment argument, void zone argument/precessional argument. Attributes the origin of the constellations to the seafaring Minoans. Barrow makes a number of errors regarding the origin if the "void zone" argument and the development of Babylonian astronomy.) Particularly follows the arguments of Archibald Roy. Barrow believes the Minoans circa 3000 BCE developed/originated a sophisticated system of constellations for navigation. Barrow thinks highly of Gurshtein's gradualist ideas. (See: Cosmic Imagery by John Barrow (2008, Page 549).
(y) John Rodgers (1952- )
John H. Rogers Ph.D. is a neurobiologist and amateur planetary astronomer. He is a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, School of the Biological Sciences, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, specialising in molecular neurobiology, with an interest in evolution. His professional research interests are: Neural injury and regeneration. Genetic manipulation promoting axon regeneration. Responses of the mammalian CNS to injury. Viral vectors for repairing damaged neurones. This research aims to promote axon regeneration in the injured brain and spinal cord. He is part of a group working to express enzymes in herpes virus vectors, for expression in tissue culture and in neurons of rat brain or spinal cord. Rogers is also Director of the Jupiter Section of the British Astronomical Association. He has been the director of the Jupiter Section of the British Astronomical Association (BAA) for decades and is the author of a definitive book on the observation of Jupiter by amateur astronomers.
Relevant key publications: "Origins of the Ancient Constellations: I. The Mesopotamian Traditions." by John Rogers (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 108, Number 1, 1998, Pages 9-28). "Origins of the Ancient Constellations: II. The Mediterranean Traditions." by John Rogers (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 108, Number 2, 1998, Pages 79-89). Both parts of the article comprise a total of 31 pages. The 2 parts of the article on constellation origins was initiated originally from an offbeat personal inquiry. The main sources used were those held in the University of Cambridge Library. Unfortunately - to date - he has not revised/updated either parts of the article.
Note: Both parts of this article need to be used with caution. They comprise a speculative and misleading synthesis compiled in part from dated and/or unreliable sources. Rodgers has been the only person to attempt a synthesis of all ideas i.e., those of Ovenden, Roy, and Gurshtein, and others. These include: Richard Allen, Robert Brown, Andrew Crommelin, Alex Gurshtein, Willy Hartner, Edward Maunder, Michael Ovenden, Werner Papke, Archibald Roy, Richard Proctor, Giuseppe Sesti, and David Ulansey. These authors have had a major influence on the ideas expressed in the article. Unfortunately the article tends to be highly regarded instead of highly disregarded.
Ideas adopted from: Edward Maunder, Andrew Crommelin, Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy. Ideas adopted by: A host of later writers have uncritically perpetuated the ideas in his 2-part article on the constellations.
(z) Sara Genuth (1957- )
Sara Genuth (= Sara Jane Schechner = Sara Schechner Genuth) is an astronomy/science historian. In May 1983 Sara Schechner married Joel Genuth and they had 2 daughters. (They were divorced in 1999.) At the time she studying for a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science as a National Science Foundation graduate fellow at Harvard University. She holds master's degrees in philosophy and arts, respectively, from Cambridge University and Harvard. Ph.D. dissertation from Harvard University 1988, From Monstrous Signs to Natural Causes. The Assimilation of Comet Lore to Natural Philosophy. In 1996 she was one or two SIL/Dibner Library Resident Scholars. Her fields of study include the history and philosophy of physics and astronomy and scientific instruments. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, treating the social context of scientific work, the interaction of science and religion, and the relationship of high and low culture. She earned her Ph.D. and Master's degrees in the History of Science from Harvard University and an M. Phil. from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, England. She has taught at Harvard University, Sarah Lawrence College, New York, the University of Chicago, and the Newberry Library, and was curator at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She curated a number of exhibitions at the Adler Planetarium, and has delivered many invited papers. Her book on Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology was published in 1999. Currently (2015), Sara Schechner is the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Department of the History of Science, Harvard University Science Center. In March 2013, Sara Schechner married Kenneth Launie.
Relevant key publication: "Constellations." by Sara Genuth. (1997). In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. (Pages 160-164). It is essentially the Minoan argument originated by Ovenden and Roy, for the origin of the Western constellations.
Some persons seeking a very early date for the origin of the Western constellations propose that because of the similarities between the Greek and the Babylonian constellation systems it is likely that there was some common earlier tradition that played a significant role in shaping these 2 particular ways of constellating the visible northern sky. This form of argument is found in: "Constellations." by Sara Genuth. (1997). In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. It is essentially the Minoan argument originated by Ovenden and Roy, for the origin of the Western constellations. The argument pivots on the assertion that Aratus is describing the Eudoxan globe (it is thought that Eudoxus had one) and this globe was more than 1500 years out of date (due to precession). Further, this sky globe which came into the possession of Eudoxus was designed for a latitude south of Greece and north of Egypt (where Eudoxus did not live). The argument is completely speculative. The speculation naturally extends to the questions: How did Eudoxus come into possession of this globe depicting the constellations? Why did Eudoxus fail to notice that the positions of the constellations on the globe were different to the positions of the constellations in the night sky of his day? The content of the argument is speculative and deductive, comprising: The constellation globe of Eudoxus predated the fixing of the Babylonian constellations. The cuneiform texts show that the Babylonians used some star groups that were not mentioned by Eudoxus. Consequently, it must be recognised that the Western constellations were invented, developed, transmitted, and adapted within and across cultures. (It is also an argument against the notion that the classical (i,e., Western) constellations were designed at one definite time, in one definite place, and according to a preconceived plan.)
Ideas adopted from: Archibald Roy (and perhaps Michael Ovenden).
Ideas adopted by: Unknown.
Source: Extracts from "Constellations." by Sara Genuth. (1997). In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. (Pages 163-164). Whether the author still holds these ideas is unknown.
(aa) Bradley Schaefer (Unknown- )
Bradley Schaefer is currently (2014) a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Louisiana State University. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983.
The "void zone" arguments have now been critically demolished by two recent articles by the astronomer and historian Bradley Schaefer. See: (1) Schaefer, Bradley. (2002). "The Latitude and Epoch for the formation of the Southern Greek Constellations." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 33, Number 4, Pages 313-350); and (2) Schaefer, Bradley. (2004). "The Latitude and Epoch for the Origin of the Astronomical Lore of Eudoxus." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 35, Number 2, Pages 161-223). The former paper sets out an argument that the southern Greek constellations originated in the first millennium BCE. The latter paper sets out an argument that the astronomical lore of Eudoxus was likely of Babylonian origin circa 1130 BCE. (Also: "The Latitude and Epoch of the Origin of the Astronomical Lore in MUL.APIN." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Volume 39, May, 2007, Page 157. The paper argues that the astronomical lore of MUL.APIN likely originated circa 1370 BCE ±100, in the region of Assur. "The earliest account of the Mesopotamian constellations (from which the majority of the Greek constellations derived) is a much-copied clay tablet called MUL.APIN. This tablet is a compilation of lists including heliacal rise dates, rise/set pairs, and meridian/rise pairs. The earliest dated example is from 687 BC for a cuneiform tablet found in Assyria. The date for the original astronomical observations has been claimed to be anytime from 2300 BC to soon before 687 BC, although the mainstream view is that the observations are from 1300-1000 BC. These dates are based on analysis of just a few of the observations reported in MUL.APIN. To obtain the best possible date (and latitude), I have itemized 190 observations from MUL.APIN and used a chi-square analysis which returns the best epoch and latitude along with quantified error bars. This analysis is similar to my previously reported work on the astronomical lore of Eudoxus for which I found that the original observations date to 1130+-80 BC and a latitude of 36.0+-0.9 degrees. My analysis of MUL.APIN puts the epoch for the observations at 1370+-100 BC with a latitude of 35.1+-1.2 degrees. This time and place is that of the height of the then-dominant culture of Assyria, and it also corresponds to the first expression of most of the constellations in the archaeological record. This time and place is also the same (within error bars) of the origin of Eudoxus' lore, which happens to have substantial overlaps with MUL.APIN in content. As such, it appears that some original Assyrian observer(s) created a set of observations which were passed down through the centuries by multiple paths, with one path going to the Mesopotamian tradition (through MUL.APIN) and another path going to the Greek tradition (through Eudoxus then Aratus and Hipparchus).")
(bb) Aurélie Rousseau (Unknown- ), and Stavros Dimitrakoudis (Unknown- )
Aurélie Rousseau is described as a Staff Archaeologist currently (2015) with INRAP (Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives), Nord-Picardie, France. She is/has been involved with researching the early history of astronomy.
Stavros Dimitrakoudis is described as being a Postdoctoral Researcher and Astrophysicist at the National Observatory of Athens. He is also described as being in the Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, University of Athens, Greece.
The authors believe they can establish the date of 2800 BCE for numerous Greek constellations. Publication abstract: "We provide a fresh analysis of the constellations in Aratos’ Phaenomena, by using the astronomical program Cybersky (by Stephen Schimpf) to check each reference of constellations within the poem for validity in 2800 BCE and 300 BCE (the latter accounting for the broader period of time covering Eudoxus of Cnidus and Aratus of Soli. In each case, the latitude of observation was chosen to be 36° North, in agreement with the area of the sky that is not covered in the description of Aratus (and contains the unseen constellations for a particular latitude). Each constellation was traced back to its Greek mythological origin through the various writers of antiquity. Our results are collected in a table of the constellations mentioned by Aratus in his epic poem, with respect to the ancient authors who have mentioned each constellation, shaping its myth, the locations on earth each constellation is associated with and the most likely date of observation, according to Aratus’ description and taking into account precession and the proper motion of stars."
Relevant key publication: Rousseau, Aurélie. and Dimitrakoudis, Stavros. (2006). "A study of the catasterisms in the 'phaenomena' of Aratus." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Special Issue, Volume 16, Issue 3, Pages 111-119). [Note: The reference is sometime given as: Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry, Volume 6, Number 3 (Special Issue), Pages 111-120. ]
Ideas adopted from: Influenced by the constellation dating ideas of Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy.
(cc) Dennis Duke (Unknown- )
American physicist and historian of early astronomy. Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA. Dennis Duke received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Iowa State University in 1974. After post-doctoral work at the University of Rochester, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Rutherford Laboratory, he joined the faculty at FSU in 1979. His research interests are in theoretical and computational physics. Since 1984 he has been involved with the Supercomputer Computations Research Institute (SCRI).
Relevant key publication (critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument): "Statistical Dating of the Phenomena of Eudoxus." by Dennis Duke (DIO-The International Journal of Scientific History, Volume 15, December 2008, Pages 7-23). (Note: Important article for correcting the mistaken notion that Eudoxus was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE, and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE.)
Ideas adopted from: Indicated as original.
Ideas adopted by: Elly Dekker.
Source for passages (page numbers not given in online article): "Statistical Dating of the Phenomena of Eudoxus." by Dennis Duke (DIO-The International Journal of Scientific History, Volume 15, December 2008, Pages 7-23).
(dd) Elly Dekker (1956?- )
Elly Dekker PhD is a noted Dutch independent scholar involved in the study of the history of astronomy and the history of scientific instruments. She was awarded Sackler Fellowship and the Caird Medal for her work in 1998 cataloging the collection of globes and armillary spheres (in Greenwich and East London) of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. The catalogue was published in 1999 (Globes at Greenwich).
Relevant key publication (critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument): "A 'Watermark' of Eudoxan Astronomy." by Elly Dekker (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume XXXXIX, Part 2, Number 135, 2008, Pages 213-238). (Note: Important article for correcting the mistaken notion that Eudoxus was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE, and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE. Based on assistance from Dennis Duke and a 'sneak' look at his forthcoming paper.)
Ideas adopted from: Dennis Duke.
Ideas adopted by: Unknown.
Source: "A 'Watermark' of Eudoxan Astronomy." by Elly Dekker (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume XXXXIX, Part 2, Number 135, May, 2008, Pages 213-238). (Passages from pages 220-221 and 224.)
(ee) Jean Faucounau (?- )
Dr Jean Faucounau, a mathematician and amateur linguist, has published material supportive of Maunder, Crommelin, and Ovenden. Faucounau makes 3 arguments for the proto-Ionians in his book, Les Proto-Ioniens (2001). The 2nd argument is related to the origin of the Greek constellations.
The second argument is a refinement of a long-established argument in archaeoastronomy, developed most recently by Michael Ovenden (and Archie Roy), which considers the motion of the North Pole with respect to the fixed stars, because of the precession of the equinoxes. Ovenden (following Maunder and Crommelin) concluded, from the slant of the constellations in the present sky and the hypothesis that Aratus and Hipparchus (insofar as his work survives) correctly and completely represent immemorial tradition, that the Greek constellations we now use had been devised when the Pole was in Draco, about 2800 BCE. He also concluded that the inventors probably lived between 34°30' and 37°30' N., north of most ancient civilizations, and so were likely to be the Minoans.
Crommelin has disputed this latitude, arguing that the constellation makers could only see to 54° S, but that this was compatible with latitudes as low as the 31°N of Alexandria; stars which only skirt the southern horizon by a few degrees are not effectively visible. Assuming a Greek latitude would render Canopus and Fomalhaut invisible. Crommelin estimates the constellators at 2460 BCE; Proctor has estimated 2170 BCE. Maunder estimated 2700 BCE.
Faucounau's addition to this is the argument that Crete is also too far south, that the names of the constellations are (Ionic) Greek, not Minoan, and therefore that the constellation makers must be the proto-Ionians in the Cyclades. The south coast of Crete follows 35°N latitude; Syros, which he identifies as a centre of proto-Ionian civilization, is at 37°20'. On this basis (and a few artifacts and images/symbols), he identifies the proto-Ionians with the archaeological Early Cycladic II culture.
Relevant key publication: Les Proto-Ioniens (2001).
Ideas adopted from: Maunder, Crommelin, and Ovenden.
Ideas adopted by: Unknown.
Flaws of the Void Zone Argument
The "void zone" argument, though popular since its reintroduction by Edward Maunder, has multiple problems. The chief premise of the "void zone" is that the classical Greek constellations (i.e., the Aratean constellations) were designed at one definite time and in one place, according to a preconceived plan. The argument for establishing the time and place of the Aratean constellations is based on the extent of the vacant space left around the south pole of the celestial sphere when all but the Aratean constellations are removed; and the apparent movement of the stars due to precession. The further assumption made is that the area of the globe that was not constellated in the description of Aratus was centred on the south celestial pole at the date when the constellations were fixed.
The size of the "void zone" is taken as a clue to the latitude at which the constellation inventors lived. A date is found when, by allowing for precession, the centre of the "void zone" on the globe is in the position of the south celestial pole.
The subjectivity of the method is demonstrated by the varying estimates of the radius of the "void zone" (30 degrees to 40 degrees) and the varying estimates of the date of origin given by precession (1400-2800 BCE). Anyway the boundaries of the "void zone" cannot be accurately defined as we lack the understanding of the original boundaries of the classical Greek constellation figures. Due to our lack of knowledge of the boundaries of the Aratean constellations the "void zone" method is inherently subjective and its use can lead to no real agreement (as it has failed to do) regarding the latitude and date for the constellations being designed at one definite time and place.
Many of the Aratean constellations show a similarity with Babylonian constellations. The Greek constellation scheme of Aratus of Soli (3rd-century BCE) contains a mix of both Babylonian constellations and non-Babylonian constellations. The Babylonian component of the Aratean constellations is traceable to both Babylonian "star calendar" constellations of the 2nd millennium BCE and also to Babylonian constellations listed in the later Mul.Apin series (circa 1000 BCE). (The few known 8th-century BCE constellations of Homer mirror the constellations already existing in the Babylonian scheme.) The Babylonian scheme of constellations has always been a mix of constellations mentioned by Aratus and other constellations outside the Aratean scheme. A definite Babylonian influence on the later Greek scheme of constellations is reasonably indicated. It is obvious that the Greeks borrowed certain constellations from the Babylonians and it is obvious that the constellations could not have originated, or been adopted, as a single devised scheme by either the Babylonians or the Greeks.
If the constellations originated as a set circa 2000-2800, as commonly claimed by the proponents of the "void zone" method, then they cannot have originated with the Greeks. However, the latitude at which the constellations were believed to have originated as a single scheme cannot refer to Mesopotamia because their earliest scheme of constellations, though dating to the 2nd millennium BCE, was a mix of constellations mentioned by Aratus and other constellations outside his scheme.
Crediting the Minoans, as some like to do, as the makers of the classical constellations and offering explanations based on the destruction of Minoan civilization and the later ineptitude of the Greeks as observers are also not convincing. There is no evidence that the classical Greek scheme of constellations existed anywhere prior to its evolvement in Greece circa 500 BCE. This includes the fact that there is no evidence that the particular Greek scheme of 12 zodiacal constellations existed anywhere prior to its evolvement in Greece circa 500 BCE. The difficulty with maintaining an ancient zodiac is how can a late Mesopotamian zodiac (developed circa 500 BCE) and comprised of 12 constellations (and 12 equal divisions), and substantially borrowed by the Greeks, have been in use by anybody hundreds of years earlier. (Or even thousands of years earlier, prior to the existence of the Babylonian civilization which demonstrably created it.)
The flawed "void zone" argument has become a common tool for maintaining that a Neolithic zodiac (and fully constellated sky) can be reasonably be proposed. The "void zone" argument can hardly substitute for the lack of clear evidence (which tends to fall under the murky heading of "tradition"). Even if the "void zone" argument were correct it has never offered support for the idea that the constellations could have existed as a deliberately planned set extending back some 6000-8000 years BCE (or further). The use of the "void zone" argument controls the feasible range for the dating of the constellations if they are considered to have originated as a deliberately planned scheme. Interestingly, Edward Maunder, a committed proponent of the "void zone" argument, in his later articles on the topic attempted to overcome this limitation by implying a very slow developmental period for the final scheme of constellation design (see: "Origin of the Constellations." The Observatory, Volume 36, 1913, Page 330).
Flaws of the Polar Alignment Argument (and Similar Arguments)
Regarding the constellation alignment concept. It was argued by Richard Proctor, Edward Maunder, and Andrew Crommelin that the original constellations were aligned to the celestial equator and the colures. According to Michael Ovenden the ancient constellations show a rough symmetry around the star alpha Draconis (now about 25 degrees from Polaris). This is a version of the constellation alignment argument known as the "polar alignment" argument. Since alpha Draconis was the star of the north pole circa 2600 BCE, Ovenden concluded that most constellations were designed circa 2600 BCE (plus/minus 800 years). There is, however, no evidence that people in the 3rd-millennium BCE had, or used, this type of astronomical positional system. There is no compelling reason to believe that the constellations were specifically established, at a particular time and place, as a system of coordinates. The scheme proposed by Ovenden (a version of the Minoan origin argument) does not apparently try to separate the Greek constellations known prior to Eudoxus (i.e., the earlier Greek constellations of Homer and Hesiod) or the later Greek constellations that are distinctly Babylonian in origin (i.e., the zodiacal constellations). These types of arguments are highly speculative and entirely deductive and fixed on a priori assumptions.
Table of Constellation Investigators and Their Critics (listed in order of the appearance of their ideas)
|Name||Date||Primary Publication(s)||Method(s)||Ideas Adopted From||Ideas Adopted By||Comment(s)/Dates|
|Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Scientist||1728||The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended by Isaac Newton (1728)||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Hipparchus of Rhodes regarding Eudoxus of Cnidus||Perhaps Antoine-Yves Goguet||Application to description by Hipparchus of how Eudoxus had the colures of the solstices and equinoxes pass through constellations. Date of 939 BCE. (Also, 1420 BCE.)|
|Antoine-Yves Goguet (1716-1758) Historian||1758||De l'origine des loix, des arts et des sciences by Antoine-Yves Goguet (1758)||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps Isaac Newton||Perhaps Monsieur Ducoutant/du Coutant and William Hales||Application to constellations in Book of Job. Date of 2136 BCE.|
|Monsieur Ducoutant/du Coutant (flourished circa 1765) Theologian?||1765||Sorbonne Ph.D. thesis (published 1765), title of tract unknown||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps Antoine-Yves Goguet||Not indicated as adopted by other(s)||Application to constellations in Book of Job. Date of 2136 BCE.|
|William Hales (1747-1831) Scientist/chronologist||1802||Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, Volume 2, 1802, Pages 240-242 of his lengthy multi-part article series "Essays on Sacred Criticism" under the name, The Inspector. A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography by William Hales (1809-1812, 3 Volumes)||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps Antoine-Yves Goguet||Not indicated as adopted by other(s)||Application to constellations in Book of Job. Date of 2338/2337 BCE.|
|John Brinkley (1767(1763?)-1835) Clergyman/astronomer||Circa 1800||Private communication from John Brinkley to William Hales answering assistance request for dating derived from precessional calculations||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Not indicated as adopted from other(s)||Not indicated as adopted by other(s)||Application to constellations in Book of Job. Date of 2338/2337 BCE used by William Hales.|
|Unknown/Anonymous||1812||Example of early critique: The Eclectic Review, Volume 8, Part 1, March, 1812, Pages 298-304. (Part 1 of lengthy book review essay of Volume II of Hales' A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography.)||Philological/Textual critique regarding marking/placement of colures argument||NA||NA||Uncertainty of constellation identification in Book of Job and uncertainty of constellation identification with the colures|
|Carl Swartz/Schwartz (1757-1824) Amateur astronomer||1807||Recherches sur l'origine et le signification des Constellations de la Sphère greque by Carl Swartz (1807)||Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Not indicated as adopted from other(s)||Alexander von Humboldt, Edward Maunder and perhaps Camille Flammarion||Deduced the date of origin of the Greek constellations (per Aratus/Ptolemy?) was circa 1400 BCE|
|Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) Naturalist||1810-1813||Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique by Alexander von Humboldt (1810-1813, 2 Volumes). Kosmos. Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung by Alexander von Humboldt (1845-1862, 5 Volumes).||Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Carl Swartz||Perhaps Camille Flammarion||Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique mentions the constellation ideas of Carl Swartz; Kosmos. Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung mentions the constellation ideas of Carl Swartz (Volume 1, Page 198)|
|Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) Astronomer||1872||Histoire du Ciel by Camille Flammarion (1872)? [Note: Blake provides (erroneously?) the only reason for connecting Flammarion's book (and Flammarion) with the void zone argument.]||Void zone argument/Precessional argument?||Perhaps Carl Swartz directly but more likely Alexander von Humboldt (if at all)||Perhaps Richard Proctor?||The Greek constellations were arranged by Eudoxus from Babylonian constellations. The exact epoch of the Babylonian constellations is unknown.. The earliest constellations did not originate as a set but were formed over time.|
|John Blake (1839-1906) Clergyman/geologist||1877||Astronomical Myths by John Blake (1877). Blake briefly mentions the void zone argument in Chapter 3 "Origin of the Constellations" (Pages 85-86).||Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Camille Flammarion? and/or Richard Proctor||Unknown||Unknown but likely at least circa 3rd-millennium BCE|
|Richard Proctor (1837-1888) Astronomer||1877||"The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." by Richard Proctor in Belgravia: A London Magazine (1877). Proctor, Richard. (1878). "The Origin of the Constellation-Figures." In: Proctor, Richard. Myths and Marvels of Astronomy. (Pages 331-363.) (Note: Chapter XIII of his book (of collected essays).) Also, The Flowers of the Sky by Richard Proctor (1879).||Polar alignment argument/Void zone argument||Perhaps Camille Flammarion but not indicated as adopted from other(s)||Richard Allen||Dated the origin of the Western constellations to 2170 BCE. Locations: Between 38° & 41° north latitude (38° north latitude) (35° to 39° north latitude).|
|Richard Allen (1838-1908) Businessman||1899||Star Names and Their Meanings by Richard Allen (1899, See pages 14-15)||Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps most directly from Edward Maunder and Robert Brown Junior; but also likely from Camille Flammarion and Richard Proctor||Unknown||Dated the sphere/globe of Aratus and the sphere/globe of Eudoxus to 2000-2200 BCE|
|Robert Brown Junior (1844-1912) Solicitor/'amateur antiquarian'||1892||Brown, Junior., Robert. (1892). "The Celestial Equator of Aratos." In: Morgan, Edward (Editor). Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists. 2 Volumes. (Pages 445-485). (Note: The paper is in Volume 2.) See also: Brown, Junior., Robert. (1897). "On the Origin of the Ancient Northern Constellation-figures." (The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, April, Pages 205-226).||Polar alignment argument/Placement of colures argument (The "polar alignment" argument (constellation orientation argument) appears to originate with the English solicitor and antiquarian Robert Brown Junior)||Unknown||For the Mesopotamian origin of the constellations in the 3rd-millennium BCE: Edward Maunder, William Peck, and Richard Allen. Also later, ideas adopted by George Davis.||Dated the zodiac to 2084 BCE and its origin in Mesopotamia. Brown Junior (1899) maintained his dating of Aratus's astronomical poem to 2084 BCE, and his belief that the Sumero-Akkadian Euphratean Planisphere (he believed he had determined) shows the Sun in Taurus at vernal equinox, a position that predates 2540 BCE.|
|Edward Maunder (1851-1928) Solar astronomer||1897/1898||Maunder, Edward. (1898). "The Zodiac Explained." (The Observatory, Volume XXI, Pages 438-444). Maunder, Edward. (1897/1898). "The Oldest Astronomy." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume VIII, Number 9, Pages 373-376). Maunder, Edward. (1898/1899). "The Oldest Astronomy. II." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume IX, Number 7, Pages 317-321). Maunder, Edward. (1900). "The Oldest Picture-Book of All." (The Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review, Volume 48, September, Pages 451-464). Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1903/1904). "The Oldest Astronomy. III." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XIV, Number 6, Pages 241-246). See also: Astronomy Without a Telescope by Edward Maunder (1902).||Polar alignment argument/void zone argument||Carl Swartz, Robert Brown Junior, and perhaps Camille Flammarion||Richard Allen and Andrew Crommelin.||Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2700 BCE. Locations: Between 35° (36°) & 40° north latitude. (Also, circa 2700 BCE, 40° north latitude).|
|Annie Maunder (née Russell) (1868-1947) Mathematician/'lady computer'||1904||Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1903/1904). "The Oldest Astronomy. III." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XIV, Number 6, Pages 241-246). Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1904). "Note on the Date of the Passage of the Vernal equinox from Taurus into Aries." (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 64, Number 3, Pages 488-507).||Placement of colures argument/Precessional argument||Edward Maunder||Unknown||Circa the 3rd-millennium BCE. According to the 1936 and 1940 publications by Annie Maunder the constellations described in the Phainomena of Aratus were devised as a complete scheme between 3000-2800 BCE ( 2900 BCE ± 100) by an "Elder Race" who lived in Europe between north latitude 37° and 38°.|
|William Peck (1862-1925) Instrument maker/'city astronomer'||1884||Peck, William. (1884). The constellations and how to find them. Peck, William. (1890). "The Constellation Figures - Their Probable Origin." In: Peck, William. A Popular Handbook and Atlas of Astronomy. (Pages 1-11). (Note: The article is Chapter 1 of his book.)||Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps Richard Proctor and Robert Brown Junior||Unknown||Peck believed that the very earliest constellations were established by the Egyptians circa 15,000 BCE and were further developed by the 'Chaldeans' circa 2000 BCE. He uses several of the arguments and conclusions employed by the void zone proponents (i.e., Richard Proctor?).|
|Mary Evershed (née Orr) (1867-1949) Solar astronomer||1913||"The Origin of the Constellations." by Mary Evershed (Observatory Magazine, Volume 36, 1913, Pages 179-181). See also: Orr, Mary. (1913, new and revised edition 1956 by Barbara Reynolds). Dante and the Early Astronomers.||Critique of void zone argument, polar alignment argument, and Taurus as original lead zodiacal constellation used by Edward and Annie Maunder, and the celestial circles of Aratus argument used by Brown Junior||Unknown, likely original||Unknown||Succinct presentation of key arguments against 3 main methods used by the 'constellation detectives.' Rejects a 3rd-millennium BCE date for the Greek constellations. Dates the Greek constellations to the 1st-millennium BCE.|
|Andrew Crommelin (1865-1939) Comet/asteroid astronomer||1923||Crommelin, Andrew. (1923). "The Ancient Constellation Figures." In: Hutchinson's Splendour of the Heavens. (Pages 640-669). (2 Volumes, also later published in one volume but no date.) (Note: Chapter XVII in Volume 2.)||Void zone argument||Edward Maunder||Peter Doig, Michael Ovenden, and Peter Lancaster-Brown.||Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: 2460 BCE. Location: At 36° north latitude|
Mary Proctor (1862-1957) 'Astronomy populariser'
|1938||Everyman's Astronomy by Mary Proctor (1938)||Polar alignment argument||Richard Proctor, Edward Maunder, and Andrew Crommelin||Unknown||Circa the 3rd-millennium BCE|
|Peter Doig (1882-1952) Amateur astronomer||1950||A Concise History of Astronomy by Peter Doig (1950)||Void zone argument||Edward Maunder and Andrew Crommelin||Unknown||Circa the 3rd-millennium BCE|
|Edmund Webb (1852-1945) Classicist||1952||The Names of the Stars by Edmund Webb (1952)||Historical argument/Philological argument||Original||Unknown||Webb set out his belief that the Greek constellations, including the zodiacal constellations, originated with the Greeks and were not borrowed from the Babylonians.|
|Robert Böker (1885-1975) Engineer||1952||Die Entstehung der Sternsphäre Arats by Robert Böker (1952)||Constellation placement on the key celestial circles/Precessional argument||Unknown||Manfred Erren||Aratean constellations dated to circa 1100 BCE ±100. Location: North latitude between 32° 30' and 33° 40'.|
|Giorgio de Santillana (1902-1974)||1961||The Origin of Scientific Thought by Giorgio de Santillana (1961)||Mythology as technical language for astronomical code argument||Original and also Hertha von Dechend||Not frequently specifically adopted by proponents||Hero myths and associated myths have origins in the Bronze Age by as yet unknown astronomers located somewhere in the Near East, who are responsible for the naming of the constellations|
|Willy Hartner (1905-1981) Science historian||1965||"The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat." by Willy Hartner (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume XXIV, 1965, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 1-16, and Plates 1-XVI).||Seasonal markers argument/Precessional argument||Perhaps Richard Ettinghausen and perhaps Leo Frobenius (and Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend?)||Generally influential, including Alexander Gurshtein, and Edward Krupp||Dated seasonal constellation markers to 4000 BCE. Location: Elam, Mesopotamia.|
|Michael Ovenden (1926-1987) Astronomer||1966||"The Origin of the Constellations." by Michael Ovenden (The Philosophical Journal, Volume 3, Number 1, 1966, Pages 1-18)||Polar alignment argument and void zone argument||Edward Maunder and Andrew Crommelin||Archibald Roy, Ian Ridpath, and Michael Rice||Variously, circa 2800 BCE ± 800 years, circa 2800 BCE ± 300 years, and 2600 BCE ± 800 years|
|Manfred Erren (1928- ) Classicist||1967||Erren, Manfred. (1967). Die Phainomena des Aratos von Soloi. Erren, Manfred. (1971). Aratos: Phainomena. Sternbilder und Wetterzeichen.||Robert Böker||Unknown||The author argues that the Aratean constellations can be dated to Babylonia circa 2000 BCE|
|David Dicks (1923-2011) Classicist||1970||Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle by David Dicks (1970; Reprinted 1985).||Historical argument||Original||Unknown||Critique of void zone argument|
|Peter Lancaster-Brown (1927-Unknown) Science writer/amateur astronomer||1971||Lancaster-Brown, Peter. (1971). "Origin of the constellations." In: Lancaster-Brown, Peter. What star is that? (Pages 9-25; especially Page 13 for polar alignment argument and Pages 10-13 for void zone argument). (Note: Chapter 1 of his book.)||Polar alignment argument and void zone argument||Andrew Crommelin, and Edward Maunder||Unknown||Date deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 5000 BCE. Location: Latitude of head of Euphrates Valley.|
|Leon Pomerance (1907(1917?)-1990) Businessman||1976||Pomerance, Leon. (1976). The Phaistos Disc: An Interpretation of Astronomical Symbols.||Void zone argument, precessional argument||Michael Ovenden||Unknown||Michael Ovenden later dated the constellation interpretation to circa 2200 BCE|
|Archibald Roy (1924-2012) Astronomer||1984||"The origin of the constellations." by Archibald Roy (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 27, Issue 2, 1984, Pages.171-197).||Polar alignment argument, void zone argument||Michael Ovenden, and especially Robert Brown Junior. Roy thought highly of Gurshtein's gradualist ideas||David Hughes, Gwyneth Heuter, Ian Ridpath, Alexander Gushtein, Hugh Thurston, John Barrow, John Rodgers, and Sergey Zhitomirsky||Date(s) deduced for the origin of the Western constellation figures: Circa 2000 BCE ± 200 years. (Circa 2900 BCE ± 500 years).|
|Owen Gingerich (1930- ) Astronomer||1984||Gingerich, Owen. and Welther, Barbara. (1984). "Some Puzzles of Ptolemy's Star Catalogue." (Sky and Telescope, May, Pages 421-423). "The Origin of the Zodiac." In: The Great Copernican Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History by Owen Gingerich (1992)||Ethnographic argument||Indicated as original||Somewhat influential regarding the constellation Ursa Major||Has mostly speculated on the origin of some Western constellations in the paleolithic period. Efforts to identify a paleolithic origin for some present-day Western constellations are understandably speculative. Whilst recognising the argument cannot be proved Gingerich has attempted to place the bear constellation Ursa Major into the Ice Age.|
|David Hughes (1941- ) Astronomer||1985||Hughes, David. (1984). "Draughtsmen of the constellations." (Nature, Volume 312, 20/27 December, Page 697). (Note: See the correction in Nature, Volume 313, 17 January, 1985, Page 182 (News and Reviews).)||Polar alignment argument and void zone argument||Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden||Unknown||Following Roy, Hughes believes the originators of the constellations lived somewhere on the longitude line 36 degrees north about 2500 BCE. (Note: Hughes is specifying latitude (north-south position) but not longitude (east-west position).)|
|Gwyneth Heuter (Unknown- ) Welsh/British Linguist?/historian?||1986||Heuter, Gwyneth. (1986). "Star Names - Origins and Misconceptions." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 29, Part 3, Pages 237-251)||Polar alignment argument and void zone argument||Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden||Unknown||Follows Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden.|
|Ian Ridpath (1947- ) Science writer||1988||"Stars and storytellers." In: Star Tales by Ian Ridpath (1988). (Pages 1-12, Chapter 1.)||Void zone argument||Archibald Roy and Michael Ovenden||Unknown||Date deduced for the origin of the Western/Aratean constellation figures: Circa 2000 BCE.|
|Alexandr Gurshtein (1937- ) Astronomer||1993||Gurshtein, Alexander. (1993). "On the Origin of the Zodiacal Constellations." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 36, Pages 171-190). (Note: This paper is a detailed explanation of his ideas on constellation origins.) Gurshtein, Alexander. (1994). "Dating the Origin of the Constellations by Precession." (Physics-Doklady, Volume 39, Number 8, Pages 575-578). (The most succinct explanation of his ideas of the origins of the constellations.) Gurshtein, Alexander. (1995). "Prehistory of Zodiac Dating: Three Strata of Upper Paleolithic Constellations. (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 39, Pages 347-362).||Void zone argument, precessional argument, and gradualist argument||Willy Hartner, Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, and the authors of Hamlet's Mill||Kaurov, E. N. & Raevsky, D. S. (1997) "The zodiac history in the history of culture." (Astronomical & Astrophysical Transactions: The Journal of the Eurasian Astronomical Society, Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 333-334).||Date deduced for the beginning of the development of the Western/Aratean constellation figures: Circa 16000 BCE.|
|Hugh Thurston (1922-2006 ) Mathematician||1994||Thurston, Hugh. (1994). "A Possible Origin for the Constellations." In: Thurston, Hugh. Early Astronomy. (Pages135-138). (The section is part of Chapter 6: The Greeks.)||Polar alignment argument, void zone argument, 'star' risings and settings argument||Michael Ovenden, and Archibald Roy||Unknown||Circa 3rd-millennium BCE|
|Frederick Millar (1910-2001) Meteorologist||1995||
Key relevant publication: "The Celestial David and Goliath." by Frederick Millar (Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Volume 89, Number 4, 1995, Pages 141-154). (See section heading "Precession and the Fear of the Sky Falling" (Pages 144-147).)
|Precessional argument, void zone argument||Likely influenced by Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy, and Alexander Gurshtein||Unknown||Circa 5th-millennium BCE|
|John Barrow (1952- ) Astronomer||1995||Barrow, John. . "Long day's journey into night: the origin of the constellations." In: Barrow, John. The Artful Universe. (1995, revised 2005, Pages 161-174). (The section is part of Chapter 4: The Heavens and the Earth.)||Polar alignment argument, void zone argument/Precessional argument||Edward Maunder, Carl Schwartz, Michael Ovenden, and particularly Archibald Roy||Unknown||Circa 3rd-millennium BCE. Particularly follows the arguments of Archibald Roy. Attributes the origin of the constellations to the seafaring Minoans. Believes the Minoans developed/originated a sophisticated system of constellations for navigation.|
|Sara Genuth (1957- ) Science historian||1997||"Constellations." by Sara Genuth. (1997). In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. (Pages 160-164).||Eudoxan globe argument, precessional argument||Archibald Roy (and perhaps Michael Ovenden)||Unknown||Circa 2000 BCE. It is essentially the Minoan argument originated by Ovenden and Roy, for the origin of the Western constellations. (It is also an argument against the notion that the classical (i,e., Western) constellations were designed at one definite time, in one definite place, and according to a preconceived plan.).|
|John Rodgers (1952- ) Neurobiologist/amateur astronomer||1998||"Origins of the Ancient Constellations: I. The Mesopotamian Traditions." by John Rogers (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 108, Number 1, 1998, Pages 9-28). "Origins of the Ancient Constellations: II. The Mediterranean Traditions." by John Rogers (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 108, Number 2, 1998, Pages 79-89).||Polar alignment argument/Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Edward Maunder, Andrew Crommelin, Michael Ovenden, and Archibald Roy||Numerous later writers have uncritically perpetuated the ideas in his 2-part article on the constellations||Circa 3rd-millennium BCE|
|Sergey Zhitomirsky (Unknown- ) Design engineer?||1999||"'Aratus' "Phaenomena": Dating and analysing its primary source." by Sergey Zhitomersky (Astronomical & Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Number 6, 1999, Pages 483-500).||Zhitomirsky used a different method to the one used by Ovenden and Roy||Michael Ovenden, and Archibald Roy||Unknown||His results for a date basically matched those of Ovenden and Roy. Argues that Aratus is describing the skies circa 2000 BCE|
|Edwin Krupp (1944- ) Astronomer||1999/2000||"Night Gallery: The Function, Origin, and Evolution of Constellations" by Edwin Krupp (Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Volume XV, 2000, Pages 43-63). (Originally presented by the author at Oxford VI, June, 1999. Oxford VI was held in the Canary Islands.)||Critique of polar alignment argument/Critique of void zone argument/Critique of Gurshtein's gradualist argument||Indicated as original||Unknown||The best overall summary study. It establishes the benchmark for discussions of the origin, development, function and transmission of constellations. Supportive of Willy Hartner's controversial views on the earliest constellations.|
|Jean Faucounau (?- )||2001||Les Proto-Ioniens by Jean Faucounau (2001).||Polar alignment argument/Void zone argument/Precessional argument||Edward Maunder, Andrew Crommelin, Michael Ovenden, Archibald Roy and, Leon Pomerance||Unknown||Criticised for dilettantism.|
|Bradley Schaefer (Unknown- ) Astronomer||2002||Schaefer, Bradley. (2002). "The Latitude and Epoch for the formation of the Southern Greek Constellations." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 33, Number 4, Pages 313-350). Schaefer, Bradley. (2004). "The Latitude and Epoch for the Origin of the Astronomical Lore of Eudoxus." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 35, Number 2, Pages 161-223). ( Schaefer, Bradley. (2004). "The Latitude and Epoch of the Origin of the Astronomical Lore in MUL.APIN." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Volume 39, May, 2007, Page 157.)||Critique of void zone argument, statistical analysis of the Aratean constellations||Original||Unknown. Critics of methods used include Dennis Duke.||The traditional void zone arguments have now been critically demolished by these 2 recent articles. The former paper argues that the southern Greek constellations originated in the 1st-millennium BCE. The latter paper argues that the astronomical lore of Eudoxus was likely of Babylonian origin circa 1130 BCE/1370 BCE ±100.|
|Dennis Duke (Unknown- ) Physicist||2008||"Statistical Dating of the Phenomena of Eudoxus." by Dennis Duke (DIO-The International Journal of Scientific History, Volume 15, December 2008, Pages 7-23)||Critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument||Indicated as original||Elly Dekker||Important article for correcting the mistaken notion that Eudoxus was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE, and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE.|
Aurélie Rousseau (Unknown), Stavros Dimitrakoudis
Rousseau, Aurélie. and Dimitrakoudis, Stavros. (2006). "A study of the catasterisms in the 'phaenomena' of Aratus." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Special Issue, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 111-119).
|Analysis of Aratean catasterisms. Publication abstract: "We provide a fresh analysis of the constellations in Aratos' Phaenomena, by using the astronomical program Cybersky (by Stephen Schimpf) to check each reference of constellations within the poem for validity in 2800 BCE and 300 BCE (the latter accounting for the broader period of time covering Eudoxus of Cnidus and Aratus of Soli. In each case, the latitude of observation was chosen to be 36° North, in agreement with the area of the sky that is not covered in the description of Aratus (and contains the unseen constellations for a particular latitude). Each constellation was traced back to its Greek mythological origin through the various writers of antiquity. Our results are collected in a table of the constellations mentioned by Aratus in his epic poem, with respect to the ancient authors who have mentioned each constellation, shaping its myth, the locations on earth each constellation is associated with and the most likely date of observation, according to Aratus' description and taking into account precession and the proper motion of stars."||Influenced by the constellation dating ideas of Michael Ovenden and Archibald Roy.||Unknown||The authors believe they can establish the date
of 2800 BCE for numerous Greek constellations.
|Elly Dekker (1956?- ) Science historian||2008||"A 'Watermark' of Eudoxan Astronomy." by Elly Dekker (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume XXXXIX, Part 2, Number 135, May 2008, Pages 213-238). (Based on assistance from Dennis Duke and access to his forthcoming paper.)||Critique of Eudoxus' placement of colures argument||Dennis Duke||Unknown||Important article for correcting the mistaken notion that Eudoxus was referring to constellations established circa 1000 BCE, and not in his own lifetime circa 370 BCE.|
|Roslyn Frank (Unknown- ) Linguist||2014||Frank, Roslyn. (2014). "Origins of "Western" Constellations." In: Ruggles, Clive. (General Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (3 Volumes; Volume 1, Part 1, Pages 148-163)||Ethno-historical||Based to some extent on her previous essays||Unknown||Determining the ultimate origins of the ancient Greek constellations is a complicated task. "Abstract: The development of the 48 Greek constellations is analyzed as a complex mixture of cognitive layers deriving from different cultural traditions and dating back to different epochs. The analysis begins with a discussion of the zodiacal constellations, goes on to discuss the stellar lore in Homer and Hesiod, and then examines several theories concerning the origins of the southern non-zodiacal constellations. It concludes with a commentary concerning the age and possible cultural significance of stars of the Great Bear constellation in light of ethnohistorical documentation, folklore, and beliefs related to European bear ceremonialism." The 48 Ptolemaic constellations represent a long-evolved mixture which includes elements from "very ancient" cultures. The non-zodiacal constellations could date back to the Bronze Age or earlier. She believes there were 2 constellation traditions; an observation-based navigation tradition, and a non-observations fossilized tradition inherited by Eudoxus. This latter hypothesized archaic tradition was inflexible (i.e., fixed by tradition and incapable of change or development).|
Origin and Purpose of the Babylonian Constellations
It is perhaps reasonable to assume the Babylonians compared the night sky with the vastness of the uncharted ocean. Forming constellations and naming stars enabled structure and familiarity to be established in the night sky. At least from the Old Babylonian period (circa 1850-1500 BCE) the Babylonians recognised various constellations and individual stars in the night sky. These were used as reference points in the description of astral omens. Constellation/star lists were also used as calendrical aids for the months of the Babylonian calendar. Another fundamental reason for the establishment of constellations/star names in Mesopotamia was likely to enable the observation and marking of the apparent daily rotation of the sky by means of the heliacal risings of star groups/stars. Lists of constellations/stars were connected with the different months of the Babylonian calendar. This was in place in the Old Babylonian period and became more detailed during the Middle Assyrian period. Towards the end of the 2nd-millennium BCE a system of 31/33 constellations/stars were used a reference points the mark the movements of the moon and planets. The original impetus behind establishing a system of numerous marking stars may have been the use of the lunar calendar and the need to track the moon's path through the sky. The constellation names are likely mnemonics, originating as a tool to assist observers to recognise the particular constellation or individual star. Some were visual, like the Scorpion; some were matched to the seasons; and some were a combination of both of these characteristics.
The Greek Constellations
|Indo-European (Greek) Constellation Traditions||Mesopotamian (Semitic) Constellation Traditions|
|There is only meagre evidence concerning the existence of Greek constellations in the 8th-century BCE. It is not indicated that all the sky is constellated circa 800 BCE. By the time of Eudoxus of Cnidus, circa 400-350 BCE, the Greek constellations exist as a complete set covering the entire visible northern sky. Their development from the time of Homer and Hesiod to the time of Eudoxus is unknown. No ancient sources relating to such have come down to us. This makes writing a detailed history of the Western constellations difficult if not impossible. One of the most reliable detailed examinations of the extent evidence for the development of the Greek constellations is: Boll, Franz., and Gundel, Wilhelm. ((1924-)1937). "Sternbilder, Sternglaube und Sternsymbolik bei Griechen und Römern." In: Roscher, Wilhelm. (Editor). Ausführliches Lexicon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. (Band VI, Columns 867-1071). The constellations comprising Babylonian uranography indicate that the origin of at least some of the Greek constellations is older that the time of Eudoxus and also older than the time of Homer and Hesiod. Once the Greeks gained knowledge of the completeness of the scheme of Mesopotamian uranography it was perhaps an influence on them to also constellate the entire visible northern sky. This may have begun circa 600 BCE and was perhaps completed by Eudoxus circa 360 BCE. Eudoxus certainly introduced an influential Greek uranography that included the entire visible sky. His scheme and influence perhaps standardised the Greek constellations. Approximately 30 Greek constellations are not indicated as having been borrowed from Mesopotamia. Whether a number of these are Hellenised versions of another, earlier constellation tradition is still debated. how exactly Babylonian sky lore reached Greece is unknown. After Eudoxus' time there were only a few new constellations added by later Greek astronomers, or the boundaries of existing constellations modified. Regardless of considerable Mesopotamian influence it is indicated that a substantial number of Greek constellations and a substantial amount of Greek sky lore remained independent and were likely derived from Greek tradition. (There is the possibility that many of the constellations used by the Greeks may have been simply influenced by constellations in general/navigational use in the Mediterranean region in the late 1st-millennium BCE.) In the Greek world considerable attention was given to assigning mythologies to the constellations. After Aratus the next important work for the study of the constellations is the summary essay Catasterisms (Latin, Catasterismi) attributed to Eratosthenes (276-194 BCE), a Greek scientist and writer. It is a collection of traditional Greek constellation myths. The Catasterisms is an additional primary source for information on the most archaic Greek constellations. The antiquity of 'Eratosthenes' (commonly, Pseudo-Eratosthenes) sources is certain because he quotes in places from a long-lost work on astronomy by Hesiod.||Almost all the brightest stars (and some fainter ones) are constellated by circa 800 BCE. The cuneiform evidence shows that almost the entire visible northern sky was constellated by circa 1200 BCE and the process completed by circa 800 BCE. The Mul.Apin series contains information regarding how the Babylonian night sky was mapped. It is evident there are Babylonian counterparts for some Greek 20 constellations (including nearly all of the zodiacal constellations). Almost half of the ancient Greek sky is comprised of Hellenised versions of much earlier Babylonian constellations. Homer's use of the name 'Wagon' as an alternative name for the Great Bear constellation indicates that at least some knowledge of Babylonian sky lore had reached Greece by circa the 8th-century BCE. If Aratus' Phainomena describes the constellations known to Eudoxus then a considerable number of Babylonian constellations had become known in Greece by circa the 4th-century BCE. Babylonian-Assyrian constellation lore may have been conveyed to the Mediterranean region by way of Phoenicia, Israel, and Hellenic Egypt.|
The Path of Babylonian Sky lore Into Greece
The northern Levant/Northwest Semites, specifically the Ugaritic and Phoenician cultures, are identifiable as important conduits for literary/cultural exchange within the Mediterranean region and the Near East. The Minoans had trading links with Ugarit and also had a small resident colony in Egypt. Assyrian domination of Phoenicia began in the early 9th-century BCE and continued until 612 BCE. The Phoenicians maintained diverse trading links. The Assyrian empire expanded into the Middle East and Egypt, 674-664 BCE. towards 600 BCE, scientific and technological lore penetrated from Egypt and Babylonia in to Greek world, through commercial relations between Egypt and Phoenicia and the Ionian colonies which had already existed for centuries along the western coast of Asia Minor. The Persian empire expanded into Mesopotamia and Egypt circa 550-330 BCE. The Greek empire expanded into Mesopotamia and Egypt between 334 and 323 BCE.
Research Into the Origin of the Western Constellations
The efforts from Carl Swartz to Sergey Zhitomirsky to deductively investigate the date and location of the origins of the Western constellations are both innovative and speculative.
A thorough study of the early history of the Western constellations has not yet been written. Dedicated amateur historians have attempted to fill the gap. As example: Allen, Richard. (1899, Reprinted 1936 (in France), and 1963 (in USA)). Star-Names and Their Meanings; Kanas, Nick. (2007, 2nd edition 2012). Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography. From the early 19th-century up to the present most research on the history of the Western constellations has been by philologists, art historians, and mythologists with a background as classicists. The target audience for their scholarly results have been classicists. As example: Le Boeuffle, André. (1973, 3 Volumes). Le vocabulaire latin de l'Astronomie. (He traces both Greek and Babylonian antecedents for Latin constellation/star names.) An exhaustive philological and mythological investigation is: Boll, Franz., and Gundel, Wilhelm. ((1924-)1937). "Sternbilder, Sternglaube und Sternsymbolik bei Griechen und Römern." In: Roscher, Wilhelm. (Editor). Ausführliches Lexicon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. (Band VI, Columns 867-1071). A comprehensive art-based investigation is: Thiele, Georg. (1898). Antike Himmelsbilder: mit Forschungen zu Hipparchos, Aratos und seinen Fortsetzern und Beiträgen zur Kunstgeschichte des Sternhimmels. Books aimed at a popular audience have sometimes tended to be over-sized 'coffee table' books. As example: Sesti, Giuseppe. (1991). The Glorious Constellations. More recently science historians have investigated celestial cartography in order to understand how constellations, more recent times, have been invented, developed, and transmitted. See: Dekker, Elly. (2013). Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the last 50 years a small number of professional astronomers and historians of science have begun the task of examining the history of the Western (and other) constellations. Their approach can be divided into 2 main groups of inquiry: (1) studies of the origins, development, and history of the constellations (when, where, why, and how different cultures divided the night sky with constellations); and (2) detailed studies of Western (and other) celestial cartography (of the more recent historical period). The range of methods used include: archaeological, literary, philological, historic, and art-historical sources. Examples of the 1st category of are: Scherer, Anton. (1953). Gestirnnamen bei den indogermanischen Völken; Kunitzsch, Paul. (1959). Arabische Sternnamen in Europa. Examples of the 2nd category are: Dekker, Elly. (2013). Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages; Blume, Dieter., Haffner, Mechthild., and Metzger, Wolfgang. (Band 1: 800-1200 CE, 2012-Band 2: 1200-1500 CE, not yet published). Sternbilder des Mittelalters. Much more of the investigative work has been published in academic journals.
Anthropologists and archaeologists speculate that the origin of constellations is connected with the routine of daily life. They function as 'finding' aids. Of particular importance would be the determination of the times for agricultural activities. Also, important is land (i.e., plains or desert) or sea navigation through uniform terrains having no readily distinguishable features. Archaeological evidence for ancient constellations - whether Paleolithic cave paintings or 1st-millennium BCE pottery sherds remains controversial. An example is whether prehistoric cup marks on stones throughout Europe are representation of constellations. Another controversial example of indefinite archaeological evidence for constellations are figures painted or incised on pottery (or pottery sherds). Within ethnoastronomy/archaeoastronomy there is no definite, established criteria for what may comprise evidence for the existence of constellations or a system of constellations.
Appendix: Uppsala University Archaeoastronomical Project (Group)
Mary Blomberg and (fellow researchers) Göran Henriksson and Peter Blomberg comprise the Uppsala University archaeoastronomical project (group). Mary Blomberg and Peter Blomberg are married. The Uppsala University archaeoastronomical project, the main aims of which is to study the extent and nature of Minoan astronomical knowledge and its later influence on Greece. Classical archaeoastronomical methods are used and at times their own computer programs. The basic method has been to measure the orientations of a representative number of buildings and structures (i.e., walls). Peter Blomberg studies the iconography of the small finds from the Minoan sites included in the Uppsala University archaeoastronomical project. Abstract ("Minoan Astronomy." by Mary Blomberg and Göran Henriksson in Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy (Pages 1431-1441)): "Of the three great cultures of the ancient eastern Mediterranean — the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Minoan — we have considerable knowledge of the astronomy of the first two through their documents (see relevant sections of this Handbook). Very little written material, however, has survived from Minoan Crete, but the evidence of other impressive archaeological discoveries implies that the inhabitants were on a par with their neighbors and had made similar advances in astronomy. In lieu of written sources, we have used the methods of archaeoastronomy to recover as much as possible about Minoan astronomy. In short, these are measuring the orientations of walls and their opposite horizons at a representative selection of monuments, analyzing the measurements statistically, and comparing the results with digital reconstruction of the positions of significant celestial bodies for the time when the walls were built."
Mary Blomberg was born in Savannah, Georgia. She attended St Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland where she studied astronomy, using Ptolemy's Almagest as textbook. This was the beginning of her enduring interest in ancient astronomy. She received a BA in Art History from the University of Rochester, New York, in 1962 and a PhD, also in Art History, from the University of Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholms Universitet), in 1983. Her speciality at that time was Corinthian Vases of the Archaic Period. Her publications include: Observations on the Dodwell Painter (1983). See the (English-language) book review by Donna Kurtz in The Classical Review, Volume 35, Number 1, 1985, Pages 156-157. See also the (German-language) book review by Christiane Dehl-von Kaenel in Gnomon, Band 58, Heft 6, 1986, Pages 566-568.While associate professor in the Department of Ancient Culture and Society at Uppsala University, she met Göran Henriksson, an astronomer at the University also interested in ancient astronomy. Together, in 1992, they decided to investigate whether the Minoans had a developed knowledge of astronomy. This was the beginning of the so-called Uppsala University archaeoastromical project. Peter Blomberg joined the project to study if the small finds found at the peak sanctuaries could have had an astronomical function. This possibility was believed indicated by Aratos’ Phainomena.
Göran Henriksson was born in Oskarshamn, Sweden, in 1943. In 1965 he began his studies in mathematics, physics, theoretical physics and astronomy at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. In 1983 he received a PhD in Astronomy at the Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala University. The title of his thesis was A study of the peculiar Cepheid HR7308. It was based on optical observations from Sweden, Norway, France and ESO in Chile and observations in ultraviolet with the IUE space telescope. Henriksson was also interested in archaeoastronomy and developed a new computer program for precise calculations of the positions of the sun, moon and other celestial objects, useful during more than six millennia back in time. (Discussion on Hastro-L brought to light that it had some programming errors that had to be rectified.) In his first studies in archaeoastronomy he investigated the Neolithic grooves on Gotland, the passage graves in Västergötland, the Bronze Age rock-carvings in Sweden and the sacrificial Iron Age calendar in Old Uppsala. In 1992 he met Mary Blomberg, current Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Uppsala, and they started an archaeoastronomical project concerning Minoan astronomy on Crete. Since 2004 Henriksson has combined his knowledge in archaeoastronomy and ancient history with his interest in modern cosmology.
Peter Blomberg was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He received a M.Sc. in 1963 from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and worked with Research & Development in Swedish industry from 1963 to 2000. He studied Art History and Ancient Culture and Society at Stockholm University 1975-1990. He received a PhD from Uppsala University from the Department of Ancient Culture and Society in 1996 on Corinthian art and iconography. Publications include: The Bridled Winged Horse and the Helmeted Female Head in the Sixth Century BC. Doctoral dissertation, Uppsala University, 1996. (An interesting thesis on the speculation of Aphrodite on the Corinthian coins.) He studies the iconography of the small finds from the Minoan sites included in the Uppsala University archaeoastronomical project.
For 2015: Dr Mary Blomberg, Teacher and Researcher, Docent (1999 to present) at Uppsala University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. Dr Göran Henriksson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University. Dr Peter Blomberg, Retired.
This research group is influenced by the ideas of 'constellation detectives' such as Robert Brown Junior, Michael Ovenden, and Archibald Roy. It is especially puzzling why credibility would be given to the flawed translations and arguments of the English solicitor and antiquarian Robert Brown Junior. At an Oxford Conference early in the 21st-century Göran Henriksson presented a paper outlining his calculated date of the observations reported in Aratus concerning the stars near the equator and the tropics. He came up with circa 2300 BCE. However, he implies Pisces was on the celestial equator and Lupus was on the Tropic of Capricorn - which is not stated by Aratus. Generally, Mary Blomberg argues for circa 2000 BCE and Göran Henriksson argues for circa 2500 BCE ± 400 years, for the origin of the Aratean constellations. Paper presented by Mary Blomberg at Oxford VI and SEAC VII Conference 99 : "New arguments for a date of c. 2000 BC for the selection of stars ..... in Aratos' Phainomena." Paper presented by Göran Henriksson at Oxford VI and SEAC VII Conference 99 : "New arguments for the Minoan origin of the stellar positions in Aratos' Phainomena." [Note: Concludes the date for the Greek constellations was circa 2250 BCE.]
Publication history to 2014:
(1) Mary Blomberg and Göran Henriksson:
2014. Minoan astronomy. In Handbook of archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy, C. L. N. Ruggles (ed.), Springer, New York, 1431-1441.
2008. Crossing geographical borders from Minoan Crete. Trade and production in premonetary Greece. Proceedings of the 7th, 8th and 9th International workshops, Athens 1997-1999. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology and Literature, Pocket-book 173. C. Gillis and B. Sjöberg (eds), Sävedalen, 191-210.
2007a. Orientations of the Minoan palace at Phaistos in Crete. Ancient watching of cosmic space and observation of astronomical phenomena. Proceedings of the international conference on archaeoastronomy, SEAC 14th 2006, 6-10 April, 2006, Rhodes, Greece. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 6, 185-192.
2007b. The function of the Minoan oval house at Chamaizi. Archaeology and Ethnography. Papers from the annual meeting of SEAC (European society for Astronomy in Culture) held in Kecskemét in Hungary in 2004. Emília Pásztor (ed.), British Archaeological Reports International Series 1647, 15-18.
2006. Minoan orientations in context. Proceedings of the 9th Cretological congress, Elounda (Crete), 1-7 October 2001, vol. A4. E. Tabakaki and A. Kaloutsakis (eds.), Heraklion, 319-331.
2005a. Orientations of the late Bronze Age villa complex at Vathypetro in Crete. Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 5, 51-61.
2005b. Some problems in Minoan archaeoastronomy. Cosmic Catastrophies: a collection of articles. Proceedings of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) 2002. M. Ktiva, I.Pustylnik, and L. Vesik (eds.), Tartu, 15-22.
2005c. Elements of Greek astronomy and religion in Minoan Crete. Conversations across time and space: selected papers from the fifth Oxford International Conference at Santa Fe, 1996. Current Studies in Archaeoastronomy. J. W. Fountain and R. M Sinclair (eds), Carolina Academic Press, Durham NC, 371-392.
2003a. Literary and archaeoastronomical evidence for the origins of the Hellenic calendar in the Aegean Bronze Age. Ad Astra per Astera et per Ludum: European Archaeoastronomy and the Orientation of Monuments in the Mediterranean Basin. Papers from Session I.13, held at the European Association of Archaeologists Eighth Annual Meeting in Thessaloniki 2002. A.-A. Maravelia (ed.), British Archaeological Reports International Series 1154, 53-70.
2003b. The Minoan peak sanctuary on Pyrgos and its context. Calendars, symbols, and orientations: legacies of astronomy in culture. Proceedings of the 9th meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, 27-30 August 2001. Uppsala Astronomical Observatory Report No. 59. M. Blomberg, P. E. Blomberg and G. Henriksson (eds.), Uppsala University Press, Uppsala, 127-134.
2001a. Differences in Minoan and Mycenaean orientations in Crete. Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape. Proceedings of the SEAC 98 meeting, Dublin, Ireland, September 1998. C. Ruggles, Frank Prendergast and Tom Ray (eds), Bognor Regis 72-91.
2001b. Archaeoastronomy: new trends in the field, with methods and results from studies in Minoan Crete. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 247, 609-619.
2000. Further evidence for the Minoan origins of the Greek calendars. Proceedings of the 8th Cretological congress, Heraklion (Crete), Greece, 9-14 September 1996. A. Karetsou et al (eds.), Heraklion, 109-128.
1999. Evidence for the Minoan origins of stellar navigation in the Aegean. Actes de la Vème conférence de la SEAC, Gdańsk de la SEAC, Gdansk, 5-8 septembre 1997. Światowit supplement series H: Anthropology II. A. Le Beuf and M. Ziólkowski (eds), Warsaw, 69-81.
1996. 'Minos Enneoros'. Archaeoastronomical light on the priestly role of the king in Crete. Religion and power in the ancient Greek world. Proceedings of the Uppsala symposium 1993. =Boreas.Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations, 24. P.Hellström and B. Alroth (eds), Uppsala, 27-39.
(2) Göran Henriksson and Mary Blomberg:
Accepted. A summary of the results of the Uppsala archaeoastronomical study of Minoan sites. Proceedings of the 11th Cretological congress, Rethymnon (Crete), 21-27 October 2011.
Accepted. The elite at Knossos as custodians of the calendar. In Astronomy and Power – How worlds are structured. Proceedings of the 18th SEAC conference held at Gilching, Germany, 30 August-4 September 2010.
2015. Orientation of the villas at Tylissos on Crete and their relationships to the Minoan calendar. SEAC 2011 Stars and Stones: voyages in archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy.Proceedings of the 19th SEAC conference, Évora, Portugal, 19-23 September 2011. F. Pimenta, N. Ribeiro, F. Silva, N. Campion, A. Joaquinito and L. Tirapicos (eds), British Archaeological Reports International Series 2720, 80-83.
2013. The archaeoastronomical results of three Bronze Age buildings at Agia Triada, Crete. Ancient cosmologies and modern prophets. Proceedings of the 20th conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture. Anthropological Notebooks 19, supplement. Ivan Sprajc and Peter Pehani (eds), Slovene Anthropological Society, Ljubljana, 177-185.
2011a. Archaeoastronomical investigation of the peak sanctuary on Modi (Siteia). Proceedings of the 10th Cretological congress, Chania (Crete), 1-8 October 2006, vol. A2. M. Andreadaki-Vlazaki and E. Papadopoulou (eds), Chania, 399-414.
2011b. The evidence from Knossos on the Minoan calendar. Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 11, 59-68.
2009. Solar Orientations of Bronze Age Shrines in Gournia, Crete. Cosmology Across Cultures. Proceedings of a workshop held at Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 8-12 September 2008. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series 409, 430-435.
2008. Orientations at the Minoan peak sanctuary on Philioremos near Gonies (Maleviziou), Crete. Astronomy and Cosmology in Folk Traditions and Cultural Heritage. Archaeologia BALTICA 10. Klaipeda, 125-130.
2000. New arguments for the Minoan origin of the stellar positions in Aratos' Phainomena. Astronomy and cultural diversity. Proceedings of the International Conference «Oxford VI and SEAC 99». La Laguna, 21-29 June 1999, C. Esteban and J. A. Belmonte (eds), Teneriffe: Organismo autónomo de Museos del Cabildo, 303-310. [Note: Conclude the date for the Greek constellations was circa 2250 BCE.]
1997-1998. Petsophas and the summer solstice. Opuscula Atheniensia 22-23, 147-151.
1996. Evidence for Minoan astronomical observations from the peak sanctuaries on Petsophas and Traostalos. Opuscula Atheniensia 21, 99-114.
Mary Blomberg, Göran Henriksson and Maria Papathanassiou:
2002. The calendaric relationship between the Minoan peak sanctuary on Juktas and the palace at Knossos. Astronomy of ancient Societies. Proceedings of the Conference "Astronomy of Ancient Civilization" of the European society for Astronomy (SEAC) associated with the Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting (JENAM)), Moscow May 23-27, 2000. T. M. Potyomkina and V. N. Obridko (eds.), Moscow, 81-92.
(3) Peter Blomberg:
2013. Malady or vanity: a Minoan Peak Sanctuary figurine. Ancient cosmologies and modern prophets. Proceedings of the 20th conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture. Anthropological Notebooks 19, supplement. Ivan Sprajc and Peter Pehani (eds), Slovene Anthropological Society, Ljubljana, 121-128.
2009. Were there astronomical rituals at the Minoan Peak Sanctuaries? Cosmology Across Cultures. Proceedings of a workshop held at Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 8-12 September 2008. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series 409, 436-441.
2007a. On the origins of the modern star map. Ancient watching of cosmic space and observation of astronomical phenomena. Proceedings of the international conference on archaeoastronomy, SEAC 14th 2006 6-10 April, 2006, Rhodes, Greece. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 6, 193-200.
2007b. How did the constellation of the Bear receive its name. Archaeoastronomy in Archaeology and Ethnography. Papers from the annual meeting of SEAC (European society for Astronomy in Culture) held in Kecskemét in Hungary in 2004), Emília Pásztor (ed.), British Archaeological Reports International Series 1647, 129-132.
2006. A new interpretation of the figurines from Petsophas and Traostalos. Proceedings of the 9th Cretological congress, Elounda (Crete), 1-7 October 2001, vol. A4. E. Tabakak and A. Kaloutsakis(eds.), Heraklion, 333-347.
2005. Did Boötes drive a wagon with oxen on the Minoan star map? Cosmic Catastrophies: a collection of articles. Proceedings of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) 2002. M. Ktiva, I. Pustylnik, and L. Vesik (eds.), Tartu, 23-26.
2003a. The early Hellenic sky map reconstructed from archaeoastronomical and textual studies. Ad Astra per Astera et per Ludum: European Archaeoastronomy and the Orientation of Monuments in the Mediterranean Basin. Papers from Session I.13, held at the European Association of Archaeologists Eighth Annual Meeting in Thessaloniki 2002. A.-A. Maravelia (ed.), British Archaeological Reports International Series 1154, 71-76.
2003b. The northernmost constellations in early Greek tradition. Calendars, symbols, and orientations: legacies of astronomy in culture. Proceedings of the 9th meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, 27-30 August 2001. Uppsala Astronomical Observatory Report no. 59. M. Blomberg, P. E. Blomberg and G. Henriksson (eds), Uppsala University Press, Uppsala, 67-71.
2002. An Attempt to reconstruct the Minoan star map. Astronomy of ancient Societies. Proceedings of the Conference "Astronomy of Ancient Civilization" of the European society for Astronomy (SEAC) associated with the Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting (JENAM)), Moscow May 23-27, 2000. T. M. Potyomkina and Obridko, V. N. (eds), Moscow, 93-99.
2000. An Astronomical Interpretation of Finds from Minoan Crete. Astronomy and Cultural Diversity. Proceedings of the International Conference Oxford VI and SEAC 99, La Laguna, 21-29 June 1999. C. Estaban and J. A. Belmonte (eds), Tenerife (Organismo autónomo de Museos del Cabildo), 311-318.
(4) Mary Blomberg:
1992. The meaning of χɛλιδών in Hesiod. Opuscula Atheniensia 19, 49-57.
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