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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
Star Names
Their Lore and Meaning

Richard Hinckley Allen

as reprinted
in the Dover edition, 1963

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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p290 Mons Maenalus,

at the feet of Boötes, was formed by Hevelius, and published in his Firmamentum Sobiescianum; this title coinciding with those of neighboring stellar groups bearing Arcadian names. It is sometimes, although incorrectly, given as Mons Menelaus, — perhaps, as Smyth suggested, after the Alexandrian astronomer referred to by Ptolemy and Plutarch.

The Germans know it as the Berg Maenalus; and the Italians, as Menalo.

Landseer has a striking representation of the Husbandman, as he styles Boötes, with sickle and staff, standing on this constellation figure. A possible explanation of its origin may be found in what Hewitt writes in his Essays on the Ruling Races of Prehistoric Times:

The Sun-god thence climbed up the mother-mountain of the Kuṣhika race as the constellation Hercules, who is depicted in the old traditional pictorial astronomy as climbing painfully up the hill to reach the constellation of the Tortoise, now called Lyra, and thus attain the polar star Vega, which was the polar star from 10000 to 8000 B.C.

May not this modern companion constellation, Mons Maenalus, be from a recollection of this early Hindu conception of our Hercules transferred to the adjacent Boötes?

It culminates in June, due south from β Boötis and north of β Librae.

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Page updated: 30 Sep 07