Whom does the booze graze?

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Whom the bootes grazeWhom does Bootes graze? Volov, of course. However, everything is far from so simple when it comes to the star shepherd, the constellation Bootes.

Usually, acquaintance with the stars begins for us with two seven-star buckets - the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

In our latitudes, the Big Dipper's bucket never hides behind the horizon and helps at any time of the year to find the less noticeable Ursa Minor - the Little Dipper, as if hanging on the Polar Star.

There is a legend about how, captivated by the beauty of the most beautiful Callisto from the retinue of the goddess of the hunt Artemis, the thunderer Zeus in the form of Artemis approached the beauty and seduced her. Zeus's jealous wife Hera turned Callisto into a bear. To protect the unfortunate from the arrows of the hunters, Zeus took her to heaven with his son, turning him into a bear as well. So the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor appeared in the sky.

Now let's look at the neighboring constellations. Near the very tail of the Big Dipper (bucket handle), Hounds Dogs are torn from the leashes. The fact that hunting dogs rush to the animal is understandable. But it is not the hunter who holds the leashes of the Hounds, but Bootes. So it turns out that the heavenly Bootes does not graze anyone, but hounds unfortunate Callisto, turned into a bear, with dogs. However, Bootes is not at all to blame for his "unseemly behavior". Here on the star map heroes of different myths converged.

Whom the bootes grazeThe poetic myth of Callisto supplanted the very ancient constellation of the farmer Bootes, driving seven oxen harnessed to a plow - the seven stars of the Big Dipper.

According to the mythology of the ancient Greeks, Bootes is a resident of Attica Ikarios. Once the god of vegetation, wine and winemaking, Dionysus, came to the house of Ikarios under the guise of a poor traveler and was very welcomed. As a reward for his hospitality, the owner received a vine from Dionysus and became the first winegrower on Earth. But he was also the first person to make wine, and the first victim of the "green serpent". His fate is sad. Once he gave wine to the shepherds who came to him. The effect of the wine frightened the guests. They decided that Ikarius poisoned them and in anger killed the owner of the house, who violated the laws of hospitality.

Ikaria's daughter Erigona searched for her missing father for a long time. Finally, with the help of Myra's dog, the poor girl found his grave and hung herself in despair.

Dionysus, in order to somehow make amends for his involuntary guilt, took his father, daughter and dog Mayra to heaven. So the constellations of Virgo, Canis Major and Bootes, already familiar to us, appeared.

The name of the brightest star Bootes - Arcturus - means in Greek "bear watchman". It once again emphasizes the proximity of Bootes with the most famous constellation of the whole sky - Ursa Major.

Whom the bootes grazeArcturus is one of the brightest stars in our sky. In any case, when in 1635 it was first possible to see a star with a telescope during the day, it was Arcturus.

The constellation Virgo is part of the circle of the zodiacal constellations, which were described in the previous issue of the "Rural Calendar". We only note that the two stars in Virgo have their own names since ancient times. It is the brightest star in the constellation - Spica, which means Kolos, and Vindemiatrix, Vineyard.

Perhaps Virgo is not the daughter of Ikaria, but the daughter of Demeter and Zeus Persephone, or even the great goddess of fertility herself. In any case, the connection between the constellation Virgo and the concept of the fertility of the earth is beyond doubt.

Demeter taught people how to cultivate grain fields. She gave her favorite prince Triptolemus wheat seeds. It was he who plowed and sowed the first field. It gave a rich harvest, blessed by Demeter herself. At the behest of the goddess, Triptolemus flew around all countries in a wonderful chariot and everywhere taught people agriculture. And everywhere they praised the tsarevich and his patroness.Only the Scythian king Linh planned to kill the sleeping Triptolemus and appropriate the glory of a teacher of agriculture. But Demeter turned the Scythian king into a wild forest cat - a lynx. Triptolemus continued to teach people the great gift of Demeter - agriculture.

In Athens, Bootes was considered a heavenly depiction of the inventor of the plow and was sometimes identified with Triptolem. However, keeping in mind the wonderful chariot of this mythical hero, we can more easily agree with those who considered him to be the image of the constellation Auriga, located on the other side of the Big Dipper.

Apparently, the famous Polish astronomer Hevelius, who in 1660 introduced the constellation Lynx (Linch) between the Charioteer and the head of the Big Dipper, was of the same opinion.

Whom the bootes grazeThe main star in Auriga is a bright yellowish Chapel with a surface temperature the same as that of the Sun. Otherwise, the Chapel is not at all like the Sun. It is classified as a double star.

In the history of the constellations, there is a lot of incomprehensible, confusing and just random. Not only the names, but also the outlines of the constellations have changed many times. Suddenly, mythical characters from different times and even different nations were brought together. And only in 1922 an international agreement was reached to fix the picture that had developed by that time. The sky was "cleaned up", leaving 88 generally accepted constellations, strict boundaries were drawn between them. The old and new constellations are forever frozen in their places on the star map.

The charioteer and Bootes, in a peculiar way narrating about the origin of agriculture, are among the most ancient constellations.

Panina L.A.

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