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Astronomical Myths Based on Flammarions's History of the Heavens   By:

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First Page:

ASTRONOMICAL MYTHS.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: THE CLIFFS OF FLAMANVILLE.]

ASTRONOMICAL MYTHS,

BASED ON FLAMMARION'S "HISTORY OF THE HEAVENS."

BY

JOHN F. BLAKE.

[Illustration]

London: MACMILLAN AND CO. 1877.

LONDON: R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS, BREAD STREET HILL, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET.

[Illustration]

PREFACE.

The Book which is here presented to the public is founded upon a French work by M. Flammarion which has enjoyed considerable popularity. It contained a number of interesting accounts of the various ideas, sometimes mythical, sometimes intended to be serious, that had been entertained concerning the heavenly bodies and our own earth; with a popular history of the earliest commencement of astronomy among several ancient peoples. It was originally written in the form of conversations between the members of an imaginary party at the seaside. It was thought that this style would hardly be so much appreciated by English as by French readers, and therefore in presenting the materials of the French author in an English dress the conversational form has been abandoned. Several facts of extreme interest in relation to the early astronomical myths and the development of the science among the ancients having been brought to light, especially by the researches of Mr. Haliburton, a considerable amount of new matter, including the whole chapter on the Pleiades, has been introduced, which makes the present issue not exactly a translation, but rather a book founded on the French author's work. It is hoped that it may be found of interest to those who care to know about the early days of the oldest of our sciences, which is now attracting general attention again by the magnitude of its recent advances. Astronomy also, in early days, as will be seen by a perusal of this book, was so mixed up with all the affairs of life, and contributed so much even to religion, that a history of its beginnings is found to reveal the origin of several of our ideas and habits, now apparently quite unconnected with the science. There is matter of interest here, therefore, for those who wish to know only the history of the general ideas of mankind.

[Illustration: THE ANNUAL REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH ROUND THE SUN, WITH THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC AND THE CONSTELLATIONS.]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

THE CLIFFS OF FLAMANVILLE Frontispiece. THE ANNUAL REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH ROUND THE SUN, WITH THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC AND THE CONSTELLATIONS Page ix THE EARTH'S YEAR, AND THE MONTHS " xiv AN ASTRONOMER AT WORK To face page 1 THE NORTHERN CONSTELLATIONS " 49 THE CONSTELLATIONS FROM THE SEA SHORE " 65 THE ZODIAC OF DENDERAH " 102

I. BABYLONIAN ASTRONOMERS 19 II. DRUIDICAL WORSHIP 37 III. CHALDEAN ASTRONOMERS 87 IV. THE ZODIAC AND THE DEAD IN EGYPT 108 V. THE LEGENDS OF THE DRUIDS 123 VI. THE NEMÆAN LION 146 VII. HEAVENS OF THE FATHERS 191 VIII. DEATH OF COPERNICUS 208 IX. THE SOLAR SYSTEM 225 X. THE DISCOVERY OF THE TELESCOPE 227 XI. THE FOUNDATION OF THE PARIS OBSERVATORY 229 XII. THE LEGEND OF OWEN 315 XIII. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND THE ECLIPSE OF THE MOON 336 XIV... Continue reading book >>




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