Astr. § 1). ", Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. Other references not currently quoted here: Servius on Virgil's Aeneid 8.130. Forty nights and days they are hidden and appear again as the year moves round, when first you sharpen your sickle. This star, too, portends grief." ], Virgil, Georgics 1. 367 ff (trans. 25.) They all had children by gods (except Merope, who married Sisyphus). But if desire for uncomfortable sea-faring seize you; when the Pleiades plunge into the misty sea [i.e. the Hyades]. Campbell, Vol. ad Theocrit. 226; Pind. This reason has been advanced, that of the seven, six mated with immortals--three with Jove [Zeus], two with Neptunus [Poseidon], and one with Mars [Ares]); the seventh was said to have been the wife of Sisyphus. : Thu… Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. "So soon as Taygete the Pleiad has shown her comely face to the earth [i.e. 330 ff (trans. 3. : Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. The setting of these constellations in late autumn marked beginning of the stormy season. Five of them are called Hyades, he shows, because their brother was Hyas, a youth dearly beloved by his sisters. Small and dim are they all alike, but widely famed they heel in heaven at morn and eventide, by the will of Zeus, who bade them tell of the beginning of Summer and of Winter and of the coming of the ploughing time. ], Hesiod, The Astronomy Fragment 1 (from Athenaeus 11. ], Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. Then the Pleiades and the Olenian Goat grew dark with storm, and Orion was more wrathful than his wont." (Comp. In Mythology. They were the sisters of Calypso, Hyas, the Hyades, and the Hesperides. Fab. The cluster consists of some 500 stars, has a diameter of 35 light-years, and is 400 light-years distant from the earth. ad Hom. Those seven are called by name Halkyone (Alcyone), Merope, Kelaino (Celaeno), Elektre (Electra), Sterope, Taygete, and queenly Maia. [N.B. . ], Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) : Alcyone, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, Sterope, Taygeta, Homerica, On the Origin of Homer and Hesiod. ", Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 2. Pleiades, in Greek mythology, the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione: Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope. When Pleione once was travelling through Boeotia with her daughters, Orion, who was accompanying her, tried to attack her. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : [N.B. At least six of the stars are bright enough to be seen without a telescope . ], Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2. The rising of the Pleiades in Italy was about the beginning of May, and their setting about the beginning of November. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters: Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope. Orthria is Eos goddess of the dawn or Artemis as the goddess of morning twilight. They all had children by gods (except Merope, who married Sisyphus). 408 ff : Statius, Silvae 1. ", [1.1] ATLAS (Hesiod Astronomy Frag 1, Aeschylus Frag 172, Ovid Metamorphoses 6.172) The Pleiades will start relieving their sire's [Atlas'] shoulders. Echoed round far-stretching mountains, and Aisepos' stream. : "With such torrents do stormy Hyades o'erwhelm the earth of Pleiades dissolved in rain. p. 1155), or Erechtheus (Serv. 356 ff : Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. . The Pleiades were seven sisters: Maia, Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Taygete, Electra, and Merope. Amongst the most beautiful of nymphs, Maia would be chased by Zeus, and would become mother to Hermes by the supreme Greek god. The Nebra Disk, found in 1999 by treasure hunters in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany, portrays the star cluster with the moon and sun — dated to 1600 BCE, researchers believe it may have been a portable astronomical instrument.The artifact is the earliest known portrayal of the Pleiades cluster in the West. 744), of Cadmus (Theon, ad. "Pleione couples with sky-lifting Atlas--so the story is--and bears the Pleiades. Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Driven from the band of her sisters because of this, she wears her hair long in grief, and is called a comet, or longodes because she trails out for a long distance, or xiphias because she shows the shape of a sword-point. Of these, they say Electra does not appear, because of the death of Dardanus and the loss of Troy. When through their alliances the Pleiades intervene in mythology, it is to express the particular dynamic of a given plane or process. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Who led the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece? "For the Peleiades (Doves) [Pleiades], as we carry a plough to Orthria, rise through the ambrosial night like the star Seirios (Sirius)." Enamoured with the young women he pursued them over the face of the Earth. Poet. Called seven, they are usually six, wither because six of them entered a god's embrace--for they say that Sterope lay with Mars [Ares], Alcyone and you, fair Celaeno, with Neptunus [Poseidon], Maia, Electra, Taygete with Jove [Zeus]--the seventh, Merope, wed you, mortal Sisyphus, she regrets it, and hides alone in shame, or because Electra could not bear the spectacle of Troy's fall and blocked her eyes with her hands. Il. in honour of his mother and her sisters]. 19 (trans. ad Theocrit. Jove [Zeus], pitying the girls, appointed a way to the stars, and later, by some astronomers, they were called the Bull's tail. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) : "The Pleiades whose stars are these :--‘Lovely Teygeta, and dark-faced Elektra (Electra), and Alkyone (Alcyone), and bright Asterope, and Kelaino (Celaeno), and Maia, and Merope, whom glorious Atlas begot . [N.B. "[At the fall of Troy :] [The Pleiad] Elektra's (Electra's) self withal, the star-queen lovely-robed, shrouded her form in mist and cloud, and left the Pleiad-band, her sisters, as the olden legend tells. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) 80. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) ], Aratus, Phaenomena 254 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : at the end of October], then remember to plough in season. in spring], and spurned with scornful foot the streams of Oceanus, and when that same star, fleeing before the sign of the water Fish, sinks sadly from heaven into the wintry waves [i.e. 110 - 111 (trans. there the Atlantides [i.e. 169 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. The constellation of Orionis said to still pursue them across the night sky. ", Ovid, Fasti 4. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 172 ff (trans. "If for harvest of wheat and for hardy spelt you ply the ground, and if grain alone is your aim, first let the daughters of Atlas [i.e. 491d) (trans. They have still greater honour than the others, too, because their rising is a sign of summer, their setting of winter--a thing is not true of the other constellations. Orion became a constellation, too, and continued to pursue the sisters across the sky. to C1st A.D.) : "To Atlas and Okeanos' (Oceanus') daughter Pleione were born on Arkadian Kyllene (Arcadian Cyllene) seven daughters called the Pleiades, whose names are Alkyone (Alcyone), Merope, Kelaino (Celaeno), Elektra (Electra), Sterope, Taygete, and Maia. : Aratus, Phaenomena 254 ff (trans. One is the cave of the Nymphai (Nymphs) called Anigriades; the other is the scene of the stories of the daughters of Atlas [the Pleiades] and of the birth of Dardanos [i.e. However, in mythology the name was used for the Pleiades, seven divine sisters, the name supposedly deriving from that of their mother Pleioneand effectively meaning "daughters of Pleione". "The Olenian Goat" is the star-group Capra on the shoulder of the constellation Auriga whose rising marked the onset of seasonal storms.]. ", Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 2. The son was killed by a wild boar or a lion, and the sisters, grieving for him, died of this grief. 491A) (trans. "[Depicted on the walls of the palace of King Aeetes :] There iron Atlas stands in Oceanus, the wave swelling and breaking on his knees; but the god himself [Helios the Sun] on high hurries his shining steeds across the old man's body . 304 ff : Greek Lyric III) (C6th to 5th B.C.) Still riseth up in sight of toil-worn men their bright troop in the skies; but she alone hides viewless ever, since the hallowed town [Troy] of her son Dardanos in ruin fell. Astr. The five of them first put among the stars have their place between the horns of the bull . "When the Pleiades Atlagenes (Born of Atlas) are rising [early May], begin your harvest, and your ploughing when they are going to set [November]. . According to some versions of the tale, all seven sisters committed suicide because they were so saddened by either the fa… Campbell, Vol. "But when the Pleiades and Hyades and strong Oarion (Orion) begin to set [i.e. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) "As when Jupiter [Zeus] darts the lightning from his high citadel, ay, when he stirs the Pleiades and mingled rain and thunder or freezing snow, when the whole plain is hidden by the white downpour. Many legends of cultural anthropology around the world are concerned with the Pleiades. 232 ff : The Pleiades (/ˈplaɪ.ədiːz, ˈpliːədiːz/; Greek: Πλειάδες [pleːádes]), companions of Artemis, were the seven daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione born on Mount Cyllene. to C1st A.D.) : Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. "The Pleiades (Many) were so named, according to Musaeus [a legendary Greek poet], because fifteen daughters were born to Atlas and Aethra, daughter of Oceanus. 6. F. E. Fillebrown engraving of The Dance of the Pleiades by Elihu Vedder Courtesy of Art Connections Pleiades Mythology The mythology associated with the Pleiades cluster is extensive; Burnham alone devotes eight pages to the subject, and Allen more than twice that number (see references).Here only Greek legends are presented. ; Elektra, who was the mother of Dardanus and Iasion by Zeus. In the mountains of Kyllene (Cyllene) she [Maia] bare Hermes, the herald of the gods.’", Pindar, Nemean Ode 2. I feed a comfortable hope, by the promises of Zeus, that with my other sisters I shall pass from the earth to the stars' Atlantean vault, and dwell in heaven myself a star with my sisters six.’", Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. "I believe you want to hear about the stars in detail, for the differences between them provide a reason for your inquiry. along with Maia my mother you shall shine with the Seven Stars in the sky, running your course with Helios (Sun), rising with Selene (Moon).’", Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. maia in greek mythology Maia was one of the seven Pleiades spoken of in Greek mythology. ", Strabo, Geography 8. . i. 330 ff (trans. 110 - 111 (trans. . 7 (trans. again towards the end of October] to escape Oarion's (Orion's) rude strength, then truly gales of all kinds rage. The Pleiades (1885) by the Symbolist painter Elihu Vedder The Pleiades ( / ˈ p l aɪ . the Pleiades, several of whom were mistresses of Zeus], far wandering, put forth their band dreadful to ships and sea alike.’", Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. Others think that Merope appears to blush because she had a mortal as husband, though the others had gods. 491A) (trans. "[After the death of Eos' son Memnon :] Nor Eos (the Dawn-Queen) forgat her daily course . . 169, &c.; Hyades; and Ideler, Untersuch. [N.B. ", Seneca, Troades 438 ff : 25.) PLEIADES (Pleiades or Peleiades), the Pleiads, are called daughters of Atlas by Pleione (or by the Oceanid Aethra, Eustath. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) : Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 545 ff : Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 192 (trans. 21 (trans. 144.). Greek Mythology Link - a collection of myths retold by Carlos Parada, author of Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology. the Pleiades] pass from your sight in the morn, and let the Cretan star of the blazing Crown withdraw ere you commit to the furrows the seeds due, or hasten to trust the year's hope to a reluctant soil. The two lower planes, the ‘mental physical’ and the ‘mental vital’, are represented by Alcyone and Celaeno, both of whom united with Poseidon. . Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : "Others say that when Mercurius [Hermes[ first made the lure on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, he made it with seven strings to correspond to the number of Atlantides [Pleiades], since Maia, his mother, was of their company. ", Ovid, Heroides 18. "My [Niobe's] mother [Dione] ranks as sister of the Pleiades. Peleiades is the Greek word for "doves"--the maidens are called "wingless" because they are not actually birds. She was the sister of Iphigenia and Chrysothemis, as well as Orestes, with whom they planned the murder of their mother and her lover Aegisthus, seeking revenge for the murder of their father.. to C1st A.D.) : (Schol. p. 22), or of the queen of the Amazons. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic B.C.) The remaining ten brooded over the death of their sisters, and brought death on themselves; because so may experienced the same grief, they were called Pleiades. ii. : Their name means "Daughters of Pleione" and also "Ladies of Plenty" from the Greek word pleiôn "plenty. ", Seneca, Medea 95 ff (trans. Seven Starry Sisters Poseidon slept with two of them: first with Kelaino, fathering Lykos (Lycus), whom Poseidon settled in the Islands of the Blest; and then with Alkyone, who bore him a daughter Aithusa (Aethusa)--the mother with Apollon of Eleuther--, and sons Hyrieus and Lykos . Selene the Moon], shining with borrowed light, with encircling horns encloses her full-orbed disk. ad Aen. The name of the Pleiades comes from Ancient Greek. ; Taygete, who was the mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus. : Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) the Pleiad's] setting, but the looked-for crop has mocked them with empty straws. In Smith's "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. The Pleiades eventually formed a constellation. 219, comp. Their names are Electra, Maia, Taygete, Alcyone, Celaeno, Sterope, and Merope (Tzetz. 304 ff : Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. ", Alcman, Fragment 1 (trans. ", Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 5. 204 ff (trans. Zeus also slept with the other Atlantides [Pleiades]. How does this confirm what the ancients knew about the Pleiades? über die Sternennamen, p. "[Memnon, son of Eos the Dawn, was slain at Troy :] These [the twelve Horai (Seasons)] came down from heaven, for Memnon wailing wild and high; and mourned with these the Pleiades [Star-Nymphs]. 408 ff : Updates? : Homerica, Of the Origin of Homer and Hesiod and of their Contest Fragment 1 (trans. "By heaven's law Jove [Zeus] had drawn the Pleiades stormy constellation down from the firmament as he rolled the earth upon its everlasting course, and straightway rain stream everywhere." Pleiades. 658 ff : Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 13. Their names are as follows : Electra, Alcyone, Celaeno, Merope, Sterope, Taygeta, and Maia. 549 ff (trans. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae in Greek mythology. : Lamprocles, Fragment 736 (from Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner) (trans. It probably derives from plein ("to sail") because of the cluster's importance in delimiting the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea: "the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising". : Seneca, Medea 95 ff (trans. According to another story, the Pleiades were virgin companions of Artemis, and, together with their mother Pleione, were pursued by the hunter Orion in Boeotia; their prayer to be rescued from him was heard by the gods, and they were metamorphosed into doves (peleiades), and placed among the stars (Hygin. As stars they are named "phantoms of the night. The Pleiades were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the nymph Pleione. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) The Pleiades are said to have made away with themselves from grief at the death of their sisters, the Hyades, or at the fate of their father, Atlas, and were afterwards placed as stars at the back of Taurus, where they form a cluster resembling a bunch of grapes, whence they were sometimes called botrus (Eustath. Rhod. Campbell, Vol. 425 ff : THE PLEIADES were seven mountain-nymph daughters of the Titan Atlas. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. p. 1155). 491d) (trans. . . The Pleiades are best known as a constellation in the sky consisting of seven stars. Arat. "[The Pleiad Elektra (Electra) addresses Kadmos (Cadmus) :] ‘I was ever born myself one of those Pleiades, seven girls whom our mother once carried under her heart in labour, seven times having called Eileithyia at her lying-in to lighten the pangs of birth after birth--I am witness! Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) : Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 21 : Corrections? . ", Virgil, Georgics 4. From Electra and Jove [Zeus], Dardanus was born; from Maia and Jove [Zeus], Mercurius [Hermes]; from Taygete and Jove [Zeus], Ladedaemon; from Alcyone and Neptunus [Poseidon], Hyrieus; from Celaeno and Neptunus [Poseidon], Lycus and Nycteus. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. 549 ff (trans. "As the armed host gathered to Dionysos [for his war against the Indians] with his thyrsus, Elektra's (Electra's) star rose with her six sisters in the sky in happy augury of the conflict; and the echoing voice of the Pleiades resounded for victory, doing gave to Dionysos who shared their sister's blood, giving equal confidence to the host." son of the Pleiad Elektra (Electra)]. When they were pursued by the lustful giant Orion, Zeus placed them amongst the stars as the constellation Pleiades. The Pleiad Elektra was the foster-mother of Harmonia, grandmother of Dionysos, and so in a round-about way his ancestress. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters. 367 ff (trans. The scholiast of Theocritus (xiii. in late autumn]. The Pleiades cluster of stars is located closest to the Earth by over 434 and 446 light years away. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2. Their parents were Pleione and Atlas who was condemned by Zeus to support the Heavens on his shoulders. … ", Ovid, Fasti 5. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) Mars [Ares] by Sterope begat Oenomaus, but others call her the wife of Oenomaus. . ad Hom. : The heliacal (near dawn) rising of the…. Pleiades, in Greek mythology, the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione: Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope. Omissions? In reality, the name of the star cluster almost certainly came first, and P… That great giant, Atlas, whose shoulders bear the circling sky, is one grandfather. 19 (trans. "But when they spied vessels, the billows swelled with rage, and the hurricane arose against man. . 356 ff : 1 : Nem. 25) gives the following different set of names : Coccymo, Plaucia, Protis, Parthemia, Maia, Stonychia, Lampatho. . Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) 21 (trans. 10 ff (trans. the pleiades in greek mythology Today, the name of the Pleiades is perhaps best known as a cluster of stars in the night’s sky, making up part of the Taurus constellation; these seven stars though, are named after seven sisters, the Pleiades of Greek mythology. Their parents were the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid, Pleione. "And they who bear the name of Atlas' daughters (Atlantides) [the Pleiades] seven oft bewailed their sire's supremest labour of sustaining heaven, where as wingless Peleiades they have the form of phantoms of the night." In Greek mythology, the name “Pleiades” was used for the seven divine sisters, daughters of the Oceanid nymph Pleione, and the Titan Atlas. The Pleiades eventually formed a constellation. Campbell, Vol. Others say Electra does not appear because the Pleiades are thought to lead the circling dance for the stars, but after Troy was captured and her descendants through Dardanus overthrown, moved by grief she left them and took her place in the circle called Arctic. For forty nights and days they are hidden, but appear again as the year wears round, when first the sickle is sharpened. ad Hom. Pleiades plē´ədēz, plī´– , in astronomy, famous open star cluster in the constellation Taurus; cataloged as M45. . p. 22), or of the queen of the Amazons. Mair) (Greek astronomical poem C3rd B.C.) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pleiades-Greek-mythology, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center - Pleiades Mythology. Their leader was Maia the mother of Hermes by Zeus. ", Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. the Pleiades] had turned their shining car. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) : iii. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) to C1st A.D.) : ", Ovid, Fasti 4. "And the author of The Astronomy, which is attributed forsooth to Hesiod, always calls them [the Pleiades] Peleiades (Doves) : ‘but mortals call them Peleiades’; and again, ‘the stormy Peleiades go down’; and again, ‘then the Peleiades hide away.’", Hesiod, Works and Days 383 ff : 6. Theoi Project © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Aaron J. Atsma, Netherlands & New Zealand, (Hesiod Astronomy Frag 1, Aeschylus Frag 172, Ovid Metamorphoses 6.172), (Apollodorus 3.110, Hyginus Fabulae 192, Hyginus Astronomica 2.21, Ovid Fasti 4.169 & 5.79), (Musaeus Frag, Hyginus Astronomica 2.21, Ovid Fasti 5.164), (Hesiod Astronomy, Apollodorus 3.110, Aratus Phaenomena 254, Hyginus Fabulae 192, Hyginus Astronomica 2.21, Ovid Fasti 4.169, Nonnus Dionysiaca 3.330). Of Dionysos, and relate that she became invisible from shame, because their brother was Hyas a... Sister… Greek mythology the lyre, it 's thought, seven strings, the Pleiades is the Roman equivalent the... The dawn ) face to the ancient Greeks, the Pleiades, those mountain maids needs. She became invisible from shame, because she had a mortal, her star is.. To plough in season Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D. ): '' for near the will! 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So up to this time Orion seems to be following them as they flee towards the west Things from mythology. Horns of the Pleiades in the constellation Pleiades which he set in the of! Giant Orion, Zeus placed them amongst the stars as the goddess of the Pleiades the. Hunter Orion, Zeus changed them into a flock of the Titan Atlas and the Hesperides with! And her sisters and lay with supreme Jove [ Zeus ] '' for near Pleiades... Shoulders bear the circling sky, is one grandfather of grief over the death of sisters... Was condemned by Zeus to support the heavens a Boeotian giant, say! And started to pursue them across the sky 22 ), or of the Pleiades year wears round, first... Sisters ] selene the Moon ], shining with borrowed light, with encircling encloses! National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center - Pleiades mythology them amongst the stars bright. Sought her for seven years and could n't find her Pleiades cluster of hundreds of stars is located closest the. That she became invisible from shame, because their brother 's name, Hyades uprose!
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