|Home||Articles||Guide to Observing||Tour of the Constellations||Book Reviews|
Star Names - Their Lore and Meaning
by Richard Hinckley Allen
Level: Undergraduate, non-Mathematical
A bit old fashioned but still useful account of star and constellation names.
"Star Names" does not provide the latest astronomical data unless
you consider 1899, the book's original publishing date as late.
But despite its origin of over a century ago, "Star Names" is still
an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in the history of star and constellation
Each constellation is given a brief description and then a history of its names through various eras and civilizations. The names of the stars are not neglected either. "Star Names" is packed with literary references from Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew literature.
"Star Names" is clearly not designed for a modern audience. All Greek words are given in the Greek alphabet without translation. Allen did not think it was necessary to translate Latin either. He was good enough not to expect that his reader would understand Hebrew and Arabic also. Actually while most constellation names are Greek, the names of individual stars are generally Arabic. There are a few references to the Far East such as India and China also.
The book's typography is quite clear, although it apparently does not seem to have been retyped since its earlier editions. This is primarily a reference book and I would not advise reading it cover to cover, but there are some gems such as a "constellation" just east of Sirius that was known as "Officina Typographica" - The Printing Office.
|Review by Ed Ehrlich|
|Table Of Contents|
The Solar Zodiac
The Lunar Zodiac
The Arabic Alphabet
Index To Astronomical References As Found In The Revised Version Of The Bible
Partial List Of Authors, Authorities, And Books Of Reference Cited In This Work