Phaenomena - 200 BCE:  Guiding stars for sailors:

Numbers of stars wander around the sky,
Forever together, always in company.
However, the axle does not change at all.
No, steady it is in its middle.

The earth is in balance and winds the sky around.
        Phoenician Ship Phoenician ShipPhoenician Ship
At both ends of the axle is a pole.

One of them we do not see,
but high in the north the other stands.

Phoenician War Ship
Two bears walk around like wagons,  each one alone ...
They call one of them Curving Light.

After that one, Achaeans sail on deep oceans.
They name the other the Top.

Phoenicians steer after that friend.
The Top is bright and easy to find,

When night is young,
it shines bright and clear.

Phoenician Warrior
The other is smaller,
but for the best sailor.

In a smaller orbit it goes around,
and leads the ships of Sidon on their voyages.

Aratos knows about constellations too,
because, someone, long-ago

found-out their names,
and learned about their shapes.



The Macedonian poet at court Aratos wrote this poem Phaenomena about 200 BC.  From it, we learn that the
Phoenicians/Kinahhu/Celts, and Achaeans traveled far across the deep seas, and that the North and South poles
were well known to these ancient seamen,  as well as to the  Macedonian who wrote the poem.

The Large and Little Dippers were used as astronomical pole guides.  The Phoenicians were excellent sailors, and
their secret was navigation using Ursa Minor or Little Bear.  The star Koschab could be used as pole guide from
about 2,000 BCE and onwards.  Excerpt from Aratos' Poem is above.



~ To Ancient Moons ~


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