Star Names

By Richard H. Allen,

Book cover of Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning

Book description

Here is an unusual book for anyone who appreciates the beauty and wonder of the stars. Solidly based upon years of thorough research into astronomical writings and observations of the ancient Chinese, Arabic, Euphrates, Hellenic, and Roman civilizations, it is an informative, non-technical excursion into the vast heritage of folklore…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Star Names as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Allen (1838-1906) was described as a "walking encyclopedia" by people who knew him. It was only after acquiring a reprint of his great book, a decade before the internet, that my own research into ancient cosmology took off. Star Names was first published in 1899 and as Wikipedia notes "there is no direct modern equivalent." As is the case with the internet, large sections can also be plucked out and read for pleasure.

The classic book on the nomenclature of stars and constellations. R. H. Allen's eclectic mix of star lore from the Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and other civilizations has both charmed and perplexed generations since it was first published in 1899, and it lives on as a Dover reprint from 1963. Now considerably out of date in places, it nevertheless remains a good starting point for those interested in how cultures around the world have impressed their imaginations on the night skies. It was a foundation stone for my own book Star Tales.

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