THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ARCTURUS, the brightest star in the northern hemisphere, situated in the constellation Boötes (q.v.) in an almost direct line with the tail (ζ and η) of the constellation Ursa Major (Great Bear); hence its derivation from the Gr. ἄρκτος, bear, and οὖρος, guard. Arcturus has been supposed to be referred to in various passages of the Hebrew Bible; the Vulgate reads Arcturus for stars mentioned in Job ix. 9, xxxvii. 9, xxxviii. 31, as well as Amos v. 8. Other versions, as also modern authorities, have preferred, e.g., Orion, the Pleiades, the Scorpion, the Great Bear (of. Amos in the “International Critical Comment” series, and G. Schiaparelli, Astronomy in the O.T., Eng. trans., Oxford, 1905, ch. iv.). According to one of the Greek legends about Arcas, son of Lycaon, king of Arcadia, he was killed by his father and his flesh was served up in a banquet to Zeus, who was indignant at the crime and restored him to life. Subsequently Arcas, when hunting, chanced to pursue his mother Callisto, who had been transformed into a bear, as far as the temple of Lycaean Zeus; to prevent the crime of matricide Zeus transported them both to the heavens (Ovid, Metam. ii. 410), where Callisto became the constellation Ursa Major, and Areas the star Arcturus (see Lycaon and Callisto).
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