Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Constellation of LEO

Updated 24.05.2013
The constellation Leo 1822
The Constellation of Leo is also known in Greek mythology as The Nemean Lion and Hera’s half brother. 

Nemean was located in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese, in Greece. The lion’s tail hair, is a lonely star, which is named Berenice’s lock. 

It is thought to be an Alexandrian astrologer named Konon that gave the star its name around 247 B.C. 

It was named after queen Berenice’s lock of hair, which she is said to have given her husband Ptolemy III Euergetes, after he had won a battle against the Syrians.
Bronze coin issued by Ptolemy III depicting (obverse) Zeus-Amun and (reverse) the traditional Ptolemaic eagle. Ptolemy III did not issue coins with his own image.

[Some extra things are worth mentioning to this part: 
The Name of the Lock might have come about in a little different way. 

Ptolemy III Euergetes sister was named Berenice Phernophorus, and her story might be the reasoning for this story, but again it does not exclude the other one – both could be true. 

Just another part worth mentioning: 

I thought maybe I could find out some more things about Ptolemy III Euergete, from a more archaeological point of view. 

This is very easy, considering Ptolemy III Euergetes was a Pharaoh ruler of ancient Egypt. He was the founder of the Edfu Temple (one of the Temple which I guided at – the story that I know is much different than the normal guide’s perception.) 

The accepted facts about Ptolemy III are quit interesting, especially considering what this is about.

That Ptolemy III Euergetes was raised by his stepmother Arsinoe II. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 30, and came to rule for 25 years. 

It is archaeological proven that he was married to a woman named Berenice. She was the daughter of king Magus (king of Cyrenaica), but king Magus was also Ptolemy’s half-uncle. 

Ptolemy III apparently also had a sister named Berenice whom was married to Antiochus II in Syria. 

Something happened where Ptolemy III was called to Syria to aid his sister, unfortunate the sister and her children were murdered while Ptolemy was on his way.] 

One myth about the constellation of Leo goes as: 

This was The first assignment given to Hercules from king Eurystheus. 

With a smirk grin on his face King Eurystheus ordered Hercules to kill the great Lion, which he knew was a giant. We are also told that the Nemean Lion was a gruesome son, of athos and echidnas. 

Athos was one of the monster Giants, it was said that Athos threw a mountain at Zeus which landed near Macedonia, This Mountain was the holy peak of Mount Athos. 

Echidna (ekhis, meaning "she viper") was the "Mother of All Monsters". 
[Theogony, 295-305: the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days.] 

Hercules went forth to kill the great Nemean Lion. On the way to Nemea, He meet a farmer named Molorkhos and he spent the night in this house.

Hercules told the old farmer about his assignment, where Molorkhos replied that he would make an offer in his (Hercules’s) name, if he did not return after a month. 

Hercules then said that if he did not return after a month, then Molorkhos could make the offer for him, but if he returned, then the offer should be made to the great savior Zeus. 

The next morning Molorkhos showed Hercules a long trail that lead all the way to the Lions cage. 

Hercules thanked for the help and began his long walk. 15 days later Hercules was some hours away from the Lion’s cave, and yet he heard a great loud sound from the Lion. 

He finally reached the cave of the Lion, and was confronted b two entrances. 

Hercules made his bow and arrow ready, and then he threw a rock towards the entrances that was closest to him. Immediately the giant Lion jumped out of the cave, Hercules was stunned for a second by the mere sizes of the Lion. Hercules shoot his weapon, again he was stunned when he saw that the arrow just bounced of the Lion’s skin. “What a nice warm and bright amour that skin could be, if Zeus helps me to kill the Lion” Hercules thought. Zeus heard Hercules’ thoughts and he sent forth his warrior daughter Athena, with lightning eyes to help Hercules. She would fill Hercules with new strength and courage he then came out into the open. He rolled a big rock in front of one of the cave entrances. Then he went inside the other entrances and killed the Lion, it is said that Hercules strangled the Giant Lion with ease.

Hercules fighting the Nemean Lion
Hercules fightning the Lion
Dating from around 520 - 500 B.C
From Around 525 B.C

Hera was so sadden by her half brothers death, that she placed the Lion among the stars deep in the heavens. Only the Olympian gods could place anyone among the stars, not only Zeus. 

The book from 1888 gives this version; 

Because Hercules was an obedient servant, he always did what he was told, never asking any questions to it. Hercules goes to find the Lion which he does, he tries to kill it with his arrows, but like in the earlier version, the arrows bounces of the Lion’s skin. Hercules then chases the Lion into its cave, but the cave had two exits, they began running in a circle through the cave. Hercules then blocked one of the exits and prepared for battle with his great iron bat. When the Lion came running towards him he swung his bat with a mighty force, the Lion’s head separated, but the Lion was still not dead. Hercules then strangled the Lion with his bare hands, but this version continues. Hercules needed to retrieve the Lion’s skin, but he could not find any iron tools or any sharp rocks to cut the skin off with. Hercules then rips off one of the Lion’s Sharpe claws, and skins the Lion with its own claw. 


Ancient Egyptian Leo
Again I have not begun the ancient Egyptian part yet, but I thought I might make some direct parallels for each sign on the way.
The constellation of Leo or the Zodiac sign known as Leo is also known in ancient Egypt. But again they are referred to in a much different way, making them more complex to understand. I personally believe that this is why we today have something called Constellations, and their stories. Leo, or the Lion is a symbol of great strength, its fur is golden brown like the Sun at some points of the day. Indeed this great animal a king of its territory was the symbol of the Sun. The ancient Egyptians would not mention the Lion in such a direct definition. Rather they had various forms of each ’character’, like with the female Lion Shekmet, which is the feminine parallel to the Lion. They might have seen the Female Lion as a stronger animal than the male Lion, because of there mere nature. The female is the hunter, and the caretaker, pretty much doing everything, while the male Lion loves to fight or relax. Since the ancient Egyptian loved life and the total understanding of Matt, then I would personally believe that it symbolizes the female Lion.


  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    dont understand

  2. Mythological history behind the constellations, in this case 'Leo'.

    Not Personal horoscope classification - this is not about the horoscope in the normal term, but rather the history behind both horoscopes and constellations.

  3. Anonymous10:15 PM


  4. Anonymous10:02 PM

    im doing a report about this constellation and i dont know whice story to put there all really great. but idk wat my teacher wants.!!

  5. I'm doing a report too and this is really helpful. Thanks!

  6. Anonymous5:28 PM

    wow that is great info i think ill keep that in mind and this will help me on mii report thanks

  7. Anonymous10:28 PM

    thnx a bunch thnx 2 u i got a good grade i got the hightest score u were very helpful

  8. Dear xoxosab75,
    I am happy to hear that you like the mythological history which this post contains.

    Dear Charles,
    Great, that’s all a girl can ask for :) I truly hope it helps/guides you.

    Dear Anonymous 1,
    I am glad that there was some information that you could use.

    Dear Anonymous 2,
    How Great! And thank you! I am so frilled that you could use the information and that you got the highest score/grade.

    (PS. And thank you all for posting here, because you have brought it to my attention that I need to fix this post’s image-links - will do this later after 'IRL' work).

  9. Great job on Leo! You really gave justice to the sign. Very nice!

  10. One of the twelve tasks of Hercules was to kill the lion, which this constellation is thought to represent. So, I guess it was not killed because up until now then constellation is still alive and being remembered by most individual who believe in astrology.

  11. Anonymous4:01 AM

    It is a mythological story not directly a reality.
    I am not sure what you mean about the constellation still being alive?
    but off course people still recognize the constellation Leo (the lion)

    Karima - blog owner

  12. Anonymous4:02 AM

    Sorry I have to use Anonymous... ?

    Because Google is still not letting me comment on my own blog... so fare out there if u ask me..

    Karima - Blog owner


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