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ASTRONOMIA. III. Id. Mai. Fidiculae exortus. Plin. xviii. 67-

§ 3'

Id. Mai. (15th May) Fidis mane exoritur.

ColumelL xi. 2. §43.

(9.) III. Non. Novemb. (3rd November) Fi-dicula mane exoritur, hiemat et pluit. ColumelL xi. 2. § 84.

(10.) VIII. Id. Novemb. (6tli November) idem sidus totum exoritur, Auster vel Favonius, hiemat. ColumelL Ibid.

(11.) XVI. Kal. Dec. (16th November) Fidis exoritur mane, Auster, interdum Aquilo magnus. ColumeU. xi. 2. § 88.

(12.) Non. Januar. (5th January) Fidis ex­oritur mane: tempestas varia. ColumeU. xi. 2. §07.

Institerint Nonae, mis-is tibi nubibus atris, Signa dabunt imbres exoriente Lyra.

ovid. Fast. i. 315.

Pridie Nonas Januarias (4th January) Caesari Delphinus matutino exoritur et postero die Fi-dicula. Plin. xviii. 64.

The total disregard of precision in the phraseo­logy employed in describing the above appearances is evident in almost every assertion, but the con­fusion may be considered to have reached a climax when we read the words " Fidis (or Fidicula) ex­oritur mane," used without variation or explanation to denote a phenomenon assigned to the 26th of April, the 3d and 15th of May, the 3d and 16th of November. By examining each paragraph separately, we shall be still more fully convinced of the carelessness and ignorance displayed.

(1.) The true morning setting of Lucida Lyrae took place at Rome in the age of Caesar, on the 12th or 13th of August, and therefore the Calendar of Caesar here followed by Columella was more ac­curate than the authorities quoted by Pliny, unless these referred to a different latitude. Remark, however, that no hint is dropped by either to in­dicate that the true,., and not the apparent morning setting is meant ; and it ought to be borne in mind that the latter happened, at the epoch in question, on that very day at Alexandria. In the Para-pegma of Geminus also, we find, under llth of August (17 Leo), eu/ct^uoz>i \vpa 5i>erai.

(2.) This must be the apparent morning setting which took place at Rome on 24th of August for the Julian epoch.

(3.) The true evening setting^ calculated for Alexandria at the same epoch, took place on 23d of January, the very day named by Ovid.

(4.) This is the heliacal setting,, which, for Lucida Lyrae, took place at Rome on 28th of January.

(5.) These notices seem to be borrowed from old Greek calendars. Eudoxus, as quoted by Ge-minus, assigns the evening (a.Kp6vv)(os^ setting of Lyra to the llth degree of Aquarius, that is, the 4th of February according to the Julian calendar.

It will be seen that the three last paragraphs (3.), (4.), (5.), without any change of expression, spread the setting of Lyra over a space extending from 23d of January to 4th February, the ap­parent and true settings for Rome being on the 28th January and 9th February respectively.

(6.) The apparent evening rising,, which seems clearly pointed out by the words of Columella, took place at Rome for the Julian era on 14th of April, at Alexandria on 26th of April: the true


evening rising at Rome on 22d April, and to this, therefore, the statement of Columella, from what­ever source derived, must, if accurate, apply. Pliny has here fallen into a palpable blunder, and has written mane for vesperi. In fact he has copied, perhaps at second hand, the observation of Eudoxus with regard to the Lyre and Dog (see Parapeg. of Gem.), except that he has inserted the word mane where the Greek astronomer simply says At'pa eTnreAAer.

(7.) This will agree tolerably well with the true evening rising at Alexandria for the Julian era, but is twenty-one days too late for the appa-> rent evening setting at Rome, and thirteen days too late for the true evening setting.

(8.) Here all is error. We must manifestly substitute vespere for mane in both passages of Columella ; but even thus the observation will not give anything like a close approximation to any rising of Lyra either at Rome or Alexandria in the Julian age.

(9.) Copied verbatim along with the accom­panying prognostic of the weather, from the Para-pegma of Geminus, where it is ascribed to Euc-temon. The day, however, corresponds closely with the heliacal rising9 which took place at Rome on 5th of November.

(10.) Copied along with the prognostic "hie­mat " (kol 6 dijp xeipepios 'yivsrai cos eVl ra •TroAAa) from the same compilation where it is as­cribed to Democritus, who fixed upon this day for the true morning rising (X\)pa e7ri§d\Aei a/iia yXift> aviffXovTi). At Rome this rising fell upon 23d of October.

(11.) Copied again from the same source, where it is ascribed to Eudoxus. Here the observation can in no way be stretched so as to apply to Rome.

(12.) This, like the last, can in no way be made applicable to Rome ; but the heliacal setting at Alexandria took place, for that epoch, about four days later, on the .9th or 10th of January.

Having now pointed out the difficulties which the student must expect to encounter in prosecuting his inquiries in this department, we proceed briefly to examine the most remarkable passages in the classical writers, where particular periods of the year are defined by referring to the risings and settings of the stars. We begin with the most, important, — the Pleiades, Arcturus, and Sinus, which we shall discuss fully, and then add a few words upon others of less note.

the pleiades.

hesiod. — Hesiod indicates the period of har­vest by the rising of the Atlas-born Pleiads (JUrg. 384) after they had remained concealed for forty days and forty nights. Now in the age of Hesiod (b. c. 800), the heliacal rising of the Pleiads took place at Athens, according to the computation of Ideler, on the 19th of May of the Julian Calendar, which is just the season when the wheat crop comes to maturity in that climate. Again (I. c.), he indicates the commencement of the ploughing-season, and the close of the season for navigating, by the morning setting of the Pleiads, which in that age and latitude fell about the third of the Julian November. In these and all other passages where Hesiod speaks of the risings and settings of the stars, we must unquestionably assume that he refers to the apparent phenomena. Indeed it ia by no means improbable that the precepts which

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