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22 October 2020

Stars

Egyptian cosmos, the goddess Nut swallows the sun for its nocturnal travels

Once upon a time, on Earth, as darkness fell, there was no light other than moonlight and light from the starry sky. Wherever they were, human beings simply had to look up, contemplate the silence and begin daydreaming. There, they would see a cluster of stars that the Greeks believed took the shape of Orion, a great hunter who could walk on water; whereas Native Americans saw the huge hand of an American Indian Chief, which was ripped off by the Thunder People to punish him for greed; while Aboriginal Australians saw a canoe with three fishermen aboard, some peoples of the Antilles glimpsed the outline of Epietembo, the betrayed husband whose wife cut off one of his legs before fleeing.

Star Stories is the tale of legends and myths that bring our night sky to life, as explains Anthony Aveni, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, Anthropology and Native American Studies at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and founder of archeoastronomy and cultural astronomy. Aveni transports us, through the hemispheres and the ages, to discover the stories that peoples - Egyptians and Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, Mayans and Aztecs, Navajos and Inuits - created about stars and constellations from their own imaginations. Safe travels and happy reading.