Cerberus (constellation)

Cerberus was a constellation created by Hevelius. It was depicted as a three-headed snake that Hercules is holding in his hand. The constellation is no longer in use. This constellation "figure typified the serpent ... infesting the country around Taenarum the Μέτωπον of Greece, the modern Cape Matapan."[1] The presence of Cerberus (Kerberos) at Taenarum (Tainaron) is mentioned by Strabōn, Statios, and Seneca.[2]

The tail of this constellation Cerberus was in Fornax (depicted[3] as chemical apparatus[4]). Apparently, the "golden bough" the "branch from the tree of the golden apples" fetched by Atlas from the garden of the Hesperides[5] was considered to have been generated by alchemical means.


  1. ^ Richard Hinckley Allen : Star-Names and Their Meanings. G. E. Stechert, 1899. p. 160
  2. ^ http://www.theoi.com/Ther/KuonKerberos.html
  3. ^ http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/fornaxlacaille.htm
  4. ^ Richard Hinckley Allen : Star-Names and Their Meanings. G. E. Stechert, 1899. p. 221
  5. ^ http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/cerberus.htm

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