History of the Constellations

Stars and Constellations


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Contents of this page: | Skylore | Modern Culture | Origin and History | Submit new info... |

Images (at bottom of page): | Kepler, 1606, page plate: (Figure 1) | Kepler, 1606, page 000tp: (Figure 2) | Bode, 1801, page l: (Figure 3) | Aspin, 1825, page Delphinus: (Figure 4) | Images digitized by Hannah Magruder.

Constellation Data

  • Name: Antinous
  • Translation: Suitor of Penelope
  • Located between: Aquila, Capricorn, Scutum

Skylore and Literature

According to Homer, Antinous was one of Penelope’s suitors during Odysseus’ absence because of the Trojan War. Upon the return of Odysseus, Antinous was the first suitor slain by Odysseus. Odyssey IV, 628, 660, 773; XVII, 409; XXII, 8. (See Penelope‚Äôs story as told by Bulfinch.

Another well-known Antinous was the boy lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian: “The deification of Antinous, his medals, statues, city, oracles, and constellation, are well known, and still dishonor the memory of Hadrian. Yet we may remark, that of the first fifteen emperors, Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct.” Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (footnote on p. 76, vol. 1). (See Lady Hedgehog.)

Modern Culture

Origin and History

This constellation is not one of the 88 constellations officially recognized today, although it is mentioned by Ptolemy. Its stars are part of Aquila.

Submit new info...

Many excellent websites provide a variety of information about constellations for amateur astronomers and telescope users (see sidebar links for a few of these). These constellation pages are not intended to duplicate those efforts, but are devoted to two aims: First, they are intended to assist the beginning skywatcher, including students in history of science survey courses, in becoming familiar with Basic Celestial Phenomena (BCP). Second, these pages are devoted to the history of the constellations and the history of astronomy. They are intended to serve as a repository for collaborative use and reference. Do you have additional historical information about the stars or constellation described on this page? Please submit additional information to kmagruder@ou.edu. Submissions will be attributed. Editors for historical information are Kerry Magruder, JoAnn Palmeri, Peter Barker, and Laura Gibbs.

Oklahoma History of Science exhibits: http://hos.ou.edu/exhibits/. Page revised 4/15/04

Bad links, misplaced images, or questions? Contact Kerry Magruder. Thank you.

"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile." R. W. Emerson, Nature


Figure 1 Figure 1 - Return to Text

Kepler, 1606

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Figure 2 Figure 2 - Return to Text

Kepler, 1606

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Figure 3 Figure 3 - Return to Text

Bode, 1801

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Figure 4 Figure 4 - Return to Text

Aspin, 1825

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Exhibit credit: Kerry Magruder.

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These teaching resources provided by the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma.

Unless otherwise indicated, all images courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Image Terms of Use.

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