1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Serpentarius
|←Serpent||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 24
|See also Ophiuchus on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
SERPENTARIUS, or Ophiuchus, in astronomy, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, anciently named Aesculapius, and mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.). According to the Greek fables it variously represents: Carnabon (or Charnabon), king of the Getae, killing one of the dragons of Triptolemus, or Heracles killing the serpent at the river Sangarius (or Sagaris), or the physician Asclepius (Aesculapius), to denote his skill in curing snake bites. Ptolemy catalogued 29 stars, Tycho Brahe 15, and Hevelius 40. “New” stars were observed in 1604 and 1848.