The Stories Of The Stars

The stories of Greek mythology have been told for thousands of years. Their legacies are written in the stars. Many major constellations have a myth as to how the Greeks explained their patterns. This is the tale of Draco the Dragon, Hercules and the Nemean Lion, Andromeda, Pegasus, and Corona Borealis (also known as the Northern Crown).

Draco the Dragon 

The story about Draco The Dragon is legendary throughout greek mythology. There is one story where a dragon called Ladon guards a golden apple tree that was given to Hera, as a wedding token for her marriage to Zeus. Yet, this version is not as recognized as Draco’s tale. Draco’s story is set during the Titan war with Zeus, as both sides were battling for victory. Suddenly, the dragon attacks Athena, colliding in combat. They clash: Athena with her weapons and the dragon with his might. Athena, the strong warrior woman that she is, effortlessly slings Draco into the night sky. He soars high into the stars, wrapping his body around the celestial North Pole. Ever since that day, Draco can be spotted revolving around the circumpolar stars at nightfall.

Hercules and the Nemean Lion

Hercules is the most famous Greek hero, who the ancient Romans called Hercules. When he was just a baby, his mother put two snakes in his crib and he killed both with his bare hands. He had the strength of a thousand soldiers and the courage of a hundred roaring lions. Although Hercules had many true fans, he had one particular enemy: the Goddess Hera. She disliked all of the fame and attention that he accepted, casting a spell on him, causing him to later commit a terrible crime. In order to achieve forgiveness, the King ordered him to perform twelve difficult tasks, with one including the Nemean Lion. This colossal creature lived in the city of Nemean, terrifying all of the townspeople. They tried to capture and kill this beast, but there was only one man that they knew could do the job. King Eurystheus knew Hercules’s capabilities, calling him to the cave where the lion rested. Although Hercules had brought many useful weapons, the beast was no match against a small sword. Hercules dropped his weapons and locked eyes with the lion. With his bare hands, he strangled the Nemean Lion to his death, taking victory over the creature. He used its fur as a luxury coat and its head as a helmet of war. The city rejoiced and thanked him for his bravery.

Andromeda 

In Greek mythology, it is said that Cassiopeia and Cepheus, King of Ethiopia, had a beautiful daughter called Andromeda. Cassiopeia claimed that her daughter’s beauty was even more enchanting than the Nereids (sea nymphs, almost like mermaids, who elegantly roamed the Aegean Sea). These women were highly offended, begging the sea god, Poseidon, to send a flood and a sea monster to demolish Cepheus’s kingdom of Ethiopia. Andromeda was chained to a sea-cliff because of the Nereids’ spiteful jealousy. Her destiny was nothing but to be devoured by the dreadful monster. Suddenly, Andromeda caught Perseus’s eye as he was sailing by and fell in love. Being the nephew of the king of the city of Argos, he vowed to save Andromeda from her fatal destiny under the condition that she agreed to take his hand in marriage. With her parents’ desperate approval, Perseus slayed the sea monster and rescued the radiant woman. Andromeda followed through in her promise and married her hero. Together, they celebrated as newlyweds. Soon after the marriage, goddess Athena rewarded Andromeda for staying true to her word. She casted Andromeda’s image into the stars to always remember.

Pegasus

When the snake-haired Medusa was slayed at the neck by Perseus, he saved the people from her eyes that turned gazing men into stone. She was once a beautiful Lybian princess, but now, her legacy lives on through Pegasus. A winged horse, along with his human brother, Chrysaor, emerged from Medusa’s unheaded neck and were birthed after her death. Pegasus later lived upon the majestic Mount Helicon in Greece. There was an ancient Greek hero, by the name of Bellerophon, who dreamed of visiting the gods on Mount Olympus. One can not simply walk to this destination, so he attempted to fly there with Pegasus. Zeus, the god of lightning and thunder, did not want Bellerophon entering the kingdom. Therefore, he sent a giant horsefly to bite Pegasus, diverting him from his path. Bellerophon could not keep control of the flying horse, as he lost his grip and fell back down to earth. Pegasus, however, continued soaring high, soon reaching his destination at Mount Olympus. Zeus kindly took him in, inviting him to stay. Since then, Pegasus assisted in delivering thunder bolts for the Greek god, who honored him by arranging a winged horse constellation in the stars. 

Corona Borealis / The Northern Crown

Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, was half mortal, half beast. Her father was disgusted by her animalistic ways, banishing her to be chained up in a maze labyrinth. Its walls and corridors were so tricky, even the designer at times was lost. Minos supplied Athenians for Ariadne to feast upon when it was time to be fed. The first two were eaten by the monster-child, but the third had caught her attention. She fell in love with the handsome young man, offering to help if he could save her from the labyrinth. He agreed, sneaking out through the corridors with string laid upon his path, in order for Ariadne to follow her way out. The Athenian man killed the dreadful King Minos and together the two escaped. Immediately, the man planned to set sail out of Crete, but cruelly left Ariadne alone at the shores. She wept at the shoreside, feeling lonelier than ever before, when she was suddenly approached by a kind man. Bacchus put his arms around her and soothed her. He wanted to fix her broken heart. Bacchus removed Ariadne’s crown from her head and set it into the stars so she may look to the skies for infinite joy. The colorful jewels of her crown sparkled into a crown constellation, placing perfectly next to Hercules.