small jpgThe Persians called Leo Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jewish, Arye; the Indians, Simha, all meaning “lion”. In Babylonian astronomy the constellation was called UR.GU.LA – the ‘Great Lion'; the bright star, Regulus, that stands at the Lion’s breast also had distinctly regal associations as it was known as the King Star.

In Greek mythology, Leo was identified as the Nemean Lion which was killed by Hercules during one of his twelve labours, and subsequently put into the sky.

The Roman poet Ovid called it Herculeus Leo and Violentus LeoBacchi Sidus (star of Bacchus) was another of its titles, the godBacchus always being identified with this animal. However, Manilius called it Jovis et Junonis Sidus (Star of Jupiter and Juno).

Early Hindu astronomers knew it as Asleha and as Sinha, the Tamil Simham.

 

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*This guide is mainly based on wikipedia’s texts & images. We thank the authors. for their great efforts.