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Comparison of Vedic period star name identities from R. H. Allen’s "Star names- Their lore & meaning" of circa 1899 with "Names of Stars from the period of Vedas" from 1999.

R.H.Allen's work

Richard Hinckley Allen’s book "Star names- Their lore and meaning" was originally published in 1899. It provides proper names of stars from many cultures over the period of recorded history. The book studies the names of stars, constellation by constellation in alphabetical order. In each constellation, the proper names of stars from various cultures are discussed. It includes the then contemporary astronomical identity of stars as Flamsteed numbers and Bayer identities. The book covers all the constellations.

The period of the book was before formalization of the constellation definitions to 88 by International Astronomical Union in 1930. The pattern followed in the book is to identify all visible stars in each constellation through their Bayer identities and then address their historical European names (Greek and other nationalistic cultures), followed by the Arabic names, the Chinese names and ‘Hindu names`. This has been systematically carried out to cover all the constellations. In each case, anecdotal data is provided using local folklore, historical documents and other cultural documents. An analysis is provided with suggestions as to possible influence of one culture on the other, in arriving at the proper names for stars. The aim of this article is to compare R.H.Allen’s ‘Hindu’ names of stars from his 1899 book, to the one proposed by the present author in his article "Names of Stars from period of Vedas" in 1998.



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