Many civilizations over thousands of years have portrayed the constellation of Leo as a lion. One theory is that the Sun was among its stars in Midsummer, during which time the lions of the Egyptian desert left their accustomed haunts for the banks of the Nile, where they could find relief from the heat in the waters of the inundation. Pliny the Elder wrote that the Egyptians worshiped the stars of Leo because the rise of their great river coincided with the Sun entering among them. The constellation is referred to in an inscription on the walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes, which, like the Nile temples generally, was adorned with the animal's bristles. On the planisphere of Dendera, its figure is shown standing on an outstretched serpent. The Egyptian stellar Lion, however, comprised only a part of the modern constellation, and in the earliest records some of its stars were shown as a knife, whereas they now are as a sickle. The Persians called Leo Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jewish, Arye; the Indians, Simha ; all meaning a lion. In Babylonian astronomy these stars were 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, it 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 Leo. Bacchi Sidus (Star of Bacchus) was another of its titles, the god Bacchus 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. (From Wikipedia)
Zodiac: Leo Known as: The Lion Native American Animal: Salmon Associated with: Action, Vibrance & Vitality Zodiac Quality: Fixed Element: Fire Planet: Sun Gender: Masculine Nature: Positive (Extrovert) / Yang Season: Summer Tarot: Sun & Strength Flowers: Sunflower & Marigolds Gemstones: Ruby, Topaz & Tiger Eye Metal: Gold Animals: Felines Number: 1 or 8 & 9
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