Welcome to my page of quotations about legends surrounding the origins and interplay of the Scorpius and Orion constellations. Enjoy!
Although both Orion and Scorpio were honored by the celestials with a place among the stars, yet their situations were so ordered that when one rose the other should set, and vice versa; so that they never appear in the same hemisphere at the same time. ~E.H. Burritt, 1833
To chase th’ dread Scorpion, proclaim’d a great Evil,
That kill’d Orion th’ boaster, whom it stung in th’ Head.
~R. Machan, A New System of Astronomical Mnemonics, 1826
The ancient poets of Greece tell us, that this is the Scorpion which Diana sent to wound Orion for usurping her office. Ovid tells us, that this serpent was produced by the earth, to punish Orion’s vanity for having boasted that there was not on the terraqueous globe any animal which he could not conquer. ~Alexander Jamieson, A Dictionary of Mechanical Science, Arts, Manufactures, and Miscellaneous Knowledge, 1827
Words that provoked the gods once from him fell.
No beasts so fierce, said he, but I can quell;
When lo! the earth a baleful Scorpion sent,
To kill Latona was the dire intent.
Orion saved her, though himself was slain,
But did for that a spacious place obtain
In heaven. To thee my life, said she, was dear,
And for thy merit shine illustrious there.
~Ovid, from the Latin
Scorpio: This animal is famous in fiction on account of his hatred of Orion, who always sets when Scorpio rises. Hence the death of Orion was attributed to the bite of a scorpion. The chastity of Diana being attacked by this hunter, the goddess incited a scorpion to sting him mortally, and Jupiter placed her avenger in the heavens. ~Jonathan Duncan (1799–1865), The Religions of Profane Antiquity; Their Mythology, Fables, Hieroglyphics, and Doctrines, Founded on Astronomical Principles, n.d., c.1830
Next in the rank the Scorpion behold,
Emblem of Autumn‘s pestilential force;
Him Jupiter, for fierce Orion slain,
As mystic fables sing, plac’d in the Stars:
For as the monitress of latent truth,
Sweet Poesy, suggests, the Sire of Heaven,
Detesting Violence and brutal Wrong,
Amidst the stars exalts the conquerors
Of Tyranny, deliverers of man.
The Heart, with lustre of amazing force,
Refulgent vibrates: faint the other parts,
And ill defin’d by stars of meaner note.
~Capel Lofft, Eudosia: or, A Poem on the Universe, Book III: “The Seasons and the Zodiac,” 1781
As the Scorpion rises in the eastern sky, Orion, as if in fear, disappears from view in the west. ~William Tyler Olcott, “Scorpio, The Scorpion,” Star Lore of All Ages, 1911