The Boötes Set


Boötes is one of the ancient Greek constellations. The constellation’s name means “the oxen-driver” and Boötes is usually identified as the ploughman who drove the oxen represented by Ursa Major. The constellation is also sometimes associated with Arctophylax, or the Bear Keeper, also referring to Ursa Major, the Big Bear.

In another myth, Boötes represents Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto. In the myth, Callisto’s father King Lycaon decides to test Zeus to see if the god is really who he says he is and serves him his son Arcas for dinner. Seeing what Lycaon has done, Zeus does away with the king’s sons and turns Lycaon into a wolf, then collects the parts of his own son and makes him whole again. In the meantime, Arcas’ mother Callisto is turned into a bear, either by Zeus to disguise her and protect her from Hera’s revenge, or by the jealous Hera herself. When Arcas grows up, he comes face to face with his mother in the woods and does not recognize her. He starts to chase the bear and Zeus intervenes to prevent a tragedy, turning the mother and son into the constellations Ursa Major (Callisto) and Boötes (Arcas).

Boötes constellation is also sometimes associated with another mythical figure: Icarius, the wine maker. Icarius was taught how to make wine by the god Dionysus and, when he offered some to a group of shepherds, they had a little too much of it and thought Icarius had poisoned them. The misunderstanding cost Icarius his life. Zeus placed the wine maker in the sky as the constellation Boötes.

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Weight 10 g
Dimensions 60 × 30 mm
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