Algol - Etymology of The Name

Etymology of The Name

  • The name Algol derives from Arabic رأس الغول ra's al-ghūl : head (ra's) of the ogre (al-ghūl) (see "ghoul"). The English name "Demon Star" is a direct translation of this.
  • In Hebrew folklore, Algol was called Rōsh ha Sāṭān or "Satan's Head", as stated by Edmund Chilmead, who called it "Divels head" or Rosch hassatan. A Latin name for Algol from the 16th century was Caput Larvae or "the Spectre's Head". Algol was also linked with "Lilith". Hipparchus and Pliny made this a separate, though connected, constellation.
  • In Chinese, 大陵 (Dà Líng), meaning Mausoleum, refers to an asterism consisting of β Persei, 9 Persei, τ Persei, ι Persei, κ Persei, ρ Persei, 16 Persei and 12 Persei. Consequently, β Persei itself is known as 大陵五 (Dà Líng wu, English: the Fifth Star of Mausoleum.). According to R.H. Allen the star bore the grim name of Tseih She 叠尸 (Dié Shī), meaning "Piled up Corpses" but this appears to be a misidentification.

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