The Dove

Cancer Constellation

The Story

The Good Ship 'Argo'

In ancient times the stars of Columba were not seen as part of the large constellation of Argo Navis, that is, the Ship Argo. Argo was the ship in which Jason and the Argonauts sailed off into the Black Sea and Asia in order to recover the Golden Fleece.

Noah's Dove

According to Ian Ridpath, Columba was first identified as a separate constellation by Petrus Plancius in 1592. Plancius renamed Argo Navis to be Noah's Ark and identified Columba as the dove sent out by Noah in search of dry land as the great flood ebbed that had covered the world (See Genesis 6:9 - 9:17).

Jason, The Dove, and The Clashing Rocks

In the story of Jason and the Argonauts, the entrance from the Aegean into the Black Sea was guarded by the clashing rocks. Jason released the dove to see if it could fly between the rocks without being mashed by the rocks clashing together. When the Argonauts saw the bird escape between the rocks, with only the loss of a few feathers, they tried it themselves with their galley, the Argo. By rowing at top speed they managed to find their way through the rocks just before they clashed together again. The Argo entered the Black Sea with only the loss of a few broken oars.  

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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