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On The Pleiades...

In classical Greece the distinct cluster of stars forming the Pleiades was represented as the "Seven Sisters"—the companions of Artemis who, to avoid the amorous attentions of Orion, were turned into a flock of doves and set in the heavens. As their rising at dawn heralded the planting and sailing seasons, they were a good omen in the myths and legends of almost every culture on the planet.

In reality The Pleiades star cluster is a young (perhaps 100 million years old), small (over 400 stars in a tidal radius of about 52 light years) and nearby (a mere 440 light years away) open stellar cluster in the constellation of Taurus. It's members vary in brightness from the barely visible to stars 1000 times brighter than the Sun.

La Pléiade were the seven Renaissance poets and writers honoured as the progenitors of French literature: «une Pléiade» remains a name for a brilliant group.

Pleiade: What's in a name?

Pleiade? There is no great originality in the adoption of the name. La Pléiade were the seven Renaissance poets and writers honoured as the progenitors of French literature: «une Pléiade» remains a name for a brilliant group. Nor were these poets original in their choice of name: they consciously identified with the first literary Pleiade, a group of seven Hellenistic tragic poets.

Pleiade is our trading name—the company name is properly Pleiade Associates, the adoption of Pleiade as the company name, with the attendant legal restrictions on use, would have usurped the "cultural commons" of an existing term. We are averse to this practice.

Compared with these illustrious namesakes, we are younger, smaller and nearer! Even so, we seek to become—as is the cluster—a true 'con-stellation'. Not 'stars' in the idiom of Hollywood, but rather with the Quaker sense of each showing the 'light' within us. Admittedly this is an audacious and immodest choice of name—therefore our task is to justify the implicit claim. Whether or not we have the necessary skills or abilities for this is unknown, yet we have the will to try. The aim may be beyond us, the quest is not…

Plei′ad (pli′–) n.  (pl. ˜es pr. –dez, or ˜s).
  1. (in pl.) Cluster of stars in constellation Taurus, usu. spoken of as 7.
  2. (fig.) Brilliant group of (usu. 7) persons or things, esp. French poets of the latter part of 16th c.
[ ME, f. L Pleïas f. Gk Pleias –ados ]. Oxford English Dictionary



Articles on the Pleiades in Wikipedia, the free web encyclopedia:

If you are seeking historical geographic information about the Greek and Roman World in digital form try the Pleiades Project.

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