What are the names of the ancient constellations in Latin?

The Big Bear Constellation
Image ID: 1108679 La grande ourse. (1795). The Big Bear Constellation. Source : Atlas celeste de Flamsteed, publie en 1776 / par J. Fortin. 3. ed., revue, corrigee et augmentee par MM. Delalande et Mechain. NYPL Digital Gallerty

Question: What are the names of the ancient constellations in Latin?


Here are the 48 original constellations introduced by the Greek Astronomer Ptolemy in 'The Almagest', c. A.D. 140. The form in bold is the Latin name. The three-letter form in parentheses shows the abbreviation and the form in single quotes provides a translation or explanation; for instance, Andromeda was the name of a chained princess, while aquila is Latin for 'eagle'.

Additional information tells whether the constellation is part of the zodiac, a northern constellation or a southern one. The Argonaut's ship, the Argo is no longer used as a constellation and the serpent constellation is divided in two, with the Ophiuchus between the head and tail.

I have linked to articles on mythological figures named by some of the constellations.

  1. Andromeda (And)
    'Andromeda' or 'The Chained Princess'
    Northern Constellation
  2. Aquarius (Aqr)
    'The Water Bearer'
  3. Aquila (Aql)
    'The Eagle'
    Northern Constellation
  4. Ara (Ara)
    'The Altar'
    Southern Constellation
  5. Argo Navis
    'The Argo(nauts') Ship'
    Southern Constellation (Not in www.artdeciel.com/constellations.aspx "Constellations"; no longer recognized as a constellation)
  6. Aries (Ari)
    'The Ram'
  7. Auriga (Aur)
    'The Charioteer'
    Northern Constellation
  8. Boötes (Boo)
    'The Herdsman'
    Northern Constellation
  9. Cancer (Cnc)
    'The Crab'
  1. Canis Major (Cma)
    'The Great Dog'
    Southern Constellation
  2. Canis Minor (Cmi)
    'The Little Dog'
    Southern Constellation
  3. Capricornus (Cap)
    'The Sea Goat'
  4. Cassiopeia (Cas)
    'Cassiopeia' or 'The Queen'
    Northern Constellation
  5. Centaurus (Cen)
    'The Centaur'
    Southern Constellation
  6. Cepheus (Cep)
    'The King'
    Northern Constellation
  1. Cetus (Cet)
    'The Whale' or 'The Sea Monster'
    Southern Constellation
  2. Corona Australis (CrA)
    'The Southern Crown'
    Southern Constellation
  3. Corona Borealis (CBr)
    'The Northern Crown'
    Northern Constellation
  4. Corvus (Crv)
    'The Crow'
    Southern Constellation
  5. Crater (Crt)
    'The Cup'
    Southern Constellation
  6. Cygnus (Cyg)
    'The Swan'
    Northern Constellation
  7. Delphinus (Del)
    'The Dolphin'
    Northern Constellation
  8. Draco (Dra)
    'The Dragon'
    Northern Constellation
  9. Equuleus (Equ)
    'The Little Horse'
    Northern Constellation
  10. Eridanus (Eri)
    'The River'
    Southern Constellation
  11. Gemini (Gem)
    'The Twins'
  12. Hercules (Her)
    Northern Constellation
  13. Hydra (Hya)
    'The Hydra'
    Southern Constellation
  14. Leo Major (Leo)
    'The Lion'
  15. Lepus (Lep)
    'The Hare'
    Southern Constellation
  16. Libra (Lib)
    'The Balance' or 'The Scales'
  17. Lupus (Lup)
    'The Wolf'
    Southern Constellation
  18. Lyra (Lyr)
    'The Lyre'
    Northern Constellation
  19. Ophiuchus or Serpentarius (Oph)
    'The Serpent Bearer'
    Northern Constellation
  20. Orion (Ori)
    'The Hunter'
    Southern Constellation
  21. Pegasus (Peg)
    'The Winged Horse'
    Northern Constellation
  22. Perseus (Per)
    'Perseus' or 'The Hero'
    Northern Constellation
  23. Pisces (Psc)
    'The Fishes'
  24. Piscis Austrinus (PSA)
    'The Southern Fish'
    Southern Constellation
  1. Sagitta (Sge)
    'The Arrow'
    Northern Constellation
  2. Sagittarius (Sgr)
    'The Archer'
  3. Scorpius (Sco)
    'The Scorpion'
  4. Serpens Caput (SerCT)
    'The Serpens Head' and
    Serpens Cauda (SerCD)
    'The Serpent's Tail' (Not in An Astronomical Vocabulary, but since Ophiuchus separates them, they must be Northern Constellations.)
  5. Taurus (Tau)
    'The Bull'
  6. Triangulum (Tri)
    'The Triangle'
    Northern Constellation
  7. Ursa Major (Uma)
    'The Great Bear'
    Northern Constellation
    See The Story of Callisto
  8. Ursa Minor (Umi)
    'The Little Bear'
    Northern Constellation
  9. Virgo (Vir)
    'The Virgin'

Sources: [ www.artdeciel.com/constellations.aspx] Constellations and An Astronomical Vocabulary, by John Russell Hind

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Gill, N.S. "What are the names of the ancient constellations in Latin?" ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2016, thoughtco.com/names-of-ancient-constellations-in-latin-118621. Gill, N.S. (2016, February 19). What are the names of the ancient constellations in Latin? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/names-of-ancient-constellations-in-latin-118621 Gill, N.S. "What are the names of the ancient constellations in Latin?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/names-of-ancient-constellations-in-latin-118621 (accessed January 18, 2018).