Venus and Mercury in the Grand Procession of Ptolemy II
Callixenus describes a procession of Ptolemy II that was held at midwinter, when both morning and evening stars were visible. Most scholars reject both chronological indications, but they are valid, and securely date the procession to midwinter 279/8 B. C. E. Astronomical observations and discourse were prevalent in early Ptolemaic Alexandria, and the two stars in Callixenus are distinct, Venus and Mercury. Each is sometimes a morning star, sometimes an evening star, as was already known to Plato, and they periodically appear on opposite sides of the sun. The procession opens Ptolemy's reign by claiming the heritage of Alexander, and of Dionysos.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2016
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