Celestial Ethiopia: from Ancient to contemporary is a documentation of the role of Ethiopia and its perople in shaping cosmology, mythology and modern astronomy. We solict scientific documents, links to resources and views from experts in the field archeoastronomy, phylosphy and anthropology. We are particularly interested between the relationship between African mythologies and Greco-Roman thoughts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Debre Berhan was founded in the reign of Emperor Zara Yaqob, in response to a miraculous light that was seen in the sky at the time. Believing this was a sign from God approving the death by stoning of a group of heretics 38 days before, the emperor ordered a church built on the site, and later constructed an extensive palace nearby, and a second church, dedicated to Saint Cyriacus. Zara Yaqob spent 12 of the last 14 years of his life. Historian Richard Pankhurst offers the date of 1456 for the date of the founding of this church, providing a plausible argument that the light in the sky was Halley's Comet, which could have been in Shewa that year, although the traditional dates (10th day of the month of Maggabit, i.e. 6 or 7 March) do not coincide with the days that the comet was most visible (13 through 17 June).[2]



The Great Comet of 1882 formally designated C/1882 R1, 1882 II, and 1882b, was a comet which became very bright in September 1882. It was a member of the Kreutz Sungrazers, a family of comets which pass within 1 R☉ of the Sun's photosphere at perihelion.[1][2] The comet was bright enough to be visible next to the sun in the daytime sky at its perihelion.[3]


While camping here in 1882, Emperor Yohannes IV was so impressed by his sight of a comet, which he interpreted as a wondrous event, he decided to found a city here, and named it Dessie (Amharic "My Joy").[1] Prior to Dessie's foundation, the major settlement in this area was Wasal, first mentioned in an early 16th century Italian itinerary,[3]

Friday, November 28, 2008


While surfing the web I found the following in (http://library.thinkquest.org/C0118421/mesopot.html)
It could be that the name Aster in Aster Aweke, has orginated from Atrar meaning Venus..... This may be the case. In the preface of Abushaker it is stated that the ancients believe that solar eclipse occours when the star Akad covers the sun. I propose the following
1) we identify Venus as Astar or Aster,
2) The phenomenon of eclipse as Akad. In this case
2a) Solar Eclipse= ye-TSEHAI AKAD,
2b) Lunar Eclipse= ye-chereka AKAD
Our previous vocabulary: Meteore shower= Enderibi

One of the principal stars in Mesopotamian religion and astronomy was Venus, embodified by the goddess Ishtar to the Babylonians and Assyrians, Astarte to the Phoenicians, Athtar in Arabia, Astar in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), and Ashtart in Canaan and Israel. As Ishtar of Erech (in Babylonia)she was worshipped in connection with the evening star, while as Ishtar of Akkad (also in Babylonia) she was identified with the morning star. Ishtar was called "the eldest of heaven and earth", and daughter of Anu, the god of heaven. She was the goddess of love and beauty, the "Great Mother", and to the Assyrians, a goddess of hunting and war.

Magnitude Scale

"The Ethiopians have a tradition that when the sun was first made its
light was twelve times as strong as it is today. The angels complained
that the heat was too strong, and that it hampered them in the
performance of their duties, whereupon God divided it into twelve
parts; and took away six of these parts, and out of three of them He
made the moon and stars, and the other three He distributed among the
waters, the clouds, and the lightning" (The cave treasures).

According to this, Ethiopians knew only the visual magnitudes, they
did not consider distance.

The visual magnitude is a measure of how bright a celestial object
appears as seen from earth. It is a very subjective scale. The
absolute magntude is a measure of how bright a celestial object
appears if it were 10 Parsecs away, or 32.6 light years. Now if we
move the sun to 10 parsecs, we may not be able to see it. At this time
it is only 8 light minutes away from here or , 15 millionth of a light
year. Just imagine the brightness of a 100 Watt light bulb at 1 meter
versus the brightness of the same bulb at 1 million meters.

We need to find out how or why Ethiopians did not care about
distances. It is possible that such mythologies may have their roots
in ancient cultures such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, but it defies logic
why Ethiopians did not worry about distances