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Mythology of the constellation Capricornus

The representation of CAPRICORNUS, The Sea-Goat or Goat-Fish, as a creature with the head and body of a goat and the tail of a fish, may well have originated from Assyro-Babylonian depictions of their god of wisdon Oannes, who was half-man, half-fish.

In Greek mythology, this constellation is associated with the time the Olympian gods sought refuge in Egypt. Unfortunately, following their epic battle with the Titans, peace did not last for long, as the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth, sought revenge. Typhon was a fearsome fire-breathing creature, taller than mountains and with arms which possessed dragons' heads in place of fingers. The Olympian gods sought to escape by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram - Hera, a white cow, Bacchus (another version of the myth suggests Pan) a goat. As Typhon approached, Bacchus/Pan threw himself into the Nile but, in a panic, only succeeded in changing part of his body, ending up with a goat's body and the tail of a fish. Meanwhile, Zeus had been dismembered by Typhon, but was saved when Bacchus/Pan let out an ear-splitting yell, distracting the monster long enough for an agile Hermes to collect the supreme god's limbs and carefully restore him. In gratitude, Zeus transferred Bacchus/Pan to the heavens.

 

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