Aquila, also known as the Eagle, is a constellation composed of Aquila and Antinous, the latter of which is no longer considered a constellation.

Mythology and Legends

The Sumerians referred to Aquila as Aluls, or the Great Spirit. It was the symbol of their noontide sun.

Aquila was also the Eagle of Zeus, who bore Ganymede to the stars. The Persians, Hebrews, Arabs and Greeks all knew Aquila as the Eagle.

                  Tarazed    ____----*-     The Eagle's
                        *----                  Tail
                       / \
                      /   \
              Altair *     \
                    /       \
           Alshain *         \
                  /           \
                 /             *
                /               \
               /                 \
              /   Eta             \
    *        / __--*--__           \
    |       *--         --*--__     \
    *      /                   --__  \
     \    /                        ---*
      *--*                                  M11
  (Antinous)                                 X

   Notes: M11 is an open star cluster. The head of
          Aquila is comprised of five stars from the
          ancient constellation Antinous. Eta Aquarii
          is a variable star with a period of 3.75 days.

In 369A.D. an exceptionally bright supernova appeared near Altair. Altair itself is a magnitude 1 star, 18 light-years away, and approching us at 16 miles per second. It is approximately 10 times as bright as our sun. Altair is a binary system.

(ak' wi luh) GREEK: AKYLAS

Aquila, a Jew from Pontus in Asia Minor, was married to Prisca (called Priscilla in Acts 18). They had been part of the Jewish group in Rome who had come under political suspicion - probably because they were also Christians - and were expelled from the imperial capital by the emperor Claudius about A.D. 49.

Moving to Corinth, the couple met Paul. Since they, like Paul, were tent makers, the apostle lived and worked with them while he was in Corinth. They became part of his entourage and accompanied him when he left Corinth for Ephesus, where the church met in their house. Both stayed in Ephesus after Paul moved on. When another Christian missionary named Apollos came to Ephesus, it was Prisca and Aquilla who took him aside and instructed him in the gospel "more accurately" (Acts 18:26). Later they apparently returned to Rome, where Paul sent greetings to them and "the church in their house" (Rom. 16:3).

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

The Aquila, or Eagle, was a battlefield symbol for the Roman Legion. General Marius introduced the Aquila in (or around) 104 BC. The Aquila was mounted on a pole, and carried by the aquilifer. The loss of a legion's aquila in battle was a seen as a serious disgrace, in much the same manner as a US Army cavalry flag or battle flag in the 19th Century.

The aquila is also one of many Roman symbols co-opted by the NAZIs (along with the strait armed salute of the 'Heil Hitler'), although it was not, to my knowledge, used in battle, but rather as a symbol during party rallies.

Aq"ui*la (#), n; pl. Aquilae (#). [L., an eagle.]

1. Zool.

A genus of eagles.

2. Astron.

A northern constellation southerly from Lyra and Cygnus and preceding the Dolphin; the Eagle.

Aquila alba [L., white eagle], an alchemical name of calomel.

Brande & C.


© Webster 1913.

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