The constellation Perseus is named after the Greek hero who cut off the head of the monster Medusa. The Arabs followed this legend, naming the constellation the Bearer of the Demon's Head. The star within the constellation, Algol, was named their Demon Star in this fashion. It has also been referred to as the Blinking Demon because of the way it dims and brightens periodically, being a variable star. Algol does this over a period of about three days during which it dims sharply for a few hours.

Perseus is located in the Northern Hemisphere between Auriga and Cassiopeia and crossed by the Milky Way.

Born in 212 B.C., Perseus was the king of Macedonia 179 and 168 B.C. After his fathers death, Perseus attempted to play both sides at once, simultaneously renewing the treaties with Rome and attempting to gain influence with other Hellenistic states. His plans were foiled by the Romans, who crushed his army at Pydna in 168 B.C. Perseus died a captive in Italy sometime between 165 and 162 B.C.

Per"se*us (?), n. [L., from Gr. .]

1. Class. Myth.

A Grecian legendary hero, son of Jupiter and Danae, who slew the Gorgon Medusa.

2. Astron.

A constellation of the northern hemisphere, near Taurus and Cassiopea. It contains a star cluster visible to the naked eye as a nebula.


© Webster 1913.

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