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A constellation introduced by Johann Bode in 1787 to commemorate King Frederick the Great of Prussia, who had died the preceding year. An announcement of the new constellation was published in Bode’s own Astronomisches Jahrbuch (1787) followed by a description and chart of it in the Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences et Belles Lettres of Berlin (1792).

Bode originally called it by the German name of Friedrichs Ehre, which can be translated as either “Glory” or “Honour”, the former being the more archaic usage, but he Latinized the name to Honores Friderici on his Uranographia of 1801. Names for it on other atlases include Gloria Frederici and Frederici Honores.

The constellation was squeezed between the outstretched right arm of Andromeda and the Hevelius invention of Lacerta, the Lizard. In this same area the Frenchman Augustin Royer had in 1679 placed his own invention, Sceptrum, representing the French sceptre and hand of justice, commemorating Louis XIV. Neither constellation survived.

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Honores Friderici, next to Lacerta the lizard, as shown in the Uranographia of Johann Bode (1801). It consists of a ceremonial sword entwined with a strand of laurel, a quill pen, and a surmounting crown to symbolize him as a hero, sage, and peacemaker.



© Ian Ridpath. All rights reserved


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