Fixed star:  TAYGETA   See Alcyone
Constellation: 19 Taurus, or epsilon (ε)
Longitude 1900:  28TAU10 Longitude 2000:  29TAU34
Declination 1900:  +24.09' Declination 2000:  +24.27'
Right ascension:  03h 45m Latitude:  +04.31'
Spectral class: B7 Magnitude:  4.4

The history of the star: Taygeta

Fl. 19 Taurus, Taygeta, or epsilon (ε), is a double star, 5.1 and 10, lucid white and violet. One of the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, a group of stars on the shoulder of the Bull.

See Alcyone, the chief star in the Pleiades, for astrological interpretations.

Legend: In Greek mythology Taygeta yielded to Zeus' advances only when unconscious, but was so ashamed when she recovered that she hid herself under Mount Taygetus, in Laconia. In due course she gave birth to Lacedæmon, founder of Sparta. It was also said that in order to protect her from Zeus, Artemis disguised her as a doe. When she was restored to her original form, Taygete in gratitude dedicated the Ceryneian Hind to the goddess which was to become the golden horns that Heracles (3rd labor) had to fetch. [Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Pierre Grimal, Penguin, 1986].


from p.407 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.

"Taygete simul os terris ostendit honestum Pleias." — Vergil's (70-19 B.C.) 4th Georgic.

Fl. 19 Taurus, Taygeta, or epsilon (ε), Double, 5.1 and 10, lucid white and violet.

Taygete, or Taygeta, a name famous in Spartan story for the mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus, was mentioned by Ovid (43 B.C.-18?A.D.) and Vergil (70-19 B.C.) as another representative of this stellar family; the former calling it Soror Pleiadum, and the latter using it to fix the two seasons of the honey harvest, as in Davidson's translation of the passage beginning with our motto:

"as soon as the Pleiad Taygete has displayed her comely face to the earth, and spurns with her foot the despised waters of the ocean; or when the same star, flying the constellation of the watery Fish, descends in sadness from the sky into the wintery waves."

The 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg applied to it Al Wasat, the Central One, usually and more appropriately given to Alcyone.

The 17th century German astronomer Bayer lettered it q, describing it as Pleiadum minima; but the Century Cyclopedia's epsilon is a misprint for e.

"And is there glory from the heavens departed ? — Oh! void unmarked!—thy sisters of the sky Still hold their place on high, Though from its rank thine orb so long hath started, Thou, that no more art seen of mortal eye." — Mrs. Hemans' The Lost Pleiad.