Pleiades

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Pleiad (plē´ăd) [from Pleiades], group of seven tragic poets of Alexandria who flourished c.280 BC under Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Of the works of the men usually given in lists of the Pleiad only those of Lycophron survive. A group of enthusiastic French poets took c.1553 the name Pléiade from the Alexandrian Pleiad. The conventional seven of this group are Ronsard (the leader), Joachim Du Bellay, Belleau, Jodelle, Tyard, Baïf, and Daurat. Their avowed purpose was to encourage the writing of French, as against Latin, in order to enrich the French language and to establish a modern literature equal to other literatures. They cultivated the use of classical and Italian forms, especially of the sonnet.

See G. Castor, Pléiade Poetics (1964); R. J. Clements, Critical Theory and Practice of the Pléiade (1942, repr. 1970).

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Pleiades

In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters who were the daughters of the Titan Atlas and the nymph Pleione. Their names were Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope. The Pleiades are best known as a constellation in the sky consisting of seven stars.

Titan one of a family of giants who ruled the earth until overthrown by the Greek gods of Olympus

nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful

According to one legend, Zeus* turned the Pleiades into a constellation after they had killed themselves out of sorrow over the death of their sisters, the Hyades. A better-known version of the story says that the giant hunter Orion fell in love with the seven sisters and pursued them constantly. To save the Pleiades from Orion's attentions, Zeus turned them into stars and set them in the night sky. However, this did not stop Orion. He, too, was changed into a constellation, the one that appears to chase the Pleiades through the heavens. One of the stars in the constellation of the Pleiades is not as bright as the others. Some say this is Merope, who was ashamed of her love for a mortal. Others say it is Electra, mourning for the destruction of Troy*, the city descended from her son Dardanus.

See also Orion.

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Ple·ia·des / ˈplēədēz/ 1. Greek Mythol. the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione. They were pursued by the hunter Orion until Zeus changed them into a cluster of stars. 2. Astron. a well-known open cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus. Six (or more) stars are visible to the naked eye but there are actually some five hundred in the cluster, formed very recently in stellar terms. Also called Seven Sisters.

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Pleiades the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione, the eldest of whom, Merope, was ‘the lost Pleiad’, and not represented by a star. They were pursued by the hunter Orion until Zeus changed them into stars. Their name has been given to a cluster of stars (usually spoken of as seven and also called Seven Sisters) in the constellation Taurus; six stars are visible to the naked eye but there are actually some five hundred present, formed very recently in stellar terms.

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Pleiades, in Greek mythology, seven daughters of Atlas and the nymph Pleione. According to one legend they were the attendants of Artemis and were changed into stars by the gods when they were pursued by the amorous hunter Orion. Their names were Maia, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Taygete, Sterope (or Asterope), and Alcyone. The lost Pleiad was either Electra2 or Merope.