E T H I O P I S  Stars and Constellations

AK2008 Convention on Ethiopic Terminologies in astronomy, astrophysics and space science (CETAASS)

Naming of Ethiopic stars, constellations, Planets, Galaxies, and other Celestial objects will be based of their Arabic, Hebrew and indigenous equivalents.  The proximity and the historical relations of Ethiopic languages with Arabic and Hebrew allow such implementation. In addition Ethiopic astronomy documents such as Abushaker, the Book Enoch, Book of Mysteries of the Heavens and Earth clearly show the interaction between Afroasiatic cultures. Hence there exist significant number of common words, expressions and phrases within these cultures. In particular the Arabic and vedic constellations are also in Ethiopic Zodiac documented in the Book of Awde Nagest. We plan to correlate the 12 constellations of Ethiopic Zodiac with their roots, and organize the 88 contemporary constellations to reflect Ethiopic expressions and traditions.


Ethiopians have a tradition of star lores and legends. In the distant past the knowledge of astronomy and mathematics was abundant. Books such as the mysteries of heaven and earth,  the book of Enoch and Abushaker are devoted to this knowledge. There is a  a tremendous indigenous knowledge of astronomy that people use to keep time. In this work, we identify indigenous names for celestial object and  plan to adopt words and descriptions from closely related cultures


Venus: One of the principal stars in Mesopotamian religion and astronomy was Venus, personified by the goddess Ishtar in Babylonia and Assyria, Astarte in Phoenicia, Athtar in Arabia, Astar in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), and Ashtart in Canaan and Israel (Persian world Setareh comes from the same origin). (Reference). In this case we adopt Astar for venus for our wringing while giving adequate references to the same object in other Ethiopic languages.

Galaxy: The Arabian name of the Galaxy is sufficiently tale-telling: Mother of the Sky" (um as-sama), and in northern Ethiopia it is called "Em-hola," i.e., "Mother of the Bend [Mutter der Kruemmung]." See E. Littmann, "Sternenagen und Astrologisches aus Nordabessinien," ARW II (1908), p.307; Ideler, p.78].  In this case also we adopt Emhole, as the name for a galaxy or milky way galaxy. (Hamlet's Mill )