Phoenix is a small constellation in the southern hemisphere that is located between the constellation’s sculptor, crane, toucan, clock and fornax. It was introduced by Johhan Bayer in the early 17th century and is one of the few modern constellations that refer to a mythological fact.
Phoenix or Phoenix represents the legendary bird that lived in Arabia. According to tradition, it was consumed by fire every 500 years, and a new, young one arose from its ashes. In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix represented the Sun, which dies at night and is reborn in the morning. Early Christian tradition adopted the phoenix as a symbol of both immortality and resurrection. It has been seen to be related to the firebird of American aboriginal mythology. The Phoenix constellation was described by the German astronomer Johann Bayer in 1603.
Like many other symbolic constructs originating in the eastern Mediterranean, the Romans received the first references to the Phoenix bird from the Greek tradition, the oldest of which came from Hesiod1. Hesiod, in an exposition about the longevity that various beings could reach, stated that the Phoenix survived 972 generations of men, although its existence represented only a tenth of what the nymphs lived.
It will not be until the fifth century BC when we find a more deﬁned characterization of the myth through Herodotus:
There is also another sacred bird whose name is Phoenix. I have seen him only in painting, for it turns out that he visits the Egyptians on rare occasions: every five hundred years, according to those of Heliopolis; and they assure us that he only appears when his father dies. Now, if he is a faithful reflection of his pictorial representation, his size and build are as follows. It has the feathers of its wings golden and red; otherwise, it resembles very much an eagle in silhouette and size. And they tell – although, in my opinion, the story is implausible – that this bird performs the following feat: leaving Arabia, he transports to the sanctuary of Helios the body of his father wrapped in myrrh and buries it in that sanctuary. He transports it in the following way: first, he shapes an egg of myrrh as big as he can carry and then tries to fly with it; once the test is done, he makes, then, a hole in the egg and puts his father in it, filling with the myrrh extracted the oriﬁce through which, when he made the hole in the egg, he introduced the body (with his father inside, the weight is again the same) and, once the hole is filled, he transports the egg to the sanctuary of Helios in Egypt. This is what, according to the story, this bird does.
I invite you to read Matías’ post with the topic of the day
Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being