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The Greek word for constellations was katasterismoi. Of these, the twelve signs whose paths intersect with the dawn rising of the sun were known as zodiakos (the zodiac) or zodiakos kyrklos (circle of small animals). The constellations, as described in Greek mythology, were mostly god-favoured heroes and beasts who received a place amongst the stars as a memorial of their deeds. They were regarded as semi-divine spirits--living, conscious entities which strode across the heavens.
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