At the moment of crossing the equator towards the north the sun is said to be at the first point of Aries; some thirty days later it enters Taurus, and so on through Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces.
The discrepancy now, however, amounts to the entire breadth of a sign, the sun's path in Aries lying among the stars of Pisces, in Taurus among those of Aries, &c.
So far as positive records go, Aries was always the first sign.
The Egyptians adopted from the Greeks, with considerable modifications of its attendant symbolism, the twelve-fold division of the zodiac. Aries became the Fleece; two Sprouting Plants, typifying equality or resemblance, stood for Gemini; Cancer was re-named Scarabaeus; Leo was converted, from the axe-like configuration of its chief stars, into the Knife: Libra into the Mountain of the Sun, a reminiscence, apparently, of the Euphratean association of the seventh month with a " holy mound," designating the biblical tower of Babel.
It is composed of the stars in the head of Aries, and is figured by a horse's head.
A ram frequently stamped on coins of Antiochus, with head reverted towards the moon and a star (the planet Mars), signified Aries to be the lunar house of Mars.
Cities and kingdoms were allotted to their several patronage on a system fully expounded by Manilius: Hos erit in fines orbis pontusque notandus, Quem Deus in partes per singula dividit astra, Ac sua cuique dedit tutelae regna per orbem, Et proprias gentes atque urbes addidit altas, In quibus exercent praestantia sidera vires.s Syria was assigned to Aries, and Syrian coins frequently bear the effigy of a ram; Scythia and Arabia fell to Taurus, India to Gemini.
7 The " power of the signs " was similarly distributed among the parts of the human body: Et quanquam communis eat tutela per omne Corpus, et in proprium divisis artubus exit: Namque aries capiti, taurus cervicibus haeret; Brachia sub geminis censentur, pectora cancro.8 Warnings were uttered against surgical treatment of a member through whose sign the moon happened to be passing; 9 and zodiacal anatomy was an indispensable branch of the healing art in the Middle Ages.
The equinox is fixed on the 21st of March, though the sun enters Aries generally on the 20th of that month, sometimes even on the 19th.
The event which threw the greatest lustre upon this reign was the acquisition of the kingdom of Burgundy, or Aries, which was bequeathed to Conrad by its king, Rudolph III., the uncle of his wife, Gisela.
He maintained in the first that the world, created when the seven planets were in conjunction in the first degree of Aries, will come to an end at a like conjunction in the last degree of Pisces.