Canopus (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, Canopus or Canobus (Greek: Κάνωβος) was the pilot of the ship of King Menelaus of Sparta during the Trojan War. Canopus is described as a handsome young man who was loved by the Egyptian prophetess, Theonoe, but never reciprocated her feelings.

According to legend, while visiting the Egyptian coast, Canopus was bitten by a serpent and died. His master, Menelaus, erected a monument to him at one of the mouths of the River Nile, around which the town of Canopus later developed.[1][2]

Also named for Canopus is Canopus, the brightest star in the southern constellation of Carina (the keel of the ship Argo), and the second-brightest star in the night sky, after Sirius.


  1. ^ Conon, Narrations, 8
  2. ^ Strabo, Geography, 17. 1. 17