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Dracon(drā`kŏn), fl. 621 B.C., Athenian politician and law codifier. Of his codification of Athenian customary law only the section dealing with involuntary homicide is preserved. From this and from later accounts in the writings of Aristotle and Plutarch it appears that in Athens the penalty of death was prescribed for the most trivial offense. The code adopted the principle that murder must be punished by the state and not by vendettavendetta
[Ital.,=vengeance], feud between members of two kinship groups to avenge a wrong done to a relative. Although the term originated in Corsica, the custom has also been practiced in other parts of Italy, in other European countries, and among the Arabs.
..... Click the link for more information. . Though the code was considerably ameliorated by SolonSolon
, c.639–c.559 B.C., Athenian statesman, lawgiver, and reformer. He was also a poet, and some of his patriotic verse in the Ionic dialect is extant. At some time (perhaps c.600 B.C.) he led the Athenians in the recapture of Salamis from the Megarians.
..... Click the link for more information. , its name became a synonym for harsh legislation.
Draco[Lat.,=the dragon], northern constellationconstellation,
in common usage, group of stars that appear to form a configuration in the sky; properly speaking, a constellation is a definite region of the sky in which the configuration of stars is contained.
..... Click the link for more information. lying SE of Ursa Minor and N of Lyra and Hercules. It is traditionally depicted as a dragon. Draco contains the bright star Eltanin (Gamma Draconis). Thuban (Alpha Draconis) was the polestar 5,000 years ago, i.e., it was the star nearest the celestial pole, but because of the precession of the equinoxesprecession of the equinoxes,
westward motion of the equinoxes along the ecliptic. This motion was first noted by Hipparchus c.120 B.C. The precession is due to the gravitational attraction of the moon and sun on the equatorial bulge of the earth, which causes the earth's axis to
..... Click the link for more information. , the polestar is now PolarisPolaris
or North Star,
star nearest the north celestial pole (see equatorial coordinate system). It is in the constellation Ursa Minor (see Ursa Major and Ursa Minor; Bayer designation Alpha Ursae Minoris) and marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.
..... Click the link for more information. . Draco reaches its highest point in the evening sky in July, and is visible throughout the year for observers north of 40°N lat.
Draco(dray -koh) (Dragon) An extensive straggling constellation in the northern hemisphere near Ursa Major. The brightest stars are the 2nd-magnitude yellowish giant Eltanin (γ) and several of fainter 2nd and 3rd magnitude including Thuban (α), which was the pole star around 2700 bc and will assume that role again in 21 000 years' time because of precession. The area occupied by Draco contains several binaries, such as Epsilon (Ɛ) and Eta (η) Draconis, and the bright planetary nebula NGC 6543 (see Cat's-eye nebula). Abbrev.: Dra; genitive form: Draconis; approx. position: RA 9.5 – 20.5h, dec 50° – 85°; area: 1083 sq deg.
a genus of lizards of the family Agamidae of the order Lacertilia. These lizards attain a length of up to 30 cm; their bodies are narrow and flat, with long, thin tails. They are arboreal and can glide through the air: the folds of skin along the sides of the body are stretched by means of elongated false ribs, forming ’’parachutes” that enable them to fly a distance of 20 m or more. The males have a well-developed fold of skin on the throat, and this throat pouch can be inflated and pushed forward with the aid of appendages of the hyoid bone. They are vividly multicolored, with a metallic sheen. There are 14 species, found mainly in the Malay Archipelago but also in south Asia (India). They live mostly in treetops and feed on insects and their larvae. The best known species is the flying dragon (D. volans).