Scripts Ἑλικη(Ancient Greek)
Other Forms FormsEliki
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Meaning & History
Latinized form of Greek Ἑλικη (Helike) which means "circling one", from Greek ἕλιξ (helix) "spiral" (genitive ἕλικος (helikos)). In antiquity, Helike was a common name for the northern constellation Ursa Major. According to Greek myth she was a nymph whom Zeus changed into the constellation because she had nursed him as an infant in Crete. (In other versions she was one of Zeus' many lovers whom Hera, being jealous, turned into a she-bear. "Zeus placed her among the stars, under the name of the Great Northern Bear.") The name also belonged to an ancient Greek city drowned in a natural disaster, and in 2005 it was given to a moon of Jupiter.