Tales

of the Night Sky

Greek and Roman Myths about the stars and constellations

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Original Audio Drama...

with spectacular soundscapes, based on the Greco-Roman myths behind the constellations. Written and directed by Bibi Jacob, these moving and sometimes humorous tales, brim with tragedy, injustice, and violence.

Look up and listen...

Each of our podcasts tells you the stories behind the stars and constellations, beginning with Greek & Roman mythology.

Check out our 1st season!

Greek Mythology Podcast
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Episode 1
Callisto: The Constellation of Ursa Major

Discover the story behind one of the best known constellations: Ursa Major, the Great Bear. This is the tale of Callisto, an Arcadian princess, who follows her dreams only to find herself confronting tragedy after tragedy. Listen to Callisto recount her devastating story, her painful metamorphosis and her astonishing, final transformation.

With: Emily Ingham, Elizabeth Ingham, Shelly De Vito. A huge thank you to Shelly, Jean-Paul and Mitchell

Episode 2
Arcas: The Constellation of Boötes

Greek Constellation myth Bootes

As if Callisto’s own life wasn’t tragic enough, in this episode we discover the horror that her baby son, Arcas, suffered. A tale of infanticide and cannibalism originating from the sins of the fathers.

Episode 3
Cynosura: The Constellation of Ursa Minor

Greek Constellation myth Ursa Minor

Who on earth was Ursa Minor before she became a constellation?  Find out in this light-hearted interview.
With Shelly De Vito as the talk show host and Bibi Jacob as the Little Bear.
Song written and performed by Bibi Jacob

Special thanks to Jean-Paul (for being a star). The interview was recorded at Quali’Sons Studio, Paris

Episode 4
Andromeda Part 1: Constellations of the Perseus Family

Greek constellation Cassiopeia

Sit with Andromeda in the face of her oncoming death and witness her final moments. Her parents – King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopea – are organising their daughter’s demise. Will Vanity triumph over Love?

An electrifying retelling of one of the most famous Greek myths. 

Episode 5
Medusa: The Constellation of Perseus

Greek constellation Algol

At the heart of the Perseus-Andromeda myth lies the strange story of Medusa. In this in-between episode, enter Medusa’s cave, at the ends of the earth, to find out if she really was a monster. 

With thanks to Yoav.

Episode 6
Andromeda Part 2: Constellations of the Perseus Family

Greek mythology Andromeda

How does the celebrated Ancient Greek hero, Perseus, change the course of Andromeda’s destiny and seal Medusa’s fate? And what does it really mean to be a hero?

With Sharon Mann as Athena, Chris Mack as Hermes, Hester Wilcox as Danaë, Dario Costa as King Polydectes

Bonus Episode
The Complaint of Perseus

Greek Constellation Myths

Perseus is not happy and he’s about to tell you why.

Starring Doug Rand as Perseus

Episode 7
Erichthonius: The Constellation of Auriga

Greek Myths Erichthonius

A gold-tipped arrow, a gilded casket, a snake-tailed child and two drops of the gorgon’s blood. The goddess Athena narrates her tale of love and power.
Starring Sharon Mann as Athena. With Dario Costa as Hephaestus and Homer, Morag Cross as Daughter 2 and Bibi Jacob as Erichthonius and Daughter 1

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob

Special thanks to Christine Hooper and to Jean-Paul Palmyre
Recorded at Studio Quali’sons, Paris (Morag Cross recorded in London)
Quote from Martin Hammond’s translation of Homer’s Iliad (4.17)

Bonus Episode
Creusa's Diary

Greek Myths Creusa

What happened to the two drops of blood Erichthonius received from Athena? This intimate and moving diary reveals all.

Starring Morag Cross as Creusa
Oboe playing by Morag Cross

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob

Episode 8
Coronis: The Constellation of Corvus

Greek myths Coronis

Corvus, the crow, is set to watch Apollo’s lover, the Princess Coronis. But when boundaries are transgressed, the consequences are gruesome in this tale of jealousy, rage and regret.

Starring Nigel Pilkington as Corvus

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob

Episode 9
Asclepius: The Constellations of Ophiuchus and Serpens

Greek Mythology Asclepuis

Enter the realm of dreams with Asclepius as he has to make the most difficult decision of his life. A decision that may lead to his death.

Starring David Stanley as Asclepius, Sharon Mann as Athena, Bibi Jacob as Hygeia, Morag Cross as the Attendant, Chris Mack as Theseus, Gordon Peaston as Chiron, Christina Batman as Panacea. Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob.

This podcast was made possible with the support of Studio Quali’sons, Paris. A huge thank you, as ever, to Jean-Paul Palmyre. A big thanks to Morag Cross.

Episode 10
Apollo’s Arrow : The Constellations of Sagitta and Ara

Greek mythology Sagitta

An eclectic episode about plagues, magical arrows, cyclops and writer’s block.

Written and presented by Bibi Jacob

Much of the information about Abaris comes from kiwihellenist.blogspot.com

Thanks to Pål Martin Tvete for recommending Tim Harford’s ‘Cautionary Tales’.

Episode 11
The Constellations of Pegasus

Greek constellation mythology

Fly with me into this tapestry of tales, to mountains full of mythical beings. The winged horse Pegasus, the Muses, some gods, a centaur, the Chimaera, an anti-hero and a gadfly await you.

This episode was written by Morag Cross. Directed and narrated by Bibi Jacob.

Starring Morag Cross as Hippe and the Gadfly. Gordon Peaston as Chiron. Dario Costa as Poseidon. And Sharon Mann as Athena. The Ukelele was played by Morag Cross.

Episode 12
The Constellation of Equuleus

Greek myth Equus Primus

**SPOILER ALERT** This is an unofficial constellation myth!
A strange phone call in the middle of the night leads to a conversation with a constellation. 

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob.
A big thank you to Mateo Oxley for his collaboration on the story.
Starring Mateo Oxley as Equuleus. And featuring Geoff Chong. 
Ian Ridpath’s Star Myths was a very helpful source.

Episode 13
Via Lactea: The Milky Way

Greek Myth Milky Way

Hera, the Queen of the Gods, is having trouble with her afternoon nap. One by one the memories of her husband’s betrayals return, building a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional marriage. (This story – like so many Greek myths – contains references to assault and violence.)

Starring Natasha Cashman as Hera. Featuring Dario Costa as Zeus. Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob. Enormous thanks to Jean-Paul Palmyre at Studio Quali’sons, Paris.
The Ovid quote comes from Vol. 1 of Frank Justus Miller’s translation of ‘The Metamorphoses’ published by the Loeb Classical Library.

Episode 14
Deltoton: The Constellation of Triangulum

Greek Myth Deltoton

Hermes tries to make some order in the night sky in spite of Zeus’ meddling. Centuries later the Starlink mega-constellations disrupt everything….

Starring Chris Mack as Hermes and Dario Costa as Zeus. Written and directed by Bibi Jacob.

A big thank you to Jean-Paul Palmyre at Studio Quali’sons, Paris.

Episode 15
Hermes: The Constellation of Lyra

Greek myth Lyra

No sooner is he born than Baby Hermes leaps out of his cradle and embarks on a slapstick adventure to charm his way into the Olympian pantheon.

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob.
Starring: Chris mack as Hermes; Margeaux Lampley as Maia; Kester Lovelace as Apollo; Joseph Marshall as the farmer and Dario Costa as Zeus.

Thanks, as ever, to Jean-Paul Palmyre for his support.

Episode 16
Persephone: Lyra, Part 2, Trailer

Lyra Part 2 Trailer

Join us in the Underworld on the 31st October 2021

Catasterism

(plural catasterisms)
  1. (Greek mythology) The transformation of a hero or mythological creature, after death, into a star or constellation

'A large part of Greek myth is politico-religious.'

Robert Graves, The Greek Myths 

‘Greece is the home of the gods; they may have died but their presence still makes itself felt. The gods were of human proportion: they were created out of the human spirit.’ Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi

Then Man was born:… though all other animals are prone, and fix their gaze upon the earth, he gave to Man an uplifted face and bade him stand erect and turn his eyes to heaven.”
Ovid, Metamorphoses

ERATOSTHENES

276 - 194 BC Mathematician, astronomer, geographer... He became the third director of the Great Library of Alexandria. His book on astral mythology, the Catasterisms, compiled in the third century, provided the first full collection of constellation myths. His text has not survived but much of what he wrote is recorded in the astral myths of Hyginus.

of Cyrene

Hipparchus

190 - 120 BC Greek astronomer, mathematician, considered by many to be the greatest astronomer of antiquity. He created the first star catalogue of the ancient world.

of Nicaea

Ptolemy

100 - 170 AD Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek mathematician, astronomer and astrologer wrote many works including The Almagest, a treatise on astronomy. It contained a star catalogue listing 48 constellations. These are known as the 'ancient' constellations and the names are still in use today .

of Alexandria

Reference material

Some of our sources

‘The Greek Myths' The Complete and Definitive Edition. Penguin 28.09.2017

‘The Library of Greek Mythology' Translatedwith introduction and notes by Robin Hard. Oxford World's Classic 01.08.2008

‘Metamorphoses’ Translated by A. D. Melville and With an Introduction and Notes by E. J. Kenney. Oxford World's Classics 15.04.2009

‘The Callisto Myth from Ovid to Atwood. Initiation and Rape in Literature' McGill-Queen's University Press 1988

‘The Mapping of the Heavens' British Library Publishing 2018.03.19

‘Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena' Oxford World's Classic 2015.08.01

‘Celestial Atlas' White Star Publishing 2018.10.09

‘Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion’ Cambridge University Press 1903

‘Ion' (from 'Orestes and Other Plays’). Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford World's Classic 26.03.2009

‘The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony’ Penguin Classics 25.07.2019

‘The Homeric Gods: the spiritual significance of Greek religion' Translated by Moses Hadas. Thames and Hudson 1955

‘Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans : A Sourcebook’ Phanes Press U.S. 01.09.1997

‘Star Tales: Revised and Expanded Edition'. The Lutterworth Press 28.06.2018

‘The Iliad’ Bernard Knox (Introducer) Robert Fagles (Translator) Penguin Classics 27.02.1992

Nicholas Richardson (Introducer) Jules Cashford (Translator) Penguin Classics 24.04.2003

Get in touch

    copyright ©Monkey & Bird 2021

    Credits: timelapse video by TimeLapse in Japan; background images – Haemisphaerium Stellatum Australe Antiquum & Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Antiquum in Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica.

    Production, sound design and visuals by Geoff Chong