Image of the Pleiades Constellation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Parveen Yaqoob, of the University of Reading, recently shared with us a video talking through the origins of her name, Parveen, something we would like to talk about in more detail in this blog. Parveen is a name of Persian-origin, whose meaning relates to a cluster of stars called “The Pleiades”.

If you would like to watch Parveen’s video, you can find it below:


The Pleiades, sometimes referred to as “The Seven Sisters” were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas, who was condemned by Zeus the God of the Gods, to hold the weight of the heavens and the sky for all eternity, after the role he played in “The Titanomachy”.

The Pleiades were all Seven Sisters, but it is not clear whether their names came from their mother, sea-nymph Pleione, or were derived from the star constellation they were transformed into.

Each of the sisters plays a prominent role in Greek Mythology. Maia, the eldest of the sister’s, was the mother of the Messenger God, Hermes, from her union with Zeus. Celaeno was the mother of Lycus & Nyctus, two brothers who ruled over the Isles of the Fortunate, and so many more stories.

The sisters were all catasterised by Zeus into the constellation that we know today as “The Pleiades”, the origin of the name Parveen.  However, stories about the Pleiades star cluster are not limited only to Greek mythology; they have been the subject of myths and legends in almost every culture on the planet, passed on through word of mouth, poetry, art, music and architecture.

The world has looked to the Pleiades star constellation for guidance- sailors for navigation and farmers for signs of when to sow their crops. In discovering the origins of her name, Parveen loves the fact that she was given a name that symbolizes sisterhood, leadership and cultural unity.

Thank you all for reading today’s blog, we hope you learned something new about the name Parveen and about “The Pleiades”.

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