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Text #7236

Gregory of Tours. History of the Franks
[Bk. 6 Ch. 14 pp. 153--154]

In king Childebert’s seventh year, which was the twenty-first of Chilperic and Gunthram, in the month of January […] The star which I called above the comet, appeared in such a way that there was a great blackness all around it and it was placed as it were in a hole and gleamed in the darkness, sparkling and scattering rays of light. And a ray of wonderful size extended from it which appeared like the smoke of a great fire a long way off. It appeared in the west in the first hour of the night.

Text #1572

Yeomans. Comets
[p. 379]

582 January 15-20; China, France.

A broom star comet was seen in the southwest.

Ho (233), P324.

Text #1571

Kronk. Cometography: A Catalog of Comets. Series: Cometography. Vol. 1
[p. 96]

This “broom star” was seen by the Chinese at the beginning of 582, but there is a contradiction between sources as to the actual date. The Ch’en shu (630) says it appeared on January 15, while the Sui shu (636) says it appeared on January 20. The latter text places the comet in the southwest, which probably indicates an evening sky observation. A. G. Pingré (1783) dated the Chinese observation as 581 January 20. J. Williams (1871) gave the date as 416 January 26.

The French text Historiae Ecclesiasticae Francorum Libri Decem (592) says, “In the seventh year of King Childebert … there were rains, lightnings, and great thunder-claps in the month of January. Trees blossomed; the star, which I have … named comet, appeared in such a way that round about it there was a great blackness; it shone through the dark as if set in a cavity, glittering, and spreading abroad its hair. And there issued from it a tail of wondrous size which from afar appeared as the great smoke of a fire. It was seen in the western quarter of the heavens at the first hour of night.”

Full moon: January 24

Sources: Historiae Ecclesiasticae Francorum Libri Decem (592), book VI, p. 249; Ch’en shu (630), p. 167; Sui shu (636), p. 167; A. G. Pingré (1783), pp. 324, 605; J. Williams (1871), p. 35; G. F. Chambers (1889), p. 565; Ho Peng Yoke (1962), p. 167

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