Names of Mythological Figures (official IAU nomenclature)
- The original lunar names taken from what we would today regard as mythology -- Atlas, Cepheus, Endymion, Hercules and Mercurius (together with the discontinued name Hermes) -- were introduced by Riccioli, who used them to label features near the Moon's northeast limb. Riccioli evidently felt these Greek legends, and the astronomical contributions attributed to them, derived from the lives of actual historic persons who he placed in the range 1580-1345 BC, no less real to him than Zoroaster (who Riccioli regarded as the first astronomer, placing him at 1990 BC, and after whom he also named a feature in this area). - JimMosher
- Mythological (and religious) figures are no longer an acceptable source of names for IAU approval on the Moon, although the names Daedalus and Icarus were added in Menzel, 1971, presumably justified by the possibility that there was an historic basis to the legends.