XXXIX. (114) Moreover, the constellation Ursa Major, which men call the guide of mariners, consists of seven stars, which the pilots keeping in view, steer in innumerable paths across the sea, directing their endeavours towards an incredible task, beyond the capacity of human intellect. For it is through conjectures, directed by the aforementioned stars, that they have discovered countries which were previously unknown; those who dwell on the continent having discovered islands, and islanders having found out continents. For it was fitting that the recesses both of earth and sea should be revealed to that God-loving animal, the race of mankind, by the purest of essences, namely heaven. (115) And besides the stars above mentioned the band of the Pleiades is also made up of seven stars, the rising and occultation of which are the causes of great benefits to all men. For when they set, the furrows are ploughed up for the purpose of sowing; and when they are about to rise, they bring glad tidings of harvest; and after they have arisen, they awaken the rejoicing husbandman to the collection of their necessary food. And they with joy store up their food for their daily use. (116) And the sun, the ruler of the day, making two equinoxes every year, both in spring and autumn. The spring equinox in the constellation of Aries, and the autumnal one in Libra, gives the most evident demonstration possible of the divine dignity of the number seven. For each of the equinoxes takes place in the seventh month, at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals; since it is owing to both these seasons, that all the fruits of the earth are engendered and brought to perfection; the fruit of corn, and all other things which are sown, being owing to the vernal equinox; and that of the vine, and of all the other plants which bear hard berries, of which there are great numbers, to the autumnal one.