E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Also called Cynosura, or Dogs tail, from its circular sweep. The pole star is a in the tail. (See CYNOSURE.)
St. Ursula and the eleven thousand virgin martyrs. Ursula was a British princess, and, as the legend says, was going to France with her virgin train, but was driven by adverse winds to Cologne, where she and her 11,000 companions were martyred by the Huns. This extravagant legend is said to have originated in the discovery of an inscription to Ursula et Undecimilla Virgines, the virgins Ursula and Undecimilla; but by translating the latter name, the inscription reads Ursula and her 11,000 virgins. Visitors to Cologne are shown piles of skulls and human bones heaped in the wall, faced with glass, which the verger asserts are the relics of the 11,000 martyred virgins. (See VIRGINS.)