Summer vacations for Then, later, he writes, Matt[hew says that the magi saw the star not planets, not a comet of the King of the Jews at its rising or in the East. However, to call comets stars is hardly a matter of confusing comets and stars! The Mesopotamians as far back as the irst half of the irst millennium BC could refer to comets as stars. In the rest of the ancient world as well, comets were often called stars, as the following examples demonstrate. Caesar Augustus, as cited by Pliny the Elder, refers to the comet of BC as a hairy star. Pliny himself regularly calls comets stars. For example, concerning comets, he asserts that Some persons suppose that these stars are permanent. And again, stars are suddenly formed in the heavens themselves; of these there are various kinds. Summer vacations 2016.