Corvus is a constellation, also known as the Crow.

Mythology and Legends

Corvus and Crater used to be depicted in old astronomical texts as riding on the back of Hydra.

In one Greek mythological tale, Apollo fell in love with Coronis. He sent a crow to spy on her, and the crow discovered that Coronis was not faithful to Apollo. Apollo rewarded the crow with a place in the heavens. In another Greek tale, Apollo sent the crow to fetch water for Jupiter, but the crow stopped at a fig tree and waited for the fruit to ripen. The crow returned with a water snake and told Apollo that it was the fault of the snake that the crow was late. Apollo found the truth and placed the crow in the sky with the Cup (Crater) and the Snake (Hydra). Hydra was charged with never allowing the crow to drink again, and they dance around the sky in an eternal struggle over a cup of water.

Another legend places the source of Corvus as the daughter of Coronaeus, the olden King of Phocis. Neptune was chasing her, and Minerva saved her by transforming the young woman into a crow, who flew from Neptune.

The ancient Chinese knew Corvus as the great Red Bird, the Hebrews knew it as the Raven, and the Arabs knew Corvus as the Bird of the Desert.


         Algorab
           *--------______   Gienah
           |              ----*
           |                   \
           |                    \
           |                     \
           |                      \            
           |                       \     
           |                        \    
           |                         \            
           |                          \
           |                           \
           *----------------------------*
         Beta                         Epsilon
         Corvus                        Corvus

The stars Gienah and Algorab line up and point towards Spica, a bright star in the constellation Virgo.

Given Rancid_Pickel's w/u above, I offer a question:
  • As the Fisher King, keeper of the Grail, is given the Welsh name Bran, and "bran" in Welsh is "crow," Latin "corvus," and is sometimes depicted as being entwined by a snake (particularly in the Vulgate, IIRC);
  • As the word "grail" is derived from "graal," a shortened form of "gradale," which is derived from the Latin "crater," derived from the Greek "krater;"
  • That the grail hero Perceval has been identified by a number of scholars with the figure of Mabon ap Modron, and Mabon is equated with Apollo;

Is it then possible that the legend behind these two constellations--corvus and crater--is related to the Celtic grail legend?

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