Cancer is a zodiacal constellation. As with many other constellations, its exact mythological origin is uncertain; however, the most widely accepted story is that Cancer was the crab sent to harass Hercules while he was on his second labor. As he battled the Lernaean Hydra, the ever-jealous Juno sent Cancer to nip at the hero's heels. The crab was eventually crushed beneath Hercules's feet, but Juno placed it in the heavens as a reward for its faithful service.
Cancer may be found between the constellations of Leo and Gemini.
Back to the main myth page.
These pages are the work of Cathy Bell
cmbell (at) comfychair (dot) org
originally for the Princeton University course CLA 212.