Crater is a very ancient constellation: this region of the sky was known as 'The Cup' at least
as long ago as the second century, and the name is almost certainly older.
According to myth, the god Apollo sent a crow (represented by Corvus, the neighbouring
constellation) to fetch the Water of Life in a Cup. Tempted by figs, the crow forgot its
errand and dropped the cup, returning with a water-snake (Hydra) in its claws. The infuriated
deity banished all three, crow, cup and water-snake, to the sky.