Its name derives from the greek constellation Bovthς meaning the "herdsman". It was introduced by Ptolemy, and is located west of the Virgin and of Coma Berenices, whose main stars form a sort of pentagon north of Arthur, the main star of the constellation (α Bootis). The ε Bootis is a binary star of 3 ° and 6 ° magnitude called 'pulcherrima' by FW Struve, and has elements of yellow and green-blue.
According to Greek mythology, Bovthς is the constellation representing Arcads, the guardian of the oxen of the Big Bear, i.e., the constellation that gave immortality to his mother, the nymph Callisto. He holds on the leash the Greyhounds chasing the Big Bear.