It is a large northern sky constellation, introduced by Ptolemy, and is still present in the 88 modern constellations, where it is the fifth largest one. It lies between the Lyra and the Corona Borealis.
It contains two very conspicuous globular clusters, faint but visible with the un-aided eye which the Greeks interpreted as Greeks the body of Hercules, armed with a club and covered by the skin of the Lion of Nemea, the monstrous son of Ortro,, himself the son of Typhon and Echidna, as well as the brother of the Sphinx of Thebes.
The Lion had been brought up by Hera or by Selene, goddess of the moon, and had been placed in the territory of Nemea, where he terrified the population by eating human beings and cattle. He lived in a cave with two exits and was invulnerable. Heracles obstructed one exit, then went into the cave and strangled him, and put on his skin, using the Lion's head like a helmet.
Initially Heracles had some difficulties in skinning the Lion, because the skin was scratched neither by weapons nor by fire, but eventually he had the intuition to tear it up with the Lion's own claws and finally met with success.