Coins dating to the period of Alexander the Great often depict the Ancient Greek hero Heracles. The son of a God and a mortal, Heracles was charged with performing twelve labours. These showed off his great strength, and ingenuity, as well as his ability to collaborate with both Gods and mortals. One such labour involved slaying the fearsome Hydra that dwelled in the cave at the source of a spring. Heracles cut the heads of the Hydra, but for each one that he removed another two sprang up in its place. Finally he used fire to prevent them from regenerating, and cut the final head with a golden sword gifted to him by Athena. He went on to use the poison from the slain Hydra on his arrow tips to kill a threatening centaur, who then fell into a nearby river - the Anigrus - which to this day is still incapable of producing edible fish thanks to the Hydra’s poison. As for the Hydra herself, she was placed in a dark blue box in the sky, and remains there to this day as an eponymous constellation.
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