Orion, the great hunter, was in love with the goddess Diana, but her brother, the god Apollo, disapproved. Tricked by Apollo into shooting an arrow at Orion's head while he was swimming, Diana killed Orion, who later became a constellation.
Accompanying this myth is a fair amount of Latin, the language on which a great many of our English words are based. For brief information on the evolution of Roman religion, read our timeline of Roman religion.
Once upon a time Orion, the great and powerful hunter, was madly in love with Diana, the goddess of the hunt. Unfortunately for his plans of marriage, Apollo, the god of archery and Diana's brother, did not approve of Orion.
"I am not pleased by Orion, for he is not good," Apollo muttered to himself. "He cannot marry Diana. I will not stand for it."
One day, Apollo was walking along the seashore with his sister. Gazing far off into the distance, Apollo spied Orion swimming alone. Here was his opportunity!
Suddenly whipping out an arrow, Apollo challenged Diana: "Look at that rock off in the distance. It may be far away but I can hit it with one of my arrows for I am an accurate archer. You may be goddess of the hunt, but you cannot, for it is too distant!"
"Watch!" shouted Diana, eagerly taking up the challenge. "I see the rock and I can hit it easily!"
Taking up her bow in turn, Diana unleashed an arrow that flew too true and rammed into the rock. It was not a rock at all but Orion's head; at once there was a great yelp of pain. The hunter was dead, killed by Diana's arrow. The waves carried the body towards the seashore.
Diana was weeping miserably (misera = miserable). But Apollo did not cry: Diana would never be able to marry Orion -- the hunter was dead.
Orion is no longer a strong, powerful hunter. Later, Jupiter gave him a place as a constellation (stella = star) in the sky, where he rests still today.