Keros the centaur Picture

In Greek mythology, the centaur (Greek Κένταυρος Centaurus, 'matador' 'hundred strong', plural Κένταυρι Kentauri; Latin Centaurus / Centauri) is a creature with the head, arms and torso of a human and the body and legs of a horse. The female versions are called centáurides.

They lived in the mountains of Thessaly and were considered sons of Kentauros (the son of Ixion and Nephele) and some magnesias, or of Apollo and Hebe mares.

They are well known for the fight they had with the Lapita, caused by their attempt to kidnap Hippodamia day of her wedding to Pirítoo king of the Lapiths and son of Ixion. The feud between these cousins is a metaphor for the conflict between the instincts and civilized behavior in humankind. Theseus, a hero and founder of cities who was present, tipped the scales in favor of the right order of things, and assisted Pirithous. The centaurs fled. (Plutarch, Theseus, 30; Ovid, Metamorphoses xii 210;.. Diodorus iv 69, 70) Scenes of the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs were sculpted in bas-relief on the frieze of the Parthenon, which was dedicated to the wise Athena.

The general character of centaurs is that of savages, without laws or hospitality, slaves of the animal passions. Two exceptions to this rule are Pholus and Chiron, expressing their "good" nature, being wise and kind centaurs.
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