Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Centaurs

Centaurs are half-human, half-horse creatures in Greek mythology. They have the body of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man. They were considered to be the children of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera.

One of the best known centaurs of myth is Chiron or Cheiron, a wise centaur. Although most centaurs were depicted as lustful and wild, Chiron was modest and civilized, he was known for his medicinal skills and teaching abilities. He lived on Mount Pelion in Thessaly and was the tutor of Achilles and Aesculapius. He was immortal; however, he was accidentally wounded by Heracles with an arrow treated with the blood of the monster Hydra, causing him insufferable pain. So, when Heracles asked his father to free Prometheus and Zeus demanded that someone must be sacrificed, Chiron volunteered and died, both to free Prometheus and himself from the pain.
A great healer, astrologer, and respected oracle, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and was highly revered as a teacher and tutor.

Throughout Greek Mythology, there were various heroes who were trained by Chiron.
Ironically, Chiron, the master of the healing arts, could not heal himself.

So he willingly gave up his immortality. He was honored with a place in the sky, identified by the Greeks as the constellation Centaurus.