Mythological Creatures: Centaur

MythDen.com - Centaur

Centaurs are a creature from Greek Mythology that are defined by their human upper halves and horse-like lower halves. It is said that centaurs are descendants of the son of the music god Apollo. His son’s name was Centaurus. Although centaurs are part human and part horse, they are more in tune with their bestial side as they are often shunned from human society, and forced to live in the wild. They were also troublemakers to a fault...

One of the most famous of centaurs was named Pholus, who accompanied Hercules (Heracles). To understand how wild the centaurs can be, the story of Pholus and Hercules must be heard. Hercules simply requested wine, a commonality among heroes and humans. Pholus, as a host could not refute this request, but he knew the consequences of opening a bottle of wine with his centaur brothers near. Sure enough, with only the scent of wine, Pholus’s brothers all rushed over, and began to attack Hercules, who barely escaped with his life. Another well known centaur was Nessus, who also offered his services to Hercules. The hope was that Nessus would be able to take Hercules’ wife across a seemingly dangerous area. However, in the middle of this favor, Nessus’ animal instincts got the better of him and he attempted to mate with her. Therefore, Hercules was forced to kill the creature to prevent any more harm. Another strange, yet famous, centaur was Chiron, the centaur that raised Jason into the hero that retrieved the golden fleece. However, Chiron is not like other centaurs as his only gained his horse-like traits because his father, the god Cronus, took the form of a horse when he had relations with the nymph Philyra. Many centaurs have graced the stories of greek myths and it is no surprise that heroes such as Hercules had to defeat a great deal of them while he continued forth on his quests.