monsters were represented as men from the head to the loins,
while the remainder of the body was that of a horse.
ancients were too fond of a horse to consider the union
of his nature with man's as forming a very degraded compound,
and accordingly the Centaur
is the only one of the fancied monsters of antiquity to
which any good traits are assigned.
Centaurs were admitted to the companionship of man, and
at the marriage of Pirithous with Hippodamia they were among
the guests. At the feast Eurytion, one of the Centaurs,
becoming intoxicated with the wine, attempted to offer violence
to the bride; the other Centaurs followed his example, and
a dreadful conflict arose in which several of them were
is the celebrated battle of the Lapithae and Centaurs, a
favorite subject with the sculptors and poets of antiquity.
not all the Centaurs were like the rude guests of Pirithous.
was instructed by Apollo and Diana, and was renowned for
his skill in hunting, medicine, music, and the art of
most distinguished heroes of Grecian story were his pupils.
Among the rest the infant Aesculapius was entrusted to
his charge by Apollo, his father.
When the sage returned to his home bearing the infant,
his daughter Ocyrhoe came forth to meet him, and at sight
of the child burst forth into a prophetic strain (for
she was a prophetess), foretelling the glory that he was
when grown up became a renowned physician, and even in
one instance succeeded in restoring the dead to life.
Pluto (Hades) resented this,
and Jupiter, at his request, struck the bold physician
with lightning, and killed him, but after his death received
him into the number of the gods.
was the wisest and justest of all the Centaurs, and at
his death Jupiter placed him among the stars
as the constellation