ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mythical Creatures-Centaur

Updated on June 23, 2014
The centaur
The centaur | Source


Occasionally believed to be the father of the centaurs, he is either the children of Ixion and Nephele, or of Apollo and Stilbe. He is wild, savage, and distrustful.


Centaurs are from Greek mythology, and are considered to be born of Ixion—The king of the Lapiths—and Nephele—a cloud nymph that Zeus created in the image of hera. However, some accounts say that they were born of a Centaurus who mated with Magnesian mares. Some stories say that his twin brother was Lapithes, making him a cousin of the Lapiths.

Centaurs, Roman mosaic from the Palace of Hadrian C2nd A.D., Altes Museum, Berlin
Centaurs, Roman mosaic from the Palace of Hadrian C2nd A.D., Altes Museum, Berlin | Source

Appearance & Personality

The centaur is half-horse, and half man, and it is often depicted by writers as trapped between the two natures. As such, it is considered to be both a teacher and the embodiment of untamed nature. This is reflected in the way that it is depicted as either teaching or fighting with its' kin, the Lapith. While it is sometimes depicted with the snub nose and pointed ears of a Satyros, it is most often shown with the facial features of a man.

Potential Origin

The most likely explanation is that the centaurs were an inital reaction to horseback riding. To a primitive non-riding culture (such as the Aztecs in later times) the riders would appear to be half man, half animal. Visiting nomads could have caused this misconception.

This theory is supported by the fact that Lapith tribes of Thessaly were said to invent horseback riding, and the Thessalian tribes claimed to own horses descended from the centaurs.

Fantasia Centaurette
Fantasia Centaurette | Source

Female Centaurs

The Greeks never mentioned female centaurs in either literature or writing, but later the Macedonians and Ovid—a Roman poet—alluded to their possibility. The Macedonians depicted female centaurs a few times in mosaics, and Ovid mentioned a centauress named Hylonome whose husband was killed in war. The Greek rhetorician Philostratus the Elder describes them as the sisters and wives of the male centaurs. When describing a painting in Neapolis, he said:

"How beautiful the Centaurides are, even where they are horses; for some grow out of white mares, others are attached to chestnut mares, and the coats of others are dappled, but they glisten like those of horses that are well cared for. There is also a white female Centaur that grows out of a black mare, and the very opposition of the colours helps to produce the united beauty of the whole."

More recently, Shakespeare's King Lear and Disney's Fantasia (Centaurettes) also contained female centaurs.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)