In Greek mythology, a creature half human and half horse, wild and lawless. Chiron, the mentor of the hero Heracles and tutor of the god of medicine Asclepius, was an exception. Their home was said to be on Mount Pelion, Thessaly.
Birth Tradition described them as either the direct offspring of King Ixion of Thessaly and Nephele, a cloud phantom he believed to be the goddess Hera, or their grandchildren, the progeny of their son Centaurus and the mares on Pelion.
Myth Tales of their licentious behaviour included the battle at the wedding of Pirithous, king of the Lapiths, when the centaurs attempted to steal the bride, along with other female guests; and a version of the death of the hero Heracles, when the centaur Nessus, killed while abducting the hero's wife, Deianara, promised her that his poisoned blood would restore Heracles' love if he strayed.
Art The earliest representations of centaurs (about 1800–1000 BC) are two-headed, and were excavated near Famagusta, Cyprus, in 1962. Some female representations also exist.