- Art Gallery -

 

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Asclepios was also entrusted to Chiron the centaur for a time, and learned medicine from him. The centaur baby-sitter and pedagogue appears in many myths, for reasons which are not by any means clear. ESP communications have been posited between animals and sensitive humans, especially the very young, and this may be a part of the picture, of which we have only a part. If the horse had an aversion to plants which are poisonous to men, or showed men where sources of salt, a rare material and a necessity to all mammals, existed, stories about the horse's medical knowledge might arise; William Harris, Domestication of Animals. Greek Myth

Chiron and Achilles from Herculaneum.

The Centaur in a position probably anatomical impossible

In Greek mythology, Chiron (Χείρων) ("hand") — sometimes spelled Cheiron — was held as the superlative centaur over his brethren. Like the satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated, and generally uncultured. Chiron, by contrast, was intelligent, civilized and kind. Sired by Cronus when he had taken the form of a horse and impregnated the nymph, Philyra, Chiron came from a different lineage than other centaurs. He was the father of Ocyrhoe with the nymph Chariclo and lived on Mount Pilion (or Pelion).

A great healer, astrologer, and respected oracle, Chiron was most revered as a teacher and tutored Asclepius, Theseus, Achilles, Jason and Heracles. He had the gift of guiding his pupils to uncovering their highest potential and discovering their destiny. When the centaurs drank and partied themselves to extinct, Chiron became the last remaining centaur. His nobility is further reflected in the story of his death as Chiron sacrificed his life allowing mankind to obtain the use of fire. He died from one of Heracles’ arrows that were treated with a poison that Chiron had given to the hero when he had been under the honorable centaur’s tutelage (see: Erymanthian Boar). Chiron willingly gave up his immortality and was placed in the sky as the constellation Centaurus.

Chiron

(From The Proceedings of the 10th Annual HISTORY OF MEDICINE DAYS The Proceedings of the 10th Annual March 23rd and 24th, 2001, FACULTY OF MEDICINE THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY)


Chiron saved the life of Peleus when Acastus tried to kill him by taking his sword and leaving him out in the woods to be slaughtered by the centaurs. Chiron retrieved the sword for Peleus. Some sources speculate that Chiron was originally a Thessalian god, later subsumed into the Greek pantheon as a centaur.

Chiron has been adapted for fictional works, most notably in Dante's The Divine Comedy, in which he is the chief guardian of the seventh circle of Hell. John Updike's novel The Centaur is an expansion and interpretation of the story of Chiron, set in the context of 20th century small-town America. Chiron’s name, and the underlying mythology, serves to inform many of the root words connected with the ancient healing arts.

Donato Creti, The Education of Achilles by Chiron

Chiron and Achilles, Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix

The Education of Achilles by the Centaur Chiron
Baron Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754 - 1829), Louvre

The Education of Achilles by Chiron, Pierre Puget


Chiron and Achilles, Hans von Marées

Chiron and Achilles, Georg Clement de Swiecinski

Achilles Handing over to Chiron , Donato Creti

Did centaurs actually exist? - English article from Pravda

2060 Chiron


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