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Saturn and Philyra, Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)

In Greek mythology, Philyra ( Φιλύρα)was an Oceanid, a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was married to Nauplius and had many children. Chiron was her son by Cronus. She was the goddess of perfume, writing, healing, beauty and paper. She taught humanity to make paper as well. Cronus, dreading the jealousy of his wife Rhea, changed Philyra into a mare and himself into a horse. The offspring of their love was the Centaur Chiron, half man, half horse. Philyra was so ashamed of the monstrous shape of the child that she prayed the gods to change her form and nature. She was accordingly metamorphosed into the linden-tree, called by her name among the Greeks (φιλύρα). ( Hyg. Fab.138).

Philyra is also a genus of plant in the family Euphorbiaceae.


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