A later depiction of Chiron, but with front hooves instead of human legs.

Chiron was an immortal centaur in Greek mythology. His father was Cronus and mother a nymph called Philyra. This makes Chiron half-brother to all of the first generation of Olympian gods.


Centaurs in Greek mythology are somewhat savage and brutish, but Chiron was an exception. His front legs were human instead that of a horse. He was calmer, wiser and more intelligent than other centaurs. He wore clothing, which is rare for a Greek centaur.

He was civilized and held art in high esteem. He was a skilled healer, oracle and great teacher, which was his prominent role in Greek mythology.


Chiron was the first centaur. He came into being when Cronus had to flee from his intercourse with Philyra to escape notice of Rhea, Cronus' consort. Cronus did this by taking the form of a horse. Resulting offspring was a hybrid between a horse and a human. It is notable that Chiron has different origins than other centaurs, and shared no parentage with them.

Philyra found Chiron disgusting and abandoned him as a child. Apollo found him and essentially adopted Chiron and taught him art and gave him knowledge. Apollo's sister Artemis gave Chiron additional experience in archery and hunting.

Later, Chiron would serve as a mentor for many Greek heroes such as Achilles, Perseus and Heracles.

His death is tragic. When other centaurs attacked Heracles, Chiron was wounded by mistake with a poisoned arrow. This was not enough to kill an immortal being such as Chiron, but the poison was so potent that is caused constant pain and agony to the eldest centaur. Pain was so great that he willingly gave up his immortality.

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