A few months ago, I was reading the Metamorphoses by Ovid (translator unknown). At a time I was reading it just to get through it because it wasn't what I expected (still read it though, albeit not thoroughly). Anyways, I dimly remember a picture of a female centaur.

What are the myths around female centaurs?


1 Answer 1


Wikipedia has a nice article about the Centaurides, or centauresses, the female centaurs.

First encountered in Greek mythology as members of the tribe of the Centauroi, the Centaurides are only occasionally mentioned in written sources, but appear frequently in Greek art and Roman mosaics. The centauress who appears most frequently in literature is Hylonome, wife of the centaur Cyllarus.

In the Literary depictions section of the same article there are two quotes, the first from Philostratus the Elder:

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.

And in the Metamorphoses, Ovid says this about Hylonome:

In the high woods there was none comelier of all the centaur-girls, and she alone by love and love’s sweet words and winning ways held Cyllarus, yes, and the care she took to look her best (so far as that may be with limbs like that). She combed her glossy hair, and twined her curls in turn with rosemary or violets or roses, and sometimes she wore a pure white lily. Twice a day she bathed her face in the clear brook that fell from Pagasae’s high forest, twice she plunged her body in its flow, nor would she wear on her left side and shoulder any skin but what became her from best-chosen beasts.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.316 ff.

Theoi.com has also a small entry for the Centaurides (Kentaurides), with longer extracts from the same sources.


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