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centaur (sĕnˈtôr) [key], in Greek mythology, creature, half man and half horse. The centaurs were fathered by Ixion or by Centaurus, who was Ixion's son. Followers of Dionysus, they were uncouth and savage, but some, such as Chiron, became friends and teachers of men. Their half-brothers, the Lapiths, engaged them in a battle that was described by Ovid, depicted on the Parthenon, and sculpted by Michelangelo.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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