Fast Facts on: Chiron the Centaur

Half-man, half-horse, all teacher

Chiron's Appearance: A strong horse body with a man's muscular torso.

Symbol or Attribute: The man-beast blend itself is the major attribute of the centaur.

Strengths:Physically strong; can carry a passenger.

Weaknesses: The other Centaurs of Greek myth tend to be irritable and violent. Chiron is a patient and wise one.

Parents: The centaur Chiron is the son of Cronos (Kronos) and Philyra. Chronos had taken on the disguise of a horse when he wanted to seduce the nymph Philyra.

Spouse: Chariclo

Children: A daughter, Endeis, by Chariclo. He was also renowned as a teacher to Jason, Asclepius, Asclepius' sons Machaon and Padalirius. He also taught Actaeon and the hero Achilles. And he was an active grandfather to Endeis' own son Peleus. Chiron saved him from danger and also gave Peleus handy dating tips to use when attempting to win the favors of the sea-goddess Thetis.

Associated Sites: Mount Pelion, still one of the wildest and most beautiful areas of Greece.

Basic Story: Chiron is known best for his wisdom and his ability to train youths in all aspects of life. While a centaur, he is not directly related to the other centaurs of mythology, but one of them, Elatus, wounded by Hercules, came to him for healing. Unfortunately, while treating the injuries of this centaur, Chiron pricked himself on the poisoned arrows which had injured Elatus. Since, as a son of Chronos, Chiron was immortal, he could not die but instead suffered intense and permanent pain. He finally asked that his immortality be withdrawn from him and he became a constellation in the sky.

Alternate name: Sometimes spelled "Chyron".

Interesting Fact: Some tales say that Chiron gave his immortality to Prometheus, who stole (or regained) the secret of fire from heaven to help humankind and earned the wrath of the gods, especially Zeus.

Prometheus' immortality also did not go well - he was staked out on rocks and every day vultures consumed his liver.

More Fast Facts on Greek Gods and Goddesses:

More Fast Facts on Greek Gods and Goddesses:

More Fast Facts on Greek Gods and Goddesses:

Find books on Greek Mythology: Top Picks on Books on Greek Mythology 

Book your Own Day Trips Around Athens

Was this page helpful?