Asbolus

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This article is about the mythological figure. For the planetoid, see 8405 Asbolus.

In Greek mythology, Asbolus (English translation: "sooty" or according to Dieter Koch, "carbon dust"[1]) was a centaur. He was a Seer,or an auger. He was a diviner who read omens in the flight of birds. He foresaw the Centaurs' battle against the Lapiths at Pirithous' wedding, and attempted to prevent them from attending. He failed.

The above is mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphosis,

"...Asbolus the prophet who had warned,

Though no one heard him, all his friends

To give way, not to fight[the Lapithae]. He cried to Nessus,

"You need not run; you shall be saved till that

Fine day Hercules' arrow strikes your back."—Ovid,The Metamorphoses, Book 12[2]

He appears again when Heracles came to visit the centaur Pholus. Pholus opened a jug of wine for him which belonged to all the Centaurs; Asbolus saw Pholus do this and brought the other Centaurs, who, as it was proved by Pirithous' wedding, were unused to the drink. It resulted in a bloodbath in which Pholus and Chiron, as well as Nessus, met their deaths at Heracles' hands. It is said that Asbolus himself was crucified by Heracles' arrows.[3]

Asbolus' name was given to an outer-system asteroid of the Centaur class, whose orbits cross the orbits of the gas giants.

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