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Grouping Legendary creature
Sub grouping Hybrid
Similar creatures Centaur
Mythology Greek mythology
Other name(s) Centaurides
Country Greece
Habitat Habitat of creature
Centauress by John La Farge

Kentaurides (or Centaurides) are the female members of the Kentauroi, a tribe of centaurs in Greek mythology. The most referenced of the Kentaurides is Hylonome, the wife of Centaur Cyllarus. Although rarely mentioned in Greek writing, Kentaurides were depicted most often in Greek art and later Roman mosaics. The Greek rhetorician Philostratus the Elder gives a brief description of Kentaurides:

"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."[1]

Roman poet Ovid, in his epic Metamorphoses, gives a brief description of Hylonome as well.

"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."[2]

Female centaurs were referred to by Shakespeare in King Lear, Act IV, Scene vi, ln.124–125: "Down from the waist they're centaurs, / Though women all above".[citation needed]

Female centaurs flanking Venus (Mosaic from Roman Tunisia, 2nd century AD)

In the Disney animated film Fantasia, during the Pastoral Symphony, some of the main characters are female centaurs, referred to as "Centaurettes" by the Disney studio.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Philostratus the Elder. Imagines, 2. 3.
  2. ^ Ovid. Metamorphoses.

External links[edit]