From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"These monsters were represented as men from the head to the loins, while the remainder of the body was that of a horse. The ancients were too fond of a horse to consider the union of his nature with man's as forming a very degraded compound, and accordingly the Centaur is the only one of the fancied monsters of antiquity to which any good traits are assigned. The Centaurs were admitted to the companionship of man, and at the marriage of Pirithous with Hippodamia they were among the guests. At the feast Eurytion, one of the Centaurs, becoming intoxicated with the wine, attempted to offer violence to the bride; the other Centaurs followed his example, and a dreadful conflict arose in which several of them were slain. This is the celebrated battle of the Lapithae and Centaurs, a favorite subject with the sculptors and poets of antiquity."--Bulfinch's Mythology (1867) by Thomas Bulfinch
""It was before a window like this," remarked Stahl, apparently casually, "that I once in Tiflis overheard two mountain Georgians talking together as they examined a reproduction of a modern picture--Böcklin's 'Centaur.' They spoke in half whispers, but I caught the trend of what they said. You know the picture, perhaps?""--The Centaur (1911) by Algernon Blackwood
Centaurs are thought of in many Greek myths as being as wild as untamed horses. Centaurs are subsequently featured in Roman mythology, and were familiar figures in the medieval bestiary. They remain a staple of modern fantastic literature.
Other hybrid creatures appear in Greek mythology, always with some liminal connection that links Hellenic culture with archaic or non-Hellenic cultures:
- Furietti Centaurs
- Hybrid (mythology)
- Legendary creature
- Lists of legendary creatures
- Hindu Kamadhenu
- Indian Kinnara which are half-horse and half-man creature.
- Islamic Buraq, a heavenly steed often portrayed as an equine being with a human face.
- Philippine Tikbalang
- Roman Faun, and the Hippopodes of Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, and later authors.
- Scottish Each uisge and Nuckelavee
- Welsh Ceffyl Dŵr