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Centaur [r]: A creature with the body of a horse and the torso and head of a man from Greek mythology. According to Elizabeth Vandiver, a Classics scholar and authority on Greek mythology and Greek tragedy, including the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Homer, and Virgil, Centaurs are almost always violent, sexually aggressive, and dangerous. Further information: listen to her course Classical Mythology for The Teaching Company. [e]

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Photo of a painting with women.
Greek mythology has numerous characters besides Centaurs, which were hybrid creatures straddling two worlds -- horses and men. Greek mythology is populated with gods and goddesses, humans, creatures, hybrids, mystical forces and interesting creatures such as Centaurs. These stories have been a vital part of Western civilization and have been source material for Renaissance painters such as Correggio. Pictured: Leda and the Swan.Painting circa 1532.