|Parents||Cronus and Philyra|
|Names||Trainer of Heroes|
|Titles||Son of Cronus|
Chiron was a centaur and a son of the Titan Cronus. He was held to be the superlative centaur among his brethren. Chiron was notable throughout the stories for his kourotrophic (bringer up of boys) nature.
His personal skills tend to match those of Apollo, his foster father (sometimes along with Artemis; medicine, music, archery, hunting, prophecy.
Chiron was sired by Cronos, who was in the form of a horse at the time. His mother, Philyra abandoned him at birth because of her disgust at his appearance. Later the sun god Apollo (some say Helios) took care of the child and taught him all his skills. Chiron is not a true centaur, as centaurs are notorious for being overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated, wild, lusty, and generally uncultured delinquents. Chiron, by contrast, was very intelligent, civilized, and kind. Also, true centaurs are born of sun and cloud (Ixion and Nephele), and are not immortal. However, Chiron gained his immortality from the gods.
Throughout the Greek age, Chiron was the only immortal centaur and was known for his exceptional wisdom and also known as the teacher of heroes, including Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Caeneus, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Telamon, Heracles, Oileus, Phoenix, and many other demigods. He supposedly died after giving his immortality to another, and was then shot with an arrow. This account is false, as Chiron lived to Percy Jackson's time. This is because he was given immortality by Zeus so he will stay alive just as long as he is needed to teach heroes.
Although a centaur, Chiron's physical appearance often differs somewhat from other centaurs, demonstrating his status and heritage.
- In traditional Greek representations of Chiron his front legs are human, rather than equine, this is in contrast to the traditional representation of centaurs,which have the entire lower body of a horse.
- This clearly sets Chiron apart from the other centaurs, making him easily identifiable. This difference may also have highlighted Chiron's unique lineage, being the son of Cronus. Chiron is often depicted carrying a branch with dead hares he has caught hanging from it. Chiron is also often depicted wearing clothes, demonstrating he is more civilised and unlike a normal centaur (the only other occasional exceptions to this rule are the centaurs Nessus and Pholus).
The ‘Education of Achilles’ wall painting, from the basilica in Herculaneum (top right), is one of the most common Roman depictions of Chiron, as he teaches Achilles the lyre. In this version we see Chiron with a fully equine lower body; this is in contrast to the ancient Greek representations in which he has the front legs of a man. In addition to this reconfiguration, Chiron’s appearance is further altered with his ears. Whereas previously human, Chiron’s ears now match those of a satyr; folded over at the top. This rendering creates a more bestial version of Chiron, much more akin to a standard centaur.