Chiron - History - Death

Death

His nobility is further reflected in the story of his death, as Prometheus sacrificed his life, allowing mankind to obtain the use of fire. Being the son of Cronus, a Titan, he was immortal and so could not die. So it was left to Heracles to arrange a bargain with Zeus to exchange Chiron's immortality for the life of Prometheus, who had been chained to a rock and left to die for his transgressions. Chiron had been poisoned with an arrow belonging to Heracles that had been treated with the blood of the Hydra, or, in other versions, poison that Chiron had given to the hero when he had been under the honorable centaur’s tutelage. According to a Scholium on Theocritus, this had taken place during the visit of Heracles to the cave of Pholus on Mount Pelion in Thessaly when he visited his friend during his fourth labour in defeating the Erymanthian Boar. While they were at supper, Heracles asked for some wine to accompany his meal. Pholus, who ate his food raw, was taken aback. He had been given a vessel of sacred wine by Dionysus sometime earlier, to be kept in trust for the rest of the centaurs until the right time for its opening. At Heracles' prompting, Pholus was forced to produce the vessel of sacred wine. The hero, gasping for wine, grabbed it from him and forced it open. Thereupon the vapours of the sacred wine wafted out of the cave and intoxicated the wild centaurs, led by Nessus, who had gathered outside. They attacked the cave with stones and fir trees. Heracles was forced to shoot many arrows (poisoned with the blood of the Hydra) to drive them back. During this assault, Chiron was hit in the thigh by one of the poisoned arrows. After the centaurs had fled, Pholus emerged from the cave to observe the destruction. Being of a philosophical frame of mind, he pulled one of the arrows from the body of a dead centaur and wondered how such a little thing as an arrow could have caused so much death and destruction. In that instant, he let slip the arrow from his hand and it dropped and hit him in the hoof, killing him instantly. This, however, is open to controversy, because Pholus shared the "civilized centaur" form with Chiron in some art images, and thus would have been immortal.

Ironically, Chiron, the master of the healing arts, could not heal himself, so he willingly gave up his immortality. He was honoured with a place in the sky, identified by the Greeks as the constellation Centaurus.

Chiron saved the life of Peleus when Acastus tried to kill him by taking his sword and leaving him out in the woods to be slaughtered by the centaurs. Chiron retrieved the sword for Peleus. Some sources speculate that Chiron was originally a Thessalian god, later subsumed into the Greek pantheon as a centaur.

Ovid relates another version of Chiron's death. In this version both Chiron and his student (see below) Achilles are in the cave on Mt. Pelion with Hercules. When Chiron admires the weapons of the mighty hero, Achilles is temped to touch them making one of the arrows fall and strike the left foot of the Centaur. Achilles cries, as he would for his father, as Chiron leaves for the skies.

Read more about this topic:  Chiron, History

Other articles related to "death":

Pope John Paul I - Death
... some of the details of the discovery of the death to avoid possible unseemliness in that he was discovered by Sister Vincenza, a nun ... Yet this, along with inconsistent statements made following the Pope's death, led to a number of conspiracy theories concerning it ...
Black Death
... The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350 ... competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, recent analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe indicates that the pathogen responsible was ... The Black Death is thought to have started in China or central Asia, before spreading west ...
Vladimir Komarov - Response To Komarov's Death
... On April 25, a response to Komarov's death by his fellow cosmonauts was published in Pravda "For the forerunners it is always more difficult ... were identified by the cosmonaut corps and that Komarov's death should teach the establishment to be more rigorous in its testing and evaluation of "al ... His flight and his death will teach us courage." In May 1967, Gagarin and Leonov criticised Mishin's "poor knowledge of the Soyuz spacecraft and the details of its operation, his ...

Famous quotes containing the word death:

    Eyes spiritualised by death can judge,
    I cannot, but I am not content.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Tear out the close vermiculate crease
    Where death crawled angrily at bay.
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)

    Accordingly, death is a harbor of peace for the just, but is believed a shipwreck for the wicked.
    Ambrose (c. 333–397)