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Thread: Centaurs

  1. #11
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    And lets also not forget cyclopses, harpies, minatars, gorgons, sirens, and a whole bunch of other fun creatures that cold probably be living in Greece. There are probably even a lot more that I am just not thinking of right now.

    It's a wonder the Greek people are even alive in J.K.'s world!

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  2. #12
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    And lets also not forget cyclopses, harpies, minatars, gorgons, sirens, and a whole bunch of other fun creatures that cold probably be living in Greece. There are probably even a lot more that I am just not thinking of right now.

    It's a wonder the Greek people are even alive in J.K.'s world!

    The Greeks aren't the only ones who had a slew of dangerous magical beasts in their myths. Pretty much everyone did -- we're just most familiar with Greek myths because Greek and Roman culture was what got passed down through the centuries as part of classical learning in the West.

    Also, remember that even in the Greek legends, a lot of those creatures didn't live in Greece. They were encountered by Odysseus or other heroes, on their journeys throughout the Mediterranean.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    The Greeks aren't the only ones who had a slew of dangerous magical beasts in their myths. Pretty much everyone did -- we're just most familiar with Greek myths because Greek and Roman culture was what got passed down through the centuries as part of classical learning in the West.

    Also, remember that even in the Greek legends, a lot of those creatures didn't live in Greece. They were encountered by Odysseus or other heroes, on their journeys throughout the Mediterranean.
    Quite right - I hadn't considered that. Also, what the ancient Greeks considered to be "Greece" naturally doesn't correspond to the modern political map. So I suppose it might actually be the Turks who have to contend with the chimeras, as they lived in Lycia, on the southwest coast.

    Speaking of Turks and Greeks, do you see any bits of wizarding western Anatolia as being culturally Greek, rather than Turkish? Though all the Muggle-borns in the area would probably be Turks, the old Pure-blood families going back hundreds of years should be Greek. If that is the case, how do you think the Greek and Turkish Ministries of Magic have drawn their boundaries?

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  4. #14
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Shifting off the topic of names, I have another question about centaurs.

    Do centaurs age at the same rate as humas, do you think, or do you think they ages faster, more on par with horses? I know there is really no canon evidence to support this either way, but that has never stopped us from trying to fugure it out ourselves before. So what do you guys all think?

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Shifting off the topic of names, I have another question about centaurs.

    Do centaurs age at the same rate as humas, do you think, or do you think they ages faster, more on par with horses? I know there is really no canon evidence to support this either way, but that has never stopped us from trying to fugure it out ourselves before. So what do you guys all think?
    Well, in Greek myth, centaurs were incredibly violent, untamed creatures who loved to raid villages, carry off human woman, and fight humans or each other. This does not suggest long life expectancies.

    However, one centaur, Chiron, was very wise astrologer and oracle, and he taught many Greek heroes like Achilles and Heracles. Chiron was immortal so he lived a pretty long time before he willingly gave up his immortality.

    Centaurs in the wizarding world seem to be more in the vein of Chiron, than the standard centaur in Greek myth. Though they wouldn't be immortal, I think they might live a long time, to at least old human age.

    Tim the Enchanter

  6. #16
    sorrow_of_severus
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    How Centaurs Got to the Forbidden Forest
    Perhaps centaurs lived in various places, not just Greece. I don't know this for certain, but I would think that ancient Greece was more densely settled that ancient Britain. Since we've seen that centaurs like to live deep in the forest, Britain's lesser population make it less likely that people would run into centaurs (and live to tell the tale, as well).

    Another explanation is that magic seems to draw magical creatures. For example, do you see garden gnomes in Muggle gardens? No. It could be that Muggles are just to oblivious to notice them, but you'd think the are lawn-care fanatics out there like Uncle Vernon might notice if suddenly there were mysterious burrows in his immaculately-manicured lawn. Perhaps the large amount of magic in the air of Great Britain's only wizarding school and Great Britain's only all-wizarding village made the Forbidden Forest an extremely desirable place for centaurs to live, enough to make them migrate there.

    A third possibility is that centaurs were somehow imported to the Forbidden Forest by people from Hogwarts, just like Grawp and acromantulas were. Centaurs are so intelligent, organized, and violent that I'm not sure how it would be done, but it's a possibility.

    Naming Centaurs
    An explanation for the wide variety of names could be that centaurs seem comparable in intelligence and worldliness to humans. If humans like to give their children exotic names, why can't centaurs?

    I think naming centaurs a non-European sound name would be stretching it. Certainly impossible for a centaur name sounds like it could be given to a horse or other animal. Centaurs have more self-respect than that.

  7. #17
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    Centaurs are also part of Roman mythology, Ovid mentions them. Myths of their origins include men mating with horses, men mating with a cloud made in the image of a goddess and similarly unlikely scenarios.

    There are centaurs depicted in Pictish carvings in Scotland in the 8th to 9th centuries - probably derived from classic sources.

    So with that in mind, I venture a theory that the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest traveled with the Roman legions (the more magical units of cavalry) and came to Britain when it was a province of the Roman Empire.

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  8. #18
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Now I am going to be needing some help from the horse-lovers on the site. Now I have begun thinking about the colors of centaurs.

    I feel like there probably wouldn't be any painted centaurs, since this is a coloring that has seemed almost exclusive in American breeds, but what would be some possible colorings for centaurs which come from Europe?

    Maybe something that would be useful is to know what are the colorings in many European breeds and to know what colorings you probably wouldn't ever see in European horses.

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  9. #19
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    Wee hee! A horse related question! Well, in the UK there are nine native breeds, and they are usually the five common colours; bay, black, grey, chesnut and brown, but you do get other colours.

    I don't think it's so much the colours than the breeds, though. There are loads of piebald and skewbald (paint) cobs and welsh ponies, though I really couldnt see this for a centaur. JKR has palominos and roans, so I think that you could probably include liver chestnuts (a rich brown colour), duns (tan coloured body and black legs, mane and tail) and various dapples.

    There are some colours that are specific to breeds that come from certain places, like a flaxen colour only seen on a breed from Scandinavia, and lepoard spotted colour from an Eastern European breed. Suffolk Punches (from England) are only ever chestnut, and Lipizzana and Andalusian horses (from Spain) are grey.

    I can't think of anything else at the moment, I hope that helps a bit.

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