Encyclopedia > Lapiths

  Article Content

Lapiths

In Greek mythology, the Lapithae were a mythical race, whose home was in Thessaly in the valley of the Peneus. The genealogies make them a kindred race with the Centaurs, their king Peirithoiis being the son, and the Centaurs the grandsons of Ixion.

The best-known legends with which they are connected are those of Ixion and the battle with the Centaurs. A well-known Lapith was Caeneus, said to have been originally a girl named Caenis, the favourite of Poseidon, who changed her into a man and made her invulnerable. In the Centaur battle, having been crushed by rocks and trunks of trees, he was changed into a bird, or he disappeared into the depths of the earth unharmed. According to some, the Lapithae are representatives of the giants of fable, or spirits of the storm according to others. They are a semi-legendary, semi-historical race, like the Myrmidons and other Thessalian tribes. The Greek sculptors of the school of Pheidias conceived of the battle of the Lapithae and Centaurs as a struggle between mankind and mischievous monsters, and symbolical of the great conflict between the Greeks and Persians.

Ovid XII, 210; Odyssey XXO, 297.

Edited and wikified from an encyclopedia of 1911



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Charlotte Brontė

... Haworth, West Yorkshire, England. External links e-texts of some of Charlotte Bronte's works: Jane Eyre (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1025) Poems ...