The war of the Lapiths and the Centaurs, was one of the favourite subjects in Greek mythology, particularly in art and literature.
When Peirithoüs, king of the Lapiths, invited the centaurs to his wedding, the centaurs who became drunk, tried to abduct the bride (Hippodameia) and other Lapith women. Fighting broke out between the Lapiths and the centaurs. The Lapiths were aided by some famous heroes, who were also guests in the wedding. The Lapiths drove the centaurs from Thessaly.
To read the story about the war, head towards Peirithoüs, under the Theseus page.
|Homer's Iliad||Shield of Heracles||Ovid's Metamorphoses|
Mopsus (seer, Μοψος)
(foreign wedding guests)
Note that the first and second columns were list of names found in 2 different sources, one called the Shield of Heracles (possibly by Hesiod), and the other called the Iliad, written by Homer. The other four columns come from the Roman source, Ovid's Metamorphoses; the last column being Peirithous' non-Lapith wedding guests.
Note that the first and last columns were the list of names found in two sources. Also the last column was list of heroes who were not Lapiths, but foreign guests and friends of Peirithoüs. The second and third columns were additional Lapiths, which comes from a Roman source,, written by Ovid. Ovid had given more detail of the battles.
Polyphemus and Mopsus were two Lapiths, who would later sailed with Peleus and the other Argonauts.
More information about the Lapiths can be found in Geographia, Thessaly. You will find a genealogical tree of the Lapith royal house in Thessaly.
Note that the first column were the name found in the work called the Shield of Heracles. The other columns come from the Roman Ovid's Metamorphoses. Ovid had listed additional centaurs. According to Ovid, Eurytion was the leader of the centaurs. The last column were centaurs who refused to fight in the war.
The problem with Ovid's version, is that some of the names mentioned, were not easy to distinguish. I couldn't tell if they were Lapiths or Centaurs. With these names, I left them out of the list.
There's a new page has that containing the most prominent Centaurs.
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First Created (Facts and Figures: War of Lapiths and Centaurs): 08/08/1999.
Last Modified: 24/06/06.