Centarus, Or The Centaur, a southern constellation, only a small part of which rises in our latitude. Two stars of the first magnitude are catalogued in the portion which does not appear above our horizon. This is one of the 48 ancient constellations formed by Ptolemy, who first discovered the likeness of a centaur in it. On the celestial maps of the Arabs it is represented by a bear mounted on horseback.
Cento (Latin, patchwork), a poem composed wholly of verses taken from one or more poets, but disposed in a new order so as to form a distinct work. The only classical example is the Cento Nuirtialis of Ausonius, formed out of Virgilian verses perverted into a new meaning. The empress Eudoxia wrote the life of Jesus Christ in Homeric centos;
Proba Falconia, under the emperor Honorius, wrote the same in verses extracted from Virgil. The same subject was treated in a Virgilian cento by Alexander Ross, a Scotch schoolmaster and poet, in his Virgilius Evan-gelizcuts, which was republished in 1769. The term cento is also applied to a medley, or a work composed of selections connected by appropriate passages.
Ceos. See Zea.
Cephalus, in Greek mythology, son of Deion and Diomede, and husband of Procris, whom he tenderly loved. Aurora was enamored of him, and prompted him to tempt the fidelity of his wife. Disguised he came with presents to his house, and Procris fell. She subsequently seduced him, and the discovery of their mutual weakness led to a reconciliation between them. Cephalus afterward slew his wife with his spear, mistaking her for a wild animal, as she was jealously watching him in the wood. According to Ovid, Cephalus finally gave his name to Cephalonia.
Cephissus, the name of two rivers in Greece, one rising in the western part of Phocis, flowing S. E., and emptying into Lake Topolias (Copais); the other the principal river of the Athenian plain, having its main source at Trinemii, between Mts. Pentelicus and Parnes, and running S. on the W. side of Athens. Formerly its outlet was in the bay of Phalerum; but so much of the water as is not exhausted in irrigation now empties through the long walls, or tunnels, at Port Piraeus. In ancient Greece two other rivers were called Cephissus.
Cerberus, in Greek mythology, the monster that guarded the entrance to the infernal regions, He was a son of Typhon and Echidna, and is represented as a dog with three heads, the tail of a serpent, and a mane composed of the anterior extremities of numberless snakes. His business was to admit the spirits of the dead into their subterranean abode, and to prevent them from leaving it. Orpheus lulled him to sleep with his lyre, and Hercules dragged him from Hades, and exhibited him to the eyes of wondering mortals.