Was the idea that Centaurs as a race have some special divination/prediction abilities a JKR invention, or did the idea appear elsewhere before (books, or original myths?).

I am specifically referring to centaurs being USERS of the arts, not centaurs being astrological objects or constellations.

Please note that i'm referring to Centaurs as a race - it's known that Chiron was an astrologer in Greek Mythos, but he was also NOT actually related to other Centaurs nor had much in common with them, seemingly.

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    Although you've "nipped it", the idea that Chiron was a master astrologer propagates an idea linking centaurs to astrology. – Gorchestopher H Oct 11 '12 at 16:20
  • @GorchestopherH - that's what Wikia says, and that was my impression from reading the books. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 11 '12 at 16:24
  • if there is evidence in Greek myths that non-Chiron centaurs were also astrologers, that'd constitute a very acceptable answer. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 11 '12 at 16:25

Since this origin question excludes the obvious catalyst "Chiron", I'm going to throw in a token example: CS Lewis' Narnia series has Centaurs skilled in astrology.

Narnian Centaurs

They can do astrology and are skilled in healing. From that same article, see the quote:

In Greek tales, centaurs were nearly always a wild race who were violent, womanizing, and usually intoxicated. The centaurs of Narnia are based on a unique and well known Greek centaur, Chiron, who, unlike all the other centaurs, was a noble, wise, and powerful being.

I believe there is an understanding that if there are noble/wise centaurs, they are based on Chiron as he is a very popular early centaur. All others in Greek mythology represent man's base desires. Drunkenness, lust, battle, feasting, unbridled passion and chaos were the ream of non-Chiron centaurs.

So, while you're explicitly cutting Chiron out, any pre-Narnia examples of astrologically skilled centaurs are most certainly also based on Chiron.

Chiron is also known as: "Centaurus" who was said to have done the original pairings of stars to make the constellations:

Centaurus was the first person to group stars into constellations and taught others how to read them. One explanation of the constellation is that Centaurus put a picture of himself in the sky to guide his sailor friends the Argonauts.

Chiron and Centaurus may or may not have been always the same person, but they typically are.

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  • Well, if a specific work/universe has ALL of their Centaur race based on Chiron, that counts as an answer to my question. My problem with Chiron himself was that he was widely NON-representative of his race in his universe. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 11 '12 at 19:33
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    Narnia isn't a complete throw-away, I would consider it highly influential. Between Narnia and LOTR the mold was set for modern works of fantasy. – Gorchestopher H Oct 11 '12 at 20:42

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