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In Greek Mythology, Pheres son of Cretheus was the founder of Pherae in Thessaly. He fled there from Iolcus after his half-brother, Pelias, seized the throne. His son Admetus was the husband of the famous Alcestis, who died in his stead and was rescued by Heracles.

Homer also used the word to describe the centaurs. Iliad I, 268; II, 743