What Is the Mythological Lion With Wings Called?

The mythological monster with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle is known as a gryphon in Greek, Near Eastern, and other myths. It represents mastery of both the ground and the sky and is connected with both power and sagacity.

The gryphon pulls the chariots of both Zeus, the supreme god, and Apollo, the sun god, in Greek mythology. Since the gryphon is a kingly beast on earth with the strength of a lion and the soaring ability of an eagle, it is only fitting that Apollo utilises it to travel between heaven and earth.

Griffins are frequently utilised as strong and devoted guards to protect gold and other valuables. Their depictions are especially prevalent in the legends of the Hyperboreans and Arimaspians, mythical peoples from the far north.

It is believed that the winged lion originated in the Middle East, where it appears in the paintings and sculptures of the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. Later, the Romans employed gryphon motifs as ornaments, and the creature also appeared in early Christian art.

Ironically, Christians first associated the gryphon with Satan since the bi-animal beast was believed to harm human souls. Eventually, however, the symbolic significance of the gryphon as a figure of both earth and sky translated into the Christian idea of Jesus Christ’s dual human and divine nature. The gryphon thereafter became a favourable symbol in Christian mythology and art.

Beyond the realm of mythology, the griffin’s significance as a symbol of strength and intelligence made it a suitable option for coats of arms. Throughout antiquity and the middle ages, the winged lion is depicted on military and family regalia.


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