- Egyptian (culture)
- Domestic (attribute)
- Friendly (behaviour)
An Egyptian creature with the body of a lion and the head of a ram making it a brother to the famous Sphinx which had the body of a lion and head of a human. Both are shown lying down (unlike a lion more like a dog) as huge statues to protect a building.
The Criosphinx in particular guards temples and souls and was created by the god Amun. He like the typical Sphinx wears an Egyptian headdress. It personifies the god Chnumis or Ammon ( a god similar to Jupiter or Zeus). In ancient Egyptian myth the ram's head represented the soul of the universe and thus symbolised Ammon. Ammon or Amon and later known as Amun, is the king of gods who may have originally been on of the 8 deities of the Hermopolite creation myths of ancient Greece. He had a big cult following and was depicted as a human with horns of a ram. Later Amun became the one true god of ancient Egypt.
There are actually many type of Sphinx in ancient Egypt and the word 'Sphinx' denotes a leonine body with the head of another animal with a headdress but the name has become a common euphemistic term to mean the famous leonine bodied creature with the face of the woman as in the Great Sphinx of Giza monument. That type of Sphinx is more accurately known as a Androsphinx. The other known Sphinx has the head of a hawk and is known as Hieracoshpinx.
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Background Illustrations (Left top-bottom, right top-bottom): Medusa by Gonzalo Ordonez, Loch Ness Monster by dyb,
Basilisk by JustMick, Shuck by Serphire, Ts Um A Kas - Illustration of a rock painting (from Dover publications).