Griffin

Also known as Gryphon, Griffon, Griffeth, Griphon, Gryffon, Grypes.

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  • #1346
  • Multiple Cultures Multiple Cultures (culture)
  • Flying Flying (attribute)
  • Heraldic Heraldic (attribute)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)

Most commonly known as the Griffin but this beast has many variations of its name. The Griffin is an ancient creature found originally in the Egyptian and Mesopotamian tradition. It has the body of a lion with the head and wings of an eagle. It has a large curved beak of and its body is usually spotted like a leopard. Sometimes it has the talons, forelimbs or back limbs of an eagle and sometimes it is simply that of a lion. Its name derives from the Greek ‘gryphos’ meaning ‘curved’ due to its curved beak. Sometimes the Griffin is depicted as having the tail of a serpent or a scorpion.

Belief of this creature spread throughout western civilisation. They appear in Greek mythology as being celestial beings living with Zeus although one traveller claimed that the Griffins lived with the one-eyed men and would frequently fight them for gold. In medieval belief the Griffin features on the coat of arms as a Heraldic beast. Sculptures of them also featured as Gargoyles on the roofs of Churches and other buildings to capture and disperse of water to protect the roof in heavy rain.

Griffins are also said to live in sea caves and under fallen trees. They eat berries, mice and horses.

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