The Sphinx

This was a female monster with the body of lion, the breast and head  a woman, an eagles in Greek mythology. Many times, she is described as the daughter of Echidna and Typhon, or Chimaera and Typhon, or Orthos and Chimaera. Sent by the gods, the sphinx was to plague the town of Thebes. Because of the Theban legends, sphinxes were popular as sculptural grave steles in the tombs of men who died in youth. The Egyptian sphinx is seen as an unhinged lion lying down, with a human upper body lying down, and sculptures of it appear in avenues forming the approaches to temples. Amongst the greatest of Egyptian sphinxes is that of Gizeh. Which, apart from the paws, is made from one massive block of stone. In order to differentiate them from those Sphinxes with the lower body of a ram or sheep, the Egyptians sometimes referred to their sphinxes as ‘Androsphinges’.

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