SphinxFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis article is about sphinxes in general. For the sphinx at Giza in Egypt, see Great Sphinx of Giza. For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation).SphinxThe Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khufuin the backgroundGroupingLegendary creaturesSub groupingMythological hybridsSimilar creaturesGriffinMythologyPersian, Egyptian and GreekAn early Egyptian sphinx, Queen Hetepheres IIfrom the fourth dynasty (Cairo Museum).The sphinx(Greek: Σφίγξ [sfiŋks], Boeotian: Φίξ [p iks]ʰ, Arabic: لوهلا وبأabū l-hawlʾ"father of dread",) is a mythical creaturewith, as a minimum, the head of a humanand the body of a lion.In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddlesuffera fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster.This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus.Unlike the Greeksphinx, which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx).In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.
In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance. Later, thesphinx image, something very similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit often interpreted quite differently due to translations of descriptions of the originals and the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions.Sphinxes are generally associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepeat another site, Nevali Çori,or possibly 120 miles to the east at Kortik Tepe, Turkey, and was dated to 9,500 BCE.[bettersourceneeded]Contents1 Egyptian sphinxes2 Greek traditionso2.1 The Riddle of the Sphinx3 Sphinxes in South and Southeast Asia4 Revived sphinxes in Europe5 Sphinxes in Freemasonry6 Similar creatures7 Gallery8 See also9 Notes10 References11 Further reading12 External linksEgyptian sphinxes
Great Sphinx Before Clearance. Giza. 4th Dynasty., n.d. Brooklyn Museum ArchivesBack of Sphinx, Giza EgyptThe largest and most famous sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated on the GizaPlateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Gizaon the west bank of the Nile Riverand facing east (29°58′31″N 31°08′15″E). The sphinx is located southeast of the pyramids. Although the date of its construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphinx now is believed to be that of the pharaoh Khafra.