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    Sep 9

    Written by: Michael Dalby 9/9/2013 11:46 AM 

    GryphonDespite the myriad of spellings of its name, Gryphons simply translates from the Persian to mean lion eagle. The name suits this mythical creature because it has the strength of both animals. Physically they are to be a hybrid of the two. Gryphons have the upper body of an eagle and the lower body of a lion. A massive forceful looking animal, a Gryphon is said to stand about 2 feet higher than a horse.  

     
     The Persians, Greeks and Egyptian were just a few of the cultures of the known ancient world that had myths about Gryphons.  All these cultures represented the gryphon on their artifacts. While in their mythologies the Gryphon’s role was as a companion and guardian to the leaders and gods. Greek mythology tells that the Gryphons birth place lie in the kingdom of Seythia. Seythia is the land from the Ukraine to central Asia.  These fantastic animals lived amongst a group of Cyclopes know as the Arimaspi. These two groups are always at war. The Gryphons possess the one thing that Arimaspi want Gold. 
    The Gryphons used gold to line their nest. From up in the skies, Gryphons could usually spot gold in mountains or in streams. Mythology continues to tell of the agate, a brightly colored stone, that they lay instead of an egg. They are said to aggressively guard their nest from those who would maraud them for the gold.
     
    Today Gryphon’s are most commonly associated with heraldry. Much like a gargoyle, Gryphons, are used as an architectural detail; a symbol of protection on a public building. 

    Books of Note

    Dictionary of Symbolism Cultural Icons and the Meanings behind Them
    Biedermann, Hans 
    White Collection in Special Collections 
    AZ108 .B5313 1994
     
    The Age of Fable; Or, Beauties of Mythology -- 
    White Collection in Special Collections 
     294.07 B871A3  

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