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Bright Eyes

Gryphons

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Mythology

The Gryphon myth originates somewhere in the Near or Middle East. It is found depicted in ancient Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian paintings and sculptures. It is believed the myths found life around 3,000 B.C. to be the Pharoah's companion in Ancient Egypt, and later became sacred guardians in Minoa.

India was assigned as the native country of the Gryphon, and the people of that land made Gryphon talons and claws into drinking cups, they were of so great a size. Like the Unicorn and other species of myth, magickal traits were assigned to the talons. While the alicorn, or horn of the Unicorn, was said to be an aphrodisiac, the talon of a Gryphon was said to detect poison in a liquid when used as a drinking cup. Very handy for the nobility, as this was a common form of assassination.

Gryphons, like birds, built nests, or eyries (aeries), as the nest of a bird of prey is called. The Gryphon laid an agate, rather than an egg, therein. Gryphons found gold in the mountains and made their nests from it.

This made their eyries very tempting to hunters, so Gryphons were forced to keep vigilant guard over their nests. Gryphons had instinct which allowed them to know where buried treasure was, and they would apply themselves to guarding it as best they could, keeping plunderers at distance.

They are found in Greek mythology, neighbors of the Hyperboreans and belonging to Zeus, they took gold from the stream Arimaspias, the one-eyed people of Scythia.

It was written by Pomponius Mela, that a certain area was uninhabitable, "because the Griffons (a cruel and eager kind of wild beast) do wonderfully love the gold, which lies discovered above the ground, and do wonderfully keep it, and are very fierce upon them that touch it." Gryphons have always been depicted as guardians of treasure. Gryphons themselves depict gold, as they represent the wealth of the sun at dawn, the gold in the east. They are also said to line their nests, called Eyries, with pure gold, woe be to the traveler looking to steal it.

Romans later used the Gryphon for decoration and in Christian times the Gryphon motif appears.

In Christian symbolism, the Gryphon originally represented Satan and evil, but later came to represent Christ, especially his dual nature, both divine and earthly, as the Gryphon had mastery of both land and sky, and was noble and majestic. Gryphons were said to kill serpents and basilisks, both embodiments of evil, thus protecting mankind. Gryphons symbolize both strength and wisdom combined in heraldry. On medieval buildings, Gryphons were often used as gargoyles, great stone guardians.

The Gryphon has relinquished most of these roles, and today appears mostly in literature and heraldry.

Gryphons have always fascinated me, how two noble creatures can make up one beast, and I just find them so beautiful. What do you think about these amazing beasts and guardians? What I found really interesting is how they were first portrayed as evil and then that completely changed.

I was just thinking that I hadn't heard Gryphons being mentioned and thought that we should take a bit of notice to them!

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What I found really interesting is how they were first portrayed as evil and then that completely changed.

Same as the owl. Hundreds of years ago the owl was the sign of Satan, evil and dark festering secrets and all round vileness. H Bosh - the painter - had dark brown owls in almost every one of his paintings, because at the time they represented portals to evil, hell and darkness of the human soul. Now, it symbolizes knowledge, strength and wisdom. Strange how an object or animal can change, in the sense of how its viewed! huh.gif

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I wonder what sparked that original concept that they were evil and what happened for them to start thinking the opposite? Maybe that's where we go wrong a lot nowadays, by pre-judging something as 'evil'.

Owls are like the ghosts of the night. I saw a Barn Owl last week, and it was like a silent phantom as it hunted around me. Even though they are seen as wise nowadays, you still see them featured in dark paintings, and when reading a book, to add a bit of chilling suspense have you noticed how they always add an owl hooting nearby?

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I've never heard of a gryphon before!

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griffin

griffyn

griffon

griphon

gryphon

griphyn

i always wanted to see how many spellings i could think of. mellow.gif

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Griffins are similar to and just as fake as the chimera, IMO.

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I was just thinking that I hadn't heard Gryphons being mentioned and thought that we should take a bit of notice to them!

original.gif

thumbsup.gif I totally agree!!!! Bright Eyes

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Posted (edited)

Probably based on extinct species of teratorns, the same with the Arabian birdlike creature, the Roc.

Considering Argentavis spp. had wingspans upto 30 feet, you can imagine where the legends come from. Most teratorn species had wingspans of between 16 to 22 feet. A very big bird indeed.

Edited by Ozmeister

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Wasn't a Gryphon also used in one of the Harry Potter books?

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Wasn't a Gryphon also used in one of the Harry Potter books?

That was a hippogriff, half-eagle half-horse. Griffins are half-lion half-eagle, but apparently J K Rowling didn't invent hippogriffs, they are also reknowned mythical creatures, but probably a subdivision of the Griffin myth somewhere along the line. I think Griffins are better though, does anyone know anything about the fact that they are really popular in architecture? Is this from the era when they were considered evil or good?

I found one set of reported sightings of griffins, to support their being more than mythical, that took place in Brentford in England, where several people saw a creature like a griffin flying over the town. I'll dig for some more evidence later.

But still, hurray for Griffins! thumbsup.gif

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I was gonna ask if that was how u spell it but i saw sum one already did some spelling stuff.......

But i don't know if i believe in them butif ti is possible to make c***-a poos out of cocker spainyels and poodles y not a lion eagle thing.... grin2.gifgrin2.gif

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I do think Griffons are completely fictional. The lion and the eagle have been western revered creatures for a long time - a griffon is a fictional combination of both, a more awe-inspiring and noble creature than the eagle or the lion alone.

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