Γρύψ! (Griffin)

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The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of the creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.[1] Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin was an ancient misconception derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops found in gold mines in the Altai mountains of Scythia, in present day southeastern Kazakhstan, or in Mongolia.[2] In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.[3] Some have suggested that the word griffin is cognate with Cherub.[4]

While griffins are most common in the art and lore of Ancient Greece, there is evidence of representations of griffins in Ancient Persian and Ancient Egyptian art as far back as 3,300 BC.[5][6] Most statues have bird-like talons, although in some older illustrations griffins have a lion's forelimbs; they generally have a lion's hindquarters. Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears; these are sometimes described as the lion's ears, but are often elongated (more like a horse's), and are sometimes feathered. The earliest depiction of griffins are the 15th century BC frescoes in the Throne Room of the Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, as restored by Sir Arthur Evans. It continued being a favored decorative theme in Archaic and Classical Greek art. In Central Asia the griffin appears about a thousand years after Bronze Age Crete, in the 5th–4th centuries BC, probably originating from the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The Achaemenids considered the griffin "a protector from evil, witchcraft and secret slander".[7] The modern generalist calls it the lion-griffin, as for example, Robin Lane Fox, in Alexander the Great, 1973:31 and notes p. 506, who remarks a lion-griffin attacking a stag in a pebble mosaic Dartmouth College expedition at Pella, perhaps as an emblem of the kingdom of Macedon or a personal one of Alexander's successor Antipater. The Pisa Griffin is a large bronze sculpture which has been in Pisa in Italy since the Middle Ages, though it is of Islamic origin. It is the largest bronze medieval Islamic sculpture known, at over three feet tall (42.5 inches, or 1.08 m.), and was probably created in the 11th century in Al-Andaluz (Islamic Spain).[8] From about 1100 it was placed on a column on the roof of Pisa Cathedral until replaced by a replica in 1832; the original is now in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum), Pisa. Infrequently, a griffin is portrayed without wings, or a wingless eagle-headed lion is identified as a griffin; in 15th-century and later heraldry such a beast may be called an alce or a keythong. In heraldry, a griffin always has forelegs like an eagle's hindlegs; the beast with forelimbs like a lion's forelegs was distinguished by perhaps only one English herald of later heraldry as the opinicus.

Griffins not only mated for life, but also, if either partner died, then the other would continue throughout the rest of its life alone, never to search for a new mate. The griffin was thus made an emblem of the Church's views on remarriage[dubious – discuss]. A Hippogriff is a legendary creature, supposedly the offspring of a griffin and a mare. Being a union of a terrestrial beast and an aerial bird, it was seen in Christendom to be a symbol of Jesus, who was both human and divine. As such it can be found sculpted on some churches.[1] According to Stephen Friar's New Dictionary of Heraldry, a griffin's claw was believed to have medicinal properties and one of its feathers could restore sight to the blind.[1] Goblets fashioned from griffin claws (actually antelope horns) and griffin eggs (actually ostrich eggs) were highly prized in medieval European courts.[9] When it emerged as a major seafaring power in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, griffins commenced to be depicted as part of the Republic of Genoa's coat of arms, rearing at the sides of the shield bearing the Cross of St. George. By the 12th century the appearance of the griffin was substantially fixed: "All its bodily members are like a lion's, but its wings and mask are like an eagle's."[10] It is not yet clear if its forelimbs are those of an eagle or of a lion. Although the description implies the latter, the accompanying illustration is ambiguous. It was left to the heralds to clarify that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin

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Comments (93)

~rol~ No Views! on November 20, 2012

Superbe portrait...bien cadré.. YSL

Amitiés, roland

Omar Gobbi on November 20, 2012

very beautiful photographic work, <LIKE>, best regards, "Omar"

Kazkun No Views on November 20, 2012

Very nice capture! Like

Greetings, kazkun

dziwnowik on November 20, 2012

GOLDEN STAR ♥ LIKE

♥ ♥ ♥ greetings from Poland , Peter ♥ ♥ ♥


add to group 7 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

MAYAAMON on November 20, 2012

LIKE++++++++++PHOTO SUPERBE. AMITIES. MAYAAMON.

28αρεσει Μακη... πολυ καλή λήψη

老赵行摄 on November 21, 2012

Beautiful shot and reflections! Like

Best wishes

M.Kranenborg-Torn on November 23, 2012

Nice shot, like.

Greetings from Greetje

RGC52 on November 23, 2012

Ben fatto,mi piace LIKE 31 Saluti e buon fine settimana RGC52

longdistancer on November 23, 2012

Very nice Grif! L#32

RezaSamami on November 24, 2012

Very nice, well done !.....YSL

frank wibberg on November 24, 2012

LIKE

Das Bild und deine Erklärungen.

Gruss aus Langenfeld D

dein Fotofreund

frank

kovi53 - NO VIEWS on November 24, 2012

Hello Makis!

Very nice composition, beautiful shot. I like it very much. Thank you for your visit in my gallery. Have a nice weekend.

Greetings from Budapest, Viktor

Səməd on November 24, 2012

Great shot! I liked.

Carmen T. on November 24, 2012

Bonita fotografía e interesante información

like

Saludos cordiales, Carmen

▓ ☻ galloelprimo ☻ ▓ on November 25, 2012

Precioso trabajo escultorico, me encanta!! like 38 + + favorite 17

Bassam Jayousi on November 25, 2012

An amazing view, great capture. /L+F/

(Great Info)

Best wishes from Dubai, Bassam


Jan Sognnes SAVE PAN… on November 25, 2012

Amazing detailed architectured! Great shot! Like

Greetings, Jan

Oleg Timofeev on November 26, 2012

Very interesting shot !!! Like & Best wishes from Russia, Oleg

Imre Lakat on November 26, 2012

Very good shot my friend Makis !

Like !

Best wishes , Imre

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 19, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by makis-GREECE ®
    • Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
    • Taken on 2012/10/06 16:29:06
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 63.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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