GRIFFON GRIFFIN or GRYPHON (from Fr. griffon,
See also:Lat. gryphus, Gr. ypG '), in the natural
See also:history of the ancients, the name of an imaginary rapacious creature of the eagle
See also:species, represented with four legs, wings and a
See also:beak,—the fore
See also:part resembling an eagle and the hinder a lion . In addition, some writers describe the tail as a serpent . This animal, which was supposed to
See also:watch over gold mines and hidden treasures, and to be the enemy of the
See also:horse, was consecrated to the
See also:Sun; and the
See also:ancient painters represented the chariot of the Sun as
See also:drawn by griffins . According to Spanheim, those of
See also:Jupiter and
See also:Nemesis were similarly provided . The griffin of Scripture is probably the
See also:osprey, and the name is now given to a species of
See also:vulture . The griffin was said to inhabit
See also:Scythia, where gold and precious stones were abundant; and when strangers approached to gather these the creatures leapt upon them and tore them in pieces, thus chastising human avarice and greed . The one-eyed
See also:Arimaspi waged
See also:constant war with them, according to
See also:Herodotus (iii . 16) .
See also:John de Mandeville, in his Travels, described a griffin as eight times larger than a lion . The griffin is frequently seen as a
See also:charge in
See also:heraldry (see HERALDRY, fig . 163); and in architectural decoration is usually represented as a four-footed beast with wings and the
See also:head of a
See also:leopard or tiger with horns, or with the head and beak of an eagle; in the latter case, but very rarely, with two legs . To what extent it owes its origin to Persian sculpture is not known, the capitals at
See also:Persepolis have sometimes leopard or lion heads with horns, and four-footed beasts with the beaks of eagles are represented in bas-reliefs .
See also:temple of
See also:Apollo Branchidae near
See also:Miletus in
See also:Asia Minor, the winged griffin of the capitals has leopards' heads with horns . In the capitals of the so-called lesser
See also:propylaea at
See also:Eleusis conventional eagles with two feet support the angles of the abacus . The greater number of those in Rome have eagles' beaks, as in the
See also:frieze of the temple of
See also:Antoninus and
See also:Faustina, and their tails develop into conventional foliage . A similar
See also:device was found in the Forum of Trajan . The best decorative employment of the griffin is found in the vertical supports of tables, of which there are two or three examples in
See also:Pompeii and others in the Vatican and the museums in Rome . In some of these cases the head is that of a lion at one end of the support and an eagle at the' ,other end, and there is only one strongly
See also:developed paw; the wings circling
See also:round at the top
See also:form conspicuous features on the sides of these supports, the surfaces below being filled with conventional Greek foliage .
GERALD O'GREEVA] GRIFFIN [O'GRIoBTA (1803-1840)
SIR RICHARD JOHN GRIFFITH (1784-1878)
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