The Sphinx is the Riddler of Medditeranean Mythology, and is prominently known for it’s appearance in the Oedipus play, as well as one of the wonders of the world. So today, we’re going over the creature itself.
Monster Cheat Sheet:
Name: Sphinx or Phinx
Type of Monster: Beast
Possible Origin: Mediterranean Cultures (Particularly Egypt)
Best Known From: Oedipus
Whether winged or not, the Sphinx is seen to have the body of a lion with the head of a human. The proportions are constantly under debate depending upon the culture you are reading from. The two common types we see are the Egyptian Sphinx and the Grecian Phinx, the only difference is the existence of wings which didn’t occur until it appeared in Greek mythology.
- Flight (Only in Greek mythologies)
- High intelligence with its use of Riddles
Though there is no mention of a habitat in my search through Egyptian mythology, for the Grecian Phinx it’s home is upon Phikion Mountain.
Depending on your origin story, the Phinx can have a number of ‘parents’ and is one of the few monsters in Greek mythology that isn’t spawned from one of the Olympian Gods. The riddles she learns come from the muses but is still considered for her ‘proverbial wisdom’.
With Egyptian mythology, we see the Sphinx as a guardian that is associated is a Sun god named Harmakhet. (But I have yet to find anything else.)
[Source for my research: http://www.theoi.com/Ther/Sphinx.html]