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A mythical four-legged winged monster, the size of a wolf, with the legs and claws of a lion and the head of an eagle, from whose eyes fire shines. The feathers on the back of the griffin are black, on the chest red, on the neck blue, and on the wings white. Those powerful animals, which could not only oppose the lion and the elephant, were dedicated to the god Apollo. Griffins keep gold in the land between Arimasp (a mythical one-eyed people in northern Scythia; their land was in the Urals or on the slopes of the Altai) and the Hyperboreans (a mythical people living in the far north of Europe, "on the other side of the North Wind"). cannot reach either land or sea). Others say that griffins live in Ethiopia or India. According to one legend, they dig gold in India themselves and build their nests from it, and prevent people from reaching that precious metal out of fear for their young. As constantly vigilant guards, griffins are constantly fighting Arimasps, Amazons and beasts. The griffins are originally from the East, most likely from the territory of the ancient Scythians.
Griffins were considered dangerous demons, who were servants of the gods, and in time they lost their chthonic character and became a symbol of wisdom. Since these miraculous creatures unite the strongest bird (eagle) and the strongest four-legged animal (lion), they have become a symbol of the greatest animal power; therefore they are often represented on arms, money, and vases, either alone or with various deities. The oldest representations of griffins are known from Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, the Hittite Empire, Persia, Phenicia and Judea, and from there they arrived in Greece, first to Crete. In Crete, griffins were depicted on art objects in the 17th and 16th centuries AD, and in Sparta - in the 8th and 7th centuries AD. In archaic art, they were depicted in a sitting or lying position, with a horn and pointed ears. Starting from the classical era, a cross is added to them and they are shown almost always in motion - tearing a deer, roe deer or antelope. They are most often associated with Apollo, but there are also known performances in which griffins are the companions of Dionysus or Artemis. As guardians and symbols of divine power and constant vigilance, they were often depicted on sarcophagi as well.
• Dragoslav Srejović - Aleksandrina Cermanović-Kuzmanović, Recnik grčke i rimske mitologije, drugo izdanje, Beograd: Srpska književna zadruga, 1987