Sphinx

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Definition

A sphinx is a mythical creature with the body of a lion, most often with a human head and sometimes with wings. The creature was an Egyptian invention and had a male head - human or animal; however, in Greek mythology, the creature had the head of a woman. The sphinx is also present in the art and sculpture of the Mycenaean, Assyrian, Persian and Phoenician civilizations.

More about: Sphinx

Timeline

  • c. 2500 BCE
    The Great Sphinx of Giza is built.
  • 1900 BCE - 1500 BCE
    Sphinxes are represented in Minoan art in pottery, plaques and fabrics.
  • 1500 BCE - 1200 BCE
    Sphinxes are represented in Mycenaean art, particularly in pottery and ivory carving.
  • 900 BCE - 800 BCE
    Surviving sphinxes from the Assyrian civilization, usually placed as guards outside palaces.
  • 700 BCE - 300 BCE
    Sphinxes are represented in Persian architecture either as free standing sculpture or in relief wall decoration.
  • 700 BCE - 600 BCE
    First appearance of sphinxes in ancient Greek art.
  • c. 560 BCE
    Naxos dedicates a large column and sphinx to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
  • c. 550 BCE
    First appearance in ancient Greek art of sphinxes with raised hind quarters.
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