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  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Greek Sphinxes

    Criteria Egyptian sphinx Greek sphinx
    Images Egyptian sphinx Greek sphinx
    Appearance - A zoomorphic mythological figure which was depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head, with no wings
    - The Egyptian Sphinx was exclusively male
    - The Greek sphinx had the bust and head of a female lady, the wings of an eagle, the body and legs of a lioness, and the tail of a snake or dragon
    - The sphinx is shown crouching instead of seated
    - It did not have a monstrous size, the Greek Sphinx was probably imagined as the size of a large lion
    Symbol
    - A symbol of protection. It had no mysterious or deceitful nature
    - Egyptian Sphinxes where guardians, placed in association with architectural structures such as pyramids, royal tombs and temples
    - Since its form combines human and animal parts into one body, the sphinx usually symbolizes the union of mind and body, the intellectual human mind and physical strength of the lion
    - A demon of death, devouring, destruction and bad luck
    - In Greek myth the sphinx was sent by Hera to punish mankind for displeasing the Goddess, she preyed on the youths of the land, devouring all those who failed to solve her riddle.
    - Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx castled herself off a mountainside in despair and in accordance with an oracle declaring the terms of her demise.
    Examples
    - The Egyptian sphinxes where produced in the form of statues
    - The largest and most famous is the Great Sphinx of Giza, the head of the sphinx now is believed to be that of Khafre
    Experts in identification, took various measurements of the size, angles and proportions of the head and concluded that it did not match known representations of Khafre's face. There was a greater resemblance to Khafre's elder brother Djedefre
    - This Example is largest monolith statue in the world, it stands 73.5 meters long, 6 m wide, and 20 m high.
    - The Greek Sphinx is known primarily through the writings of early authors, which few physical representations
    - Such representations most commonly appeared on ivories, painted plaques, and pottery
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    Photos: Sphinx