|The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet.|
The lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, so the griffin was thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. There is evidence of representations of griffins in ancient Iranian and ancient Egyptian art dating to before 3000 BC.
|Romans often associated these mythical creatures with the sun god Apollo, giving the Griffin folklore an air of power and dominance. A Griffin is as fiery as the Sun, as such, it was a creature to be feared and respected. In Medieval Europe, the Griffin became a Christian symbol for the Church's ideals on marriage. According to legend, Griffins mated for life and in the event of the death of a partner, the surviving griffin would never seek another mate. The creature was also used to symbolize Jesus.|
The creature's association with Christianity and the Divinity meant they were considered to be protectors of the dead.
|In the eastern world, a part-man, part-bird creature, the Garuda, served as a mount for the Hindu god Vishnu. |
The griffin has been part of human culture since ancient times and persists today, as seen in various school emblems, mascots, and popular literature and movies.