|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 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. There is evidence of representations of griffins in ancient Iranian and ancient Egyptian art dating to before 3000 BC.
|Romans often associated the mythical creatures with the sun god Apollo, giving the Griffin an air of power and dominance. A Griffin is 'as fiery as the Sun,' and was a creature to be feared and given respect. 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 became 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.