Notebook, 1993-


[From: Kyriazis, Constantine D. Eternal Greece. Translated by Harry T. Hionides. A Chat Publication.]

Supernatural Beings - Arachne - Argus - Centaurs - Calydonian Boar - Cerberus - Charon - Charybdis - Chimaera - Cyclopes - Echidna - Giants - Golden Fleece - Graiae - Hydra of Lerna - Grypes - Hypnos - Pallas - Pegasus - Scylla - Sirens - Sphinx - Stymphalian Birds - Talos - Typhon


Daughter of Orthrus or of Typhoeus and Echidna, the Sphinx had all the characteristics of her parentage. From her mother Echidna she inherited the face and bust of a woman, and from her sister Chimaera, the body and tail of a lion. To complete the monstrous image large wings sprouted from her shoulders. The Sphinx dwelt on the mountain Phicius in Boeotia, not too far from Thebes wither she had been sent by Hera, Ares, Dionysos, or Hades to punish Laius who had fallen in love with Chrysippus. Perched on a rock, the Sphinx would pose an enigma to passersby and would devour them in the event they did not solve the riddle. Oedipus decided to challenge the monster, and the Sphinx posed the following questions: What animal has four feet in the morning, two at noon, and three at night. Oedipus replied that it was man, for when he is a child he crawls on all fours, stands on his two feet when he is a mature man, and requires a staff in old age. Upon hearing the answer, the Sphinx leapt from the rock and was killed. There is another legend concerning the Sphinx. According to this, when Cadmus reached Thebes, he had with him the Amazon Sphinx. When she learned that Cadmus had married Harmonia, she abandoned the city with many other Thebans and climbed the mountain Sphingion. There she laid various traps and ambushes to ensnare the Thebans which traps the Thebans called enigmas. Cadmus promised a generous reward to the person who would slay the monster. Oedipus went to the mountain at nightfall and found the Sphinx [p. 88]

[Kyriazis, Constantine D. Eternal Greece. Translated by Harry T. Hionides. A Chat Publication.]



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