What Is A Griffin?


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Katie Harry answered
A Griffin is a legendary creature that is depicted as having a lion's body and an eagle's head and wings. These were considered to be grand, powerful creatures. Griffins were thought to have divine powers. They also protected the divine. Most of the times, griffins were thought to also guard gold.
In contemporary world, griffins have become quite an architectural figure and can be seen mounted on top of many pillars or flanking many staircases. Here, they are made as a lion or a leopard having wings and usually in repose.
The griffin is also used by the Church on its views on remarriage. Traditionally griffins were  known to acquire only one mate. Even after one of the two died, the other did not look for another partner.
This creature has also found its way into a lot of literature. John Milton uses it 'Paradise Lost':

As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness

With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale,

Perhaps the most famous use of this creature has been by Lewis Carrol in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. In this the queen of hearts has Alice taken to the Mock Turtle by griffins. Other pieces of literature that use griffin(s) are Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling), The Divine Comedy (Dante), and Squire (Tamora Pierce).

Some variants of the word 'griffin' are:
  • Gryphon
  • gryphen
  • griffen
  • gryphin

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