In historical Egyptian mythology, the sphinx was both a male ﬁgure or a man-headed lion that was typically winged. The Greek Sphinx was a winged feminine monster.
The Egyptian sphinx was a statue that usually represented a pharaoh, presumably in its side as solar god. The most well-known of these Egyptian sphinxes is the Great Sphinx of Gizeh, situated close to the pyearamids. This is believed to be a symbolic illustration of Pharaoh Kahfra, or Chephren, and could date to the time of the fourth dynasty (2723–2563 B.C.E.), though the date remains to be a topic of debate.
The phrase sphinx is Greek, and it's associated to the phrase sphingo, to strangle, from when the Greeks visited Egypt in later centuries. Whether or not this was as a result of these ﬁgures reminded the Greeks of their very own mythic Sphinx, or whether or not the Greek Sphinx is derived from these ﬁgures is unknown.
Regardless of its origin, the Greek Sphinx bears nearly no resemblance to the Egyptian ﬁgures. The Greek Sphinx is feminine, the monstrous offspring of Typhon and Echidna. She is typically described as being a womanheaded winged lion and typically as being awoman to the waist, with the remainder of her physique that of a winged lion with a snake’s tail.
The Greek Sphinx sat on a excessive rock close to Thebes. She posed a riddle to all who handed, slaying anybody who couldn't reply the riddle.
Oedipus occurred to cross that manner, and the Sphinx requested him, “What animal is that which in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?”
Oedipus discovered the reply. “Man,” he mentioned, “who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff.”
The Sphinx was so mortiﬁed on the fixing of her riddle that she forged herself down from the rock and perished.