A mythological creature, winged lion dates back to ancient times. This flying lion-like creature has origins in Heraldry, Christianity, Mesopotamian and Greek mythologies.
The world of mythology has had terrifying winged creatures. In Greek mythology, Harpies were spirits of wind (kind of winged monsters in human form) who clasped people and made things disappear. And if you look back at the ancient Mesopotamian mythology, folklores and legends, you’ll find origins of a creature called ‘winged lion’. Resembling a lion with bird-like wings, they are even known to have their origins in Christianity and Heraldry.
Here you’ll become familiar with winged lion’s different mythological adaptations, its emblems and its appearances in pop culture.
In the ancient and medieval civilizations, the winged lion is found in different forms. Here are the different mythological adaptations for the winged lion:
Heraldic symbol of evangelist St. Mark, the Lion of Saint Mark is a winged lion holding a Bible. It is the symbol of Venice and Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.
The Golden Lion features Lion of Saint Mark and it is the symbol of highest award of Venice Film Festival.
In Sumerian, Persian and Akkadian mythology, lamassu is an Assyrian protective deity often depicted as a winged lion. Shedu is lamassu’s male counterpart.
The seventh chapter of Daniel ‘Daniel 7’ is about Daniel’s vision of four world-kingdoms replaced by the kingdom of god. From the four beasts that come out of the sea, the first beast resembled a winged lion (lion with wings of eagle).
In Greek mythology, a sphinx is depicted as a monster with a woman’s head, a lioness’ body, eagle’s wings and a serpent-headed tail.
Griffin is a mythical animal of ancient Greek with hind legs of a lion and head, neck and wings of an eagle. Associated with sun god Apollo and Romans, it was considered eminent.
In different countries, the emblems of the winged lions have been featured.
The winged lions were featured in different media appearances:
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