Winged Lion: The Terrifying Mythical Creature In Different Mythologies

A mythological creature, a winged lion dates back to ancient times. This flying lion-like creature has origins in Heraldry, Christianity, Mesopotamian, and Greek mythologies.

6 years ago
Winged Lion: The Terrifying Mythical Creature In Different 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, folklore, and legends, you’ll find the 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.

Various Mythical Adaptations of Winged Lion in Ancient & Medieval Civilizations

In ancient and medieval civilizations, the winged lion is found in different forms. Here are the different mythological adaptations for the winged lion:

Lion of Saint Mark

Source = Wikimedia

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.

Source = Wikimedia

The Golden Lion features the Lion of Saint Mark and it is the symbol of the highest award of the Venice Film Festival.


Source = Metmuseum

In Sumerian, Persian and Akkadian mythology, lamassu is an Assyrian protective deity often depicted as a winged lion. Shedu is lamassu’s male counterpart.

Winged Lion From Daniel 7

Source = Wikimedia

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 an eagle).

Winged Sphinx

In Greek mythology, a sphinx is depicted as a monster with a woman’s head, a lioness’s body, an eagle’s wings, and a serpent-headed tail.


Griffin is a mythical animal of ancient Greek with the hind legs of a lion and head, neck, and wings of an eagle. Associated with the sun god Apollo and Romans, it was considered eminent.


Source = Wikimedia

In different countries, the emblems of the winged lions have been featured.

  • The Lion of Saint Mark is also featured on the symbol and logo of Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. 
  • The Republic of Venice’s emblem is the heraldic symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of the Republic.
  • The ancient bronze sculpture of Lion of Venice is situated in the Piazzetta di San Marco, Venice
  • The flag of the short-lived Septinsular Republic features a winged lion
  • The emblem of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allied Joint Force Command Naples headquarters in Italy features a winged lion holding a sword and scroll (PAX - Latin for 'peace' is written).

Winged Lion’s Appearance In Pop Culture

Source = Wdfiles

The winged lions were featured in different media appearances:

  • In Adventure Quest Worlds, a pet named Pegalion is a winged lion.
  • In the popular manga series ‘MÄR’, one of Dorothy's ÄRMs is Flying Leo which summons a flying lion.

  • In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, ‘King Moonracer’ is a winged lion.

The mythological world is rife with half human-half animals, dragons, and flying creatures. Even though they’re mythical having existence only in legends, they sure are a subject of interest and intrigue among cryptozoologists.


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