Greek Monsters » Sphinx
Sphinx, the monster with the famous riddle
Appearance of the Sphinx
The Sphinx had long hair, the body of a lion, the chest and wings of a bird and the head of a woman.
The Sphinx was a winged monster of Anatolian origin. It had heavenly powers and was settled near the city of Ancient Thebes, spreading destruction and bad luck to the entire district.
The Riddle of the Sphinx
The Sphinx used to sit outside of Thebes, asking the same riddle to anyone who passed by. The riddle was going as follows:
"What goes on four legs at dawn, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?"
Would the traveler fail to solve the riddle, he was cursed to die.
Oedipus and the Solution to the Riddle
No one was ever capable of answering correctly... until one day, Oedipus came along. Oedipus was promised the hand of the princess should he interpret the riddle correctly.
As he was famous for his wisdom, Oedipus found the answer to the riddle with ease, replying:
"Man, who as a baby crawls on four legs, then walks on two legs as an adult and in old age walks with a cane as his third leg..."
The Sphinx became so frustrated about this answer that it committed suicide immediately , throwing herself from a high rock.
The Roman name of Sphinx is "Sfinge"