…but the Griffin hath a body bigger than eight Lions, and stronger than 100 Eagles, for certainly he will bear to his Nest flying, a Horse and a Man upon his Back, or two Oxen yoked together as they go to Plow, for he hath long Nails on his Feet as great as Horns of Oxen, and of those they make Cups there to drink with, and of his Ribs they do make Bows to shoot with.
—John Mandeville, The Voyages and Travels, 1357
The Griffin (also Griffon, Gryphon, or Grype, among other variants) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion, and the head, wings, and talons of an eagle. Depictions of the griffin date back to 3rd millennium BCE Egypt and earlier, but are also found in ancient Greece, India, and elsewhere around the world. It is said that the feather of a Griffin can cure blindness, and poison will change color when served in a cup fashioned from a Griffin’s talon. Continue reading