A large monster with a winged lion's body and female head which the Greeks derived from Near Eastern art. It often appears in Greek art as a guardian of tomb monuments and as a decorative device. Its form is adopted by Greek artists for the monster in the Theban myth in which it asked riddles and killed those who could not answer, but is confounded by Oedipus.
Above left: Detail from an Attic red-figure clay vase, about 450 BC. Munich, Antikensammlungen SL474. © Antikensammlungen, Munich Licence Plate 11 UK 1007 196
Above right: An Athenian clay rhyton, about 460 BC. London, British Museum E788. © British Museum Licence Plate 11 UK 1007 197