When people think of the Sphinx, the riddle of the Sphinx of Thebes might pop to mind, or maybe the colossal Great Sphinx of Egypt. Were they the same monster in two different mythologies? Or were they completely different?
The Sphinx legend began in Egypt over 4,500 years ago when ancient Egyptians were giving their gods animal forms. Built to guard the royal tombs of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx had the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh. It drew tourists from around the Mediterranean, and soon the mythology of the Greek Sphinx evolved. The Greek Sphinx had the body of a lion and the head of a woman. She terrorized the people of Thebes until a stranger, Oedipus, solved her riddle. Read the myths from these two cultures, and find out how sphinxes have been immortalized in statues and artwork throughout history.