In many legends, griffins or gryphons combine the symbolic qualities of two solar creatures, the lion and the eagle. It is the king of birds and lord of the air united with the king of beasts and lord of the earth. Griffins (gryphons) are a symbol of the sun, wisdom, vengeance, strength, and salvation. The griffin (gryphon) in folklore was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. It was also known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In antiquity, it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin (gryphon) was an ancient misconception derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops found in gold mines in the Altai mountains of Scythia, in present-day southeastern Kazakhstan, or in Mongolia. However, this hypothesis has been strongly contested as it ignores pre-Mycenaean accounts.

More Info: