Monday, February 27, 2012

ABC Wednesday

G is the letter this week

G is for Gryphon, or if you prefer, Griffin

A mythical creature, part Lion, part Eagle, a combination which imparts great strength, courage and kingship.

In Dante's Divine Comedy Beatrice meets Dante in Earthly Paradise and takes off into the Heavens to begin Dante's journey through paradise, seated on a flying Griffin that moves as fast as lightning.

St. John Mandeville wrote about them in his 14th century book of travels:

"In that country be many griffins, more plenty than in any other country.
Some men say that they have the body upward as an eagle and beneath as a lion,
and truly they say sooth,that they be of that shape.
But one griffin hath the body more great and is more strong than eight lions.
of such lions as be on this half,
and more great and stronger than an hundred eagles
such as we have amongst us.
For one griffen there will bea, flying to his nest, a great horse,
if he may find him at the point, or two oxen yoked together,,
as they go at the plough.
For he hath his talons so long and so large and great uipon his feet,
as though they were horns of great oxen or of bugles or of kine,
so that men make cups of them to drink of.
And of their ribs and of  the pens of their wings, men make bows,
full strong, to shoot with arrows and quarrels.

and OLIVER HERFORD. an American writer and illustrator, writes humorous verses about the Gryphon

It chanced that Allah, looking round,
when he had made his creatures, found
half of an Eagle and a pair
of extra Lion legs to spare.
So, hating waste, he took some glue
and made a Gryphon of the two........

This is about all I can tell you about the Gryphon, but over at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday you can find out lots more about the letter G.  Click here.  And Lewis Carroll has more to say about the Gryphon
and his friend the Mock Turtle, if you care to Google him.


Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

What a beautiful image and I love the prose accompanying it.

Have a great week.

Leslie: said...

Gorgeous! Fascinating lesson about gryphons!

abcw team

Carol said...

Oh, Dante! Great post about the gryphon.....enjoyed the information

Roger Owen Green said...

never knew that spelling - I always knew griffin. scary creature.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Carver said...

Wonderful post for G and I love the photograph. Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

photowannabe said...

Well, now I certainly learned more than I ever knew before about gryphons.
this is what makes our ABC Wednesday fun.