The Sphinx: An Enigma

4 April 2015
This paper looks at the mythology behind the ancient Egyptian icon, the Sphinx, her role as fierce protector, and sacred guardian of the Great Pyramid.

This paper examines the legends and historical revolution, and characteristics of the Sphinx, ancient Egypt’s protector from outsiders. The author discusses how the creature defined Egyptian civilization, how it would terrorize outsiders with her famous riddle, and how she was revered by Egypt as a sacred figure.
When we think of Egyptian art we immediately think of the monumental pyramids and inscrutable sphinxes, Shaw-Eagle 1999. Ancient Egypt has fascinated outsiders ever since Herodotus, the fifth- century-BC Greek historian, visited a civilization already thousands of years old. And the artistic splendors that captivated him the Great Pyramids, Sphinx and statues of the Old Kingdom , 2650 to 2150 BC still define Egyptian civilization in the Western mind. A monument for the Sphinx is found at Tanis in the form of the Large Sphinx. Made from pink granite it depicts the Pharaoh with a lion’s body. Sphinx in Greek showed a sort of monster, and in Egypt they represented the protection for the passages in religious buildings.

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