GREEK MYTHOLOGY HELP

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Eric Quenenville's picture
Joined: 15 Mar 2007 - 2:11pm
GREEK MYTHOLOGY HELP
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hello,

I need to re actualize this symbol. Does anybody know what
it represent in the Greek mythology,
and is it greek mythology or more Egyptian.

Maybe its some kind of Greek god???

James Arboghast's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 1:09pm
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Hi Eric. I'm not really sure about this, but then I'm not an expert on ancient Greek mythology. I'll have a go at it regardless.

This creature has the general appearance of a sphinx, but the anatomical details do not match those of the well-known Egyptian sphinx. It has the coiled tail/body and scales of a Greek hippocamp---a sea-going creature with with a horse's torso and the tail of a sea serpent. It's front legs resemble those of a horse, it's head is human, and it has human breasts.

Somehow I don't think it is ancient Greek, but I'd give it at least 25% chance of being Greek. It looks like something from classical antiquity. Hold on and I'll see if I can get a positive ID on it for you.

j a m e s

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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It's the Greek Sphinx, representing destruction and bad luck. She's the daughter either of Chimera, or Typhon and Echidna. The Greek Sphinx is described as a woman with the body of a lion, eagle's wings, and a serpent's tail, but everybody's used to seeing the Egyptian Sphinx at Giza, which is only half-man, half-lion.

Eric Quenenville's picture
Joined: 15 Mar 2007 - 2:11pm
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Also, by the way, the company name is called: ISINIS

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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I should have mentioned that the Greek Sphinx is part of the Oedipus myth. The Sphinx sat outside Thebes and asked all the travelers that passed her a riddle; if they answered incorrectly, she killed them. Oedipus answered the riddle, which was "What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?" Since Oedipus answered correctly (a man, or more PC, a person), the Sphinx had to destroy herself.

James Arboghast's picture
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Gus, the creature illustrated does not have wings. All the illustrations I've seen of the Greek Sphinx show it with lion's legs at the rear and no serpent's tail. What's your source?

j a m e s

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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Joined: 6 Jun 2005 - 6:57pm
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Didn't Oedipus solve the riddle of the Greek Sphinx?

http://ri.essortment.com/oedipusandth_rzul.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus

[EDIT] Ack, I see that Gus beat me to the punch. :-)

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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What I'm seeing is a serpent tail with hooves of a horse and a woman's torso. You might also look at Hippocamps.

James Arboghast's picture
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The English language Wikipedia article, which is well reference, describes the Greek Sphinx: "She was represented in vase-painting and bas-reliefs most often seated upright rather than recumbent, as a winged lion with a woman's head; or she was a woman with the paws, claws and breasts of a lion, a serpent's tail and eagle wings."

Yet all illustrations show her with a lion's tail, unlike the coiled serpent's tail/body in this illustration. That's what disuaded me from identifying it asa Greek Sphinx.

Puzzling. Possibly this is an unusual illustration of a Greek Sphinx.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture
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You might also look at Hippocamps

I mentioned them. This thing is half sphinx, half hippocamp.

j a m e s

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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So the elements are protection of secrets and a incarnation of the power of the water element. If this idea was manifest today it might be Captain Nemo's Submarine.

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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> What's your source?

Since the image in the OP had a tail, I googled for "sphinx and (serpent or serpents) and tail". Here are some results:

Wikipedia
Monstrous.com
Encyclopedia Mythica
Theoi Greek Mythology
Greek Myth Index

Bulfinch just says half-lion, half-woman. There are also references to the Sphinx as just having wings and a lion's body, but no tail -- here, for instance.

The Egyptian Sphinx has come to mean enigmatic, but given the Greek backstory, I'm not sure I'd want it as my logo.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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The entire drawing minus the woman's head is a hippocampus. The head might resemble a sphinx. Did someone say where they found this image?

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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It is probably something Euro, after-the-fact imagined rather than a Greek concept. Tune in to find out.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Yes, perhaps more a product of the artist's fancy (or the client's) than strictly classical?
Looks like a mermaid to me, though not exactly Daryl Hannah :-(

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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I can sort of see the hippocampus thing, although to me the body could equally as well be a lion, with the hoof-like appearance of the leg just being an artifact of the grey shadow. But perhaps I should have said "it could be" instead of "it is" a Greek Sphinx.

But if it is a hippocampus, wouldn't that make it a sort of... mermaid?

Eric Quenenville's picture
Joined: 15 Mar 2007 - 2:11pm
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the brand is called ISINIS, it is a french enterprise that fabrics high quality combs.
The reason I am asking is that I need the redo the logo, but I have no story behind
it.

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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Combs being the product, I'd definitely go with the mermaid theme. A mermaid sitting on a rock combing her hair is a classic image. Her hair is said to be the mermaid's source of magical power, and it has sexual connotations, too (can I say that?).

(Later edit -- Rats, I just noticed that Nick beat me to the mermaid idea.)

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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The mermaid idea seems strong to me too.

The image to which I'm comparing the other.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Further, that image I just linked to is part of NORDISK FAMILJEBOK which is available for online viewing. (This is probably going off-topic now, but it is interesting.)

Gus Winterbottom's picture
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Daniel Weaver's picture
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Sea Horse, Mermaid

Don McCahill's picture
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I was going to say mermaid variant, too, but I hadn't noticed the horse legs. That definitely does not fit.

Of course you are asking a bunch of design experts, typographers, and wannabes. I wonder if there is a mythology board someplace where that version of nerd ... I mean expert, hangs out.

David Thometz's picture
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This creature looks to me as if it was designed by committee.

David Thometz

Ch's picture
Ch
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Joined: 4 Feb 2007 - 7:48pm
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this looks like a euro-victorian fantasy of "ancient mythology", but she looks monstrous in a way that doesn't seem to go with a vanity product.

are you restricted to this image ?

jack sicke's picture
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Joined: 12 Feb 2008 - 6:03pm
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I think its a greek sphinx it has everything it should: head of human,body/legs of a lion,and a tail of serpent. Oh by the way, not all sphinxes have wings.

if you can help me with the differnces between the sphinxes posted here that would be great

jack sicke's picture
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jack sicke's picture
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also breast of a women

A. Szabolcs Sz.'s picture
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I think, Ch is right.
This looks like a European 18th to 19th century classicist product, clearly inspired by Greek mythology (oh, that's what classicism was all about...)

It might be interesting to look up, when the company was founded. I would not be surprised if it was in the given range (though I'd guess rather for the 19th; maybe early 19th?)

The components -- the Greek sphynx and the hippocamp -- was already mentioned.

jack sicke's picture
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Joined: 12 Feb 2008 - 6:03pm
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maybe its a cross between the two and your client just wants to create his own thing?

A. Szabolcs Sz.'s picture
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Iwon, it does not have _anything_ of a lion...

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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^ but isn't it interesting that so many people see it that way. It must be a greek sphynx, therefore it has the body of a lion.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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We cannot assume it is authentic. People have been doing their own interpretations for years.

ChrisL

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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Typical, you don't see any post related to Greek Sphinxes in years and then two come along at the same time, coincidence?

http://typophile.com/node/42065

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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One Greek Sphinx post in the morning.

Two Greek Sphinx posts in the afternoon.

And three Greek Sphinx posts in the evening.

http://typophile.com/node/42027

jack sicke's picture
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Well the truth is..... That I'm new here(just look at my account not even a week :( ) so when i had my blog made i thought is was just like a normal thread like this so when I figured out how to make a thread i did and now its working fine

"I HATE PEOPLE WHO QUOTE THEMSELVES IN THERE SIGNATURES"-iwon95

jack sicke's picture
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When i said cross between the two i mean the head part of human and the breast part and maybe if you look close between the tail and head you could kinda see a body of something a lion possibly?"

"I HATE PEOPLE WHO QUOTE THEMSELVES IN THERE SIGNATURES"-iwon95

Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
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If we're deprecating the sphinx and mermaid in favor of the hippocampus, perhaps someone took http://Spenser's hippodames from The Faerie Queene literally.

Eluard's picture
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Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 8:54pm
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Hippodames seems to be spot-on.