Griffin vs. Hippogriff

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Griffin and Hippogriff is that the Griffin is a legendary animal and Hippogriff is a legendary creature.

  • Griffin

    The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.In Greek and Roman texts, griffins and Arimaspians were associated with gold. Indeed, in later accounts, “griffins were said to lay eggs in burrows on the grounds and these nests contained gold nuggets”. Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin 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, though this hypothesis has been strongly contested as it ignores pre-Mycenaean accounts.

    In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

  • Hippogriff

    The hippogriff, or sometimes spelled hippogryph (Greek: Ιππόγρυπας), is a legendary creature which has the front half of an eagle and the hind half of a horse.

    The first recorded mention of the hippogriff was made by the Latin poet Virgil in his Eclogues. Though sometimes depicted during the Classical Era and during the rule of the Merovingians, it was used by Ludovico Ariosto in his Orlando Furioso, at the beginning of the 16th century. Within the poem, the hippogriff is a steed born of a mare and a griffin—it is extremely fast and is presented as being able to fly around the world and to the Moon. It is ridden by magicians and the wandering knight Ruggiero, who, from the creature’s back, frees the beautiful Angelica.

    Sometimes depicted on coats of arms, the hippogriff became a subject of visual art in the 19th century, when it was often drawn by Gustave Doré.

    The word hippogriff, also spelled hippogryph, is derived from the Ancient Greek: ἵππος híppos, meaning “horse”, and the Italian grifo meaning “griffin” (from Latin gryp or gryphus), which denotes another mythical creature, with the head of an eagle and body of a lion, that is purported to be the father of the hippogriff. The word hippogriff was adopted into English shortly before 1615.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A mythical beast having the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A heraldic representation of such a beast used as a charge or as a supporter.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor, supposed to be the “eagle” of the Bible. The bearded griffin is the lammergeier.

  • Griffin (noun)

    An English early apple.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A person who has just arrived from Europe.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A cadet newly arrived in British India: half English, half Indian.

  • Griffin (noun)

    A watchful guardian, especially a duenna in charge of a young woman.

  • Hippogriff (noun)

    a mythical beast, half griffin and half horse, supposedly the offspring of a griffin and a filly.


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