"Crouching like the sphinx beside him was his dæmon,"
The Greek style female Sphinx
Creative Commons AttributionThe Greek style female Sphinx - Credit: David Monniaux

The Sphinx is a legendary creature of Greek and Egyptian mythology, typically described as having the body of a lion and the head of a human being.

In Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx is portrayed as a male, whereas the Greek Sphinx has the face and breasts of a woman and often the wings of a great bird of prey. Another difference is that the Egyptian Sphinx is considered largely benevolent, as opposed to the more malicious Greek Sphinx.

The Great Sphinx of Giza
Creative Commons AttributionThe Great Sphinx of Giza - Credit: Marek Kocjan