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Hippogryph

Category: Fantasy

The Hippogryph or Hippogriff is a legendary creature related to the Griffin. Like the Griffin, the front half of a Hippogryph's body is that of an eagle. However, the rear half is a horse rather than a lion.

Hippogryph

Hippogryph

History

Like Griffins, Hippogryphs use their powerful wings for flight. Since they are part horse, they are more likely than Griffins to allow humans to ride them.

The first recorded mention of this creature was by the Latin poet Virgil. Its name comes from the Ancient Greek: "Hippo" meaning horse, and "Griff" meaning Griffin. In the 16th century poem "Orlando furioso" by Ludovico Ariosto, the Hippogryph is described as being the offspring of a Griffin and a mare, and is extremely fast and powerful. It is ridden by wizards and magicians, or in rare cases by extremely skilled and valiant knights. The knights of Charlemagne are said to have ridden Hippogryphs.

As Griffons and horses are considered mortal enemies, the Hippogryff symbolizes love overcoming impossible odds.