Unsolved:Winged lion

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Short description: Mythological creature
Winged lions from the emblem book, Atalanta Fugiens, by Michael Maier, first published in 1617

The winged lion is a mythological creature that resembles a lion with bird-like wings.

Mythical adaptations

The winged lion is found in various forms especially in ancient and medieval civilizations.

There were different mythological adaptions for the winged lion:

  • Lamassu or shedu in Mesopotamian mythology was depicted as a winged lion. It was often depicted with a bull's body instead of a lion's body.
  • The griffin in classical mythology was depicted as a lion-eagle creature. Griffin-like creatures were depicted in Egyptian and Persian mythology.
  • The first beast in the first vision of the biblical prophet Daniel resembled a winged lion.
  • The winged lion was the heraldic symbol of Mark the Evangelist.
  • The Goetic demon Vapula was depicted as a winged lion.


Lion of St. Mark seen on the Venetian Coat of Arms

The emblems of the winged lions were featured in different countries:

  • The emblem of the Republic of Venice as the heraldic symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of the Republic.
    • The Lion of Venice is an ancient bronze sculpture of a winged lion that is located in the Piazzetta di San Marco, Venice
    • The flag of the short-lived Septinsular Republic, derived from the above (Ionian Islands under Venetian rule), has a winged lion on it
    • The logo of the Italian company Assicurazioni Generali which has a winged lion on it was derived from the above
  • The emblem of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allied Joint Force Command Naples headquarters, in Italy, is a winged lion holding a sword and scroll on which is written PAX - Latin for 'peace'.[1]


See also


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