a hippogriph is actually part *eagle* part horse. There is no "gryphon"/"griffin" involved. This creature is actually mostly horse--it has the full body, head, legs, and tail of a horse. It however has eagle wings, tufted ears like those of some birds of prey and wild cats, the front forelegs and talons of an eagle, and a beak as the nose/mouth,

Fantastic creature, with the appearance of a horse, but with the the head, fore claws, and the wings of an eagle, the wings enabled it to travel faster than lightning. And was said to live in the Rhiphaean Mountains. It was once thought to have been the invention of Ludovico Ariosto. It was mentioned in his epic "Orlando Furioso".

Hippogryph means "horse gryphon" and can be traced back to this quote from Vergil

"...soon shall we see mate Gryphons with mares, and in the coming age shy deer and hounds together come to drink..."

Gryphons and horses had a huge animosity between them, and so the Hippogryph symbolizes an impossible thing - Vergil was discussing love in the above quote.

Speaking of mating I should point out that Hippogryphs are born of an egg

Persian mythology calls them Simoorgh, Simurgh or Senmurv, where they are sometimes dogs or lions instead of horses.

Hip"po*griff (?), n. [F. hippogriffe; cf. It. ippogrifo. See Hippopotamus, Griffon.] Myth.

A fabulous winged animal, half horse and half griffin.



© Webster 1913.

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