The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Ancient Greek: γρύψ, gryps; Classical Latin: grȳps or grȳpus; Late and Medieval Latin: gryphes, grypho etc.; Old French: griffon) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and sometimes 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 the birds, by the Middle Ages, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, griffins were known for guarding treasures and priceless possessions.
In Greek and Roman texts, griffins and Arimaspians were associated with gold deposits of Central Asia. Indeed, as Pliny the Elder wrote, "griffins were said to lay eggs in burrows on the ground and these nests contained gold nuggets".
The derivation of this word remains uncertain. It could be related to the Greek word γρυπός (grypos), meaning 'curved', or 'hooked'. Greek γρύφ (gryph) from γρύφ 'hook-nosed' is suggested.
It could also have been an Anatolian loan word derived from a Semitic language; compare the Hebrew word for cherub כרוב (kerúv).
In the modern Persian language, the griffin has come to be called shirdal (Persian: شیردال), meaning 'lion-eagle'. However, the practice of referring to ancient Iranian griffin objects or monuments as shirdal, is not followed by other current archaeological scholarship (e.g , here).
Possible Old or Middle Iranian names for the creature have been discussed. Middle Persian Sēnmurw in Sasanian culture was a fabulous composite creature, and Russian archaeologist Boris A. Litvinskijargued for the possibility that the application of this term may extend to the griffin. The term Sēnmurw is recognized as the etymological ancestor of simurgh, which is generally regarded as a mythological bird (rather than a composite) in later medieval Persian literature,[b] though some argue that this bird may have originated from the Mesopotamian lion-griffin.
There is also the Armenian term Paskuč (Armenian: պասկուչ) that had been used to translate Greek gryp 'griffin' in the Septuagint, which H. P. Schmidt characterized as the counterpart of the simurgh. However, the cognate term Baškuč (glossed as 'griffin') also occurs in Middle Persian, attested in the Zoroastrian cosmological text Bundahishn XXIV, where Sēnmurw appears alongside as a separate creature. Middle Persian Paškuč is also attested in Manichaean magical texts (Manichaean Middle Persian: pškwc), and this must have meant a "griffin or a monster like a griffin" according to W. B. Henning.
See also: § Medieval iconography, and § Variants
Most statuary representations of griffins depict them with bird-like forelegs and talons, although in some older illustrations griffins have a lion's forelegs (see bronze figure, right); they generally have a lion's hindquarters. Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears; these are sometimes described as the lion's ears, but are often elongated (more like a horse's), and are sometimes feathered.
The griffin of Greece, as depicted in cast[c] bronze cauldron protomes (cf. below), has a squat face with short beaks[d] that are open agape as if screaming, with the tongue showing. There is also a "top-knob" on its head or between the brows.
There may also be so-called "tendrils", or curled "spiral-locks" depicted, presumably representing either hair/mane or feather/crest locks dangling down. Single- or double-streaked tendrils hang down both sides and behind the griffin's neck, carven on some of the Greek protomes.[e] The tendril motif emerged at the beginning of the first millennium, BC., in various parts of the Orient. The "double spiral of hair running downwards from the base of the ear" is said to be a hallmark of Iranian (Uratrian) art. The Etruscan cauldron-griffins (e.g., from Barberini tomb, figure right[f][g]) also bear the "curled tresses" that are the signature of Uratrian workmanship.[h] Even the ornate crests on Mycenean griffins (such as the fresco of the Throne Room, figure top of page) may be a development of these curled tresses.[i]
One prominent characteristic of the cauldron griffins is the "top-knob between the brows" (seemingly situated at the top of the head).
The top-knob feature has clear oriental origins. Benson says these appendages were "topknots" subsequently rendered as "knobs" in later development of the cauldron Griffins. Benson's emphasis is that the Greeks attached a stylized "anorganic" topknot or an "inorganic" plug on the griffin's head (due to lack of information),[j] while in contrast, a known oriental example (stone protomes from Nimrud) is simple but more "plausible" (naturalistic), resembling a forelock.
A cluster of "warts" between the eyes are also mentioned. One conjecture is that these derive from the bumps (furrows) on a lion's snout. Another view regards the wart as deriving from the bumpy cockscomb on a rooster or other such fowls.
Griffins were depicted on cylinder seals in Mesopotamia c. 3000 BC, perhaps as early as the Uruk period (4000–3100BC) and subsequent Proto-Elamite (Jemdet Nasr) period. An example of a winged lion with beaks, unearthed in Susa (cf. fig. right) dates to the 4th millenium B.C., and is a unique example of a griffin with a male lion's mane. However, this monster then ceased to continue to be expressed after the Elamite culture.
What the Sumerians of the Early Dynastic period portrayed instead were winged lions, and the lion-headed eagle (Imdugud).
In the Akkadian Empire that succeeded Sumer, early examples (from early 3rd millenium BC) of lion-griffins appeared on cylinder seals, shown pulling the chariots for its rider, the weather god. The lion-griffin on Akkadian seals are also shown as fire-belching, and shaggy (at the neck) in particular examples.
The bronzeworks of Luristan, the North and North West region of Iran in the Iron Age, include examples of Achaemenid art depicting both the "bird-griffin" and "lion-griffin" designs, such as are found on horse-bits. Bernard Goldman maintains the position that Luristan examples must be counted as developments of the "lion-griffin" type, even when it exhibits "stylization .. approaching the beak of a bird". The Luristan griffins resemble and perhaps are descended from Assyrian creatures, possibly influenced by Mitannian animals, or perhaps there had been parallel development in both Assyrian and Elamite cultures.
Representations of griffin-like hybrids with four legs and a beaked head appeared in Ancient Egyptian art dating back to before 3000 BC. In Egypt, a griffin-like animal can be seen in a cosmetic palette from Hierakonpolis, known as the "Two Dog Palette", which is dated to c. 3300–3100 BC.
Griffin-type creatures combining raptor heads and mammalian bodies were depicted in the Levant, Syria, and Anatolia during the Middle Bronze Age, dated at about 1950–1550 BC.
The griffin appeared in the art of ancient Crete in the MM III Period (1650–1600 BC) in Minoan chronology, found on sealings from Zakro and miniature frescos dated to this period. One early example of griffin-types in Minoan art occurs in the 15th century BC frescoes of the Throne Room of the Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, as restored by Sir Arthur Evans.
The griffin became a fixture of Aegean culture since the Late Bronze Age, but the griffin did not appear in Greek art until about 700 BC, or rather, it was "rediscovered" as artistic motif in the 8th to 7th centuries BC, adapting the style of griffin current in Neo-Hittite art. It became quite popular in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, when the Greeks first began to record accounts of the "gryps" creature from travelers to Asia, such as Aristeas of Proconnesus. A number of bronze griffin protomes on cauldrons have been unearthed in Greece (on Samos, and at Olympia, etc., cf. fig. right).Jantzen (1955) Early Greek and early Etruscan (e.g. the Barberini) examples of cauldron-griffins may have been of Syric-Urartian make, based on evidence (the "tendrils" or "tresses" motif was already touched upon, above), but "Vannic (Urartian) originals" have yet to be found (in the Orient). It has thus been controversially argued (by Ulf Jantzen) that these attachments had always since the earliest times been crafted by Greek workshops,[k] added to the plain cauldrons imported from the Near East.[l] Detractors (notably K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop) believe that (early examples of) the griffin-ornamented cauldron, in its entirely, were crafted in the East, though excavated finds from the Orient are scarce.
An golden frontal half of a griffin from the Ziwiye hoard (near Saqqez city) in Kurdistan Province, Iran resembles the western protomes in style.[m] They were of Urartian workmanship (neither Assyrian or Scythian),[n] though the hoard itself may have represented a Scythian burial. The griffin is described as having a "visor" (i.e., beaks) by Urartian craftsmen, similar to what is found on Greek protomes.
In Central Asia, the griffin image was included in Scythian "animal style" artifacts of the 6th–4th centuries BC, but no writings explain their meaning.
Griffin images appeared in art of the Achaemenian Persian Empire. Russian jewelry historian Elena Neva maintained that the Achaemenids considered the griffin "a protector from evil, witchcraft, and secret slander", but no writings exist from Achaemenid Persia to support her claim. R.L. Fox (1973) remarks that a “lion-griffin” attacks a stag in a pebble mosaic at Pella, from the 4th century BC, perhaps serving as an emblem of the kingdom of Macedon or a personal emblem of Antipater, one of Alexander's successors.
Several ancient mythological creatures are similar to the griffin. These include the Lamassu, an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted with a bull or lion's body, eagle's wings, and human's head.
Sumerian and Akkadian mythology feature the demon Anzu, half man and half bird, associated with the chief sky god Enlil. This was a divine storm-bird linked with the southern wind and the thunder clouds.
Jewish mythology speaks of the Ziz, which resembles Anzu, as well as the ancient Greek Phoenix. The Bible mentions the Ziz in Psalms 50:11. This is also similar to a cherub. The cherub, or sphinx, was very popular in Phoenician iconography.
In ancient Crete, griffins became very popular, and were portrayed in various media. A similar creature is the Minoan Genius.
In the Hindu religion, Garuda is a large bird-like creature that serves as a mount (vahana) of the deity Vishnu. It is also the name for the constellation Aquila.
Flavius Philostratus mentioned them in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana:
As to the gold which the griffins dig up, there are rocks which are spotted with drops of gold as with sparks, which this creature can quarry because of the strength of its beak. “For these animals do exist in India” he said, “and are held in veneration as being sacred to the Sun ; and the Indian artists, when they represent the Sun, yoke four of them abreast to draw the images ; and in size and strength they resemble lions, but having this advantage over them that they have wings, they will attack them, and they get the better of elephants and of dragons. But they have no great power of flying, not more than have birds of short flight; for they are not winged as is proper with birds, but the palms of their feet are webbed with red membranes, such that they are able to revolve them, and make a flight and fight in the air; and the tiger alone is beyond their powers of attack, because in swiftness it rivals the winds.
And the griffins of the Indians and the ants of the Ethiopians, though they are dissimilar in form, yet, from what we hear, play similar parts; for in each country they are, according to the tales of poets, the guardians of gold, and devoted to the gold reefs of the two countries.
Pomponius Mela (fl. AD 43) wrote in his Book ii. 6:
In Europe, constantly falling snow makes those places contiguous with the Riphaean Mountains.. so impassable that, in addition, they prevent those who deliberately travel here from seeing anything. After that comes a region of very rich soil but quite uninhabitable because griffins, a savage and tenacious breed of wild beasts, love.. the gold that is mined from deep within the earth there, and because they guard it with an amazing hostility to those who set foot there.
In medieval legend, griffins not only mated for life, but if either partner died, then the other would continue the rest of its life alone, never to search for a new mate. The griffin was thus made an emblem of the Church's opposition to remarriage.[dubious ]
The account of the "gryphes" by Isidore of Seville (d. 636) lacked any Christian allegorical interpretation, and the griffin is classified as a "beast of prey". Thus Isidore (Etymologies xii.2 .17) gives:
The Gryphes are so called because they are winged quadrupeds. This kind of wild beast is found in the Hyperborean Mountains. In every part of their body they are lions, and in wings and heads are like eagles, and they are fierce enemies of horses. Moreover they tear men to pieces".
Isidore's localization of the griffins in the mountains of Hyperborea derives from Servius (4th and 5th century). Griffins had already been localized Riphean Mountains by Mela (1st century) as quoted above, while the Hyperboreans are sometimes said to dwell further north than these mountains.
Despite Isidore passing on classical without religious connotation, the griffin, being a union of an aerial bird and a terrestrial beast, came to be regarded in Christendom as a symbol of Jesus, who was both human and divine, espoused by many commentators, who see this evidenced in the griffin that draws the chariot in Dante's Purgatorio (cf. §In literature below).
A slightly different interpretation was that the griffin symbolized the pope or papacy rather than Christ himself, as proposed by French critic Didron, who built this interpretation upon the observation that Herrad of Landsberg's manuscript (Hortus deliciarum, completed c. 1185) clearly depicted the two-colored bird as symbolic of the Church.
At any rate, the griffin can be found sculpted at a number of Christian churches.
Alleged griffin's claws, eggs, and feathers were held as valuable objects, but actually derived from exotic animals, etc. The eggs were often ostrich eggs, or in rare cases, fossilized dinosaur eggs. These eggs were fashioned into eggs according to heraldry scholars. The feather is a piece of forgery, an object crafted from raffia palm fiber, with painted colors.
Tue supposed claws were often turned into drinking cups (and griffin egg artifacts were also used as goblets, according to heraldry scholars).
A number of medieval griffin's claws existed, sometimes purported to be very large. St. Cuthbert is said to have obtained claw and egg: two claws and two eggs were registered in the 1383 inventory of the saint's shrine, but the two-feet claws that still remain on display have been identified as Alpine ibex horns.
There is said to be a legend that a griffin's claw was made into a cup and dedicated to Cuthbert. As a matter of fact, griffin claws were frequently fashioned into goblets (drinking cups) in medieval Europe, and specific examples can be given, such as Charlemagne's griffin-claw drinking horn, formerly at Saint-Denis and now housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale, is a drinking cup made of a bovine horn. Additional ornamentation were attached to it, such as a gilt copper leg for it to stand on, realistically resembling the taloned foot of a raptor.[o] Kornelimünster Abbey located in Charlemagne's former capital of Aix-la-Chapelle (now Aachen, Germany) also houses a griffin horn of Pope Cornelius, made of Asian buffalo horn.
By the 12th century, the appearance of the griffin was substantially fixed: "All its bodily members are like a lion's, but its wings and mask are like an eagle's." It is not yet clear if its forelimbs are those of an eagle or of a lion. Although the description implies the latter, the accompanying illustration is ambiguous. It was left to the heralds to clarify that.
According to Stephen Friar's New Dictionary of Heraldry, a griffin's claw was believed to have medicinal properties and one of its feathers could restore sight to the blind.[additional citation(s) needed]
Attestation of griffin's feather as cure for blindness does occur in an Italian folktale, classed as the "The Singing Bone" tale type (ATU 780). There is also a study that considers the griffin's feather tale as a variant of the "The Twa Sisters" ballad (Child Ballad 10), as the tale incorporates the song in Italian, supposedly sung by the bones of the murdered finder of the feather). It may not be a griffin's feather but another kind of avian plumage (peacock feather) that remedies blindness in other Italian variants of this folktale type.
Griffins in heraldry are usually portrayed with the rear body of a lion, an eagle's head with erect ears, a feathered breast, and the forelegs of an eagle, including claws.
The heraldic griffin "denote[d] strength and military, courage and leadership", according to one source. That it became a Christian symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine, was already touched upon above.
Griffins may be shown in a variety of poses, but in British heraldry are never shown with their wings closed. Heraldic griffins use the same attitude terminology as the lion, with the exception that where a lion would be described as rampant a griffin is instead described as segreant.
In British heraldry, a male griffin is shown without wings, its body covered in tufts of formidable spikes, with a short tusk emerging from the forehead, as for a unicorn. This distinction is not found outside of British heraldry; even within it, male griffins are much rarer than winged ones, which are not given a specific name. It is possible that the male griffin originated as a derivation of the heraldic panther.
When Genoa emerged as a major seafaring power in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, griffins commenced to be depicted as part of the republic's coat of arms, rearing at the sides of the shield bearing the Cross of St. George.
The red griffin rampant was the coat of arms of the dukes of Pomerania and survives today as the armorial of West Pomeranian Voivodeship (historically, Farther Pomerania) in Poland. It is also part of the coat of arms of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, representing the historical region Vorpommern (Hither Pommerania).
A hippogriff is a related legendary creature, supposedly the offspring of a griffin and a mare.
Infrequently, a griffin is portrayed without wings, or a wingless eagle-headed lion is identified as a griffin.
In 15th-century and later heraldry, such a wingless griffin may be called an alke, a keythong or a male griffin.
The sea-griffin, also termed the gryphon-marine, is a heraldic variant of the griffin possessing the head and legs of the more common variant and the hindquarters of a fish or a mermaid. Sea-griffins are present on the arms of a number of German noble families, including the Mestich family of Silesia and the Barony of Puttkamer.
The opinicus or epimacu is another heraldic variety of griffin, which is depicted with all four legs being those of a lion. Occasionally, its tail may be that of a camel or its wings may be absent. The opinicus is rarely used in heraldry, but appears in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Barbers. It is sometimes wingless.
The Pisa Griffin is a large bronze sculpture that has been in Pisa in Italy since the Middle Ages, though it is of Islamic origin. It is the largest bronze medieval Islamic sculpture known, at over 3 feet tall (42.5 inches, or 1.08 m), and was probably created in the 11th century AD in Al-Andaluz (Islamic Spain). From about 1100 it was placed on a column on the roof of Pisa Cathedral until replaced by a replica in 1832; the original is now in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum), Pisa.
In architectural decoration the griffin is usually represented as a four-footed beast with wings and the head of an eagle with horns, or with the head and beak of an eagle.
The statues that mark the entrance to the City of London are sometimes mistaken for griffins, but are in fact (Tudor) dragons, the supporters of the city's arms. They are most easily distinguished from griffins by their membranous, rather than feathered, wings.
Griffins are used widely in Persian poetry; Rumi is one such poet who writes in reference to griffins.
In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, after Dante and Virgil's journey through Hell and Purgatory has concluded, Dante meets a chariot dragged by a griffin in Earthly Paradise. Immediately afterwards, Dante is reunited with Beatrice. Dante and Beatrice then start their journey through Paradise.
Sir John Mandeville wrote about them in his 14th century book of travels:
In that country be many griffins, more plenty than in any other country. Some men say that they have the body upward as an eagle and beneath as a lion; and truly they say sooth, that they be of that shape. But one griffin hath the body more great and is more strong than eight lions, of such lions as be on this half, and more great and stronger than an hundred eagles such as we have amongst us. For one griffin there will bear, flying to his nest, a great horse, if he may find him at the point, or two oxen yoked together as they go at the plough. For he hath his talons so long and so large and great upon his feet, as though they were horns of great oxen or of bugles or of kine, so that men make cups of them to drink of. And of their ribs and of the pens of their wings, men make bows, full strong, to shoot with arrows and quarrels.
John Milton, in Paradise Lost II, refers to the legend of the griffin in describing Satan:
As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness
With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale,
Pursues the ARIMASPIAN, who by stelth
Had from his wakeful custody purloind
The guarded Gold [...]
Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist and historian of science, has speculated that the way the Greeks imagined griffins from the seventh century BC onwards may have been influenced in part by the fossilized remains of beaked dinosaurs such as Protoceratops observed on the way to gold deposits by nomadic prospectors of ancient Scythia (Central Asia). This speculation is based on Greek and Latin literary sources and related artworks in a specific time frame, beginning with the first written descriptions of griffins as real animals of Asia in a lost work by Aristeas (a Greek who traveled to the Altai region between Mongolia and NW China in the 7th century BC) referenced by Aeschylus and Herodotus (ca. 450 BC) and ending with Aelian (3rd century AD), the last ancient author to report any "new" details about the griffin.
Mayor argues that Protoceratops fossils, seen by ancient observers, may have been interpreted as evidence of a half-bird-half-mammal creature. She argues that over-repeated retelling and drawing or recopying its bony neck frill (which is rather fragile and may have been frequently broken or entirely weathered away) may become large mammal-type external ears, and its beak may be treated as evidence of a part-bird nature and lead to bird-type wings being added.
Paleontologist Mark P. Witton has contested this hypothesis, arguing that it ignores the existence of depictions of griffins throughout the Near East dating to long before the time when Mayor posits the Greeks became aware of Protoceratops fossils in Scythia. Witton further argues that the anatomies of griffins in Greek art are clearly based on those of living creatures, especially lions and eagles, and that there are no features of griffins in Greek art that can only be explained by the hypothesis that the griffins were based on fossils. He notes that Greek accounts of griffins describe them as living creatures, not ancient skeletons, and that some of the details of these accounts suggest griffins are purely imaginary, not inspired by fossils.
Griffins, like many other fictional creatures, frequently appear within works under the fantasy genre. Examples of fantasy-oriented franchises that feature griffins include Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warcraft, Heroes of Might and Magic, the Griffon in Dungeons & Dragons, Ragnarok Online, Harry Potter, The Spiderwick Chronicles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and The Battle for Wesnoth.
Griffins appear in the fairy tales "Jack the Giant Killer", "The Griffin" and "The Singing, Springing Lark".
In The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang are attacked by griffins in Alaska.
In the Harry Potter series, the character Albus Dumbledore has a griffin-shaped knocker. Also, the character Godric Gryffindor's surname is a variation on the French griffon d'or ("golden griffon").
The griffin is the symbol of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; bronze castings of them perch on each corner of the museum's roof, protecting its collection.
The "Griff" statue by Veres Kálmánwas erected in 2007 at the forecourt of the Farkashegyi cemetery in Budapest, Hungary.
See also: § Eponymy
An archaic griffin design, created by artist Thomas Fanourakis(1915–1993), was adopted as the official symbol of the city of Heraklion on 22 March 1961 (cf. figure right).[q]
Film and television company Merv Griffin Entertainment uses a griffin for its production company. Merv Griffin Entertainment was founded by entrepreneur Merv Griffin and is based in Beverly Hills, California. His former company Merv Griffin Enterprises also used a griffin for its logo.
The griffin is used in the logo of United Paper Mills, Vauxhall Motors, and of Scania and its former partners Saab Group and Saab Automobile.
Similarly, prior to the mid-1990s a griffin formed part of the logo of Midland Bank (now HSBC).
Saab Automobile previously used the griffin in their logo (Cf. Saab fighter Gripen)
Information security firm Halock uses a griffin to represent protecting data and systems.
Further information: List of griffins as mascots and in heraldry
Three gryphons form the crest of Trinity College, Oxford (founded 1555), originating from the family crest of founder Sir Thomas Pope. The college's debating society is known as the Gryphon, and the notes of its master emeritus show it to be one of the oldest debating institutions in the country, significantly older than the more famous Oxford Union Society. Griffins are also mascots for VU University Amsterdam, Reed College, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Guelph, and Canisius College.
The official seal of Purdue University was adopted during the university's centennial in 1969. The seal, approved by the Board of Trustees, was designed by Prof. Al Gowan, formerly at Purdue. It replaced an unofficial one that had been in use for 73 years.
The College of William and Mary in Virginia changed its mascot to Griffin in April 2010. The griffin was chosen because it is the combination of the British lion and the American eagle.
The 367th Training Support Squadron's and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade feature griffins in their unit patches.
The emblem of the Greek 15th Infantry Division features an ax-wielding griffin on its unit patch.
The English private school of Wycliffe College features a griffin on its school crest.
The mascot of St Mary's College, one of the 16 colleges in Durham University, is a griffin.
The mascot of Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa is the gryphon, and the team name is the Glebe Gryphons.
The griffin is the official mascot of Chestnut Hill College and Gwynedd Mercy University, both in Pennsylvania.
The mascot of Leadership High School in San Francisco, CA was chosen by the student body by popular vote to be the griffin after the Golden Gate University Griffins, where they operated out of from 1997 to 2000.
The Gryphon is the school mascot for Glenlyon Norfolk School, an independent, co-ed, university preparatory day school in Victoria and Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada.
A griffin appears in the official seal of the Waterloo Police Department (Iowa).
The Royal Air Force Police depicts a griffin for their unit badge.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force Police depicts a griffin holding a taiaha for their unit badge.
The Grand Rapids Griffins professional ice hockey team of the American Hockey League.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings's mascot "Aguileon" is a griffin. The name "Aguileon" is a compound using two Spanish words; "aguila" meaning "eagle" and "leon" meaning "lion".
Busch Gardens Williamsburg's highlight attraction is a dive coaster called the "Griffon", which opened in 2007.
In 2013, Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio opened the "GateKeeper" steel roller coaster, which features a griffin as its mascot.
Griffins appear in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Griffins are also present in various animated series such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, World of Quest, Yin Yang Yo!, and Family Guy.
A griffin appeared in the 1974 film The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.
In the 1969 movie Latitude Zero, a creature called "Griffin" is made by inserting a woman's brain into a lion–condor hybrid.
In the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper mentions that he attempted to create a griffon but could not obtain the “necessary eagle eggs and lion semen.”
The latest fighter produced by the Saab Group bears the name "Gripen" (Griffin), as a result of public competition.
During World War II, the Heinkel firm named its heavy bomber design for the Luftwaffe after the legendary animal, as the Heinkel He 177 Greif, the German form of "griffin". General Atomics has used the term "Griffin Eye" for its intelligence surveillance platform based on a Hawker Beechcraft King Air 35ER civilian aircraft.
Some large species of Old World vultures are called griffines, including the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). The scientific name for the Andean condor is Vultur gryphus, Latin for "griffin-vulture". The Catholic Douay-Rheims version of the Bible uses griffon for a creature referred to as vulture or ossifrage in other English translations (Leviticus 11:13).
144 AR [silver] Phoenician Tetradrachm; 14.94 gr.; 27 mm. Obv. Griffin seated l. on a fish, with rounded, feathered wing; around, magistrate's name Καλλιδαμασ; around, circle of dots. Rev. → Αβδηριτων on border of an incuse square; within, smaller linear square in four compartments.
Isidore's entries contain traditional folkloric material, but without Christian allegory
Goblets in the shape of gryphon's claws or eggs were highly prized in the courts of medieval Europe, and were usually made from antelope horns and ostrich eggs.
Taheri, Sadreddin (2013). "Gopat and Shirdal in the Ancient Middle East" (PDF). Honar-Ha-Ye-Ziba: Honar-Ha-Ye-Tajassomi نشریه هنرهای زیبا- هنرهای تجسمی (in Persian). 17 (4): 13–22. doi:10.22059/jfava.2013.30063.