In Greek mythology, the Sphinx and the Sphinx is a fantastic creature called Phix in dialect simple guy, daughter of Typhon (or Orthos) and Echidna, and according to Hesiod Orthos and the Chimera. She is represented with a bust of woman, a body of a lion and wings of bird.
Its name comes from the ancient Greek Σφίγξ / Sphinx, whose etymology is uncertain. The approximation that the Greeks did with the word σφίγγω / sphiggo "strangling" is a popular etymology which is not based on anything, the original form may be Φίξ / Phix, used in Hesiod.
The Greek word is feminine, hence the old transcripts "Sphinx" or "Sphynge". Use french chose the word for the male. The Greeks also knew the Egyptian Sphinx, male, named ἄνδροσφιγξ / androsphinx.
Sent by Hera in Boeotia after the murder of the king of Thebes Laios she began to ravage the fields and to terrorize the population. Having learned a mystery of the Muses, she said she would not leave the province when someone would have solved, adding that she would kill anyone who fails. The regent, Creon, then promises the hand of the widowed queen Jocasta and the crown of Thebes who Boeotia rid of this scourge. Many contenders are trying, but all perished before the arrival of Oedipus and the Sphinx asked him:
τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται
"What being, but with one voice, first four legs, then two legs, three legs and then
(Apollodorus, Library, III, 5, 8)
"(...) Oedipus found the solution: it was the man. Indeed, when a child, it has four legs, as it moves on all fours, an adult, he walks on two legs when he is old, he has three legs, when based on his stick.
Furious at being drilled to date, the Sphinx flows from the top of the cliff (or the walls of Thebes by the authors) and dies. Thus, Creon holding his promise, contracte Oedipus with his mother incestuous union.
This confrontation between Oedipus and the Sphinx is fundamentally different from most other mythological confrontations. For if Hercules, Perseus and Theseus beat their opponents by force, Oedipus, like Ulysses, triumph above all by his cunning and wisdom, his mixed race.
Moreover, Pausanias gives two explanations historical legend of the Sphinx: It would be a pirate expedition defeated by Oedipus arrived in Corinth with a large army, or a natural daughter of Laios wishing to keep the throne for her.