It is also one of the most recognizable relics of the ancient Egyptians, though the origins and history of the colossal structure are still debated. A sphinx or sphynx is a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human, with some variations. It is a prominent mythological figure in Egyptian, Asian, and Greek mythology. In ancient Egypt , the sphinx was a spiritual guardian and most often depicted as a male with a pharaoh headdress—as is the Great Sphinx—and figures of the creatures were often included in tomb and temple complexes. For instance, the so-called Sphinx Alley in Upper Egypt is a two-mile avenue that connects the temples of Luxor and Karnak and is lined with sphinx statues. Sphinxes with the likeness of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut also exist, such as the granite sphinx statue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the large alabaster sphinx at the Ramessid temple in Memphis, Egypt. From Egypt, the sphinx imported to both Asia and Greece around 15th to 16th century B. Compared with the Egyptian model, the Asian sphinx had eagle wings, was frequently female, and often sat on its haunches with one paw raised in depictions.
A project. Current version:. Join the sphinx-users mailing list on Google Groups:. You can also open an issue at the tracker. Sphinx is a tool that makes it easy to create intelligent and beautiful documentation, written by Georg Brandl and licensed under the BSD license. It was originally created for the Python documentation , and it has excellent facilities for the documentation of software projects in a range of languages. Of course, this site is also created from reStructuredText sources using Sphinx! The following features should be highlighted:. Sphinx uses reStructuredText as its markup language, and many of its strengths come from the power and straightforwardness of reStructuredText and its parsing and translating suite, the Docutils. First steps with Sphinx overview of basic tasks.
The Great Sphinx of Giza , commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx , is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx , a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the pharaoh Khafre. Cut from the bedrock , the original shape of the Sphinx has been restored with layers of blocks. The Sphinx is a monolith carved into the bedrock of the plateau, which also served as the quarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area. Prior to , a large gaping shaft similar to these existed on the top of the Sphinx's head. It is believed to have possibly been an anchoring point for a sculpted crown or headdress added during the period of the New Kingdom. The Great Sphinx is one of the world's largest and oldest statues, but basic facts about it are still subject to debate, such as when it was built, by whom and for what purpose. It is impossible to identify what name the creators called their statue, as the Great Sphinx does not appear in any known inscription of the Old Kingdom and there are no inscriptions anywhere describing its construction or its original purpose. The commonly used name " Sphinx " was given to it in classical antiquity , about years after the commonly accepted date of its construction by reference to a Greek mythological beast with a lion 's body, a woman's head and the wings of an eagle although, like most Egyptian sphinxes , the Great Sphinx has a man's head and no wings. Selim Hassan , writing in on recent excavations of the Sphinx enclosure, summed up the problem:.
In Greek tradition , the sphinx has the head of a woman, the haunches of a lion, and the wings of a bird. She is mythicized as treacherous and merciless, and will kill and eat those who cannot answer her riddle. In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version. Both were thought of as guardians and often flank the entrances to temples. In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance. Later, the sphinx image, initially very similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit they're often interpreted quite differently due to translations of descriptions of the originals and through the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions.