Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Sphinx: An Egyptian Theological Symbol in Plutarch and Clement of Alexandria

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The sphinx appears in the Oedipus story, in the realm of death and the underworld, and in decorative and apotropaic functions. The Oedipus story dominates both the ancient literary tradition and current studies of the sphinx. The sphinx's role as guardian of temples as well as tombs passed from Egypt to the Aegean at an early date according to Jean Hani possibly as early as the Bronze Age. The sphinx's riddle appeared comparable in some respects to puzzling theological doctrines and to mysterious religious rituals. In spite of the attractive "theological" interpretations offered by Plutarch and Clement, sphinxes in actual Roman temple settings are rare except in Alexandria or in connection with the Alexandrian gods. As in the Alexandrian Serapeum, the sphinxes from temple sites elsewhere in the Roman world seem to be reused Egyptian carvings of much earlier times; they are wingless, male, and recline.

Keywords: Bronze Age; Clement of Alexandria; Egyptian carvings; Oedipus story; Plutarch; Roman temple; sphinx's riddle

10.1163/9789004256934_007
/content/books/b9789004256934_007
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
6
3
Loading

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation