Early references to griffins are found in ancient Persian and Egyptian mythology dating back as far as 3300 B.C. and were often used as statues in Persian palaces. Ancient Persepolis was covered in stone carved depictions of griffins all across its walls, and towering statues throughout the city.
The griffins are popular mythical creatures used extensively in the movies and fiction novels. The griffin is a chimera or hybrid mythical creature. These legendary creatures have the body of a lion and the wings and head of eagle; thus representing the kings of both animals and the birds. They may also bear the ears of a horse. Traditionally known for guarding treasures and possessions, griffins are protectors from evil, slander and witchcraft as well. Sculpted in some churches, the griffin is known in Christian symbolism and depicts both the divine and the human. In heraldry, griffin stands for courage, leadership and strength. Pictured as fierce, they have gained respect over ages too. They appear regularly on the coats, arms, and flags of the noble and highly respected important families in Europe. The roots of this fascinating mythological creature reach from Western Europe to the Eastern edges of Indian subcontinent and beyond.
Powerful and majestic, the griffins guarded gold and treasure. In the medieval era, they came to be regarded as symbols of monogamous marriage and discouraged fidelity. Known to be strictly loyal to its partner, in the event of the death of one partner, the other griffin never mated again. They started representing Jesus as they were able to traverse in both air and earth with equal ease, which symbolized the human and divine nature of the Christ.
The griffins represent both power and wisdom. They are commonly associated with strength during war. The Genoa Republic used griffins as symbols to all its seafaring ships in the Middle Ages.