Introduced to the new generations especially by the description given by J. K. Rowling in the Harry Potter saga, the hippogriff is a beautiful legendary creature with characteristics of an eagle and a horse, with heavy, long wings. When I read about hippogriffs in the Harry Potter books, and seeing how beautiful they look in the films, I always thought I wanted to know more about these fascinating creatures. So I made some research and I thought it could be interesting for everybody to know.
The hippogriff is a creature that J. K. Rowling knew about from the classical Greek and Latin literature (she studied Classical Latin and Greek at university); in fact, the first recorded mention of the hippogriff was found reading the works of a very known Latin poet, Virgil. But, it was also depicted into the Orlando Furioso, a masterpiece of Italian literature made by Ludovico Ariosto, at the beginning of the 16th century.
Also, Paul Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883), a famous French artist, illustrator and sculptor, was amazed by this legendary creature and often drawn it.
Actually, we also have early references of the hippogriff. It is said that the hippogriff is a symbol of the Greek god Apollo, and considered a divine creation.
Many critics argue about the veracity of the sightseeing of the hippogriff; someone claimed to see it in the city of Céret (France), during the Middle Ages. It is said in the medieval legends that it usually was the pet of a knight. In 1862, however, a scientific essay on religion came out, that condemned everyone who believed in the existence of the hippogriff (this is also because in some traditions it represented Christ’s dual nature, human and divine).
Today, this creature has fascinated everyone, being also part of fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.
Talking about the hippogriff seen through the eyes of J. K. Rowling, this creature builds nests on the ground, and lay only a single egg, that usually hatches in 24 hours. They are very proud creatures, but also loyal and protective of those who have earned their trust. They also fiercely protect the lands under their domain. When humans approach hippogriffs, they have to be really careful to avoid danger.
As you see, the legend of the hippogriff is really fascinating.