The sphinx is the mythical creature with the head of a woman, the wings
of a griffin and the body of a lion. The sphinx stopped travelers on the
road to Thebes and posed them a riddle. If they answered wrong, they died.
Oedipus was asked the following question:"What is that which in the morning
walks on four legs, at noon on two, and in the evening on three?" Oedipus
replied that a human crawls as a baby, walks erect as a man, and leans on a cane
in his old age. Hearing this, the Sphinx promptly ran off and killed herself.
The grateful people of Thebes made Oedipus their king.