The Dream of Flying

Page 3




  Alexander the Great (c. 300 BC)  
  Alexander the Great, who during his short life conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks did, according to the legend, a voyage up in the skies.

This medieval woodcut gives an impression of the approach. Alexander sat in a cage to which griffins were fettered. At the top of the cage pieces of meat were fixed on poles. As the griffins got hungry they tried in vain to reach the meat by flying upward. Alexander rose higher and higher until he saw a glimpse of heaven.

griffin is a mythical creature with the face, beak, talons and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion


Left: Coin (silver tetradrachm) issued by Erythrai ca. 200180 BC, obverse: Alexander the Great as Herakles wearing the lion skin.  Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons    


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Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13