Phoenix (mythology)
Overview
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 of the Arabian
Arabian mythology
Arabian mythology comprises the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia...

, Persians
Persian mythology
Persian mythology are traditional tales and stories of ancient origin, some involving extraordinary or supernatural beings. Drawn from the legendary past of the Iranian cultural continent which especially consists of the state of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, they reflect the...

, Greeks
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Romans
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

, Egyptians, Chinese
Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

, Indian
Hindu mythology
Hindu religious literature is the large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism, notably as contained in Sanskrit literature, such as the Sanskrit epics and the Puranas. As such, it is a subset of Nepali and Indian culture...

 and (according to Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon is the purported Phoenician author of three lost works originally in the Phoenician language, surviving only in partial paraphrase and summary of a Greek translation by Philo of Byblos, according to the Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea...

) Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns.

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.
Encyclopedia
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 of the Arabian
Arabian mythology
Arabian mythology comprises the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia...

, Persians
Persian mythology
Persian mythology are traditional tales and stories of ancient origin, some involving extraordinary or supernatural beings. Drawn from the legendary past of the Iranian cultural continent which especially consists of the state of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, they reflect the...

, Greeks
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Romans
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

, Egyptians, Chinese
Chinese mythology
Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. These include creation myths and legends and myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state...

, Indian
Hindu mythology
Hindu religious literature is the large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism, notably as contained in Sanskrit literature, such as the Sanskrit epics and the Puranas. As such, it is a subset of Nepali and Indian culture...

 and (according to Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon
Sanchuniathon is the purported Phoenician author of three lost works originally in the Phoenician language, surviving only in partial paraphrase and summary of a Greek translation by Philo of Byblos, according to the Christian bishop Eusebius of Caesarea...

) Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns.

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis
Heliopolis (ancient)
Heliopolis was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome that was located five miles east of the Nile to the north of the apex of the Nile Delta...

 (literally "sun-city" in Greek). It is said that the bird's cry is that of a beautiful song. The Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes implies that it is immortal, though in some stories the new Phoenix is merely the offspring of the older one. In very few stories they are able to change into people.

History of the myth

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 gave the following account of the phoenix in the fifth century BC while describing the animals of Egypt:
The Roman poet Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 wrote the following about the phoenix:
The phoenix or firebird originated in ancient mythology and has gone through a variety of representations in art/literature, ranging from being fully birdlike to having the head of a dog and suckling its young. Typically, it is considered benevolent, but some tales suggest that humans are not always safe around it.

Flavius Philostratus (c. AD 170
170
Year 170 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Clarus and Cornelius...

), who wrote the biography Life of Apollonius of Tyana, refers to the phoenix as a bird living in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, but sometimes migrating
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

 to Egypt every five hundred years. His account is clearly inspired by Garuda
Garuda
The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

, the bird of the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 god Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

. He considered the bird as an emanation of sunlight, being in appearance and size much like an eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

. His contemporary Lactantius
Lactantius
Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I, guiding his religious policy as it developed, and tutor to his son.-Biography:...

 is probably the author who wrote the longest poem on the famous bird. Although descriptions (and life-span) vary, the Egyptian phoenix (Bennu
Bennu
The Bennu bird serves as the Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix, and is said to be the soul of the Sun-God Ra.-Egyptian description:...

 bird) became popular in early Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 art, literature and Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and...

, as a symbol of Christ representing his resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

, immortality
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

, and life-after-death
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

. One of the Early Church Fathers, Clement
Pope Clement I
Starting in the 3rd and 4th century, tradition has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians as a fellow laborer in Christ.While in the mid-19th century it was customary to identify him as a freedman of Titus Flavius Clemens, who was consul with his cousin, the Emperor...

, related the following regarding the Phoenix in chapter 25 of the First Epistle of Clement
First Epistle of Clement
The First Epistle of Clement, is a letter addressed to the Christians in the city of Corinth. The letter dates from the late 1st or early 2nd century, and ranks with Didache as one of the earliest — if not the earliest — of extant Christian documents outside the canonical New Testament...

:


Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense
Frankincense
Frankincense, also called olibanum , is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana...

, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.


Michael W. Holmes points out that early Christian writers justified their use of this myth because the word appears in Psalm 92:12 (LXX Psalm 91:13), but in that passage it actually refers to a palm tree, not a mythological bird. However, it was the flourishing of Christian Hebraist
Christian Hebraist
A Christian Hebraist is a scholar of Hebrew who comes from a Christian family background/belief, or is a Jewish adherent of Christianity. The main area of study is that commonly known as the Old Testament to Christians , but Christians have occasionally taken an interest in the Talmud, and...

 interpretations of Job 29:18 that brought the Joban phoenix to life for Christian readers of the seventeenth century. At the heart of these interpretations is the proliferation of richly complementary meanings that turn upon three translations of the word chol (חול) – as phoenix, palm tree, or sand – in Job 29:18.

Identification

Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork
Stork
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills. They belong to the family Ciconiidae. They are the only family in the biological order Ciconiiformes, which was once much larger and held a number of families....

 or heron-like bird called a benu
Bennu
The Bennu bird serves as the Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix, and is said to be the soul of the Sun-God Ra.-Egyptian description:...

, known from the Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead is the modern name of an ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom to around 50 BC. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of...

and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun-god
Solar deity
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms...

 Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

.
The Greeks subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

 and identified it with their own word phoenix (Φοίνιξ), meaning the color purple-red or crimson
Crimson
Crimson is a strong, bright, deep red color. It is originally the color of the dye produced from a scale insect, Kermes vermilio, but the name is now also used as a generic term for those slightly bluish-red colors that are between red and rose; besides crimson itself, these colors include...

 (cf. Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

) or a palm tree. According to the Greek mythology the phoenix lived in Phoenicia next to a well. At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

 stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song. Featured in the painting Heracles Strangles Snakes (House of the Vettii, Pompeii Italy) as Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

, the king of the gods. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 spoke about the unique capability of the bird to be consumed in the flames and be reborn from the ashes.

Related usage

In Persian mythology, Simurgh
Simurgh
Simurgh , also spelled simorgh, simurg, simoorg or simourv, also known as Angha , is the modern Persian name for a benevolent, mythical flying creature...

 (Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: سيمرغ, Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

: senmurv) was a winged, bird-like creature that was very large and extremely ancient with a long tail. The Simurgh appears in many Iranian literary classics such as Farid ud-Din Attar's Conference of the Birds
The Conference of the Birds
The Conference of the Birds is a book of poems in Persian by Farid ud-Din Attar of approximately 4500 lines. The poem's plot is as follows: the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the...

 as instructor and birds leader, and in Ferdowsi's
Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran and related societies.The Shahnameh was originally composed by Ferdowsi for the princes of the Samanid dynasty, who were responsible for a revival of Persian cultural traditions after the...

 epic Shahnameh
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

(The Book of Kings); Simurgh raised up and cherished Zaal or Zal
Zal
Zāl , also transliterated Zaal, is a legendary Persian warrior from the old Persian "The Book of Kings/ The king of books" or Shahnameh.-Background:...

, father of Rostam
Rostam
Rostam is the national hero of Greater Iran from Zabulistan in Persian mythology and son of Zal and Rudaba. In some ways, the position of Rostam in the historical tradition is parallel to that of Surena, the hero of the Carrhae. His figure was endowed with many features of the historical...

.

Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 in particular, is often depicted symbolically as a phoenix bird having been destroyed and rebuilt 7 times during its long history.
In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the phoenix is called the businiao (不死鳥; literally "immortal bird"). The East Asian variant, the fenghuang
Fenghuang
Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

(鳳凰) is a mythical bird similar to the phoenix. It is the one of the most-respected legendary creatures in China and the feminine counterpart to the dragon
Chinese dragon
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore, with mythic counterparts among Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bhutanese, Western and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs...

. Its rare appearance is said to foreshadow a great event or bear testimony to the greatness of a ruler.

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the phoenix is called , literally "immortal bird", and the East Asian variant is called hō-ō (kanji: 鳳凰).

In Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, the phoenix is called bulsajo (Hanja:不死鳥 Hangul:불사조) literally meaning "immortal bird", and the East Asian variant is called bonghwangsae (Hangul:봉황새 Hanja:鳳凰새).

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n folklore, the phoenix appears as the Zhar-Ptitsa (Жар-Птица), or firebird, subject of the famous 1910 ballet score
The Firebird
The Firebird is a 1910 ballet created by the composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Michel Fokine. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird of the same name that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor....

 by Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

.

In modern Greece, the phoenix became established as a symbol of the nation's rebirth during the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

. It was first used in the flags of Alexander Ypsilantis, and was chosen as the official emblem of the Provisional Government (1828–1832) by Governor John Capodistria, who also named the first modern Greek currency "phoenix
Greek phoenix
The phoenix was the first currency of the modern Greek state. It was introduced in 1828 by Governor John Capodistria and was subdivided into 100 lepta. The name was that of the mythical phoenix bird and was meant to symbolize the rebirth of Greece...

". Despite being replaced by a Germanic royal Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Greece
The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Greece was the official symbol of the Greek state during the period of the monarchy .-Description of the coat of arms of the Wittelsbach dynasty:...

, it remained a popular symbol, and was used again in the 1930s by the Second Hellenic Republic
Second Hellenic Republic
The Second Hellenic Republic is the term used to describe the political regime of Greece from 1924 to 1935. It followed from the period of the constitutional monarchy under the monarchs of the House of Glücksburg, and lasted until its overthrow in a military coup d'état which restored the monarchy...

. However, its use by the military junta of 1967-1974 made it extremely unpopular, and it has almost disappeared from use after 1974, with the notable exception of the Order of the Phoenix, the country's second-highest award.

The constellation Phoenix
Phoenix (constellation)
Phoenix is a minor constellation in the southern sky. It is named after the Phoenix, a mythical bird. It is faint: there are only two stars in the whole constellation which are brighter than magnitude 5.0...

, was introduced in the late 16th century by sailors organized by Petrus Plancius
Petrus Plancius
Petrus Plancius was a Dutch astronomer, cartographer and clergyman. He was born as Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter, now in Heuvelland, West Flanders. He studied theology in Germany and England...

, probably one of Keyser
Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser
Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser , a.k.a. Petrus Theodori, was a Dutch navigator who mapped the southern sky....

 or de Houtman
Frederick de Houtman
Frederick de Houtman , or Frederik de Houtman, was a Dutch explorer who sailed along the Western coast of Australia en route to Batavia.-Biography:...

 and displayed on a globe from 1597 created by Hondius
Jodocus Hondius
Jodocus Hondius , sometimes called Jodocus Hondius the Elder to distinguish him from his son Henricus Hondius II, was a Flemish artist, engraver, and cartographer...

.

In ancient Arabic
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 tradition the Ghoghnus or Ghoghnous is a bird having some mythical relation with the date palm
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

. The Ghoghnus is said to have laid only one egg. It lived in the Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert
The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. It occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of...

 many thousands of years ago.

Zumrud-u Anka (Zümrüdüanka), Tuğrul or Devekuşu, is a Turkish version of the phoenix. The word Anka comes from the word for "necklace", for the bird's neck is covered with white feathers forming like a necklace.

Symbolism

The phoenix has long been presented as a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal. The Belgian € 10 silver coin, commemorating sixty years of peace, depicts the phoenix as a representation of a new Europe, post 1945.
Moreover, the Iranian 500 rial coins issued since 2004 have an image of a phoenix on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

.

Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, the capital of Arizona, was so named as it was built on the ruins of the Hohokam
Hohokam
Hohokam is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological Oasisamerica traditions of what is now the American Southwest. Many local residents put the accent on the first syllable . Variant spellings in current, official usage include Hobokam, Huhugam and Huhukam...

 civilization that had existed on the site centuries before.

The phoenix was sometimes used as a symbol of the Provisional IRA. The symbols of rebirth and renewal referred to the Provisional IRA's formation "out of the ashes of '69".

The phoenix became the official symbol of Atlanta, Georgia in 1888 because it was "reborn" from the ashes after it was burned down in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

Specific legends

  • Ziz
    Ziz
    The Ziz is a giant griffin-like bird in Jewish mythology, said to be large enough to be able to block out the sun with its wingspan. It is considered a giant animal/monster corresponding to archetypal creatures. Rabbis have said that the Ziz is comparable to the Persian Simurgh...

    , a legendary pure bird, the protector of all birds, from Hebrew traditions
    Jewish mythology
    Jewish mythology is generally the sacred and traditional narratives that help explain and symbolize the Jewish religion, whereas Jewish folklore consists of the folk tales and legends that existed in the general Jewish culture. There is very little early folklore distinct from the aggadah literature...

    .
  • Fenghuang
    Fenghuang
    Fenghuang are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang. In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be...

    , commonly referred to as the Chinese phoenix.
  • Firebird (Russian folklore)
    Firebird (Russian folklore)
    In Slavic folklore, the Firebird is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both a blessing and a bringer of doom to its captor....

    , an equivalent of phoenix in Russian mythology.
  • Bennu
    Bennu
    The Bennu bird serves as the Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix, and is said to be the soul of the Sun-God Ra.-Egyptian description:...

    , an Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix.
  • Angha, a Huma
    Huma (mythology)
    The Huma , also Homa, is a legendary bird especially of the Persian branch of Iranian mythology and Sufi fable. It is said to never come to rest, living its entire life flying invisibly high above the earth, and never alighting on the ground .-Etymology:The word Huma which has a Persian origin is...

    , Simurgh
    Simurgh
    Simurgh , also spelled simorgh, simurg, simoorg or simourv, also known as Angha , is the modern Persian name for a benevolent, mythical flying creature...

    , Persian phoenixes.
  • Adarna, a Philippine version of the phoenix.
  • Avalerion
    Avalerion
    Avalerion or Alerion is a mythological bird. It was "rather small, yet larger than an eagle" and lived near the Hydaspes and the Indus according to European medieval geographers and bestiaries, which were possibly based on a description by Pliny. Only two of the birds were said to exist at a time...

    , an Indian magic bird that drowns itself once it has laid its eggs.
  • Turul
    Turul
    The Turul is the most important bird in the origin myth of the Magyars .It is a divine messenger, and perches on top of the tree of life along with the other spirits of unborn children in the form of birds...

    , a mythical bird of the Magyars.
  • Garuda
    Garuda
    The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

    , mythical bird of ancient India.
  • Kokko, a mythical bird of iron and fire from Finnish folklore.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK