Sphinx of Lanuvium
A Graeco-Roman marble table support in the shape of a sphinx. It was found in the ruins of the Villa of Antoninus Pius at Lanuvium. The sculpture is half woman, half bird, with wings stretching out behind the body.
"In Greek mythology, a female monster, said to have proposed a riddle to the Thebans who passed her as she sat on a rock by the roadside, and to have killed all who were not able to guess it." —Whitney, 1889
William Dwight Whitney, PhD, LLD The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language (New York, NY: The Century Co., 1895) 5827