The folklore continues; The greek sphynx constitutes a lioness with the head and bosom of a woman, wings, and a snake for a tail. Famously, she plays a tollkeeper of sorts and her currency is riddling; If the traveller answers correctly, she allows him to pass. If not, she will devour said traveller. Most famously, Oedipus answers the sphynx correctly and she is thus obliged to devour herself. Suffice it to say, the man in this picture is (was?) not Oedipus.