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In Greek Myth

The Sphinx originated from Ethiopia but was sent by the gods to protect entrance to the Greek city of Thebes. Once there she asked all those who wished to pass a riddle: "What creature by morning walks on four legs, by day two, and by evening three?" None could answer the riddle, and all were killed for even trying. 
However, as the tragic hero Oedipus made his way to Thebes he encountered the Sphinx and gave the correct answer: "Man. As a child he crawls on all fours, in youth runs on two legs, and in old age walks with the support of a cane." The stunned Sphinx then threw herself off her perch to her own death.

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