Terms

Composite Animals

Porphyry, in his treatise On Abstinence, explains that the Persian tradition typically used names of animals to specify various stages of moral and spiritual development. The Persian tradition also created composite animals for symbolic purposes. Originally this idea probably goes back to India where there was also an association between animal symbolism, ages of man and evolution, espcially in connection with the avatars of VIshnu where we find a half fish- half animal (avatar 1) and a half animal-half man (avatar 4).
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