Simurgh (/ˌsɪˈmərɡ/), also spelled simorgh, simorg, simurg, simoorg, simorq or simourv, is a benevolent, mythical bird in Iranian mythology and literature.
The Simurgh is sometimes compared to a phoenix, but is also described as a lion-bodied creature with wings and a bird’s beak. The touch of the Simurgh, or one of its feathers, could heal a man instantly, and apparently the Simurgh had knowledge of how to prepare a special restorative brew known as houma.
The simurgh is depicted in Iranian art as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion – sometimes, however, also with a human face. The simurgh is inherently benevolent and unambiguously female. Being part mammal, she suckles her young.
The simurgh has teeth and an enmity towards snakes, and its natural habitat is a place with plenty of water. Its feathers are said to be the colour of copper, and though it was originally described as being a dog-bird, later it was shown with either the head of a man or a dog.
According to Persian myth, the Simurgh lived in the Tree of Knowledge.
“When the Simurgh took flight, it was said, its powerful ascent shook the tree’s branches so violently that the seeds [from every plant that has ever existed] were scattered throughout the world, bringing a wealth of valuable plants to mankind. Later, according to myth, the Simurgh nested in seclusion on the sacred Persian mountain of Alburz, far beyond the climbing abilities of any man. This ties the Simurgh to creation myths.
"According to legend, the creature is so old that it has seen the world destroyed three times over”. In all that time, Simurgh has learned so much that it is thought to possess the knowledge of all ages.
The earliest vessels shaped as animals must have been connected with the ancient cult of nature. During the Middle Ages such vessels continued to appear, but the techniques and the treatment of form were different. These wares stand out among other examples of medieval Iranian pottery.
This vessel represents Sirin, a bird with a woman’s head, a mythological creature from Russian legends. The legend of Sirin might have been introduced to Kievan Rus by Persian merchants in the 8th-9th century. The image of Sirin must have been inspired by Simurgh, a huge bird of ancient Iranian legend credited with possessing great wisdom.
I know people who literally don’t know that Tiamat is originally from ancient Iranian and Iraqi mythology (aka Babylonian and Assyrian mythology) and that she’s NOT a dragon but just “the mother of monsters” and “lady of the salt waters” so while monstrous… but because of D&D so many people associate Tiamat with dragons
or bahamut, who in Arabic Christian mythology is actually a giant fish that supports the earth, like an aquatic fishy Atlas. But so many people link bahamut to dragons…
Or the Dark Elves, who really did exist in Norse mythology, but about whom we mostly know that they were “elves who lived underground and were different than those other guys” and they might have been the same as the dwarves, who themselves are very different from Tolkein’s conception of them (like we don’t even know if dwarves in Norse mythology were actually short; that might have been a later development from comical portrayals)
Anyway the point is so many people associate the Dark Elves with spiders or other arachnids and a matriarchal society and having blue-black skin and ALL THAT (as far as I can tell) came from D&D. ALL OF IT.
i was looking up iranian mythology, and i found this:
Zahhāk (pronounced [zæhˈhɒːk]) or Zohhāk (in Persian: ضحاک) is an evil figure in Iranian mythology, evident in ancient Iranian folklore as Aži Dahāka, the name by which he also appears in the texts of the Avesta. In Middle Persian he is called Dahāg or Bēvar-Asp, the latter meaning “[he who has] 10,000 horses”.