A mythical bird that lived for 500 years and was reborn from its own ashes.
Usually described as the size of a large eagle and with purple, red and yellow plumage, the phoenix was supposed to live in the deserts of Arabia. Once every 500 years, it would return to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, the city of the Sungod, Helios. The phoenix would built a pyre of cinnamon sticks on Helios’s altar.
When everything was ready, the phoenix would spread its wings and burst into flames. As it fanned the pyre with its great wings, the phoenix would die in the fire.
From the ashes, a new phoenix would arise and fly back to its desert home.
The phoenix is usually depicted as having purple, red and yellow plumage. It was frequently associated with royalty, as was the color purple. It was usually depicted as having red legs and yellow eyes.
Curlee, Lynn. Mythological creatures: a classical bestiary : tales of strange beings, fabulous creatures, fearsome beasts, & hideous monsters from ancient Greek mythology. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008. Print.
"Phoenix (mythology)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 June 2014. Web. 14 June 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)