Physically, the manticore was know as having the body of a red lion, the face and ears of a blue eyes human and a tail ending in a sting like that of a scorpion. The mouth contains three rows of teeth and poisoned spines along the tail could be shot, like arrows in any direction.
The manticore was also attributed with having a voice that was the mixture of pipes and a trumpet. The beast is very swift and makes very powerful leaps.
The manticore is reputed to roam in the jungles of India, and is known to have an appetite for humans. Like its cousin, the Sphinx, it would often challenge its prey with riddles before killing.
The earliest accounts seem to be from Persian legend. The name itself is from the Old Persian martikhoras meaning 'man-eater'.
The earliest accounts of the existence of the manticore come from the Persian courts in the fifth century B.C., documented by Ctesias, a Greek physician at the Persian court. Greek and Roman authors (Aristotle, Pliny) described the beast the same way the Persians had.
In the middle ages, the manticore was the emblem for the prophet Jeremia because the manticore lives in the depths of the earth and Jeremiah had been thrown into a dung pit.
At the same time, the manticore became the symbol of tyranny, disparagement and envy, and ultimately the embodiment of evil. As late as the 1930s it was still considered by the peasants of Spain, to be a beast of ill omen.