In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The phoenix was subsequently adopted as a symbol in Early Christianity. While the phoenix typically dies by fire in most versions of the legend, there are less popular versions of the myth in which the mythical bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again.
In terms of physical appearance, the phoenix, when pictured or described in antique and medieval artwork and literature, will sometimes have a nimbus (a physical feature that emphasizes the phoenix’s connection with the sun). Quite often, the oldest images of phoenixes on record would have nimbuses with seven rays, just like Helios (the personified sun in Greek mythology).
The phoenix was, generally, believed to be colorful and vibrant; Tacitus claimed that this was one aspect of the bird that made it stand out from all other birds. Some thought it had peacock-like coloring, although there was no clear consensus about the mythical bird’s coloring in antiquity (although Herodotus’ claim of a red and yellow theme is popular in many versions of the story on record). Ezekiel the Dramatist claimed that the phoenix had red legs and striking yellow eyes, but Lactantius claimed that its eyes were blue like sapphires and that its legs were covered in scales of yellow-gold with rose-colored talons