A phoenix in Greek mythology was a bird that could live for a long time and could also be regenerated or reborn from the ashes of its predecessor. Some sources say that the phoenix simply died and decomposed before being reborn, but others claim that it would combust and die wrapped in flames. It was believed that it could live over 1400 years at a time.
In ancient Greece, the phoenix was also linked to the civilization of Phoenicia, which has a similar sound to it. Phoenicia was famous for producing a purple dye from conch shells; this hue was also believed to be the colour of the bird's feathers. Other sources, however, say that it was coloured similarly to a peacock, or that it was red and yellow.