Is Zozo a fallen angel

Demons in mythology and fantasy

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

The fantasy setting in particular can hardly do without them: demons. Beings from other worlds, servants of dark gods who seek to plunge entire worlds into chaos. Tyrannical rulers who establish a reign on blood and sorrow, who sit on thrones of bones to enjoy the torments of mortals. Building a hell on earth is often their stated goal.

This image can also be found in modern horror literature. Here they are the shadows that roam the dark corners of abandoned houses. The creatures that ensure that people in abandoned wooden huts, hidden deep in dense forests, raise the hair on the back of their necks. And it is they who rob people of their minds and take possession of their bodies in order to sow grief and resentment.

Yet the story is such demon a relatively young one, widespread especially in the western hemispheres. Although the globalization of this picture hellish demons spread across the world, it is worth taking a look at the mythological origins of these beings.

Table of Contents

The Greek daimon - mediator between people and gods

The word demon finds its origin in ancient Greek Daimon. Daimon itself refers to a ghostly entity that stands between humans and the gods.

In Greek mythology, all natural phenomena were ascribed to spirits - be it the simple rushing of a brook or the fermentation of milk, evaporation effects or putrefaction. Illness and death also found their origin in them.

The Greek poet Hesiod describes the Daimones as the departed souls of those people who are in the peaceful primeval phase of human history, before the emergence of civilization, lived. In his work Theogony, a work on the creation of the world in the context of Greek mythology, he describes various types and classes of Daimones and their impact on the world.

The Daimones mediated at Hesiod additionally not only between humans and gods, but even take on an individual role in the life of every human being, reminding one of Christian guardian angels. Every human being is one from birth Daimon assigned to determine the fate of the same. There a Daimon can be responsible for both happiness and suffering, that he is able to bring ruin and happiness, it was even later assumed that a person possesses two of these beings: one good and one bad Daimon. This picture is similar to the fairy tale told more to children today Little angels and devilswho sit on every shoulder and whisper to people when making decisions. Assuming that a Daimon Let the person assigned to him be given his lifelessness, found its way into philosophy, more precisely ethics itself. This was how the Greek philosopher shaped Heraclitus of Ephesus the sentence Ethos Antropo Daimonwhich can roughly be translated as “the peculiarity of a person is his fate”. Plato spoke of being Daimon have stood by him in difficult decisions. To him Daimon been a warning, inner voice. Also Socrates speaks of a good spirit that prevented him from doing wrong. This execution is reminiscent of our current idea of ​​a warning conscience.

Genii - Roman guardian spirits

The idea of Daimones as a companion of man is continually found in Roman mythology. Here is the one genius a personal guardian spirit that determines a man's fate, personality and fertility.

The Geniusesoriginally seen as ancestral spirits, was sacrificed. They were hoped for support in critical phases of life. Not only individuals could genius own, but also cities, places in general, troops and entire provinces.

The Greek image of the "good" versus the "bad" Daimon can be found in the history of the Brutus, the murderer of Caesar, again. According to the Greek writer Plutarch one night a terrible figure appeared to him. On Brutus' When asked who it was about, she replied: “Brutus, I am your bad guy Daimon, you will see me at Philippi's! " Philippi describes the location of those two battles that followed the murder Caesars the future fate of Rome should decide and after which Brutus ultimately chose suicide.

Outwardly, these beings have been described as bearded, bare-chested men carrying a cornucopia. However, geniuses of a place wore the appearance of a snake.

Daevas - servants of Ahriman

The representation of the Daevas resembles the destructive nature of today's demon descriptions. In the younger Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism in early Persia, which refers to the founder of the religion Zarathustra are going back Daevas ominous beings that act as opponents to the venerable deities occur. Originally these beings were gods themselves, but they did not know how to differentiate between lies and truth and were therefore to be rejected.

In later representations, the Daevas directly to the Ahrimanwho represents the destructive. In Zoroastrianism, he takes on the role of chaos, lies and destruction and faces truth and order in a struggle.

Asuras - The evil spirits of Hinduism

Compared to the Persian Daevas In Hinduism there is a risk of confusion with the terms: Here are those Devas, or Suras, the "good guys" and the Asuras The evil ones".

Where the word Sura still means “being of light”, the prefix “a” expresses a negation and reversal into the literal opposite. Thus means Asura in Sanskrit as much as "opponent of light".

Allegedly the originated Asuraslike everything else in the world, from the breath of God the Creator Prajapati. Like all other creatures, they had been given the gift of truth and lies, but they had Asuras filed the truth.

Outwardly, they supposedly often appear in human form, although they are ascribed the gift of shapeshifting.

The Arab jinn

The Djinn, whose name is probably most closely associated with the typical genie in a bottle, can still be found today in Muslim beliefs. However, its origins go beyond the birth of Islam.