Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Gr. Daimon.
Originally a term applied to deity in general, manifested in its active relation to human life, without special reference to any single divine personality. But as early as Hesiod the doemones appear as subordinates or servants of the higher gods. He gives the name specially to the spirits of the past age of gold, who are appointed to watch over men and guard them. In later times, too, the doemones were regarded as beings intermediate between the gods and mankind, forming as it were the retinue of the gods, representing their powers in activity, and entrusted with the fulfilment of their various functions. This was the relation, to take an instance, which the Satyrs and Sileni bore to Dionysus. But the popular belief varied with regard to many of these deities. Eros, e.g., was by many expressly designated a daemon, while by others he was worshipped as a powerful and independent deity. Another kind of doemones are those who were attached to individual men, attending them, like the Roman genius, from their birth onwards through their whole life. In later times two doemones, a good and bad, were sometimes assumed for every one. This belief was, however, not universal, the prevalent idea being that good and bad alike proceeded at different times from the daemon of each individual; and that one person had a powerful and benevolent, another a weak and malevolent daemon. Agatho-daemon (good daemon) was the name of the good spirit of rural prosperity and of vineyards.
Type: Standard
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