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Daemon, Daimon or Demon (plural: daemones, daimons, daemons or demons, "feminine: daemoness, demoness, daemona or daimonis" "plural: demonesses, daemonesses, damonae, daimonai or daimonaissai", masculine: daemonus or daimonos plural daemoni or daimonoi) is the Latin for the Ancient Greek daimon (δαίμων: "god", "godlike", "power", "fate"), was a generic term for minor gods or spirits, they were not considered good or evil as a whole, rather they had the same moral capacity as humans. However, when the Torah was translated from Hebrew into Greek "shedim" (earth spirits) was translated as daemon, dropping the "a" as the English language developed.

Some modern writers use the Latin spelling to refer to the Christian conception of demons that developed during the Middle Ages, but others use it to refer to an entirely different class of being.

Distinct from true Gods and Goddesses in Greek and Roman mythology (Theoi or Numens, respectively), Daemons have a classification all of their own. Sometimes Daemons are minor-gods, and some are spirits. The term Daemon can also be used to describe a person that bears a personification or embodiment of a minor, major, or primordial deity.

Many creatures, deities and characters from Greco-Roman mythology can be classified as Daemons. This includes, but is not limited to:

Daemons were possibly seen as the souls of men of the golden age acting as tutelary deities, according to entry δαίμων at Liddell & Scott.


The word is derived from Proto-Indo-European *daimon "provider, divider (of fortunes or destinies)," from the root *da- "to divide".

Main Types of Daemons

The Greek poet Hesiod (8th century BCE) divided Daemons into two categories:

  • The Daemones Chrysei, or "Golden Daemons," are the spirits of thirty-thousand men from a mythical golden age that were transformed into Daemons by Zeus. They inhabit the sky and observe the deeds of men and reward them with bountiful harvests if their deeds are considered just by them.[1]
  • The Daemones Agyrei, or "Silver Daemons," are a second race of Daemons that fought and sinned against one another. They were eventually blessed by Zeus to be spirits under the earth. Even though their past actions were considered foolish, they were still considered to be beings worthy of praise during Hesiod's time.[2]

Later, by the Hellenistic Period (323-31 BCE), Daemons were divided into three categories:

  • The Agathodaemon, alternatively spelled Agathodaimon or Agathodemon, is a Daemon of fertility, vineyards, grain, and good fortune. The Agathodaemon may also be a house spirit. It is often represented as a type of serpent.
  • The Eudaemon, alternately spelled Eudaimon or Eudemon, is a benevolent Daemon that serves as either a guardian or an intermediary between humans and the gods. Ideas about Eudaemons have influenced the conception of Angels in Western thought.[3]
  • The Cacodaemon, alternatively spelled 'Kakodaimon' or Cacodemon (also called in modern fiction Cacofiend and Cacodevil) is a malevolent Daemon known for causing misfortune. Ideas about Cacodaemon have influenced the conception of Demons in Western thought.[4]

Other Categories of Daemons:

  • Agraeian Daemons/ Daemons Georgici
  • Chthonian Daemons/ Daemones Chthonian
  • Eastern Daemons/ Proseous Daemones
  • Places Daemons/ Daemones Locorum
  • Rustic Daemons/ Daemones Nomian
    • Pottery (Caco-)Demons / Daemonī Ceramici
  • Sea Daemons/ Daemones Halian
  • Sky Daemons/ Daemones Uranian

Daemons as Abstract Personifications [5]

One way that Daemons were conceptualized in ancient Greco-Roman culture was as abstract personifications. These abstract personifications can be categorized into seven general categories. The seven categories are as follows:

  1. Emotions and states of mind
  2. The human condition
  3. Qualities
  4. Morality
  5. Voice
  6. Actions
  7. State of society

Note that not all things referred to as Daemons are thought of as abstract personifications. It is merely one way in which the term "Daemon" was used.

List of Daemons as Abstract Personifications

1. Daemons of Emotion:

  • Achus (Anguish)
  • Algos (Grief)
  • Ania (Sorrow)
  • Deimos (Fear of Terror)
  • Elpis (Hope)
  • Eris (Strife)
  • Eros (Love)
  • Eudaemonia (Happiness)
  • Euphrosyne (Joy or Mirth)
  • Euthymia (Good Cheer)
  • Gelos (Laughter)
  • Harmonia (Harmony)
  • Hedone (Pleasure)
  • Himerus (Desire)
  • Lype (Pain, Grief or Distress)
  • Lyssa (Rage)
  • Neicus (Quarrel)
  • Nemesis (Indignation)
  • Oizys (Misery)
  • Penthus (Mourning)
  • Philia (Friendship)
  • Phobos (Fear or Panic)
  • Phrice (Horror)
  • Pothus (Longing)
  • Phthonus (Jealousy)
  • Styx (Hate)
  • Zelus (Envy)

2. Daemons of Human Condition:

  • Achos (Pain)
  • Amechania (Helplessness)
  • Anance (Necessity)
  • Aporia (Want)
  • Caerus (Opportunity)
  • Euthenia (Prosperity)
  • Eutychia (Good Luck)
  • Hebe (Youth)
  • Geras (Old Age)
  • Hygeia (Good Health)
  • Hypnos (Sleep)
  • Ker (Death)
  • Lethe (Forgetfulness)
  • Limos (Hunger)
  • Mania (Madness)
  • Methe (Drunkenness)
  • Mnemosyne (Memory)
  • Moira (Fate)
  • Morus (Doom)
  • Nosos (Disease)
  • Oneirus (Dream)
  • Penia (Poverty)
  • Plutus (Wealth)
  • Ponos (Toil)
  • Ptocheia (Beggary)
  • Soteria (Safety)
  • Thanatos (Death)
  • Tyche (Fortune)

3. Daemons of Personal Qualities:

  • Aglaea (Glory)
  • Alce (Strength)
  • Calleis (Beauty)
  • Charis (Grace)
  • Coalemus (Stupidity)
  • Cratus (Strength)
  • Dolus (Guile)
  • Sophia (Wisdom)
  • Techne (Skill)
  • Zelus (Competitiveness)

4. Daemons of Morality:

  • Adephagia (Gluttony)
  • Adicia (Injustice or Wrong-doing)
  • Aedos (Respect)
  • Aergia (Laziness)
  • Aeschyne (Modesty)
  • Aletheia (Truth)
  • Anaideia (Ruthlessness)
  • Apate (Deceit)
  • Arete (Virtue)
  • Ate (Delusion)
  • Corus (Insolence)
  • Dike (Justice)
  • Dyssebia (Impiety)
  • Eleus (Mercy)
  • Epiphron (Prudence)
  • Eucleia (Good Repute)
  • Eupraxia (Conduct)
  • Eusebia (Piety)
  • Horcus (Oath)
  • Hybris (Arrogance)
  • Peitharchia (Obedience)
  • Phonus (Murder)
  • Pistis (Trust)
  • Pseudologus (Lies)
  • Sophrosyne (Self-control)
  • Thrasus (Rashness)

5. Daemons of Voices and Sounds:

  • Alala (Battle-cry)
  • Aletheia (Truth)
  • Amphilogia (Dispute)
  • Angelia (Message)
  • Ara (Curse)
  • Calliope (Eloquence)
  • Eupheme (Praise)
  • Gelus (Laughter)
  • Hedylogus (Sweet-talk)
  • Hesychia (Quiet)
  • Homadus (Battle-din)
  • Horcus (Oath)
  • Litae (Prayer)
  • Metis (Counsel)
  • Momus (Mockery)
  • Musica (Music)
  • Neicus (Quarrel)
  • Paregoros (Consolidation)
  • Peitho (Persuasion)
  • Pheme (Rumor)
  • Prophasis (Excuse)

6. Daemons of Actions and Events:

  • Agon (Contest)
  • Alastor (Blood-feud)
  • Androctasia (Slaughter)
  • Bia (Force)
  • Hormes (Effort)
  • Hysmina (Fighting)
  • Ioke (Onslaught)
  • Mache (Battle)
  • Nike (Victory)
  • Palioxis (Retreat)
  • Phonos (Murder)
  • Poine (Retribution)
  • Pompe (Procession)
  • Praxidice (Exact Justice)
  • Proioxis (Pursuit)
  • Telete (Initiation)
  • Thalia (Festivity)

7. Daemons of states of society:

  • Democracia (Democracy)
  • Dike (Justice)
  • Dysnomia (Lawlessness)
  • Ececheria (Armistice)
  • Eirene (Peace)
  • Eunomia (Good Order)
  • Harmonia (Harmony)
  • Homonoea (Concord)
  • Nomos (Law)
  • Polemus (War)
  • Themis (Custom)

Terminology: Daemon versus Demon

Daemons should do not to be confused with: Demons. While both terms are derived from the same root, Demons, in the Judeo-Christian sense, are purely evil spirits- not semi-divine or neutral. The term Daemon was used in early Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament letters to distinguish the Greek pagan deities from their one true God. Over time, the term "Demon" developed from Daemon to specifically represent the evil, fallen angels and the Devil himself. To distinguish the good angels from the evil ones, the term "Angel" developed from the ancient Greek "Angelos," meaning "Messengers." When referencing ancient Greek mythology, as opposed to Jewish or Christian traditions, the term "Daemon" should be used.

Even though some demons in modern media based in daemons and having positive energies and freewill.

Demons in Islam, Dharmic religions and Persian folklore are not purely evil but still not related to Greek daemons.

Other names

The Romans translate Daemon as "Genius" (Plural genii, geniī or geniuses) which share the same Aramaic linguistic root with Genies.

Daemons are known as "Ginnaya" in Aramaic mythology.



  1. ''Brief History of Angels and Demons'' by Sarah Bartlett
  2. ''Brief History of Angels and Demons'' by Sarah Bartlett
  3. ''Brief History of Angels and Demons'' by Sarah Bartlett
  4. ''Brief History of Angels and Demons'' by Sarah Bartlett
  5. Daemons or Spirits Personifications

External links