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A demigod is a minor deity, typically male, that is usually the product of a human and a deity, though in some cases the term can describe a mortal that has been promoted to a minor deity after death,[1] or a less important minor deity with two divine parents.[2] Demigods typically have powers and abilities that are beyond what is possible for a human, but less than that of a true deity.[3]

Demigods are most notably known from ancient Greek mythology, though similar concepts can be found in mythologies around the world. Within Greek mythology demigods were often legendary heroes or mythic kings that Greek monarchs would claim descent from in order to legitimize their rule.


The term "demigod" is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek term "hemitheos," with the prefix "hemi-" translating to English as "half, partially, slightly inferior[4]" and "theos" being the term for "god.[5]"

The famous Roman poet Ovid used the the term "semideus" to refer to both heroes with one human and one divine parent, and less important deities.[6] The prefix "semi-" translates to English as either "half, par" making it synonymous with the Greek "hemi-," or it can translate to "partially," or "less than fully." the Latin term "deus," translates to English as either "god" or "deity.[7]"

Beginning in the 1520's CE, the term "semideus" was rendered into English as "demigod.[2]" In 1603 CE, the term "demigoddess" was used for the first time to describe a female demigod,[8] though demigod can also be used in a gender-neutral manner.

List of Demigods in Greek Mythology[]

List of Demigods in Other Mythologies[]

Hindu Mythology[]

Mayan Mythology[]

  • Hunahpu (son of Xquic)
  • Xbalanque (son of Xquic)

Sumerian Mythology[]

Native American Mythology[]

  • Nayenezgani (Son of Tsohanoai, Navajo)
  • Tobadzistsini (Son of Tsohanoai, Navajo)

Irish Mythology[]

  • Cú Chulainn (son of Lugh)
  • Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (son of Donn, foster son of Aengus)
  • Mongán mac Fiachnai (son of Manannán mac Lir)
  • Nia Segamain (son of Flidais)

Norse Mythology[]

Polynesian Mythology[]

  • Māui (adopted)

Roman Mythology[]

African Mythology[]

  • Moni-Mambu (son of Nzambi a Mpungu)
  • Sudika-Mbambi and Kabundungulu (twin sons of daughter of Moon and sun).
  • Ntikuma, Nankonhwea, Afudohwedohwe and Tikelenkelen (sons of Anansi)
  • Zumbi dos Palmares (owned by Orixas)
  • Ryan'gombe (son of Babinga)
  • Yeta I, Mwanasolundwi Muyunda Mumbo wa Mulonga, Inyambo and Ingulamwa (sons of Nyame)
  • Mwindo (demigod-like)
  • Imhotep (son of Thoth)
  • Apis (son of Ptah)
  • Petsuchos (son of Sobek)


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