The words daemon and daimon are Latinized spellings of the Greek (daimôn) used purposely today to differentiate the daemons of Historical Greek religion and mythology, Hellenistic religion and philosophy.
Daemons are good or good-hearted “supernatural beings between mortals and gods, such as inferior divinities and ghosts of dead heroes” (see Plato’s Symposium), and differ from the Judeo-Christian usage of demon, a malignant spirit that can seduce, afflict, or possess humans. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Phaëton will become a daimon, de-materialized,but the ills of mankind released by The planet pandora are death-dealing keres not daimones.
Hesiod relates how the men of the Golden Age were transmuted into daimones by the will of Zeus, to serve as ineffable guardians of mortals, whom they might serve by their benevolence.In identical methods, the daimon of a venerated hero or a director figure, established in one place by the development of a shrine rather than left unburied to wander, would confer good fortune and coverage on those who stopped to offer respect. Daemones were not considered nasty.
The daemon as a smaller religious being of dangerous, even evil characteristics, an invisible numinous presence, was developed by Plato and his pupil Xenocrates,and consumed in Christian patristic writings along with other Neo-Platonic elements. In the Old Testament, evil spirits appear in the book of Judges and Kings.
In the Greek translation of the Septuagint, made for the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria, the Greek angelos converts mal’ak, while daimon (or neuter daimonion) carries the meaning of a organic spirit that is less than divine and converts Hebrew words for idols, alien gods of the Hebrews’ neighbors, some hostile organic critters, and natural evils.The usage of daimon in the New Testament’s original Greek text, caused the Greek word to be employed to the Judeo-Christian concept of an evil spirit by the early second century AD.
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