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Gods or Spirits?

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Gods or Spirits?

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:16 pm

I have come across conflicting categories for the following Gods:


Some call Them Gods, others call Them Spirits. Which is correct?
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Re: Gods or Spirits?

Post  Erodius on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:37 pm

The Greek language has, essentially, only two words for 'deity': one is θεός which is usually translated as 'god' and the other is δαίμων which is usually translated as 'daemon' or 'spirit'. What complicated things is that 'daemon' was often used almost interchangeably with 'god'.

Hypnos, Morpheus, and Hebe would probably be most often called daemones. Because of the significance of her cult, Tyche would be almost always called a goddess, especially because she would be customarily identified with Diana/Ἅρτεμις. 

Eris would probably not be called either one very often, as Eris was more of a character restricted to myth, and did not receive any real cultus. However, Eris is often considered the origin of all hostile daemones, so might be called a daemon by extension.

"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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