Genius  

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There is no great genius without some touch of madness. -- Seneca, Aristotle

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A genius is someone who has exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight. There is no scientifically precise definition of genius, and the question of whether the notion itself has any real meaning has long been a subject of debate. The term is used in various ways: to refer to a particular aspect of an individual, or the individual in their entirety; to a scholar in many subjects (e.g. Isaac Newton or Leonardo da Vinci) or a scholar in a single subject (e.g., Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking). Research into what causes genius and mastery is still in its early stages, and psychology offers relevant insights.

Etymology

In ancient Rome, the genius (plural in Latin genii) was the guiding spirit or tutelary deity of a person, family (gens), or place (genius loci). The noun is related to the Latin verb gigno, genui, genitus, "to bring into being, create, produce." Because the achievements of exceptional individuals seemed to indicate the presence of a particularly powerful genius, by the time of Augustus the word began to acquire its secondary meaning of "inspiration, talent."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Genius" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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