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The Temptation of St. Anthony (detail) from the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald
The Temptation of St. Anthony (detail) from the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald

"The origin of demons was for many centuries a critical and perplexing problem for theologians. That God might have created them directly was an unpalatable doctrine, though one occasionally presented. However, granting the malefic character of demons, it seemed that to accept God as their creator would be to accept also the belief that evil might flow directly from God, among whose attributes was that of Perfect Goodness. This being the case, and such a contradiction not to be endured, it seemed better to suppose that the demons were creatures endowed by their Creator with free will, and who freely chose evil (as human beings are wont to do)."--Eros and Evil (1962) by Robert Masters

"The sexual impulse ... appears as a malevolent demon that strives to pervert, confuse, and overthrow everything" [...]"-- "The Metaphysics of Sexual Love" (1844) by Arthur Schopenhauer

"'For Sinistrari d'Ameno,' observed Durtal, "'the incubi and succubi are not precisely demons, but animal spirits, intermediate between the demon and the angel, a sort of satyr or faun, such as were revered in the time of paganism, a sort of imp, such as were exorcised in the Middle Ages. Sinistrari adds that they do not need to pollute a sleeping man, since they possess genitals and are endowed with prolificacy.'"--Là-Bas (1891) by Joris-Karl Huysmans

"Jacques Collin de Plancy (1793-1881) followed the tradition of many previous demonologists of cataloguing demons by name and title of nobility, as it happened with grimoires like Pseudomonarchia Daemonum and The Lesser Key of Solomon. In 1818, his best known work, Dictionnaire Infernal, was published. In 1863, sixty-nine illustrations by Louis Le Breton were added that made it famous: imaginative drawings concerning the appearance of certain demons."--Sholem Stein

"We are all hysterics, since Charcot, that grand priest of hysterics, that breeder of chamber hysterics, maintains in his model establishment the Salpêtrière at great expense a number of nervous women among whom he inoculates madness and of whom he makes demoniacs in no time. One needs to be very ordinary, very common, very reasonable to not be classed among hysterics." --""Une femme" (1882) by Guy de Maupassant

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A demon is a supernatural being, typically associated with evil, prevalent historically in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology, and folklore; as well as in media such as comics, video games, movies, anime, and television series.

The original Greek word daimon does not carry negative connotations. The Ancient Greek word δαίμων daimōn denotes a spirit or divine power, much like the Latin genius or numen. The Greek conception of a daimōn notably appears in the works of Plato, where it describes the divine inspiration of Socrates.

In Ancient Near Eastern religions and in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered a harmful spiritual entity which may cause demonic possession, calling for an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah and Christian demonology, a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled.


  1. possessed or controlled by a demon
  2. of or pertaining to demons; demonic

In art

See also

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

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