An agathodaemon (Ancient Greek: ἀγαθοδαίμων, agathodaímōn) or agathos daemon (ἀγαθός δαίμων, agathós daímōn, lit. 'noble spirit') was a spirit (daemon) of ancient Greek religion. They personal or supernatural companion spirits,[2][3] comparable to the Roman genii, who ensured good luck, fertility, health, protection and wisdom.

During the classical period

Though little noted in Greek mythology (Pausanias conjectured that the name was merely an epithet of Zeus),[4] he was prominent in Greek folk religion;[5] it was customary to drink or pour out a few drops of unmixed wine to honor him in every symposium or formal banquet. In Aristophanes' Peace, when War has trapped Peace (Εἰρήνη Eirene) in a deep pit, Hermes comes to give aid: "Now, oh Greeks! is the moment when, freed of quarrels and fighting, we should rescue sweet Eirene and draw her out of this pit... This is the moment to drain a cup in honor of the Agathos Daimon." A temple dedicated to them was situated on the road from Megalopolis to Maenalus in Arcadia.[6]

An Agathos Daimon was the spouse or companion of Tyche Agathe (Τύχη Ἀγαθή, "Good Fortune"; Latin: Agatha). "Tyche we know at Lebadeia as the wife of the Agathos Daimon, the Good or Rich Spirit".[7][8] Their numinous presence could be represented in art as a serpent or more concretely as a young man bearing a cornucopia and a bowl in one hand, and a poppy and an ear of grain in the other.[7] The agathodaemon was later adapted into a general daemon of fortuna, particularly of the continued abundance of a family's good food and drink.Later some other versions have described agathodaemons as psychopomp beings which takes the dead ones which are on their card to the afterlife (Underworld ) but he doesn't judges them Agathodaemons have been described as personal guardians, helpers or protectors of people.According to the ancient Greeks each person was born with each personalities, the agathodaemon and the cacodaemon .[citation needed]
During late antiquity
Manly P. Hall describes a famous statue of The Alexandrian Serapis "[Serapis] stands on the back of the sacred crocodile, carrying in his left hand a ruler to mark the inundations of the Nile, and balancing on his right hand a curious emblem consisting of an animal with three heads. The first head – that of a lion –signified the present; the second head–that of a wolf–the past; and the third head–that of a dog–the future. The body with its three heads was enveloped by the twisted coils of a serpent. Figures of Serapis are occasionally accompanied by Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Pluto, and –like Jupiter–carry baskets of grain upon their head." He cites a work by Mosaize, Historie Der Hebreeuwse Kerke as the source of the engraved illustration.

In the syncretic atmosphere of Late Antiquity, agathodaemons could be bound up with Egyptian bringers of security and good fortune: a gem carved with magic emblems bears the images of Serapis with crocodile, sun-lion and Osiris mummy surrounded by the lion-headed snake Chnum–Agathodaemon–Aion, with Harpocrates on the reverse.[9]
See also



The torso of an Apollo was found in the Tiber at Rome and was restored as an Antinous with a head found separately; it was purchased through Giovanni Ludovico Bianconi, about 1760; formerly exhibited in the Neues Palais, Potsdam (Arachne Projekt[permanent dead link]); noted in Karl Otfried Müller, Nouveau manuel complet d'archéologie ou traité sur les antiquités grecques... (1841:vol. I:298) and in Bouillon II:51.
Hor. Ep. ll, 2, 187.
Tibull. IV, 8
Pausanias, Description of Greece, viii. 36. § 3
Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Folk Religion. (Columbia University Press), 1981:33, 70, 73.
Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Agathodaemon", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 1, Boston, p. 65, archived from the original on 2005-10-26, retrieved 2008-05-05
Chisholm 1911, p. 371.
Harrison 1922, pp. 355–ff, 543.

Illustrated in W. Fauth, Helios Megistos: zur synkretistischen Theologie der Spätantike (Leiden: Brill) 1995:85.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Agathodaemon". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 371.

Harrison, Jane Ellen (1922). Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (3rd ed.). pp. 355–ff, 543.

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