digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

For other uses, see Demigod (disambiguation).
"Cuchulain Slays the Hound of Culain", illustration by Stephen Reid from Eleanor Hull's The Boys' Cuchulain, 1904

A demigod (or demi-god) is a divine or supernatural being in classical mythology. The term has been used in various ways at different times and can refer to a figure who has attained divine status after death, a minor deity, or a mortal who is the offspring of a god and a human.

Etymology[edit]

The English term is a calque of the Latin semideus, "half god",[1] which is probably a coining by the Roman poet Ovid in reference to less important gods, such as dryads.[2]

Classical[edit]

In the ancient Greek and Roman world the word did not have a consistent definition.[3] It was rarely used and had a number of different meanings.[4]

The earliest recorded use of the term is in the archaic Greek poets Homer and Hesiod. Both describe dead heroes as hemitheoi, "half gods". This did not mean that they had one parent who was divine and one who was mortal.[5] Instead, according to Price, those who demonstrated "strength, power, good family, and good behavior" were termed heroes, and after death they could be called hemitheoi, a process she refers to as "heroization".[6] Pindar also uses the term frequently as a synonym for hero.[7]

According to the Roman author Cassius Dio, Julius Caesar was declared a demigod by the Roman Senate after his victory at Thapsus.[8] However, Dio was writing in the third century and modern critics have cast doubt on this.[2][9]

The first Roman to employ the term demigod may have been the poet Ovid who used the Latin semideus several times in reference to minor deities.[2] The poet Lucan also uses the term to speak of Pompey attaining divinity upon his death.[10] In later antiquity, the Roman writer Martianus Capella proposed a hierarchy of gods: the gods proper, or major gods; the genii or daemones; the demigods or semones (who dwell in the upper atmosphere); the manes and ghosts of heroes (who dwell in the lower atmosphere); and the earth-dwelling gods like fauns and satyrs.[11]

Modern[edit]

The term demigod first appeared in English in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century when it was used to render the Greek and Roman concepts of semideus and daemon.[1] Since then, it has frequently been applied figuratively to people of extraordinary ability.[12] John Milton states in Paradise Lost that angels are demigods.[13]

Demigods are important figures in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, where many of the characters, including Percy Jackson himself are demigods. In Riordan's work, a demigod is strictly defined as an individual born of one human and one divine parent.[14]

Hindu[edit]

In Hinduism, demigod is used to refer to deities who were once human and later became devas (gods). There are three very notable demigods in Vedic Scriptures, Hanuman, Nandi (the divine vehicle of Shiva), and Garuda (the divine steed of Vishnu). Examples of demigods worshiped in South India are Madurai Veeran and Karuppu Sami.

The heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the five Pandava brothers, fit the Western definition of demigods, but are generally not referred to as such. Queen Kunti, the wife of King Pandu, was given a mantra that, when recited, meant that one of the Gods would give her his child. When her husband was cursed to die if he ever engaged in sexual relations, Kunti used this mantra to provide her husband with children, Yudishtira (father Yama), Bhima (father Vayu) and Arjuna (father Indra). She taught this mantra to Madri, King Pandu's other wife, and she conceived twin boys, Nakula and Sahadeva (fathers the Asvins). Queen Kunti had previously conceived another son, Karna, when she had tested the mantra out—despite her protests, Surya the sun god was compelled by the mantra to impregnate her.

The Vaishnavites (who often translate deva as "demigod") cite various verses that speak of the devas' subordinate status. For example, the Rig Veda (1.22.20) states, oṃ tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ: "All the suras (i.e., the devas) look always toward the feet of Lord Vishnu." Similarly, in the Vishnu Sahasranama the concluding verses state: "The Rishis (great sages), the ancestors, the devas, the great elements, in fact all things moving and unmoving constituting this universe, have originated from Narayana," (i.e., Vishnu). Thus the Devas are stated to be subordinate to Vishnu, or God.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) translated the Sanskrit word "deva" as "demigod" in his literature when the term referred to a God other than the Supreme Lord. This is because the ISKCON tradition teaches that there is only one Supreme Lord and that all others are but His servants. In order to emphasize their subservience, Prabhupada used the word "demigod" as a translation of deva. However, there are at least three occurrences in the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad-Gita where the word deva is used to refer to Lord Krishna; here Prabhupada translates it as "Lord". The word deva can be used to refer to the Supreme Lord, celestial beings and saintly souls depending on the context. This is similar to the word Bhagavan which is translated according to different contexts.

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna himself states that worshipers of deities other than the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, are incorrect (Gita 9.23) as such worship leads only to temporal benefits, rather than to the Lord Himself (Gita 7.23). Krishna also says: "Whatever deity or form a devotee worships, I make his faith steady. However, their wishes are granted only by Me." (Gita: 7:21-22) Elsewhere in the Gita Lord Krishna states: "O Arjuna, even those devotees who worship other lesser deities (e.g., devas, for example) with faith, they also worship Me, but in an improper way because I am the Supreme Being. I alone am the enjoyer of all sacrificial services (Seva, Yajna) and Lord of the universe." (Gita: 9:23)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary. UK: Oxford University Press. 1971. 
  2. ^ a b c Weinstock, Stefan (1971). Divus Julius. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. p. 53. 
  3. ^ Talbert, C H (1975). "The Concept of Immortals in Mediterranean Antiquity". Journal of Biblical Literature 94 (3): 419–436. doi:10.2307/3265162. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Charlton. An Elementary Latin Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 767. 
  5. ^ Hansen, W (2004). Handbook of Classical Mythology. ABC-CLIO Ltd. p. 199. 
  6. ^ Price, T H (1973). "Hero-cult and Homer". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 22 (2): pp. 129–144. 
  7. ^ Liddell, H (1897). A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford University Press. 
  8. ^ Dio, Cassius. Roman History. 43.21.2. 
  9. ^ Fishwick, D (1975). "The name of the demigod". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 24 (4): pp. 624–628. 
  10. ^ Lucan. The Civil War. Book 9. 
  11. ^ Capella, Martianus. De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii. 2.156. 
  12. ^ "demigod". Collins English Dictionary. Collins. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Milton, John (1667). Paradise Lost. 9.937. 
  14. ^ Riordan, Rick (2010). Percy Jackson: The Demigod Files. London: Penguin. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
81145 videos foundNext > 

Demigod - Slumber Of Sullen Eyes (Full Album)

Band: Demigod Album: Slumber Of Sullen Eyes Year: 1992 Genre: Death Metal Country: Finland Label: Drowned Productions Lineup: Esa Lindén - Vocals, Guitars Ju...

What is Demigod? Part 1/2

Sorry for the audio quality -- this was recorded before my new mic arrived.

Demigod Video Review

Stardock and Gas Powered Game's real-time strategy game is great... when it works.

Behemoth - Demigod (2004) [Full Album] (With Bonus Tracks) HQ

Band: Behemoth Genre: Death Metal Country: Poland Tracklists: 00:00 Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth 04:40 Demigod 08:14 Conquer All 11:44 The Nephilim Rising 16...

Demigod PC Gameplay HD Full Version

Blog: http://gameormoney.blogspot.com/ Graphics 8/10 Gameplay 6/10 Genre: RTS (Real time strategic) game Demigod is a real-time, tactical strategy game that ...

Demigod - Let Chaos Prevail (2007) - Full Album

Band: Demigod Country: Finland Genre: Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal Album: Let Chaos Prevail Year: 2007 SEPARATE BAND THE 9th NOVEMBER 2008.

Behemoth- Demigod

"Demigod": Track 2 of Behemoth's 2005 album, "Demigod".

Behemoth-Demigod(Radio Disney Version)

Instruments and vocals were arranged, performed and recorded by me. Special thanks to Stephanie Wooten for editing. YouTube doesn't pay me anything, so pleas...

Demigod - Slumber of Sullen Eyes

Demigod was founded in Loimaa, Finland 1990. Band released independently one rehearsal demo at the founding year. Next year (1991) they released the (in)famo...

Demigod Gameplay

Demigod was one of the first retail MOBAs. I decided to stream it recently. I chose to play as the Rook, a giant castle man who shoots arrows off his shoulde...

81145 videos foundNext > 

760 news items

The Malay Mail Online

Allentown Morning Call
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:40:58 -0700

When Freedom High School graduate Dwayne Johnson first began making movies in 2001, he was hellbent on getting two projects into production. One was a remake of "Walking Tall," which was released in 2004. The other was "Hercules," which is finally ...
 
Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun (blog)
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 22:03:45 -0700

I mean, they made it to the finals, only to be crushed by the Spurs and the demigod that is Kawhi Leonard. They lost the best player in basketball as a free agent and Dwyane Wade looks about as athletic as the freshmen during their inaugural walk up ...

The National

The National
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:56:15 -0700

For the filmmaker Ratner, there was no doubt in his mind that Johnson was the perfect choice to play the demigod. “Have you seen the footage?” he asks. “What I wanted to do was create a Hercules for a new generation of movie fans and we've done that ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:43:02 -0700

When ISIS made the murder of James Foley into a YouTube video, they transported this outrage to the odd middle-world we inhabit between reality and pixels of reality. People don't ask if you saw the murder of James Foley. They ask if you've seen the ...

Columbus Alive

Columbus Alive
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:45:00 -0700

Sigourney Weaver's character getting possessed by an ancient demigod put a damper on her budding romance with Venkman. 2. “Yes, it's true. This man has no dick.” Venkman's comeback after Ray calls a city official “Dickless” is one of the great moments ...
 
Times Record
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Hercules — Dwayne Johnson joins John Hurt, Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes for in director Brett Ratner's new action-adventure about Hercules, a Greek demigod who endures 12 labors in life, serving as a warrior for hire. The King of Thrace and his ...
 
Burlington County Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:30:00 -0700

HERCULES: (NP) Dwayne Johnson plays the Greek demigod who accepts being a sword-for-hire and must use his lethal skills to save a family member and his king from a powerful warlord. Irina Shayk, Joseph Fiennes and John Hurt co-star in the epic, ...
 
Huffington Post
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:30:00 -0700

Long-time ace Felix Hernandez is having an unbelievable season, only overshadowed by pitching demigod Clayton Kershaw. Robinson Cano isn't hitting for as much power as he did in New York, but that's to be expected in Seattle's offense-dampening park.
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Demigod

You can talk about Demigod with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!