our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a



raw scan -- why? because you can't get your hands on this book.

from The Genius Figure in Antiquity and the Middle Ages   by Jane Chance Nitzsche       

The extension of the genius to cities, things, and gods corroborated the earlier meanings of the spirit; the ultimate apotheosis of the Genius, con­comitant with the deification of the emperor, pointed to a higher element born with each man, sexually differentiated, and controlling the course of one’s life—the vagaries of luck and fortune.


The Late Classical Genius: Philosophical and cosmological Conceptions

Having investigated the early and popular religious beliefs in the Genius, we turn now to philosophical and cosmological conceptions based upon the popular beliefs, and directly influencing the manifestations of the Ge­nius in medieval philosophy, theology, literature, and popular belief. These cosmological conceptions, originating in Greek and Egyptian sources of the sixth century B.C., flourished in the first five centuries AD. They share two features, despite differences in Weltanschauung—a Genius, or its analogue, is attributed to the cosmos and to the microcosm, man. Secondly, the cosmic Genius acts as an agent of generation or of fate or of both.
The frequently bewildering array of cosmological systems populating the universe with genii influenced one another, directly or indirectly. For this reason it is difficult to distinguish influence from analogy. The blend­ing of systems occurred both in this late classical period and then again in the twelfth-century revival of pagan naturalism and humanism. In discussing the four major cosmological systems of astrology, Stoicism, Platonism and Neo-Platonism, and Christianity, this chapter will attempt to provide one or more of the following: the system’s relationship with and development from early popular beliefs in the Genius, its influence upon or relationship with other systems, and, when appropriate, its influ­ence upon medieval (especially twelfth-century) conceptions.


The Genius born with each man controlled his fortune and destiny; Horace says, in fact, that he “temperat astrum’’ (Epistle 2.2.187). During the Augustan period, the concept of the genius accrued an astrological meaning.’ It controlled the guiding star, the natal constellation, of each individual, and thus also his uniqueness—the personality or temperament, and fortune, determined by this star. When Juvenal declares that “nemo mathematicus genium indemnatus habebit” (“no astrologer will [be believed to] have prophetic skill [genius] unless he has been exiled or condemned”), he is alluding to the close association of the genius and the stars: only the competent astrologer, having knowledge of the stars (orgenius, by metonymy), will be sentenced for his apparently illegal activi­ties.
The horoscope of a man—the position of the planets and zodiacal signs at the hour of birth—influences a person’s temperament and destiny, so that some men are born to pursue riches and fame, ignoring their own desires in the process, and others, in contrast, are pleased with a more leisurely pace of life, enjoying the sensuous gratifications produced by good food and simple pleasures. Whether one indulges his genius or de­nies it therefore becomes a choice relegated to fate and the stars. Persius (A.D. 34—62) made famous this choice granted to each of us: in one sat­ire, he describes men who grow thin and bent in the quest for money, al­though he himself chooses to delight in spicy food and good wine. In­deed, even twins born under the same star or horoscope will have different attitudes toward life, different genii or temperaments: ‘‘gem­inos, horoscope, varo producis genio.”
In another passage, which like the latter appealed to the medieval imagination, Persius suggests that the star controls the personality and also the destiny of each man, although he is not certain which one is specifically responsible for the affinity shared by Cornutus and himself (“nescio quod certe est quod me tibi temperat astrum,” 5.51). Their ca­pacity for close friendship results from the influence of either Libra (whose symbol is a scales or balance) or Gemini (whose twins remind him of their friendship); or else the position of Jupiter in the horoscope has overcome the generally malefic power of Saturn, thereby allotting jo­vial instead of saturnine temperaments (or fortunes) to the pair. Firmicus Maternus (c. A.D. 337) later describes the place of Jupiter in the horo­scope as a good genius, and that of Saturn as an evil genius or daemoni’ Although the genius retains its astrological association for Firmicus, its function has been reduced and has become specialized: it no longer de­notes the total horoscope or star originating at birth.
Macrobius (b. A.D. 360) explains the role of the Greek daemon (ana­logue to the Roman genius) in the process of the individual’s conception, birth, and destiny in the Saturnalia, a valuable source of information con­cerning pagan beliefs. Each human being, according to the Egyptians, is the product of the conjunction of Eros, Necessity or Fate, a daemon (related to the zodiacal position of the sun at the individual’s birth), and a tyche(related to the position of the moon at the individual’s birth).5 Macrobius etymologizes “daemon” as either “knowing of the future” or “burning, sharing”; the latter etymology links it with the sun, mens mundi, the regulator of the planets and pivot of the other eleven zodiacal signs (as it always occupies the remaining twelfth sign, 1.23.5—7). When the sun passes through a particular sign of the zodiac at the time of an in­dividual’s birth, it designates a temperament or daemon for him, and es­tablishes, through its position in relation to the moon, his fortune or tyche. Contingent upon the season in which a man is born, i.e., a warm or cold one, indicating the extent of the sun’s warming power and its relationship to other planets and signs, his daemon or genius will be warm or cold, good or bad, jovial or saturnine.
These astrological associations of the genius disturbed Prudentius, who wrote his Contra Orationem Symmachi in the early fifth century. By this time the genius, the star of life and destiny arising upon creation, had been allotted to cities, places, and even walls. Symmachus, whom Pru­dentius attacks, had said, “just as different animae fall to the lots of children at birth, so the hour and the day when city walls are first built impart to those cities a destiny or genius under whose direction they will prevail.” Fate, he continued, has also assigned such a genius (or des-tiny) to Rome, analogous to the individual character stamped upon the soul newly-arrived in the human body (2.370—74). However, Prudentius cannot fathom this notion of an unchangeable fate accorded to the city by its horoscope; the destiny of Rome, he believes, is determined by her mind or soul, her inhabitants, not her genius. And why, he questions, is there only one genius envisioned for Rome, when every door, house, public bath, and tavern has its own genius, and when no corner exists without a shadow or ghost (umbra, 2.409—10, 445~49).7 It is clear that the credibility of the genius as a guiding star had been weakened by this time. Yet this simplistic relationship between the individual and the natal star, or man and the heavens, established at birth and continuing during his life, grows increasingly more complex in other cosmological systems. A macrocosmic analogue to the role of the genius in the generation and fate of the microcosm man is provided by the Stoic concept of the World Soul.


It was previously noted that genii had been ascribed to various gods, including Jove. The concept of the genius Jovis, affected by Etruscan beliefs in the phallic Mutinus Titinus, represented the begetting spirit of the universal paterfamilias. The cosmos was regarded as a great house­hold occupied by Di Penates, certain gods of whom Jove or Jupiter was chief.
However, there was an important difference between the Etruscan Mu­tinus Titinus and the Roman genius lovis: the latter was predicated upon the Stoic belief in the World Soul. The Stoic World Soul, like the Etrus­can deity, was equivalent to Creator, hence, archetypal father: responsi­ble for universal generation, it was identified as a cosmic “seed-power.” But in addition it also signified Generative Reason or logos spermatikos to the Stoics: logos, meaning “word,” “reason,” and sperma, meaning “semen,” denote the two functions of the seed-power or primary fire from which all life and reason, shape and form, have sprung.The seed-powers, emanations of the fiery spirit of the World Soul, were actually the various gods and spirits who assisted the World Soul in shaping, creating, producing, and designing.The operation of the Generative Reason or World Soul, the life of the world which produces all life on earth, is described, for example, by Virgil (70—19 B.C.) in the Aeneid. “First, the heaven and earth, and the watery plains, the shining orb of the moon and Titan’s star, a spirit [spiritus] within sustains, and mind [mens], pervading its members, sways the whole mass and mingles with its mighty frame. Thence the race of man and beast, the life of winged things, and the strange shapes ocean bears beneath his glassy floor.’’ 10 This heavenly procreative force, composed of fiery, burning particles or seed (“igneus est ollis vigor et caelestis origo seminibus,’’ 6.730—31), later became associated with the Genius of the universe.
We are indebted to Augustine for preserving the fragments of Varro (116—27 B.C.) on the relationship between the World Soul, Jupiter, and the universal Genius because his discussion was very influential during the Middle Ages. Augustine, elucidating Varro’s remarks on natural theology, explains, first, that the universe itself is God, and that God is the soul (anima) of the universe. Just as the wise man, having both a body and a mind (animus), is called “wise” because of his mind, so the universe, by analogy, having both a “body” (material world) and a “mind,” is called God because of its animus or guiding principle.” The World Soul, in Varro’s terms, is therefore Jupiter, highest of gods.
Described as a progenitor of kings, things, and gods in two lines of Valerius Soranus (c. 133 B.C.) cited by Varro and again by Augustine, Jupiter becomes a Prime Mover or First Cause responsible for everything that exists in the world (“ ‘Deus est ... habens potestatem causarum, quibus aliquid fit in mundo,’ “ 7.9). He is both the soul of the universe and the universe itself, both Father and Mother, and is accordingly ad­dressed as Jupiter Progenitor and Genetrix (7. 13). The male emits seed, the female receives it, but Jupiter, both masculine and feminine, emits seed (semina) from himself and receives it into himself (7.9, also 7.13).
Augustine equates Genius with Jupiter, the World Soul, in two ways. First, because each man has his own genius, his individual god or higher self (Varro had called it a rationalis animus, a Greek concept to be dis­cussed at length in the next section), so then this World Soul must also be understood as a universal Genius: Varro thinks “that we should believe the world soul itself to be the universal Genius. And this is what they call Jupiter” (7.13). Augustine adds that this universal Genius, as distin­guished from the individual genius, is “uniquely and outstandingly god”
Secondly, Varro had defined Genius as “The god ... who has com­mand and control of everything that is begotten” (“Quid est Genius? ‘Deus,’ inquit, ‘qui praepositus est ac vim habet omnium rerum gignen­darum,’ “ 7.13). This older Roman belief in the Genius as a generation spirit is incorporated by Augustine into his concept of the World Soul:
Jupiter Progenitor and Genetrix, father and mother of all that exists in the world, is equated with the universal Genius. Like the other gods, Genius is only part of the World Soul or Jupiter (7.16); Augustine does not un­derstand this Stoic belief, and scoffs at its illogic. But the universal Ge­nius represents a specialized function of the world or of Jupiter—univer­sal begetting—in precisely the way the Genius of the paterfamilias controlled his power of begetting. These correlations between Genius, Jupiter, and the World Soul were very important in the Middle Ages:
Varro’s definition of Genius was repeated almost verbatim by Isidore, Paulus Diaconus, and Rabanus Maurus; it also influenced certain twelfth-century concepts of the World Soul.

The two definitions of the universal Genius—as a World Soul analo­gous to man’s ration alis anim us, and as a cosmic begetter—in effect duplicate the functions of the Stoic World Soul or logos spermatikos, which Varro identifies as Jupiter. Genius apparently acts as Jupiter’s ac­tive agent in begetting all life, that is, as Jupiter Progenitor in emitting seeds from himself. Although Varro (and Augustine) do not explain the nature of this process, the Stoics believed that Jupiter in the aether (fiery heaven) penetrated the lower air (the realm of Juno) to become germinat­ing seed, the source of life and agent of universal reason.12 Juno, there­fore, is the name given to that part of the World Soul which receives the seed—Jupiter as Genetrix. Varro’s universal Genius, as generative agent of Jupiter, interacts on his behalf with the female cosmic Juno in order to produce all things. These macrocosmic forces, deified in Genius and Juno, mirror the male and female spirits (Genius and Juno) of the micro­cosm man.
Indeed, Augustine relates that Varro and the pagans, recognizing that Jupiter as both Progenitor and Genetrix is responsible for first causes, nevertheless credit Juno with the second causes of things (“et ideo ei [Juno] secundas causas rerum tribuunt,” 7.16). But in Augustine’s ac­count, Juno rules the realm of earth, not the lower air (although he says later that she is both the lower air and the earth, 7.16). He has previously explained that the universe is divided into two main parts, heaven (aether and air) and earth (water and land, 7.6); if Genius as a heavenly agent of Jupiter controls all begetting (the emanation of seeds from the aether, or from aether into air), then Juno, Genetrix of Jupiter, must act as an earthly (or aerial) recipient for those seeds.
Juno, who is also known by the names “Ceres” and “Magna Mater,” apparently does govern seed (although Augustine reveals it is the dry seed of females, not the wet seed of males, 7.16). Ceres was commonly as­sociated with the seed in the cornstalk; Cerus, the masculine form of the word, meant “engenderer,” and both names stemmed from cereo or creo, “I beget, engender.” ~3 Also, Genius, we remember, was often depicted holding a cornucopia of seeds; the seed was passed from father to son by heredity.
This cosmic seed and the fiery seed-powers who produce all life from it constitute a complex philosophical view of conception and creation. The seed-powers (loosely termed Genius and Juno in their role of universal generation) inhabit the four regions of the world—aether, air, water, and land. Thus Paulus, in his eighth-century epitome of Festus’ second-cen­tury abridgment of Verrius Flaccus (c. 10 B.C.), glosses Varro’s defini­tion of Genius as a god who controls all begetting by declaring that water, earth, fire, and air are called “genial gods” (‘‘Geniales deos dix­erunt aquam, terrain, ignem, aerem”).~It is these genial gods, he con­tinues, who are the “seeds” or causes of all things (“ea enim sunt semina rerum”).
Although Paulus is speaking of the four regions of the universe and not the four elements per se (for he will later inform us that the Greeks reckoned the twelve zodiacal signs, the moon, and the sun among these genial gods, 95), the four elements may also be regarded as the seed or germ of creation—the components of material life, of matter (rnroLXE~a, primary elements, and ar6~.toL, atoms, in Paulus, 94). Thus fire, air, water, and earth are “genial gods,” the seeds of all things, in a second sense. Macrobius (C. A.D. 410) elucidates the genial process of material creation in his commentary on the Somnium Scipionis, although he does not mention either Genius or Juno.15 He explains that the human body is constructed from elemental matter whose four parts are mirrored in the four divisions of the universe (he will later explain the origin of the human soul). First, Necessity, the line of demarcation between earth and water, binds the clay of which bodies are composed. Next, Harmony, at the border between water and air, joins the lower, the dross, with the agent of universal begetting, resembles the Genius of each man, formerly conceived as a generation spirit, virility, “life,” temperament. But the individual genius also mirrors the cosmic power’s other major function, one only mentioned briefly in the preceding discus­sion. Augustine, drawing a parallel between the macrocosm and the mi­crocosm, defines the individual genius,analogous to universal Reason, as the rational soul of each man: Varro says that “a genius is the rational soul of each man ~‘. . . genium ... esse uniuscuiusque animum ra­tionalem”], so that each individual has one, while the corresponding world soul is a god [“talem autem mundi animum Deum esse”]” (7.13). The statement, clearly, is not derived from popular beliefs in the Genius; it has developed, instead, from the Platonic concept of the individual daemon.


The Greek daemon assumed two forIns according to Plato: it was a cos­mic messenger of the gods, and it was also the highest form of the soul, housed at the top of the human body. The former phenomenon will inter­est us later in this chapter; for the present, we shall investigate the nature of the human daemon.
In the Timaeus Plato speaks of the daemon which lifts us from earth to heaven and to our kin therein.19 He says that the man who indulges in concupiscence acts mortally, but he who devotes himself to learning and wisdom, that which is divine and immortal, magnifies his daemon, the divine part of man. Thought is the “food” of this part, which seeks to understand the intellections of the universe; therefore, man should offer hisdaemon such food (90B—90C).
Plato’s internal god resembles the Stoic principate of the soul, that part governing the remaining seven parts (the five senses, and the powers of speech and generation) which were functions or aspects of the principate. Known by various names—logike psyche (XoyLK’i~ ~Pvx’vi), nous (voi3~),dianoja (6uivoLa)—it represented the reason or intellect, “also the ‘ego,’ that is, the will, the energy, the capacity for action. It is in one aspect the divinity in us, world-wide, universal; in another the individual man with his special bent and character; so that we may even be said to have two souls in us, the world-soul and each man’s particular soul.” 20 The first passage from the Timaeus was instrumental in changing the meaning of the Genius in the late classical period and in the Middle Ages; the catalyst for this change in meaning was the Neo-Platonic Apuleius.

When Apuleius (c. A.D. 158) first encountered this Platonic daemon. he must have been confused. He was aware of the meaning of the Roman Genius, born with each man, but he also realized that the daemon, ra­tional soul, differed. Therefore, in De Deo Socratis he cleverly synthe­sized the Greek and Roman concepts of the spirit by introducing two lines from the Aeneid (9.184—85) which provided a link between the figures. The question Nisus addresses to Euryalus concerns the source of “dread desire”: is it inspired by the gods, or is it actually a god within man (“ ‘dimne hunc ardorem mentibus addunt, Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?’ “). Apuleius believes that such desire is prompted by the human soul in the body, the daemon (“. . . animus humanus etiam nunc in corpore situs daemon nuncupatur”) or, in Latin, the genius, although he is not convinced that his interpretation is wholly accurate.2’ A good desire of the soul is a good god (“igitur et bona cupido animi bonus deus est”), and the gooddaemon is the mind perfectly virtuous (“. . . dae­mon bonus id est animus virtute perfectus est,” 15.150). The good dae­mon may be identified with the genius, he continues, who is both a god and the soul of each man, immortal, although begotten in some way along with man (genius is “deus, qui est animus sum cuique, quamquam sit inmortalis, tamen quodam modo cum homine gignitur,” 15.151).
The first consequence of Apulemus’ equation of the genius, born with each man, with the daemon, rational soul, was the merging of the two concepts Genius and daemon became synonymous terms; the former lost its original meaning of individual virility, life, temperament, personality. Augustine, as we have noted, speaks of the genius as the rationalis animus of each man. Ammianus Marcellinus (c. A.D. 392), drawing upon the works of unidentified theologians and of Greek poets and writers
(Menander, Homer, and others not specified), describes the daemon or genius as a guardian spirit born with each mnan to guide his conduct dur­ing life, but visible only to the most virtuous of men.22 (Here he confuses the Greek daemon as an internal rational soul with the external Greekdaemon-messenger, a Slightly different spirit which will be discussed in the following section.) Ammianus declares that the daemon described by Menander as the guide and leader of each man’s life is the same guardian genius which has attended, supported, and instructed such famous men as Pythagoras, Socrates, Numa Pompilius, the elder Scipio, Marius, Oc­tavianus, Hermes Trismegistus, Apollonius of Tyana, and Plotinus (21.14.5). The latter three, Ammianus continues, attempted to discern the nature of the bond between genii and men’s souls, and also the reason they offer protection and moral direction only to men entirely virtuous and pure (21.14.5). This Greek concept of the daemon as rational soul similarly influenced a definition of the genius presented by Martianus Capella (c. A.D. 423): “this most faithful tutelary and brother protects the minds and souls of all men” (“hic tutelator fidissimusque germanus animos omnium mentesque custodit,” 2.152).
The second consequence of Apuleius’ identification of the Roman ge­nius with the Greek daemon was more subtle but more important. In that same passage, Apuleius concludes that the prayer addressed to the genius of another person, performed while embracing his knees (genua), sym­bolizes in two words (“Genium et genua”) the conjunction of soul (ge­nius) and body (knees) through which we exist (“quibus Genium et genua precantur, coniunctionem nostram nexumque videantur mihi obtes­tan, corpus atque animum duobus nominibus conprehendentes, quorum communio et copulatio sumus,” 15. 15l~~52).23 That is, the genius is im­mortal, like the soul, but is begotten with each man and exists within his body only until death; thus the genius and genua symbolize man’s para­doxical nature, spiritual yet corporeal. This notion was later misinter­preted: the genius and genuawere apparently envisioned as the good and evil sides of each man. If there is a good daemon, representing the good desires of the soul, to which the genius corresponds, then there must also be an evil daemon, representing the evil desires of the body, to which a bad genius corresponds. Servius (c. A.D. 389), for example, commenting upon the same Virgilian passage (9. 184—85), distinguishes the Genius, the familiar numen which desires only good, from the evil desires which originate in man. Like Ammianus, he turns to Plotinus to amplify his comments: we are motivated to perform good acts by our individual Ge­nius, who has been allotted to us at birth (“ad omnia honesta inpelli nos genio et numine quodam familiari, quod nobis nascentibus datur”), but it is our mind which prompts evil desires or longings (‘~prava vero nostra mente nos cupere et desiderare”).24 In his conclusion he alters the sense of the Virgilian lines by rephrasing them: Nisus then asks Euryalus whether the gods have inspired these desires, or whether we have made desire a god (“o Euryale, dine nostris mentibus cupiditates iniciunt et desideria, an deus fit ipsa mentis cupiditas?”). This particular passage, like several others of Servius, was repeated verbatim by Mythographus Tertius, and strongly influenced the medieval moralizations of the pagan Genius.
The opposition of the good desires of the Genius to fleshly cupiditas was very likely enhanced by Servius’ awareness of the meaning of geni­alis.Although the Genius in the Servian passages cited above represents moral and even sapiential longings of the soul, Servius glosses genialis (fromgenialis hi ems, the farmer’s pleasant and workless winter cele­brated with festivities and feasts) as voluptuosa and convivalis, explaining this by means of the old ideas of indulging and defrauding one’s genius. Indulging one’s genius is pleasurable, denying it is not: “nam quotiens voluptati operam damus indulgere dicimur genio, unde e contrario ha­bemus in Terentio suum defraudans genium.” 25 The pleasure-seeking ge­nius of this passage, which surely helps man to make a god of his long­ings, is the “malus genius,” opposed to the “bonus genius” (or good daemon) in Servius’ gloss on Aeneid 6.743: “when we are born, we are allotted two genii: one exists which strongly urges us toward good things [qui hortatur ad bona],the other which corrupts us toward evil things [qui depravat ad ma/a].” The consequences of such assistance determine whether we are led after death to a better life, or condemned to a worse:
through the efforts of the two genii we either earn our freedom from the body, or are eternally chained to it (by lingering over the body, or by seeking out incarnation in a new one, 6.743). It is for this reason, Servius concludes, that genii are also called manes (shades, or genii~after-death). This passage, like the others cited, was repeated by the Third Vatican Mythographer; we shall return to his compilation of definitions later in the description of the medieval view of the genius.
Servius, however, introduces a new element to our understanding of the genius—the concept of the after-life and the function of the manes both in this life and thereafter. The Di Manes from the earliest of times represented the unindividualized family dead, becoming personalized

only later with the rise of individuality in Roman religion and philosophy. The Greek daemon which rose to the heavens after death resembled the Roman Di Manes. The popular Greek belief in this tutelary spirit influ­enced the development of the Platonic daemon; all three, manes, populardaemon, and Platonic daemon, fostered the identification of the genius with the (immortal) soul of man.26
Servius explains that our life on earth and the good or evil use we make of it determines our life and position after death, that is, the fate of ourmanes. What exactly are these manes he speaks of, and what is their relationship with the cosmological demons?


The Di Manes constituted one class of demons. There were three kinds 27 in addition to the daemon (soul) of each man on earth. Highest in rank were the divine messengers, who observed the affairs of men and reported back to the gods. These good daemons were contrasted with the second class—the careless and idle spirits, employed as the executioners of the gods. The third and last class consisted of the manes—the good or evil souls of men which had departed from their bodies.
Apuleius (c. A.D. 158) in De Deo Socratis provides the most ample and influential discussion of daemones, based upon the Platonic tripartite division of nature.28 The highest part of nature comprises the gods—the twelve intelligible gods perceived by the understanding (Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jove, Neptune, Vulcan, and Apollo), and also the sensible gods perceived by the senses (the sun, moon, and five planets or stars). Although there seems to be no way for the lowest part of nature, earth and her inhabitants, to communicate with these divinities, Apuleius contends that the daemon, who is mediox­29 ides the me
umus, prov    ans for such communication: it carries messages between the gods and man; to it man addresses prayers, makes vows, sac­rifices victims.
Neither divine nor mortal, daemones share immortality with the gods and rational minds and passions with men; however, they possess aerial
bodies, a facet peculiar to themselves. This very popular description of demonic nature was later echoed by Augustine and Calcidius.30
There is some discrepancy concerning the precise cosmic location of daemones, although most writers, like Apuleius, place them in the air be­tween aether and water. Augustine does not mention the word daemon, but he admits the four parts of the world are full of souls, immortal ones in the aether and air, mortal ones in water and on land (7.6). In the aether reside the most important ‘‘souls,” the stars or planets, which are visible; between the sphere of the moon and the highest region of clouds and winds dwell invisible souls—”heroas et lares et genios” (7.6). The full­est and most detailed account of the cosmic position and hierarchy of the various spirits is presented by Martianus in De Nuptiis; his discussion spurred subsequent amplification in many other works throughout the Middle Ages.3
Augustine’s invisible souls or spirits, intermediaries between the stars and planets and man, aid the World Soul in its functions. According to Macrobius (who alludes to Plato and Posidonius) in the Saturnalia, the term daemones (Greek 5aqLove~), applied both to spirits and to gods, springs either from the word &rvj~Love~, “gifted with knowledge of the future,” or from the word 5aL6~tevo9, “buming, sharing,” in reference to their nature, which shares in heavenly substance (1.23.7). The dae­mones, “burning” or “sharing” spirits, resemble the fiery seed of the World Soul: they help to animate the cosmos. Their precise function, however, is to transmit the knowledge with which they are gifted by the gods, the stars, and Jove, or by man, to the appropriate recipient.
In the Symposium, the cosmic daemon, neither mortal nor immortal, but sharing attributes both of the gods and of man, conveys petitions and news of sacrifices from man to the gods, and commands from the gods to man.32 The most famous instance of the latter is related by Socrates in the Apology. he speaks of a divine spiritual voice that has accompanied him from boyhood, discouraging certain acts, but never encouraging others.33 Plutarch (c. A.D. 46—125) in De Genic Socratis suggests that Socrates’ oracular daemon (genius in the Latin), who guided him from the very beginning, was a vision lighting his way in the exploration of difficult matters beyond most men. Such prophetic messages were trans­mitted from the gods to many men, but only an individual like Socrates, with a mind free of distracting and tumultuous passion, could fully com­prehend such daemonic instruction. His pure mind allowed the soundless utterance of the genius to reach him via revelation: they communicated mentally.34
Socrates’ daemon, in Apuleius’ De Deo Socratis, is ascribed to the third and highest class of daemones, ranked above the daemones of the after-life (soul-without-the-body) and the daemon-genius (soul-within­the-body). This class of spirit, to which “sleep” and “Love” belong, understands all things. Socrates, with his untroubled mind, needed nei­ther the dreams accompanying sleep nor the blissful ecstasy of love to communicate with hisdaemon.
Although Apuleius distinguishes between the Socratic daemon and the genius-daemon (soul-within-the-body) of men on earth, Tertullian (A.D. 150—230) defines this external Socratic daemon as a genius. The dae­monic spirit (spiritus daemonicus) visited Socrates when he was still a boy; “so to all men genii are assigned, which is the name for daemones” (“sic et omnibus genii deputantur, quod daemonum nomen est”).35 Both Ammianus and Annaeus Florus view the message-carrying spirit as a ge­nius. In Ammianus (c. AD. 392), the Genius brings both good and bad news to Julian. As the Genius of the State (Genius publicus), he appears in Julian’s dream in order to reproach him: the Genius has wished to aid him by increasing his rank because many men have agreed he is worthy of advancement, but each time he approaches Julian, he is rebuffed. He threatens to leave forever if Julian does not receive him (20.5.10). Ap­parently Julian aceedes, for he later becomes Augustus. It is interesting to note that this Genius publicus brings good luck or news like the Greek messenger daemon, but that he frequents the vestibule of Julian’s house like the earlier RomanGenius dom us.
But the Genius of the State, serving as the “executioner” of the gods, can also bring bad news: one night Julian sees the same Genius who visited him when he was rising to power, but now—signalling his fall— he appears with a veiled head and cornucopia (25.2.3). Julian’s reign ended shortly thereafter. Annaeus Florus (c. AD. 137) describes the ap­pearance of a Genius to Brutus before imminent disaster—the deaths of both Brutus and Cassius in the war against Caesar and Antonius. In this case, the role of the Genius as executioner of the gods, representative of bad luck, is clearly differentiated from that of the Genius bringing good news: the figure appears to Brutus during the night when he is meditating and confesses that he is his “malus genius.” 36 Evil and ill-fortune are clearly linked.
The mistaken identification of the daemones, messengers of the gods conveying good or bad news to men, with the genius, either good or bad, born with each man to guide his conduct, was an easy one for Florus and Ammianus to make. The difference between the two concepts, or classes of daemones, can be resolved only by distinguishing between the nature of the daemon—internal or external, moral or fatalistic. This confused situation was complicated by the nature of the third type of external daemon, the spirit lesser in rank than the messenger of the gods, but greater than the daemon (indwelling power) of each man on earth—the daemon or soul, shade, of each man after death.
This species of daemon included several sub-types. Plutarch does not classify the daemones he discusses; he merely mentions that such dae­monesappeared after the deaths of Lysis and Trophonius (16, 21, 22). Apuleius, however, explains that the soul (“animus humanus”) after death is called a lemur (15.152). If it has proven to be good, i.e., rela­tively uncontaminated by the flesh, it becomes a lar; if bad, a larva; and if its condition is uncertain, a manes (15.152—53).
Martianus (c. A.D. 423) also categorizes these spirits inhabiting the airy region below the moon, the underworld ruled by Pluto, or Summanus (“summus Manium,” he explains), and the moon (Proserpina: “hic Luna, quae huic a~ri praeest, Proserpina memoratur,” 2.161—62). However, his classification differs slightly from that of Apuleius: Martianus calls the genius of Apuleius (soul-in-the-body) a manes, which is either good or evil (“&yai~oO~ et KaKOv~ Sa4tova~” in Greek). Also, Martianus does not list a name for the neutral lemur whose condition is uncertain (Apu­leius’manes). But the remainder of his classification is identical with that of Apuleius: after leaving the body, the manes becomes a lemur. The goodmanes is then regarded as a lar, and the evil manes as a larva (2.162—64). The good and evil manes do not differ essentially from Apuleius’ good and evil genii born with each man and living until his death. The difference between the good and evil messenger daemones and the manes andgenii should be clear: the former perform as agents of fate, the gods, and the stars, but the latter depend upon man’s “free will,” so to speak, the choices he makes during his life.

Virgil (70—19 B.C.) described in the Aeneid the spirit or mens animat­ing the world and creating all things; but, he added, “Fiery is the vigour and divine the source of those life-seeds [seminibus], so far as harmful bodies clog them not, nor earthly limbs and mortal frames dull them” (6.730—32). The flesh dulls and corrupts the heavenly spark; when life departs, the retarding flesh frequently inhibits that spark. Thus the spirit is punished according to its corruption: “quisque suos patimur Manes” (or “Manis,” 6.743). Macrobius (c. A.D 410) discusses in his commen­tary on the Somnium Scipionis the alternatives available to a soul after it has quit the body: if virtuous, it ascends into the heavens; if, however, it has been overwhelmed by the bestial nature of the body, it dreads its departure, and before entering the underworld of the shades, hovers over the corpse, or seeks a new body, human or animal (1.9.4—5).
Much of this sounds very Christian. The soul, sent to heaven, hell, or purgatory, bears a suspicious resemblance to the lemur, which is either good(lar, good manes, agathos daemon) or evil (larva, evil manes, kakos daemon), or uncertain (manes in general). What influence did the corps ofgenii, daemones, and manes have upon Christianity?


The Christian soul is analogous to the classical “soul” which became a manes after death; the Christian saint, celebrated on certain days, resem­bles the virtuous manes, what Apuleius and Martianus called the lar, and what had been, during its sojourn on earth, an agathos daemon.37 But the pagan daemones, messengers of the gods and the stars, most spiritual of all three classes of spirits, received the greatest attention from the Chris­tian apologists. First, this cosmic daemon was transformed into a very Christian angelus; secondly, the pagan genii and daemones were regarded as demons perpetrating evil and havoc.
The cosmic daemones carrying their messages and commands from heaven to earth had been previously divided into two classes—the fortu­natedaemon with good news and the careless and idle daemon, the ex­ecutioner of the gods, with bad news. Calcidius (c. AD. 300) in his com­mentary on the Timaeus describes these messengers, who are called daemones because they know all things. But then he discusses the ange­lus,intermediary between God and man, who interprets and reports to God our prayers, innermost wishes and needs, and who delivers divine help to us: it is a type of daemon (an geli—’ ‘tamquam da~emones dicti,” 132). Called angeli from the Greek ~yyeXo~, angelos or announcer, messenger, they assiduously perform the duty of announcing and report­ing (“officium nuntiandi,” 132). An even stronger connection between the genius (daemon)and angelus is established by Martianus (c~ AD. 423): the genius, “this most faithful protector, ~ . ~ since he announces to the heavenly power the secrets of thoughts, will even be able to be called Angel” (“hic tutelator fidissimusque .~~ quoniam cogitationum arcana superae annuntiat potestati, etiam Angelus potenit nuncupari,” 2.152—53). The Greeks, Martianus continues, call these spirits daemones (Medioximi in Latin) from the “the sharing one” (~ato~vo~), presum­ably because, as mediators or intermediaries, they share the secrets of heaven and of earth.
According to the Christian apologist Lactantius (fi. AD. 297), there were two kinds of angels, the heavenly and the fallen. In relating the story of their fall, Lactantius relies heavily upon the concept of the care­less and idle daemon to explain their fallen nature. God, observing the deception and harassment caused by the diabolic Serpent, sent angelic messengers to warn and to protect men. However, the Devil enticed the negligent angels into the enjoyment of earthly pleasure: they copulated with women, and earthly “angels” were born of the union.38 The fallen angels, depravati angeli or daemones Caelestes, became minions of the Devil, the ultimate daemoniarch (2.14.5). Calcidius calls them desertores angeli: having been contaminated by their own earthly passions, they henceforth inhabit the aerial region instead of heaven, and promote evil and impiety on earth (135). There are, then, two kinds of messen­gers—the angelic messenger sent from God, and the demonic messenger, or the depraved angel, sent from the Devil.
The product of the union of angel and man was neither immortal non mortal: these spirits, daemones terreni, encouraged the workings of evil on earth by acting like demonic messengers This type of daemon Lactan­tius uses to amalgamate the Greek and Roman spirits—the daemon, thegenius, and even the manes.
Lactantius’ long description of the daemon is divided into two parts,

the first dealing with the Greek spirit, the second with the Roman (2.14.6—14). He alludes to the daemones described by Hesiod, Plato, and Minucius Felix and explains their etymology as Macrobius has: they resemble “indwelling powers,” ~a~j~ove~, who are “gifted with knowledge” (from &~~j~wv, “knowing”) because they are almost om­niscient (not entirely, for they do not know of God’s hidden plan,
However, the genius receives greatest emphasis. Lactantius disparages the genii of houses and of individual men, the libation of wine poured to thegenius, the veneration of the spirit as a god. The evil of the genius in­fects man’s body with disease and unbalances his mind with terrible dreams, causing madness. This vitriolic attack, in effect recapitulating the evolution of the genius and daemon, does provide new information which will later be incorporated in the medieval popular belief in the demon: the spirits’ knowledge of magic arts, designed to delude men’s minds, en­compasses astrology, augury, divination, necromancy, casting of lots, and oracular pronouncements (Epit. 28). He draws upon the late classical belief in thegenius as natal star (horoscope) to develop the astrological link; the daemon and genius who were associated with individual fortune (tyche) or messages from the gods or Jove (World Soul) here become as­sociated with augury, divination, omens; and the manes of the dead man is apparently summoned by the necromancer. In the Middle Ages the ge­nius and daemon condemned by Lactantius will be called “demons,” but will continue to allow men to read the secrets of the future in the omens and auguries they manipulate.39 The fondness of the Lactantian daemones for communicating by means of dream visions whose nightmarish quali­ties terrify or whose prophecies impress will later be incorporated into the medieval definition of madness as the state produced by a possessing demon.40
The Greek daemon and Roman genius have been completely deni­grated by Lactantius, yet they live on in disguise: for the Greek daemon (goodgenius), he substitutes by analogy the Christian angel, and for the Roman genius (begetting spirit, inclination, bad genius), the pagan due-mon or demon, agent of evil skilled in the black arts.
To summarize, we find that the genius and daemon developed cosmo­logical and philosophical affiliations—with astrology, Stoicism, Pla­tonism and Neo-Platonism, and Christianity. Despite differences among these systems, a pattern linking genii and duemones emerges. The genius, representative of the forces of fate and generation, is associated with the star, the horoscope; occasionally with Jove and the anima mundi; with the stars and planets, including the sun and moon; with Fortuna and the Magna Mater. The Greek daemon, “medioxumus,” residing in the air, is a messenger of the gods, bearing good news (like the Christian ungelus), or bad news (like the evil fallen angel); it is also a manes, a good or an evil soul of the dead; finally, it is the genius and soul of the man on earth, frequently split into two parts, good and evil. And from this pattern we note another: from the supernal regions come the messages of inexorable fate and fortune affecting the lower regions, but from the depths, from the earth, comes a challenge to this force—a chance to determine one’s personal fortune during life and after death, what might be termed a clas­sical form of “free will.”
The patterns we have discussed evolved from the earlier popular wor­ship of the Genius; they bear unmistakable signs of their origins. The begetting spirit of the paterfamilias, ensuring the continuity of the family, has been metamorphosed into the generational and fatalistic force of the universal household. Jupiter, father of the gods, and the stars and planets, authors of fate, govern the continuity and life of the world. The individ­ual genius,born with each man, and signifying his life, energy, and later,
his personal luck and temperament, has been transformed to represent his
· individuality, personality, soul, “free will.”
How much of this is transmitted and retained in the Middle Ages? Was the medieval view of the Genius the same, or were changes made? We have, in passing, noted the popularity of various quotations, definitions, and concepts concerning the Genius during the Middle Ages. We turn now to a broader overview of the figure’s influence in this later period.

65.     Ovid, Tristia 3.13.15, in Tristia; Ex Ponto, ed. and trans. Arthur Leslie Wheeler, Loeb Classical Library (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1924), p. 150. See also 5.5.13. Horace’s description of a birthday celebration is very similar: in the Odes 4.11.1—8, in Horace, The Odes and Epodes, ed. and trans. C. E. Bennett, Loeb Classical Library (1914; rev., rpt. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1927), p. 326, he mentions a jar of Alban wine, parsley for garlands, ivy for Phyllis’ hair, silver vessels, dancing flames, and ~ara castis vincta ver­benis.” For a discussion of Roman birthday celebrations, see Schmidt, p. 25.

66.     Albius Tibullus, 1.7.49—54, ed. and trans. J. P. Postgate, in Catullus, Tibullus, and Pervigilium Veneris, pp. 230, 232. Fire is mentioned in another passage (2.2.3-4).

67.     See Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roman People, p. 184; the food commu­nion rituals in family ancestor worship constituted a form of communication and renewal of strength for the family. See Desmonde, pp. 24—25, 37, 54, 139.

68.     Horace, Ars Poetica 209—11. In the Odes 3.17.14—16, he says, ‘~Cras genium mero Curabis, et porco bimestri Cum famulis operum solutis.” The pig is probably intended for some other spirit.

69.     Petronius, Satyricon 34; Ovid, Fasti 3.523. See Onians, pp. 227 ff.: wine was “life­fluid itself and did not merely, like most food, contain life-fluid among other elements.” Fowler, Roman Ideas of Deity, p. 18, speaks of the wine offered to the Genius and its “mystic connexion with blood”; see also de Marchi, I, 53—54.

70.     Censorinus, De Die Natali 2.2—3. Schmidt, p. 26, comments on this passage; on p. 27, he declares that victims were offered only to the imperial Genius

71.     See John Edwin Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship (1903; rpt. New York, 1958), Vol. I, s.v. index for citations of authors in the long section on the availability and influence of the classics in the Middle Ages. See also Chapter Three of this work.



1.       The astrological nature of the classical genius has been very briefly discussed by Attilio de Marchi, II culto privato di Roma antica, I (Milan, 1896), 70—73; Edward B. Tylor, Primitive Culture (London, 1913), II, 201; and Richard Broxton Onians, The Origins of Eu­ropean Thought about the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 1954), pp. 162—64.

2.       Juvenal, Satura 6.562, inJuvenal and Persius, ed. and trans. G. G. Ramsay, Loeb Clas­sical Library (London and New York, 1918), p. 128, Subsequent references to primary works, after an initial reference in a note, will be indicated by book, chapter, and line num­ber(s) within the text. The Loeb Classical Library editions have been used whenever avail­able. Translations of passages within the text are my own, unless otherwise acknowledged.

3.       Persius, Satura 6.18—19, in Juvenal and Persius, p. 394.

5.       Ambrosli Theodosii Macrobii Saturnalia 1.19.16—18, in Macrobius, ed. James Willis (Leipzig, 1963), I, Ill. But note that Charisius (c. An. 365) identifies the genius as the in­dividual tyche or fortune: ‘hic genius i~i0~icc’so-s~ov.” See Flavil Sosipatri C~tsarisii Artis Grammaricae Libri V,ed. Charles Barwick (Leipzig, 1964), p. 33 (1.11).

6.       Prudentius, Contra Orationem Symmachi 2.71—74, in Prudentius, ed. and trans. H. J. Thomson, Loeb Classical Library (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1953), II, 12.

7.       Soon, he says, every wall will arise ~‘sub astro” and be assigned its own fortune and fate (2.450—53). The Christian apologists delighted in scoffing at the intricate system of genii. For example, Amobius, Adversus Nationes Libri VII. ed. C. Marchesi, 2nd ed. (Turin, 1953), pp. 208—9, belittles the concept of Lateranus as a genius of the hearth (which was constmcted from unbaked larerculi), and wonders whether a fireplace ofburned clay still has a genius (46).

8.       For analysis of and commentary upon the Stoic concept of the Generative Reason, see E.
Zeller, The Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceprics, trans. Oswald J. Reichel (London, 1870), pp.
162 ff. and passim; also E. Vernon Amold, Roman Stoicism (Cambridge, 1911), p. 161 and
passim. For a brief but broad summary of microcosmic theories in Stoicism, see George
Perrigo Conger, Theories of Macrocosms and Microcosms in the History of Philosophy
(New York, 1922), pp. 13 ff.

9.       Arnold, p. 161.

10.     Virgil, Aeneid 6.724-29, in Aeneid, ed. and trans. H. Rushton Fairelough, 2 vols., Loeb Classical Library (1916-18; rev. Cambridge, Mass., 1934-35), I, 556. Fairelough’s translation has been used throughout this chapter.

11.     S. Aurelli Augusi~ini De Civirare Del contra Paganos Libri, ed. and trans. William M. Green, Loeb Classical Library, It (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1963), 396 (76). Green’s translations are used throughout this chapter. “Anima” and “animus” appear to be used interchangeably in this passage. God is both the soul or life of the universe, and its mind or ruling principle.

12.     Arnold, p. 230.

13.     Onians, p. 125. An ancient Italian word for the concept of the Genius, Cerus or Kerus, associated with “creo” and “Ceres,” stemmed from the Sanskrit Icri-kar and meant ~~begetting spirit.” See Ludwig Preller, Rdmische Myrhologie (Berlin, 1858), I, 70—71; for the Genius-Ceres relationship, see Th. Birt, “Genius,” in Ausfiihrliches Lexikon der griechischen und rdmischen Myrhologie, ed. W. H. Roscher (Leipzig, 1886-90), 12, cot. 1615; and Onians, pp. 125—26, 148, 150. Martianus Capella, listing the inhabitants of the sixteen regions of heaven invited to the marriage of Mercury and Philology, links Ceres with a Genius: these two, plus Tellunss and Vulcan, arrived from the fifth region. See De Nupriis Philologiae ei~ Mercuril 1.49, inMarrianus Capella, ed. Adolf Dick (Stuttgart, 1969), p. 28.

14.     Pauli Excerpta ex Libris Pompeii Festi de Significarione Verborum 95, in Sexti Pompeii
Fesi~i De Verborum Significaru Quae Supersunt cum Pauli Epitome, ed. Wallace M. Lindsay
(1913; rpt. Hildesheim, 1965), p. 84.

New York and London, 1966), P. 107. Stahl’s translation has been used throughout this chapter.

16.     Amobius, Adversus Nationes 3.40. See also Preller, 1, 76.

 17.     Macrobius, Commentary, trans. Stahl, p. 145 (1.14.16). The World Soul, he says, was begotten by the numbers seven and eight (1.6.3). The origin of the World Soul proceeded in seven steps; there are seven planetary spheres beneath the fixed sphere of the stars (1.6.47). It is relatively easy to understand how these spheres and their planets came to be regarded as part of the World Soul.

18.     Calcidius, Commentariu.s 188, in Timaeus. A Calcidjo Tronslatus Commentarioque In­structus, ed. J. H. Waszink (London and Leiden, 1962), pp. 212—13. J. A. W. Bennett, The Parlement of Foules. An Interpretation (Oxford, 1957), p. 195, declares that the three powers, Nature, Fortune, and Chance, are subordinated to the Trinity in this passage, but it is unlikely that Calcidius is discussing the Trinity per se. His Neo-Platonic concept slightly resembles that of Plotinus, who posits a system including a One, a Nous as a first emanation or divine mind, and a double World Soul, part of which contemplates the ideas of Nous, and part of which (called Nature) transforms them into matter. See George D. Economou, The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature (Cambridge, Mass., 1972), pp. 14—16. Cal­cidius is discussed on pp. 20—24. The World Soul is identified with the Spiritus Sanctus in the twelfth century: see, for example, the commentary on the Timneus (38.6—11) by Guil­laume de Conches, in ‘Les Gloses de Guillaume de Conches,” ed. J. M. Parent, in La Doctrine de la ersiation dons Isicole de Chartres, situde et textes (Paris and Ottawa, 1938), p. 166.

19.     Plato, Timneus 89E—90A, ed. and trans. R. G. Bury, Plato, Vol. 7, Loeb Classical Library (London and New York, 1929), pp. 244, 246.

20.     Arnold, p. 246. Zeller, p. 332, explains the relationship between the daemon and reason:      since reason alone protects man from evil, and conducts him to happiness— this, too, was the popular belief—reason may be described as the guardian spirit, or demon, in man.

21.     Apuleius, De Deo Soeratis 15.150-51, in Lie Philosophia Libri, cd. Paul Thomas, Opera Qune Supersunt, Vol. 3 (Stuttgart, 1970), p. 23.

22.     Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum Libri Qui Supersunt, ed. and trans. John C.
Rolfe, Loeb Classical Library (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1937), II, 166, 168

23. “Genium et genua” in Thomas, ed. Lie Philosophia Libri. But “Genium et Geniam” in Lie Lien Soeratis 15.152, in Opera Ousuin, ed. G. F. Hildebrand (1842; rpt. Hildesheim, 1968), II, 145. Although the first variant is perhaps preferable, the second also makes sense:
if Apulcius were unaware of the existence of the Juno as a female counterpart to the masculine Genius, he might have regarded the Genia so. Both spirits, while lodged within the body, symbolize in two words (Genius and Genia) the union of soul (the spirits) and body. He later says that thegenius becomes a manes after death. Thus the word genius itself implies “soul-within-the-body.” See also Hildebrand’s similar explanation of the Genia, bolstered by other references so the Juno, on pp. 145—146 n.

An elucidation of the Neo-Platonic background of the passage is provided by Edith Owen

Wallace, The Notes on Philosophy in the Coossnen tory of Sers’ius on the Eclogues, the

Georgics, and the Aeneid of Vergil (New York, 1938), pp. 150—56.

25.     1.302, in I,s Vergilii Georgica Com,nentarii.

26. For she influence of the Di Manes upon the genius and the “immortality of the soul,” see Birt, cols. 16 17—18; Georg Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Rbsner, in Handbuch der klassisehen Altertumswissenschaft, Vol. 5, p5. 4, 2nd ed. (Munich, 1912), p. 176; Walter F. Otto, Die Manen; oder, Von de,s Urlormeis des Totenglaubens (Berlin, 1923), p. 62; W. Warde Fowler, Roman Ideas of Deity (London, 1914), pp. 19, 23, and The Religious Expe­rience of the Roman People (London, 1911), p. 75; William Reginald Halliday, Lectures on the History of Rouia,s Religios’s (Liverpool, 1922), pp. 38-40; and especially Jesse Benedict Carter, “Ancestor Worship (Roman),” Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, I (New York, 1913), 465.

27.     This classification of das~mones is provided by Amold, p. 232.

28.     For a short resumsi of this little book on doemones, see C. S. Lewis, The Liiscarded
Image (Cambridge, 1964), pp. 40-44. He also noses the importance of Apuleius for the
Middle Ages.

29.     Apulcius places it in a middle position; Calcidius, Coinmentarius 232, finds it In media posituin”; and Martianus labels the Greek daesnon (and the “angel”) as “mediox­imus” in Lie Nuptiis 2.154.

30.     See Augustine, Lie Civitate Dei 8.14—15; Calcidius, Commentarius 131, 135.

31.     2.150—68; she discussion presents a hierarchy of spirits that Bernardus Silvestris uses extensively in she second book of De Mundi U,sis’ersitate. For a full examination of such spirits and their hierarchies, see Lynn Thoindike, A History of Magic and Experimeistal Science, Vols. I and II (New York, 1923—29).

32.     Plato, Symposium 202E—203A, in Great Dialogues of Plato, trans. Eric H. Warming-ton and Philip G. Rouse (New York, 1956), p. 98.
33.     Apology 3 lC—D, ed. and trans. Harold North Fowler, Plato, Vol. 1, Loch Classical
Library (1914; rps. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1947), p. 114. This was repeated by
Calcidius, Cotumentarius 168, and summarized in Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani Lie

Anima Liber, ed. J. H. Waszink (Amsterdam, 1947), p. 56 (39.3).

34.     Plutarch, De Geiiio Soeratis 24, in Plutarchi Scripta Moralia, ed. Frederick Ddbner, I (Paris, 1856), 716.

35.     Tertullian, Lie Anima 39.3; he equates the doemon with she genius in Apologeticus
32.2—3,        in Tertullian: Apology, De Speetaculis; Mi,sucius Felix, ed. and trans. T. R. Glover and Gerald H. Rendall, Loeb Classical Library (London and New York, 1931), p. 156:
“Ceterum daemonas, id est genios” (32.3).

36.     L. Annaei Flori Epitomne de Tito Lis’io Belloru,,s O,nnium A,inorum DCC 2.17.8, in Lucius Aiinaeus Florus: Epitomne of Roman History; Cornelius Nepos, ed. and trans. Ed­ward Seymour Forster, Loeb Classical Library (London and New York, 1929), p. 308.

37.     Tylor, II, 204, associates “she rites of she classic natal genius and she mediaeval natal saint,” but Gordon J. Laing, Survivals of Romams Religion (New York, 1931), p. 8, believes the doctrine sif veneration of the saint developed from that of the polytheistic deity.

38.     L. Caeli Firmiani Lactanti Divinae Institutianes 2.14.1—4, in Opera Omnia, ed. Sam­uel Brandt and Georg Laubmann (Prague and Leipzig, 1890), pp. 162—63. Cf. Firmianus
Lactantius, Epitome Institutianum Divinarum, ed. and trans. E. H. Blakenay (London,
1950), pp. 76—77 (28); and for additional commentary, Emil Schneweis, Angels and
Demons According to Lactantius (Washington, 1944), pp. 92 and 140—42.

39.     The medieval association of demons with magic and astrology is widely acknowledged and needs no extended proof. But see Augustine’s De Divinatiane Daemanum, an excellent early example; also Thomdike, Vols. I and II; and Theodore Otto Wedel, The Mediaeval Attitude toward Astrology (New Haven, London, and Oxford, 1920), esp. pp. 16, 23, 64, 69—70, 122. Also, it is interesting to note that laruatus (from larva) means “bewitched, enchanted,” and is used as part of a doctor’s diagnosis of madness as early as Plautus’ Menaechmi (5.4.1).

40.     And later, of course: see, e.g., Sigmund Freud, “A Neurosis of Demoniacal Posses­sion in the Seventeenth Century,” On Creativity and the Unconscious, sel. Benjamin Nel­son (New York, 1958), pp. 264—300. See also this work, Chapter Six; n. 30.


1.       Other pagan gods were similarly moralized. See Friedrich von Bezold, Dos Fortleben der antiken Gtitter im mittelalterlichen Humanismus(Bonn and Leipzig, 1922); Hans Lie­hesch0tz, ed. Fulgentius Metaforalis: Fin Beitrag zur Geschichte der antiken Mytholagie im Mittelalter (Berlin and Leipzig, 1926); Ernest H. Wilkins, “Descriptions of Pagan Divini­ties from Petrarch to Chaucer,” Speculum, 32 (1957), 511—22; Richard Hamilton Green, “Classical Fable and English Poetry in the Fourteenth Century,” Critical Approaches to Medieval Literature, ed. Dorothy Bethurum (New York, 1960), pp. 110-34; Douglas Bush, Mythology and the Renaissance Tradition in English Poetry (Minneapolis, 1932), especially Chap. One; Jean Sezoec, The Survival of the Pagan Gads, trans. Barbara F. Sessions (New York, 1953); Erwin Panofsky, Studies in Icanalogy (New York, 1939); John Block Fried­man, Orpheus in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, Mass., 1970); George D. Economou, The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature (Cambridge, Mass., 1972); and Winthrop Wether­bee, Platonism and Poetry in the Twelfth Century (Princeton, 1972).

2.       John Edwin Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship (1903; rpt. New York, 1958), Vol. I, details the extant manuscripts and popularity of various classical authors in the Middle Ages. See also James Stuart Beddie, “The Ancient Classics in the Mediaeval Libraries,” Speculum, 5 (1930), 3—20; Henry Oshom Taylor, The Classical Heritage of the Middle Ages, 3rd ed. (New York, 1911), especially the first four chapters; and also Charles Homer Haskins, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (1927; rpt. Cleveland and New York, 1957), especially Chap. Four, “The Revival of the Latin Classics” (it examines the popularity of various authors in manuscripts, grammars, fiorilegia, glossaries, anthologies, etc.).
For the Greek heritage in the Middle Ages, particularly the Platonic tradition, consult Raymond Klihaosky, The Continuity of the Platonic Traditiott during the Middle Ages (Lon­don, 1950), and Paul Shorey, Platonism: Ancient and Modern (Berkeley, 1938), Chap. Four, “Platonism in the Middle Ages.”


3.       For causes and consequences of these renaissances, see Haskins; and Beddie, pp. 3—20.

4.       The most important studies of the transmission of classical authors via scholia, fani­legia, collections of scholia, libri man uales, and commentaries during the Middle Ages are Charles Homer Haskins, “A List of Text-hooks from the Close of the Twelfth Century,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 20 (1909), 75—94; Edward Kenoard Rand, “The Classics in the Thirteenth Century,” Speculum, 4 (1929), 249—69; and Eva Matthews San­ford, “The Use of Classical Latin Authors in the Libri Manuales,” Transactions of the American Philological Association, 55 (1924), 190-248.

5.       Bernardus Silvestris, Cammentum Bernardi Silvestnis super Sex Libros Eneidos Virgilli, ed. Wilhelm Riedel (Greifswald, 1924), p. 29. Subsequent references to all primary works, after the initial citation in a note, will then he incorporated into the text. All translations are my own, unless otherwise acknowledged. For studies of the commentary, see especially Wetherhee, pp. 105—11, and J. Reginald O’Donnell, “The Sources and Meaning of Bemard Silvester’s Commentary on the Aeneid,” Medloeval Studies, 24 (1962), 233-49.

6.       Macrobli Commentanli in Somnium Scipianis 1.11.5—6, in Macrobius, ed. James Willis
(Leipzig, 1963), II, 46. See also William H. Stahl’s translation of Commentary on the
Dream of Sciplo (1952; rpt. New York and London, 1966), p. 131.

7.       Bemardus: “Descensus autem ad inferos quadrifarius est: est autem unus naturae, alius virtutis, tertius vitii, quartus artificii,” p. 30. Bemardus’ commentary on the six books of the Aeneid is structured according to the six ages of man—infanria, pueritia, adulescentia, juventus, virilitas, and the descent into the underworld. For brief discussions of the four de­scents, see Daniel Carl Meerson, “The Ground and Nature of Literary Theory in Bernard Silvester’s Twelfth-Century Commentary on the Aeneid,” Diss. Chicago 1967; Green, pp. 110-34; and Friedman, pp. 142—43.

8.       The passage on the four descents in Guillaume’s gloss on De Consalarione is reprinted in ~douard Jeauneau, “L’Usage de la notiond’inregumentum travers les gloses de Guillaume de Conches,” Archives d’Hisraire Doctrinale er Lirr~naine du Mayen Age, 32 (1957), 42.

9.       5. Aarelii Augusrini De Civirare Del contra Paganos Libni, ed. and trans. Willam M. Green, Loeb Classical Library, II (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1963), p. 422 (7.13; his trans.).
10.     Isidoni Hispalensis Episcopi Frymologiarum sive Oniginum Libni XX, ed. W. M. Lind­say (Oxford, 1911), Vol. 1(8.11.88); Pauli Excenpra ex Libnis Pompeii Fesri de Significa­nione Verbonum, in Sexti Pompeii Fesri De Verborutn Signifcatu Quae Supersung cum Pauli Epitome, ed. W. M. Lindsay (1913; rpt. Hildesheim, 1965), p. 84: “Genium appellahant deum, qui vim optiocret rerum omnium gereodarum”; Rabanus Maurus, De Univenso 15, inPanrologiae Cursus Complenus: Series Lanina, ed. J. P. Migne, 111 (Paris, 1852), 433B:
“Geoium autem dicuot quad quasi vim habeat omnium rerum gigneodarum, seu a gignendis liheris.”

11.     Martianus Capella, De Nupriis Philologiae et Mencunli 2.152, in Martianus Capella, ed. Adolf Dick (Stuttgart, 1969), p. 65: “. . . quem etiam Praestitem, quod praesit gerun­dis [or gerendis] omnibus”; Remigii Aurissiadonensis Comotenrum in Martianum Capellam Libni 1—Il, ed. Cora E. Lutz (Leiden, 1962), pp. 118, 184: “ET GENtUS ... qul omnium rerum generationihus praeest,” 1.28.12, and “. . . eo quod praesit omnibus gerendis,” 2.65.8; Mythographus Tertius, De Diis Gennium en lllonuot Allegonils 6.19, in Scniptones

extra credit here