Daimones and daimonia throng ancient Greek literature, but evade definition; in some traditions they seem to be gods, in others, dead humans, and in others still, intermediate spirits between man and god. One fruitful way of approaching the host of overlapping and competing ideas about and representations of daimones is through considering the question of the spaces and places where they lived and worked, which were often (although not only) marginal: chthonic and heavenly, rural and urban, domestic and liminal, interior and exterior, microcosmic and macrocosmic. This book explores spatial and locative notions of daimones through thirteen essays on a range of Greek texts and objects from the archaic to Byzantine periods, encompassing epigraphy, epic and bucolic poetry, philosophy, tragedy and comedy, magical papyri, and early Christian scriptural exegesis and doctrinal treatises. These essays explore the dominant terms and images that `locate' daimones in the cosmos and natural world, and the range of spaces in which they were operated and between which they moved: the heavens, the earth, and the underworld; desert and city; and specific locations in the Greek world and near east. They also examine the more contained and intimate relationships between daimones and humans, considering the drama of possession (a daimonic `indwelling'), and ideas of daimones as creatures close in nature to human souls. This book thus illuminates continuities and changes in ideas about the relationship between daimones' habitats and movements, and their ontology, history, habits, and functions, in over a millennium of Greek thought.
Locating Daimones in the Ancient Greek World