Menu Agathodaemon 4020.12

This article is about the Greek daemon. For other uses of this name, see Agathodaemon (disambiguation).

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 were personal companion spirits,[2][3] comparable to the Roman genii, who ensured good luck, health, and wisdom.

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.[citation needed]