A cacodemon (or cacodaemon) is an evil spirit or (in the modern sense of the word) a demon. The opposite of a cacodemon is an agathodaemon or eudaemon, a good spirit or angel. The word cacodemon comes through Latin from the Ancient Greek κακοδαίμων kakodaimōn, meaning an "evil spirit", whereas daimon would be a neutral spirit in Greek. It is believed to be capable of shapeshifting.[1] A cacodemon is also said to be a malevolent person.

Louis Le Breton's illustration of a cacodemon from the Dictionnaire Infernal (1863)
GroupingEvil spirit
Sub groupingDemon
Other name(s)Cacodaemon

In psychology, cacodemonia (or cacodemonomania) is a form of insanity in which the patient believes that they are possessed by an evil spirit. The first known occurrence of the word cacodemon dates to 1593.

In astrology, the 12th house was once called the Cacodemon for its association with evil.[2][3] Defined as "a noise-making devil", Jane Davidson has noted an illustrated example of a cacodemon in editions of Ulisse Aldrovandi's Monstrum Historia (Story of Monsters) as late as 1696.[4]

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  1. ^ Spence, Lewis (2003) [1920]. An Encyclopædia of Occultism. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 84. ISBN 0-486-42613-0.
  2. ^ Wilson, James (1819). A Complete Dictionary of Astrology, in which Every Technical and Abstruse Term Belonging to the Science Is Minutely and Correctly Explained, and the Various Systems and Opinions of the Most Approved Authors Carefully Collected and Accurately Defined. London: Printed for William Hughes, Islington Green, and sold by Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster-Row, and by all other booksellers. p. 13.
  3. ^ de Vore, Nicholas (2005) [1947]. Encyclopedia of Astrology. Abingdon, Maryland: Astrology Classics. p. 36. ISBN 1-933303-09-3.
  4. ^ Davidson, Jane (2012). Early Modern Supernatural: The Dark Side of European Culture, 1400-1700. California: Praeger. p. 44.
  5. ^ "Cacodemonic, 1916 - Paul Klee". WikiArt. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  6. ^ Shakespeare, William. "Act 1, Scene 3". The Life and Death of Richard the Third. Retrieved 19 February 2020 – via shakespeare.mit.edu.
  7. ^ Francis, Beaumont; John, Fletcher (1647). Comedies and Tragedies. London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, at the three Pidgeons, and for Humphrey Moseley at the Princes Armes in St Paul's Church-yard. p. 95.

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