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In the etymology section, an editor wrote "Check your translation, The word Φίλις in Greek does not mean loving, it means friend."

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

It may be true that he works in the Bush administration, but that' POV. Tmesipt.

Must we call it Christian Mythology?

- Thank you all for the information. And, you're right, I shouldn't have suggested that it was Christian (or, at least, exclusively Christian) mythology. But what I really wanted to know, and I haven't used a computer in years, so please pardon my ignorance, is, who wrote the article in Wikipedia, and where they got their information from. Specifically - and none of you guys said this - what are the sources that say "Mephistopheles is the second in command after Satan", and what are the sources that say he is, in fact, different from Satan. I am not really interested in the origins of the name, I just want to know where and when he is mentioned. So if someone could just tell me the names of these "extra-biblical sources" (sorry, not my words), I would really appreciate it.

I think it's very important to keep things written in the bible and things created by christians afterwards. This article does a good job of it. It's hard to keep things NPOV when different people have different canons but at least there's precedent. One should think of it as the difference between the Torah and the Talmud.

Dear Septentrionalis,

I put my views in the Discussion because the rules seem to say Wikipedia does not want opinion in its Articles. What I wrote here would be my view, which, I admitted, was less well-proven. For my own curiosity, however, I probably should get a translation of Psellus and see.

-Richard Dengrove


Popular CultureEdit

Can we trim down the popular culture a little? The name Mephistopheles is probably used millions of times, we don't need to record all of them.--CyberGhostface 14:18, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Dear CyberGhostface,

I bet we could trim down the popular culture by quite a bit. It was left over from the previous writer. I will have to think about it. -Richard Dengrove

I just removed the whole section. Looking over it, very little is important. I mean, how many goth bands are going to make reference to Mephistopheles? How many people are going to be compared to him? Its just pointless.--CyberGhostface 20:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I think removing the whole section is too much. People who read this for pop culture deserve some information. I think the more important appearances of 'Mephistopheles' should stay. I have an idea for that. -- Rich Dengrove

That depends on your definition of important. If a character called Mephistopheles and based on the character from Faust (such as the ones that appeared on Hex and Xena), that's one things. If some stupid metal band calls themselves "Mephisto Pimp" its irrevelant.--CyberGhostface 01:08, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Pop culture is not my area of expertise. It seems more yours. I was just trying to give the essence of what my predecessor wrote. If you have a better idea for Mephistopheles in Pop Culture, be my guest and write it. -- Rich Dengrove

If you want to add it back in you can I guess. I think we should just be more selective. (For example, I think the music section is entirely irrevelant).--CyberGhostface 00:57, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

It's mentioned in Radiohead - Videotape. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but I don't see how its relevant to understanding Mephistopheles. As I said before, the name Mephistopheles has been used so many times and 99% it has little to do with the character presented in the Faust books. Its like a generic demon figure has the name or he's mentioned by some punk band. I might make some List of cultural references to Mephistopheles article so people can add their token "Mephistopheles is the name of a character in Pokemon" if they want.--CyberGhostface 15:04, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to weigh in on the pop culture issue. I think it would be valuable to add notable references back in to the article, as they help to illustrate the usage of the name Mephistopheles in modern literature and art as a generic image of one who guides a soul to hell. The example in Radiohead's Videotape, while not necessarily notable, is a good example of this. "Mephistopheles" is not simply "mentioned by some punk band", the use in the song is a direct reference to the Mephistopheles of the Faust legend. This sort of reference is very common in art of all forms, and I expect that a substantial number of people find their way to this article via such references and would appreciate at least a brief discussion of the standard use of Mephistopheles as a tempter or guide to the underworld. Currently, a brief discussion of only Shakespeare's usage fills this role. I find the presence of the Shakespeare paragraph to be even worse than an absolute lack of information outside of the Faust legend, as it seems to suggest that there has been no usage of Mephistopheles since.
To be completely honest, I think this article contains too much analysis of the name and the Faust legend and not enough discussion of modern usage (there is no discussion of modern use besides one sentence in the leader). I like to approach Wiki article content by considering a simple question: "What do people that google the article title want to know about?". In this case, I think that people arriving at this page want information on both Mephistopheles' position in the Faust legend and the modern use of the term and character. Currently the article contains only one, and judicious addition of cultural references and analysis of Mephistopheles as a modern image would make the article more valuable. The Real Jean-Luc Talk/Contribs 07:18, 24 July 2010 (UTC)


There is a great deal here about how to pronounce his name and what it could possibly mean, but although there are passing refereces regarding his being in various works of literature, it says little or nothing about his character in any of them. I was wondering whether anyone thought there ought to be? And while I know what he's like in "Dr Faustus" I am not familiar with the Faustbook enough to add a complete section on it. I wondered whether character description, mannerisms, etc., would be relevent here, as they seem to be mentioned for most other major literature characters in Wikipedia. CO.


It would be nice for someone to do that. I do not have the expertise for it. You seem to have some. Perhaps you can fill some blanks until a person with the proper expertise chooses to take on the task. --Rich Dengrove

*more references*Edit

I'm new to using Wikipedia, but for the author of this page I would like to leave a message.

Mephistopheles is also a character in the popular PC game: Diablo 2 and in the Expansion pack (Lord of Destruction). He is portrayed as the brother of Diablo, and of Baal (who also make appearances in the game). All three your hero must face and defeat in order to continue the main quest (of defeating Diablo). His name was shortened to "Mephisto" in the actualy game. Whether or not this has any relevance to your page is up for you to decide. Either way, there are many references to religous mythology, in particular Christian mythology, found within the game. While this could have been Blizzard (the producing company of the game) simply using the names of these demons and angels to better portray the good and evil elements of the game and the struggle between, I do still believe it to be a good "mention" (if you will).

Thank you for your time.

-John Alexander

The thing is the name Mephistopheles has been used countless times in popular culture. He's been in songs, metal bands, television shows, comic characters, videogame characters and so forth. Normally I'm against any sort of cultural references in articles, but at least with characters like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, if they appear its more of a direct reference to their character. With Mephistopheles, nine times out of ten, the connection is in name only. If there's a disambiguation page I would say you can add him there but I don't think its relevant to the main Mephistopheles article.--CyberGhostface 18:01, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

merge with FaustEdit

i just jumped over here from Faust and they are both covering a lot of similar ground. they need to be merged with a {{main|Faust}} template over here. JoeSmack Talk 21:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The article could be expanded, but considering how iconic the character of Mephistopheles is, I would strongly disagree with the idea of a merge. It shouldn't be too hard to find external information about the character.--CyberGhostface (talk) 22:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I also disagree. Merging information is for articles with different names that cover the same topic or subject. This doesn't qualify. Gamer Junkie T / C 03:40, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Ghost Rider's EnemyEdit

I only have heard a vary vague description of the story of Faust and know only the most simple basics. In fact, I didn't realize that Mephistopheles was the name of the devil/demon in the story. The only character I knew that had the name was one of the Marvel character's, Ghost Rider, enemies. Since it is more or less an extension of the character from the Faust story, should that not be included here? I understand that there is a page entitled Mephisto, but since the characters are essentially the same (they both are demons/devils, they both have the same name, they both make shady deals to collect souls, etc) at least a description of the similarities/consistencies should be included maybe? I am not a wiki editor by any means, but I could even see some sort of merge possibly since the subject could easily be viewed as the same entity/character. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

There are probably ten thousand characters based on Mephistopheles in the popular culture. If we were to list all of them, the page would get clogged to the brim. There's already an article at Mephisto (comics) that discusses your character.--CyberGhostface (talk) 13:32, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The Opinion of One AuthorEdit

I wrote in 2006 that I suspect the idea for Mephostophiles, the original of Mephistopheles, was taken from the demonic hierarchy of the 11th Century Byzantine philosopher Michael Psellos. The Renaissance knew about Psellos' demonic hierarchy; Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy mentions it. Some demons in this hierarchy are the Misophaes, in Greek, haters of light. Similarly, Mephostophiles means,in Greek, not a lover of light. However, the Misophaes are the lowest demons and unable to communicate. That was why they tend to strike the people they possess deaf, mute and blind. On the other hand, Mephostophiles, in both the Faustbook and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, holds a high position in hell and is persuasive. This contradiction is easily explained. The belief of the Renaissance was that Devil loves to turn the natural hierarchy upside down.

Since then, I have cleared another roadblock for this theory: namely, that the name is originally Misophaes and not Mephostophiles. I have discussed my theory with a Dr. Darin Hayton of Haverford College. He points out that those who read Psellos in 16th Century Western Europe would more likely have read Marsilio Ficino's translation in the Latin than the original Greek. There, the Misophaes are referred to as Lucifuge, or one who flees the light. Mephostophiles, not a lover of light, would have been a plausible re-translation into Greek if the original was unknown.


Burton, Jeffrey Russell. Lucifer. Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 1984, pp40-43

Hayton, Darin, "Michael Psellos' De daemonibus in the Renaissance," in C. Barber and D. Jenkins, eds., Reading Michael Psellos. The Medieval Mediterranean 61. Leiden: Brill, 2006, 193-215

Tillyard, Eustace Mandeville Wetenhall. The Elizabethan World Picture. NY: Vintage Books, 1943, p51


Is he really classified as a Goetic demon? I don't believe he's mentioned in the Goetia, especially if he was intended to be fictional.-- (talk) 21:35, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

- Rich Dengrove

He's not mentioned in the Ars Goetia at all, so no, he's not Goetic. I'm gonna remove that category marker. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:55, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Famost quote of Ghoethe's FaustEdit

Mephisto: "Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint" ... any poetic English translation for that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

"THe spirit that always denies" might help. (talk) 02:04, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

In my country's language it means, "I am the spirit that always denies." In the country that borders to the south, it is said to mean, "Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes." (talk) 03:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)Tonio Palmström

Duden: long /o:/Edit

according to DUDEN Band 6, Aussprachewörterbuch; Mannheim [etc.] 1990; Mephistopheles has a long /o:/ in Standard German. Wathiik (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

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