2022-01-01

A Common Origin – One Wonders

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by Neil Godfrey

An interesting observation in an ancient history publication:

In Babylonia demons hostile to the cult became subject to exorcism, a rite which from the earliest times was regarded as something communal. Some exorcisms were directed against storm demons, and one wonders whether behind the ‘Odyssey’ incident of the bag of winds given by Aiolos and Jesus’ command on the sea of Galilee ordering the winds to cease, there is not a common origin, the belief that winds were demons, capable of obeying human commands or being bound by magic. (The sea also as associated with evil is a characteristic Old Testament and even New Testament theme.) The Mycenaean Linear B tablets give evidence that the Mycenaeans worshipped the winds. A cult to Boreas existed in classical times at Athens. But winds would be gods in much the sense that streams, mountains, woods, etc. had gods, with less of a link between demons and winds than existed in the Orient. Another remnant among the Greeks might be the Siren passage of the ‘Odyssey’, where a daimon quells the winds just as Odysseus and his men are to pass the Sirens (12.169).

That’s from

  • Brenk, Frederick C. “In the Light of the Moon: Demonology in the Early Imperial Period.” Aufstieg Und Niedergang Der Römischen Welt 16, no. 3 (1986): 2068–2145.
Aeolus Giving the Winds to Odysseus by Isaac Moillon
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Neil Godfrey

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One thought on “A Common Origin – One Wonders”

  1. “The sea also as associated with evil is a characteristic Old Testament and even New Testament theme.”

    Breaking the Code, Understanding the Book of Revelation, Bruce Metzger…

    “Likewise, in the new order, John tells us, there is to be no more sea (21:1). Behind this strange announcement lies the fact the Jews regarded the sea as a symbol of separation and turbulence. Throughout the Bible it symbolizes restless insubordination (see Job 38:8-11; Ps. 89:9; Isa. 57:20), and in Revelation 13:1 it casts up the system that embodies hostility against God’s people. Naturally, then, there is no room for it in the new creation.”

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