Sunday, 17 February 2013


Hadrian, diobol from Alexandria in Egypt (Milne 1289)

The Agathodaemon is frequently portrayed in ancient art as a serpent, however delving a little deeper shows that this is not the only incarnation and other manifestations come to light.

Agathodaemon, or rather Agathos Daimon (meaning “good spirit”) is part of a celestial couple with Agathe Tyche (“good fortune”) who may both be portrayed with a polos (sometimes described as a kalathos or modius) with a cornucopia.

Agathos Daimon and Agathe Tyche are not deities with specific personalities like most of the Olympian gods but rather more generic. Pausanias even conjectured, wrongly, that the name Agathodaemon was a mere epithet of Zeus. He was, however, prominent in Greek folk religion and it was customary to drink or pour out a few drops of unmixed wine to honour him in every symposium or formal banquet.

 Agathos Daimon
Agathos Daimon and Agathe Tyche are representations of the demoi, the good spirit of the people and their ancestors.

 Agathe Tyche