The Greek doctor Dioscorides named aglaophotis as a member of the peony family, Paeoniaceae. It has been speculated that the species Paeonia officinalis, or the European peony, is the source of aglaophotis, but there is little evidence for this theory to be proved.
According to Dioscorides, peony is used for warding off demons, witchcraft, and fever. This is at odds with the presentation in the Simon Necronomicon released twenty centuries later, in which it is used to call upon dark forces.
In popular culture
Aglaophotis is portrayed throughout the Silent Hill video game series as a fluid or tablet which can expel monstrous parasites from characters' bodies. The substance was of central importance to the climax of 2003's Silent Hill 3, wherein it was used by protagonist Heather Mason to cast a demonic fetus (God) out from her womb.
The herb appears as a species of sentient, hostile plant monsters in Final Fantasy XI.
- Frazer, Sir James George (1919). Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law, Volume 2. Macmillan and Company. p. 389.
- Rahner, Hugo (1963). Greek Myths and Christian Mystery. London: Burns & Oates. p. 243.
- Simon Necronomicon (PDF). Volume I. Avon Books. p. 131. ISBN 978-0380751921.