Talk:Genius (mythology)

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Roman Catholicism[edit]

Could an argument be made to say that the Roman Catholic tradition of having a "Patron Saint" come from this Ancient Roman belief in "Genii and Junones"? Ryan Albrey (talk) 03:47, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

No, too broad, too speculative. This would have to be defended in a professional article or book. Maybe there is one - non-original research topic for you if really interested. Otherwise no speculations allowed.Dave (talk) 08:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)


Can we add a section about the speculation among scholars that the Ancient Roman concept of "Genius" has an etymological link to the concept found in Islam of Jinni: spirits that follow humans around meddling in their lives? Ryan Albrey (talk) 03:47, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

See under Genius (disambiguation). I'm putting in a hatnote. If there is any such scholarship still considered valid it might be nice to have a brief statement under an etymological section or a section showing how Roman mythology influenced middle eastern mythology but meanwhile there is really no article here, only a box and a few speculations. Serve up the meal first, then offer the desert. I left the "See also" item for the time being on the presumption that someone will want to do this article. Bonne chance.Dave (talk) 08:47, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Validate please[edit]

No sources. Is that what you say it is? Says who? Since when? I doubt it. Prove it.Dave (talk) 08:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Roman Mythology[edit]

Can this be translated into Englsih not cut and paste from a Christian dvinity book. I feel like I am reading from a Christian's perspective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Your bias is obvious. This was not cut and pasted from a Christian divinity book. The problem of the one and the many precedes Christianity by several hundred years. The genius is and is not identical to the thing that has it. Moreover this passage is backed up by references. Either come up with another point of view or leave it alone. I'm restoring this vandalism.Dave (talk) 00:41, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
PS. I looked at your other change. I'm leaving that one, but not for your reasons. It seems a bit of overstatement; the point is already made.
Now, with regard to your false statements about the christianity, there is nothing at all in there about Christianity. There is a lot of mention of God. The Romans believed in God, is that all right with you? Neither they nor I care in the slightest whether you agree with their doing so. The soul is a spark of divinity; a good many Roman authors say that. If you disagree with the definition of genius and you can find another reference that says something different from what my references say then we can put it in as another point of view. You can't add anything without references and you can't take out anything referenced unless there is something wrong with it. In this case even if you rewrite it I will insist on your references. You looked on my user page and you saw that I am a Christian. I can say what I want on my user page; moreover, my Christianity has not a thing to do with the articles I work on. Your attack is ad hominem and not in any way against the article, which does not even mention Christianity and does not use its ideas. I am quite sorry you dislike Christianity so much you would attack scholarship on the grounds that is was done by a Christian. My advice to you is butt out, buzz off and stop vandalizing the article because you don't like me.Dave (talk) 01:02, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

The doctor of the Catholic church[edit]

Fairly sure are you? Get ready for a shock young man. Most of things you are fairly sure of at your age are 100% wrong, true it is tis pity, and pity it is tis true. You are wrong. There is no Catholicism in here. If a doctor of the Catholic church says two and two are four, would you believe him? Your prejudice is obvious. You have much too narrow a concept of "the Catholic church." Gregor Mendel was a Catholic monk. What about him? Believable or not? Nevertheless I am going to fully answer your tag. I regard it as popular demand. For your information the topic is a large one and deserves additional articles but they are not there yet. The article on polytheism is below par. I knew that such a generalization might attract attention but I could either generalize or go into much more detail. I see now the thing to do is to expand it, nor will you find any Catholicism in the expansion. How about if I use a Protestant and some classicists? (Is classics a religion?) I could just cut out that statement and allow the preceding and following references to fill the gap. But, I don't think that is the Wikipedia way. You brought up a legitimate question and it deserves a legitimate answer. And one more thing. I would appreciate it if you would stop attacking Christians just because they are Christian. I'm not saying your question is related to the previous attack but the reasons are certainly very similar. Try to expand your mind a little. Christians are strong in classical studies because the Christian populations descended from the pagan ones. However questions such as this are certainly better than the previous vandalism. You asked a question and I will be glad to answer it, which any fair-minded person of any religion could certainly do. On with the show.Dave (talk) 12:57, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Title of page[edit]

I've got some issues with this page being titled 'Genius (mythology)' - to me it's more of a Roman religious topic than a mythological. Given that a fair bit of the evidence for the 'Genius' is via inscriptions (eg to Genius Augusti etc). GermanicusCaesar (talk) 15:29, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Agree (belatedly) that this is not a concept of mythology, but of religion. I don't know of any narratives in which a Genius is a 'character'; the genius has to do with cult and with ideas and beliefs. "Mythology" is a valid (but not the only) approach to many deities of ancient Greece and Rome, but it's the study of narratives and representations in the classical tradition. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:21, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I also agree. Nearly every article on a divinity is given as [[X (mythology)]], even if there's no mythology attested for that deity. Most other Wikipedias use something like [[X (god/goddess)]] in their respective languages. In this case, genius (divinity) seems like a better home for this article. Q·L·1968 19:25, 10 December 2014 (UTC)


Why is the image -- -- of Augustus, togate, with the cover head making a libation the "genius" of Augustus? Surely this image of Augustus is just exactly that, an image of Augustus as a priest - it's simply a conventional statue conveying his religio, his restoration of the mos maiorum. There's a very similar image on page 128 of Paul Zanker's The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (fig 104) which is described as merely "Statue of Augustus in toga with veiled head". If he was in cuirass you wouldn't call it a genius, it would just be a cuirassed statue of Augustus. Zanker and other authors are very clear that after the "Restoration of the Republic" when Octavian became Augustus, the cuirassed statuary stops and Augustus is nearly always depicted togate (and he tells us himself in the Res Gestae that he melted his equestrian statues down and dedicated the result to Apollo). In other words, it's a standard part of the Augustan program to depict himself as a priest and not a general. I don't think there's any evidence that the depiction is regarded as a Genius, I will remove it in a week or so if no-one comes up with any argument otherwise. GermanicusCaesar (talk) 00:03, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Religious Context?[edit]

The whole thing looks like a mess and seems to be coming from some kind of neo pagan position. Also who is Garth Fowden, and why do we care that he feels maligned by the use of the term pagan? (talk) 20:51, 19 November 2010 (UTC)


Cardano's chapter 47 in his book De propria vita is about spiritus; the word "genius" is not used. See here. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:14, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

An internal search using genio yields two occurrences. I can't figure the context. Haploidavey (talk) 17:40, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
He does have reference to Genius (even upper case), but I'm not seeing any in Chapter 47. Secondary sources are needed, I'd think, in presenting claims of what Cardano's view of the Genius was. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:10, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, on closer if still cursory inspection, these seem to be not Cardano's, but the introductory matter not by him. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:13, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

dubious equation of soul and 'genius'[edit]

Although supposedly referenced to Augustine and Varro, it can't be the case that the person's soul and the person's genius were identical — for one thing, this brings up all kinds of questions about what, in a classical context, a "soul" would be. I deleted a lot from this section; it was off-topic and too broad. Every article on an ancient deity or religious practice need not and should not explain ancient conceptions of what "religion" is, or how the modern terms "polytheism" or "paganism" relate to it. (There are comments related to this above.) Given the difficulty of this topic, it's surely enough to attempt to explain clearly and soberly what the genius was in ancient Roman religion; concepts called something else go elsewhere, and later visions of the genius should be treated chronologically, so one can see how the concept develops under Christianity and so on. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:24, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean, "supposedly." I gave the reference and the quote. I'm taking out your "dubious" tag. There is nothing in the slightest dubious about it. You mean, you're dubious? Just because you are does not mean the concept or the referenced authors are. This is just a quick revisit. I can tell a lot has been hacked out. I don't have time to check you on this right now. Later. I can reply to your comments above, though. Oh yes, you removed the ancient concept of poytheism. I can't see how you would do that. You obviously haven't a clue as to what it means. Let me try once again for you. First of all, the soul was a well-defined and well-known entity among the ancient philosophers. Aristotle sums it up "The soul in the principle of life." Whatever it is that animates a thing, that is a soul. You're a soul. In speaking to you I am addressing your soul directly. You are your soul, and don't tell me you don't have one. Soulless objects are not animated. Now, other things besides people are animated also: lightening, etc. This is called their genius. The genius is the application of divinity to individual objects. It is like the pulse. The heart speaks in every part of the body. A force is transmitted to every square inch of a fluid. The genius is the manifestation of divinity in every animated phenomenon. You ask for a definition and you just discarded it. You want things to be explained but you refuse to accept the explanation. I can go on. You ask for visions but when shown them you do not see. This is NOT a difficult topic, you're just being difficult. There is something you are missing here because you tell yourself you do not believe in it and therefore you refuse to see it. The flea riding on the elephant's back says, there is no elephant around here. That tree-crashing is unrelated. I want that elephant clearly defined or I am not going to believe there is any. One more time. The principle of animation is divinity. The genius is the expression of divinity in individual and specific animations. Your problem is you do not believe it not that it has not been laid out clearly before you. But- this has a hopeful note. You have it all to discover! How wonderful it will be for you, the day when it all goes together and divinity speaks to you in many voices. Meanwhile it might help to imagine genius as a mystic and conscious fluid producing an effect. The ancients attributed the ability to produce an effect to divinity - genius - not energy. Ah yes. Genius is energy.
Well, I changed my mind. I am going to restore what I had on the grounds that your criticism is based on your cynicism and refusal to accept or believe concepts understood by believers. It is referenced. It is quoted. It is explained. Please stop hacking out the explanations of what you refuse to understand.Dave (talk) 05:00, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
PS. You know what? I went to restore it to what I had before you sank your claws into it and - lo and behold! it had vanished. What you changed was altered so much I didn't even recognize it. This article should have been locked. I don't blame you for cutting out that junk, but that was not what I had. Now the whole thing needs a rewrite. The stuff about the soul is perfectly valid. It is referenced and quoted. Just leave it alone for now. I need to go back and retrieve what I said before you people that fancy yourselves without souls got hold of it and that will take more time than I have right now. None of you are objective. You are committed to misapprehension of religious ideas. Your atheism or at least cynicism forces you not to see the obvious. I don't know what else to say to you. I'm not excusing you just because WP has this problem with all its philosophic articles. We are writing about what someone believed or believes and a committment to objectivity demands that you get it right. So what if you don't believe it. What you believe or do not believe has nothing to do with it. If you can't stomach these known beliefs and referenced concepts go work on some article more palatable to your tastes. I don't know what I will do about this at the moment. I'm trying to fix other articles. I guess it will have to be restored and enhanced when I or someone get a chance. Meanwhile I have great hopes for all of you. The worst thing in the world would be indifference to these concepts. The strength of your desire and future belief is measured by the intensity of your opposition. Good new waits for you. There is hope after all.Dave (talk) 05:23, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
PPS I looked it over again this morning. Well, cynewulfe, maybe I was a bit hard on you. The section you removed does ramble a bit even though the ramblings are not actually off topic. The article has not changed that much. The genius is the very essence of polytheism. But, if there is a satisfactory article on polytheism perhaps we should not repeat ourselves here. I would still remove your tag although hacking out all the other stuff left what is left a bit condensed. The soul is a genius, beyond doubt. No issue. The refs make that clear. Beyond that, well, I see we took the top box out in favor of the bottom. Now, the commentators don't seem to know which way is up. They keep unimproving it with the reversion of much of it. So, we keep reinventing the wheel. The material on genie came out. Now someone wants it back in. I would say, each and every revision since I last worked on it needs to be checked. Changes I would make? Well I would expand some of the over-condense parts with more referenced material, since there seems to be such interest. Maybe bring in some classical mythologists, make it a bit more professional. There is one thing I object to. Why am I the only classicist who can work on this article? I object. You people have have got me dancing inside a ring of snapping wolves. That isn't right. This article is being picked on nor do I have any idea why. Well right now I am not working on Roman stuff. Don't know when I can get back to it. You commentators, if you are not fluent in English, if you know nothing of the classics, why don't you give this article a break and go mess with something else?Dave (talk) 11:04, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I've left a message on your talk page objecting to this insulting ramble. I would suggest you go read Religion in ancient Rome and Imperial cult (ancient Rome), as you don't seem to know much about the scholarship on this topic. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:19, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I've left a message for you on my talk page objecting to your hot-headed reaction to my ramble and your obvious intent to provoke me. I find it very insulting. I only go by what I read. What I read is "dubious distinction", which is clearly wrong, and note that you have removed most of a section I worked on for dubious reasons. Moreover, your remarks in dong that were not too polite. I'm not here to have my time wasted by hot-heads like you, especially when you are wrong. I'm not working on this article right now; otherwise we would have to go forward with this discussion. I reserve that for the future. I have been over this topic a good many times on this article. I got no intention being distracted by you. Unless you want to apologize for being a hothead I think we are through here for now. You will do as you like on this article, that is plain. That may or may not be acceptable to me at such time as I choose to get back to it. If you make additions, please put in your references. If you make deletions, please continue to be specific about your reasons. For additional comments on your absurd demand for apologies, see my user page.Dave (talk) 13:39, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
For the benfit of the public, we've made up this tempest in the teapot with mutual apologies. What cynewulf wants is additional material and references in support of the assertion made by the material left in the article. Fair enough. Put the tag back if you like, Cynewulf. I'm still not getting back on this right away. You other editors can read the details on my discussion page if you like but I suggest you get on to more important matters.Dave (talk) 14:58, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Genius/Genii and Jinn/Genie?[edit]

I can't help but notice a similarity between the two concepts, as both are spirits, and considering that "genie" was used in the English/French translation of "1001 Nights" instead of "jinn". Perhaps something could be mentioned in this article about this usage and/or similarity? -- (talk) 07:45, 14 June 2011 (UTC)