The History of the Devil

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Lucifer, Beelzebub, The Beast, Satan... He has been called many names and taken many strange different forms over the ages. So where does the concept of the traditional evil come from? The History of the Devil goes back to the ancient Middle East, even before the Old Testament to find the roots of Satan. The answer is in the ancient Mesopotamia. In Zoroastrianism it was believed that the all-knowing good God was Ahura Mazda, the one Uncreated Creator, and Ahriman was his antithesis, the God of chaos, the dark and evil one. Probably the bases of these teachings like heaven and hell, good and evil were transferred to the other monotheistic religions.

The idea of "God's evil enemy" has been around for thousands of years. While early Christian clerics used the Devil as a symbol of heresy, the concept did not begin with the Christian Bible, but rather in ancient Persia some 3500 year ago. Since then, he has acquired horns, a forked tail and innumerable names in all aspects of world culture as well as a central role in the way we think.

THE HISTORY OF THE DEVIL looks at how our concept of evil, as symbolized by the Devil, has evolved over the centuries to fit the needs of government, churches, demagogues and opportunists everywhere.

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