Satan: Myths, Legends, Origin and History +20 Curiosities

Let’s get to know the most surprising stories of Satan. Discover with us his origin, legends and representations in the culture.

Representation of Satan
Representation of Satan

Who is Satan?

Today we will delve into the figure of Satan, a historical and mythological character that appears in various religious and cultural traditions. In general, he is associated with evil, temptation and rebellion against the divine. However, the figure of Satan may vary in different beliefs and contexts.


Different conceptions of Satan

If we look at Christianity, Satan is considered a fallen angel who rebelled against God and became the adversary of mankind. He is described as an evil and cunning being, known as the devil or the prince of demons.

On the other hand, in Islam, Iblis is the equivalent of Satan, a being created from fire who refused to prostrate himself before Adam and was expelled from Paradise. Iblis is considered the enemy of mankind and tries to divert people from the straight path.

As we will see, the figure of Satan has also been interpreted and reinterpreted in different cultural and religious contexts throughout history. Furthermore, representations of him can vary in different religions, individual beliefs and works of fiction.

What other names does Satan go by?

Undoubtedly, this demon is known by various names and epithets in different traditions or cultures. This interpretation of pure evil serves to reflect our fears and magnify the virtues of what we understand as good.

Other names

  • Lucifer: One of the most common names associated with Satan, derived from the Latin “lux ferre”, meaning “light bearer”.
  • Beelzebub: Also known as Beelzebub, this name comes from the Hebrew “Ba’al Zebûb”, which translates as “lord of the flies” or “lord of the heights”.
  • Devil: This word comes from the Greek “diabolos”, which means “slanderer” or “accuser”. It is one of the names most commonly used to refer to him in the Christian tradition.
  • Mephistopheles: This name is known mainly through the literary work “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Mephistopheles is presented as a demon or evil spirit associated with him.
  • Azazel: In Jewish tradition and in some ancient religious texts, Azazel is mentioned as a demon or scapegoat. He is sometimes associated with Satan or considered one of the leaders of the fallen angels.
  • Ahriman: In the Zoroastrian religion, Ahriman is the spirit of evil and darkness, considered as an opposing force to the god Ahura Mazda. Although not directly equivalent to him, some associate him with him because of his role as a divine antagonist.

Evolution of the figure of Satan in history

The figure of Satan has undergone a significant evolution throughout history and has been interpreted in different ways in various cultures and traditions. His historical evolution is a reflection of the transformation of societies and ideas about good and evil.

Historical evolution

  • Origins in Judaism: The concept of Satan originates in Judaism, specifically in the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible. In early biblical writings, such as the Book of Job, Satan is presented as an angel of God who acts as an accuser and adversary of humans. He is not portrayed as a malevolent being or as a figure contrary to God at that time.
  • Satan in early Christianity: In the first centuries of Christianity, more elaborate ideas about Satan developed. He was associated with the fallen angel and was interpreted as the leader of the rebellious angels expelled from heaven. This evil was seen as an adversary of God and a tempter of human beings, representing evil and opposition to the divine will.
  • The Middle Ages and the demonization of Satan: During the Middle Ages, Satan was portrayed as an evil and powerful being, linked to witchcraft, heresy and other dark forces. He was also depicted with horns, claws and a tail, personifying the embodiment of evil. This image was strengthened during the witch trials and the Inquisition, where pacts with him were attributed to him.
  • Modern Satanism: In more recent times, the concept of Satan has been adopted and reinterpreted by certain religious groups and movements. Modern Satanism is not based on the literal worship of Satan as a real being, but is considered a philosophy or form of religious protest that seeks to challenge established norms and power structures.
Hail Satan
Hail Satan – Documentary

Satan in the Bible

In the Bible the figure of Satan is commonly associated with evil and temptation. There are many stories about this character as an antagonist or simply as a figure of evil, let’s see below his most famous stories.

Appearances in the Holy Scriptures

  • The Temptation of Adam and Eve: In the book of Genesis, this eil appears as a cunning serpent who tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to disobey God and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This disobedience results in their expulsion from the garden.
  • The Book of Job: In this biblical book, Satan challenges God by questioning the faithfulness of Job, a righteous and devout man. This demon claims that Job only worships God because he has been blessed and protected. God allows Satan to test Job, who faces various calamities and losses in his life, but remains faithful to God.
  • The Temptation of Jesus: In the New Testament Gospels, Satan attempts to tempt Jesus during his 40-day fast in the wilderness. This evil offers Jesus power and wealth in exchange for his worship, but Jesus rejects him and quotes Scripture to resist the temptations.
  • Fall of Satan: Although the Bible does not provide a detailed account of his fall, it is mentioned in the book of Isaiah and the book of Ezekiel. It is said that Lucifer was a beautiful and powerful angel who rebelled against God due to his pride and ambition. He was cast out of heaven and became Satan, the adversary of God.
fallen angel
Satan as fallen angel

Satan in popular culture

This character, also known as Lucifer or the Devil, has been a central character in many stories and myths throughout history. Throughout history, there have been many, many versions of him and depictions of the character, each with its own perspective and cultural context.

Literature and films

  • Paradise Lost: This 17th century epic poem, written by John Milton, recounts the fall of Lucifer and his rebellion against God. It is one of the most influential literary works about Satan and has shaped many later depictions of the character.
  • The Divine Comedy: In Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece, Satan is portrayed in the last part, the Inferno. There, he is described as a gigantic, winged being, punished in the center of Hell for his rebellion against God.
  • Faust: The tragic story of Faust, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, presents Satan in the form of Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles is a demon who offers Faustus earthly knowledge and pleasures in exchange for his soul.
  • The Exorcist: This famous horror novel, written by William Peter Blatty and adapted to the big screen, features the demonic possession of a young girl named Regan MacNeil. The demon possessing Regan is presented as Pazuzu, an ancient Assyrian god associated with Satan.
  • Paradise of the Damned: This book by John Saul tells the story of a boy with satanic powers and his role in a demonic conspiracy. The plot revolves around the struggle between good and evil, with him as a central evil force.
  • The Master and Margarita: This satirical novel by Mikhail Bulgakov presents this demon in the form of the character Woland. Woland visits the city of Moscow and triggers a series of surreal and magical events that question morality and power.

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