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A Demigod is a minor Deity, sometimes synonymous with the gender-neutral term Demideity, but more commonly the term is used to describe a demideity that is male.

Demigods usually are the product of intercourse between a human and a deity, though in some cases the term demideity can describe a mortal that has been promoted to a minor deity after death[1]. Demigods typically have powers and abilities that are beyond what is possible for a human, but less than that of a true deity[2].

Demigods are most notably known from ancient Greek mythology, though similar concepts can be found in mythologies around the world.

Etymology

The term used in ancient Greece for a demigod was "hemitheos," with the prefix "hemi-" translating to English as "half" and "theos" being the term for "god.[3]"

In Latin the term "semideus," which has been attributed to the famous poet Ovid, referred to less important deities, but also was used to describe demigods[4]. The prefix "semi-" translates to English as either "half," making it synonymous with the Greek "hemi-," or it can translate to "partially," or "less than fully." The Latin term "deus," translates to English as either "god" or "deity.[5]"

The Latin prefix used in the English term, "demi-," also translated to "half," but can also translate to "partially," or "slightly inferior.[6]"

List of demigods in Greek mythology

List of demigods in other mythologies

Hindu mythology

Mayan mythology

  • Hunahpu (son of Xquic)
  • Xbalanque (son of Xquic)

Mesopotamian mythology

Native American mythology

  • Nayenezgani (Son of Tsohanoai)
  • Tobadzistsini (Son of Tsohanoai)

Irish mythology

  • Cú Chulainn (son of Lugh)
  • Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (son of Donn, foster son of Aengus)
  • Mongán mac Fiachnai (son of Manannán mac Lir)
  • Nia Segamain (son of Flidais)

Norse mythology

Polynesian mythology

In popular culture

In film

  • The demigod Hercules appears in many films, most notably the eponymous Disney film, and the 2015 action film of the same name starring Dwayne Johnson.
  • Perseus appears in the film Clash of the Titans, and the sequel Wrath of the Titans.
  • Maui the demigod in the Disney Movie Moana was the one who wanted the people to love him.

Gallery

References:

  1. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/demigod
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demigod
  3. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%AF%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%82
  4. https://archive.org/details/divusjulius00wein
  5. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/semideus
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/demi-#:~:text=a%20combining%20form%20appearing%20in,of%20English%20origin%20(demigod).
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