from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The morning star Venus (left below the moon)

Lucifer , also Lucifer , is the Latin name of the morning star ( Venus ). Literally translated it means “light carrier” (from Latin lux , 'light' and ferre , 'to carry, bring'). Over time, the term Lucifer became synonymous with a name of the devil in Christian usage .

Roman mythology

In Roman mythology , Lucifer was used as a poetic name for the morning star, i.e. the planet Venus . It is the literal translation of the Greek terms Φωσφόρος Phosphóros ("Light Bringer ") or Έωσφόρος Eosphóros ("Bringer of the Dawn"), which appeared in Homer's Odyssey or Hesiod's Theogony . Lucifer is also associated with the goddess Venus .


Icon tools.svg This article was due to acute substance or form defects on the quality assurance side of the portal Christianity entered.

Please help fix the shortcomings in this article and please join the discussion .

Fall of Satan , illustration by Gustave Doré , 1865
Fall into Hell by the Archangel Michael, painting by Peter Paul Rubens , ca.1620

The current idea of ​​Lucifer is fed by a combination of several sources.

Lucifer as the morning star

In some places in the Vulgate the word lucifer is used as a Latin translation for the Greek name Φωσφόρος Phosphoros (German: Morgenstern ), without this being seen in a relationship with the devil, for example in the Book of Job (11.17 EU, VUL and 38 , 32 EU.VUL ), in the Book of Psalms (108.3 EU / Vulgate 109.3 VUL ). In the Vulgate translation of the New Testament , the morning star is referred to as lucifer in only one place :

Et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem: cui benefacitis attendentes quasi lucernæ lucenti in caliginoso donec dies elucescat, et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris

“This has made the word of the prophets even safer for us and you would do well to heed it; for it is a light that shines in a dark place until day breaks and the morning star rises in your heart. "

In the Revelation of John (22.16 EU.VUL ) Christ speaks of himself as the “shining morning star”, but Hieronymus translates there: stella splendida matutina . For this reason, the late ancient and early medieval Latin Christians considered Lucifer to be a nickname for Christ . This is evidenced by the hymn Carmen aurorae or the name of Saint Lucifer , a bishop from the 4th century. In the liturgy of the Western Church , the term lucifer with the meaning “morning star” occurs in the Latin version of the exsultet on Easter vigil : Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat, illeg, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum. (It shines until the morning star appears, that true morning star that never sets).

Isaiah 14 - Hêlêl , morning star, Lucifer

In the book of Isaiah (14.12–14 EU ), a song of mockery tells of the arrogance of the “King of Babel” who wanted to “climb heaven and set up his throne over the stars of God”. Instead he was "thrown down into the underworld [...], into the uttermost depths", was "thrown down without burial like a despised bastard". The King of Babel is allegorically compared to the “beautiful morning star” who “fell from heaven”.

In the Greek translation of the Bible by Jewish scholars, the Hebrew name for the morning star, Helel , was already given as Φωσφόρος Phosphoros . The Christian church fathers - for example Jerome in his Vulgate - translated this with Lucifer . The equation of Lucifer with Satan occurred in Palestinian Judaism of the 1st century, for example in the apocryphal book Life of Adam and Eve (Chapters 14-16).

Change to Lucifer-Satan

In his work De principiis Proemium and in a homily on Book XII, the Christian scholar Origen compared the morning star Eosphorus-Lucifer - probably based on the life of Adam and Eve - with the devil or Satan. In the context of the Christianity emerging angelology Origen expressed the view that the originally Phaeton mistook Helal Eosphoros-Lucifer after he tried to equate God, fell as a heavenly spirit into the abyss. Cyprian (around 400), Ambrosius (around 340–397) and a few other church fathers essentially followed this view, which was borrowed from the Hellenistic myth . In contrast, the church fathers Hieronymus, Cyrillus of Alexandria (412–444) and Eusebius (around 260–340) saw in Isaiah's prophecy only the mystified end of a Babylonian king. They viewed this earthly overthrow of a pagan king of Babylon as a clear indication of the heavenly overthrow of Satan .

Identification of Lucifer with Satan

The church fathers brought the fallen lightbringer Lucifer into connection with Satan on the basis of a saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (10.18 EU ): "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning".

In the Middle Ages, “Lucifer” finally became a synonym for Satan or the devil in general ecclesiastical usage through the combination of Isaiah 14.12  EU (fall of the son of the dawn) with the passage in Luke's Gospel (fall of Satan) .

Lucifer among the Gnostics and Cathars

In some Gnostic groups, after Satan's identification with Lucifer by the Doctors of the Church, Lucifer continued to be viewed as a divine power and revered as a messenger of the real and unimaginable God. In some Gnostic systems the "firstborn son of God " was referred to as Satanael . Among the Bogumils and Euchites the “firstborn” was called Lucifer-Satanael . For the Cathars , whose doctrine and ritual, with some modifications, starting from Italy, were taken over by the Bogomils, Lucifer was with Jesus Christ , the first emanation of the supreme God. In the world view of the Cathars, in which the whole earthly world was viewed as the realm of the evil Lucifer and hell, the earthly fall of the angels occurred because the envious Lucifer as an angel of light in a primordial world assumed to be static through the brilliance of his beauty partially seduced the heavenly inhabitants there, which the good God of this heavenly sphere, however, allowed. According to the Cathars, the cause of sinfulness was a compulsion to seduce, because they attributed the origin of the sin of the originally good spirits to the seduction of the evil primordial being through the elimination of free willpower .

Similar figures

The motive that a being steals fire from the gods and brings people, rebels against the gods, falls out of favor with them, or is banished from their kingdom, can be found in several religions. Accordingly, Lucifer is sometimes compared with the deity Loki in Norse mythology or Prometheus in Greek mythology . A derivation of the name Loki from "Lucifer" or a common origin of both names is considered refuted.

Lucifer as a figure in literature, music and film (selection)

Classical literature

Le génie du mal. Sculpture by Guillaume Geefs from 1848 in
Liège Cathedral
  • Doctor Faustus (1604) and Lucifer (1654)

Lucifer appears as a figure in dramatic works such as Christopher Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus from 1604 (see also Goethe's Faust ) or Joost van den Vondel's Lucifer from 1654.

  • Paradise Lost (1667)

In his verse epic Paradise Lost (1667), John Milton shows Lucifer - whom he calls "Satan" and thus equates with him - as a proud, ambitious angel who finds himself plunged into hell after his rebellion against God. There he takes over the management ( "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav'n" ) and, supported by Mammon and Beelzebub , successfully uses his rhetorical and organizational skills. Later he enters the garden of Eden to seduce Adam and Eve in the form of the serpent to eat from the tree of knowledge .

  • The Magic Mountain (1924)

In Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain (1924) , Settembrini, who was committed to the Enlightenment , worships him as a lightbringer, as "sforza vindice della ragione" .

Classical music

The composer Johann Strauss (son) wrote a Lucifer Polka op. 266 for the carnival ball of the Viennese artists' association Hesperus in 1862 .

Lucifer is one of the main characters in Karlheinz Stockhausen's opera cycle Licht , which was created between 1977 and 2003.

Modern literature

In the 1969 published Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey , who is considered the founder of "modern" Satanism , Lucifer appears as one of the four crown princes of Hell, which is why one of the four chapters bears his name (The Book of Lucifer). As lord of the East and the element of air, he acts as a “light bringer” and stands for intellectuality and enlightenment. The Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu wrote a poem Luceafărul in 1883 , in which Lucifer is sung as the evening star.

In addition, Lucifer was often the subject of Anglo-American literature, for example in Miguel Serranos Nos, Book of the Resurrection from 1980, in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey (1968-97), in Steven Brust's fantasy novel To Reign in Hell (1984), in Neil Gaiman's Sandman stories (1988–96), in Mike Carey's comic series Lucifer (since 1999), in Catherine Webb's stories Waywalkers (2003) and Timekeepers (2004) and in the two novel trilogies His Dark Materials (1995–2000 ) by Philip Pullman and Lycidas (2004-06) by Christoph Marzi .

Rock and pop music

Lucifer also appears in works of rock music , for example as the first-person narrator in Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones from 1968 or in the song NIB by Black Sabbath , as the Siamese cat in Pink Floyd's Lucifer Sam , as the title of the instrumental hit Lucifer by The Alan Parsons Project (1979), as well as in the songs Father Lucifer by Tori Amos (1996), Lucifer by XOV (2015) or in the band name Lucifer's Friend . Lucifer is also a theme in songs by the Polish metal band Behemoth . On the concept album Arcane Rain Fell by Draconian (2005), Lucifer also appears as a first-person narrator. The Korean pop group Shinee released their album Lucifer in 2010 . The name of the Norwegian rock band Gluecifer is composed of the words Lucifer or Lucifer and glue (English for glue ).


The half-hour experimental film Lucifer Rising (1966/70/82) by Kenneth Anger , whose collage-like imagery, among other things, influenced the style of later music videos , had a noteworthy influence on pop culture .

He also appears in films such as Ghost Rider (2007), The Nine Gates (1999), God's Army - The Last Battle (1995), Angel Heart (1987), Constantine (2005), On behalf of the devil (1997), The Exorcism by Emily Rose (2005) or Little Nicky (2000) and is portrayed as the devil in the series Supernatural (2005), Reaper (2007), Shadowhunters (2017), Lucifer (2016) and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018).


The comic series Luzian Engelhardt by Dirk Seliger and Jan Suski is about how the devil ends up on earth for training purposes, where he builds a bourgeois existence, among other things.

Lucifer in anthroposophy

Lucifer also plays an important role in Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy . There he is described, alongside Ahriman and the Asuras, as one of the spiritual adversary powers with which humanity must grapple. Lucifer is characterized by the forces of movement, but also of dissolving, Ahriman with those of structuring, but also hardening.

Web links

Commons : Lucifer  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Lucifer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Gerd Theißen : Experience and behavior of the first Christians: A psychology of early Christianity . Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2009, ISBN 978-3-641-02817-6 , p. 251 .
  2. ^ John Anthony McGuckin: At the Lighting of the Lamps: Hymns of the Ancient Church . ISBN 978-0-8192-1717-2 .
  3. ^ Gregor Baumhof OSB: The Exsultet - a poetic introduction to the mysteries of Easter. (PDF), p. 22 , accessed on April 16, 2018 .
  4. a b Kaufmann Kohler:  Lucifer. In: Isidore Singer (Ed.): Jewish Encyclopedia . Volume 8, Funk and Wagnalls, New York 1901-1906, p.  204 .
  5. ^ Karl RH Frick : Satan and the Satanists I-III. Satanism and Freemasonry - Their History to the Present. Part I. Marixverlag, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 978-3-86539-069-1 , p. 193.
  6. ^ Karl RH Frick: Satan and the Satanists I-III. Satanism and Freemasonry - Their History to the Present. Part I. Marixverlag, Wiesbaden 2006. P. 167. ISBN 978-3-86539-069-1 .
  7. Rüdiger Hauth (Ed.): Compact Lexicon Religions. Brockhaus Verlag, Wuppertal 1998, ISBN 3-417-24677-6 , p. 216.
  8. ^ Karl RH Frick: Satan and the Satanists I-III. Satanism and Freemasonry - Their History to the Present. Marixverlag Wiesbaden 2006. Part I, page 167. ISBN 978-3-86539-069-1 .
  9. ^ Willis Barnstone, Marvin Meyer: The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition. Shambhala Publications, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8348-2414-0 , p. 753.
  10. ^ Karl RH Frick: Light and Darkness. Gnostic-theosophical and Masonic-occult secret societies up to the turn of the 20th century. Volume 1. Marix Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-86539-044-7 , pp. 177-180.
  11. a b c Friedrich Schröder: Hansel and Gretel . The enchantment of the Great Mother. opus magnum, 2009, ISBN 978-3-939322-12-2 , pp. 105 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  12. a b c Lois Bragg: Oedipus borealis: The Aberrant Body in Old Icelandic Myth and Saga . Associated University Press, Cranbury, NJ 2004, ISBN 0-8386-4028-1 , pp. 132 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  13. a b c HP Blavatsky : The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy . Cambridge University Press, New York 2011, ISBN 978-1-108-07323-3 , pp. 283 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  14. ^ RJ Zwi Werblowsky: Lucifer and Prometheus . Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames 2005, ISBN 0-415-19132-7 , pp. 81 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  15. ^ Ernst Osterkamp : Lucifer . Stations of a motif (=  comparative studies . Volume 9 ). de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1979, ISBN 3-11-007804-X , p. 20 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  16. a b Richard M. Meyer: Old Germanic Religious History . SEVERUS Verlag, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-86347-640-3 , p. 336 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  17. Quoting from: Book I, verse 263
  18. The Satanic Bible (page 26) Archived copy ( memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  19. Horst E. Miers : Lexicon of secret knowledge. Goldmann Verlag, Munich 1993, pp. 389-390.