According to Christian demonology, a cruel demon who was the chief executor of the decrees handed down by the monarch of Hades and his court. He is also described as a cacoademon.
Evil genies and spirits were also called Alastors by the ancients. In early Roman demonology this was the name given to the evil genius of a house.
In the ancient Greek period the word meant 'avenging god' or 'avenging deity', literally 'he who does not forget'. It was used to designate an evil spirit of vengeance, usually associated with Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution who signified the gods' disapproval of human presumption. These entities were also connected with inflicting and spreading pestilence, and were said that, on their pursuit to exact revenge upon wrongdoers, would bring further punishment upon their descendants, if thought that offenders died too soon, before suffering all that was due. Zeus was known as Zeus Alastor whenever he assumed a vengeful form.
Alastor was the personification of blood feuds between families, and would direct men to commit unspeakable crimes and sins. Formerly a plain mortal, son of Neleus, King of Pylos, after being slain by Heracles, Alastor became a minor demon.
In his 'Dictionnaire Infernal', Colin de Plancy writes about Alastor:
"Alastor is known by Zoroaster as the "executioner," and as Azazel to Origin. In the infernal hierarchy, he is the Nemesis. The ancients called evil spirits "alastores." Plutarch says that Cicero hated Augustus so much that he conceived of a plan to kill himself outside Augustus' foyer, in order to become his alastor."
In Waite's presentation of the Grand Grimoire from his 1910 Book of Black Magic and Pacts, Alastor is described as Hell's Commissioner of Public Works. He is also portrayed as an infernal judge.
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Sources: (1) Masello, Robert, Fallen Angels. . . and Spirits of the Dark, The Berkley Publishing Group; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (3) de Plancy, Collin, Dictionnaire Infernal, Editions; (4) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (5) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (6) Rose, Carol, Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, W. W. Norton & Company.
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