Alternatively Djin, Djinn, Jin, Jinn, Jinnee, and Jinx.
In Assyro-Babylonian demonology the Genii or Jinn were demons who participated closely in the everyday life of human beings, although they themselves were invisible and superhuman.
Good Genius were called Shedu or Lamassu and would act as guardians (although they required propitiatory rites).
In Arab folklore, the Genii are a sort of elementals, Arabian spirits, perhaps animistic, although by most accounts they are fearsome and usually portrayed as monstrous demons. Evil Genius, called Edimmu, were said to be the souls of the dead who had not been properly buried.
According to myth, the Genii were created out of fire, and populated the earth for many thousands of years before Adam and Eve. They were perverse and vicious, and would not reform, although prophets were sent to try to salvage them. Unrepentant, they were eventually driven from the earth, and took refuge in the outlying islands of the sea.
The Genii are not immortal, but destined ultimately to die. They eat and drink and proliferate their species, living in communities, with rulers and ranks.
In Roman mythology they were the tutelary spirit that attended a man from cradle to grave, governing his fortunes and determining his character, and also wishing them to enjoy pleasure in life.
To indulge one's Genius was to indulge in all of life's pleasures. Genius were only for men; women Genius counterpart was called Juno. Another common belief was that each man had two Genii, one good and one evil. These Roman Genii beliefs were somewhat similar to our belief in Guardian Angels.
Not surprisingly, the eastern Genii were not attendant spirits, but instead fallen angels under the command of Azazel (afterwards called Iblees or Eblis). The story goes that Azazel was carried off as a prisoner by the angels. after they were banished from Earth. He then grew up amongst them, and eventually became their chief. But refusing, when commanded by God, to prostrate himself before Adam, he was degraded to the condition of a Sheytân or Shaitan, and becomes the father of the sheytâns, or devils.
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Sources: (1) Masello, Robert, Fallen Angels. . . and Spirits of the Dark, The Berkley Publishing Group; (2) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (3) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (4) Melton, J. Gordon and Shepard, Leslie A. (editors), Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Group.
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