I Never Did Anything Out of The Blue

 

The Key to the relationship between classical and medieval Genius is its Horation definition- a god of human nature, born with each man and living until his death….. Thus, he was identified with Euridice, natural concupiscence, born within each man, who descended into the underworld of temporal good when she succumbed to its delights. The god of human nature was affiliated with other similar descents into an underworld, which exemplified the central experience of human life possible for each man. At birth man’s soul naturally descends from the heavens into the underworld of the sub-lunar region or of the human body. During his life he may, like Euridice, descend viciously, or, like her husband Orpheus, virtuously into the underworld of temporal good in order to familiarize himself with it and thereby protect himself from its temptations. Finally, he may descend into hell not only literally at death but artificially through magic art, when he consults its demons about future life. This pattern of descents unifies and moralizes the classical meanings of Genius, and makes the pagan god palatable to the Christian Middle Ages

reference

J.C. Nitzsche, The Genius Figure in Antiquity and The Middle Ages

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