Public Domain Super Heroes
Advertisement
Lucifer
Lucifer

Real Name

Lucifer Morningstar

Born

Pre-history

Origin[]

The most common meaning for Lucifer in English is as a name for the Devil in Christian theology. It appeared in the King James Version of the Bible in Isaiah and before that in the Vulgate (the late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible), not as the name of a devil but as the Latin word lucifer (uncapitalized), meaning "the morning star", "the planet Venus", or, as an adjective, "light-bringing". It is a translation of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל, hêlēl, meaning "Shining One".

The metaphor of the morning star that Isaiah 14:12 applied to a king of Babylon gave rise to the general use of the Latin word for "morning star", capitalized, as the original name of the devil before his fall from grace, linking Isaiah 14:12 with Luke 10 ("I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven") and interpreting the passage in Isaiah as an allegory of Satan's fall from heaven. Considering pride as a major sin peaking in self-deification, Lucifer (Hêlêl) became the template for the devil.

As a result, Lucifer was identified with the devil in Christianity and in Christian popular literature, as in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Joost van den Vondel's Lucifer, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. Early medieval Christianity fairly distinguished between Lucifer and Satan. While Lucifer, as the devil, is fixated in hell, Satan executes the desires of Lucifer as his vassal.

Public Domain Appearances[]

All published appearances of Lucifer before January 1, 1929 are in the public domain in the United States.

Notable appearances are listed here.

See Also[]

Advertisement