Daemons Are Forever: Contacts and Exchanges in the Eurasian Pandemonium

A richly illustrated tapestry of interwoven studies spanning some six thousand years of history, Dæmons Are Forever is at once a record of archaic contacts and transactions between humans and protean spirit beings—dæmons—and an account of exchanges, among human populations, of the science of spirit beings: dæmonology. Since the time of the Indo-European migrations, and especially following the opening of the Silk Road, a common dæmonological vernacular has been shared among populations ranging from East and South Asia to Northern Europe. In this virtuoso work of historical sleuthing, David Gordon White recovers the trajectories of both the “inner demons” cohabiting the bodies of their human hosts and the “outer dæmons” that those same humans recognized each time they encountered them in their enchanted haunts: sylvan pools, sites of geothermal eruptions, and dark forest groves. Along the way, he invites his readers to reconsider the potential and promise of the historical method in religious studies, suggesting that a “connected histories” approach to Eurasian dæmonology may serve as a model for restoring history to its proper place at the heart of the discipline of the history of religions.

Authored by: David Gordon White
Book Information: 360 pages | 30 color plates, 38 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020

List of Abbreviations

Note on Translations

1 Dæmon-ology

2 Of Filth and Phylacteries

3 The Demons Are in the Details: Demonological Sciences and Technologies, East and West

4 Medieval and Modern Child Abductions

5 Odysseus in Taprobane

6 Perilous Fountains

7 Imagining a Connected History of Religions