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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Demiurge \Dem"i*urge\, n. [Gr. dhmioyrgo`s a worker for the people, a workman, especially the maker of the world, the Creator; dh`mios belonging to the people (fr. dh^mos the people) + 'e`rgon a work.]

  1. (Gr. Antiq.) The chief magistrate in some of the Greek states.

  2. God, as the Maker of the world.

  3. According to the Gnostics, an agent or one employed by the Supreme Being to create the material universe and man.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1670s, from Latinized form of Greek demiourgos, literally "public or skilled worker" (from demos "common people;" see demotic + ergos "work;" see organ).\n

\nThe title of a magistrate in some Peloponnesian city-states and the Achæan League; taken in Platonic philosophy as a name for the maker of the world. In the Gnostic system, "conceived as a being subordinate to the Supreme Being, and sometimes as the author of evil" [OED].


n. Something (as an institution, idea, or individual) conceived as an autonomous creative force or decisive power.


n. a subordinate deity, in some philosophies the creator of the universe


In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was adopted by the Gnostics. Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense, because both the demiurge itself plus the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are considered either uncreated and eternal, or the product of some other being, depending on the system.

The word "demiurge" is an English word from demiurgus, a Latinized form of the Greek , dēmiourgos which was originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually it came to mean "producer" and eventually "creator". The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. This is accordingly the definition of the demiurge in the Platonic (c. 310–90 BC) and Middle Platonic (c. 90 BC – AD 300) philosophical traditions. In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not itself " the One". In the arch- dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. Accordingly, the demiurge is malevolent, as linked to the material world.

Demiurge (disambiguation)

Demiurge is an Anglicisation of a Greek term, δεμιουργός (demiourgos, "public worker"). It was used to describe a socioeconomic class and political class in Ancient Greek, and was adopted by Plato and later writers to describe a creator in their metaphysics.

Demiurge (magistrate)

A demiurge was a magistrate in Peloponnesian and other Ancient Greek city-states, including Corinth, Mantinea and Argos, and in their colonies, such as the Doric colony of Cnidus in Asia Minor. The English word for the title is an Anglicisation of Attic-Ionic δημιοργός, but because it was most commonly used by Doric Greek speakers, the original word in Greek has various alternate spellings (see below).

In the Achaean League, the assembly of members was presided over by ten elected demiourgoi; Corinth sent epidemiourgoi annually to Potidaea to report to the Spartan harmosts. The term is variously rendered δαιμουργός (daimourgos), δαιμωργός (daimorgos), and δαμιεργός (damiergos) in Doric Greek, and δημιοργός (demiorgos) in Ionic Greek on the island of Samos. In the Archaic Argolid, the demiurge seems to have served as a judge, and when one was lacking, his role could be fulfilled by a hierogrammat, according to an inscription from Mycenae recorded in the Inscriptiones Graecae IV, 493.

Usage examples of "demiurge".

Vernal Equinox most fully develops the creative or demiurge energy, 473-u.

God represented by the Demiurge on the lower stage of existence, 557-l.

And the demiurge sensed that Valis had arrived, and was working to undo his evil works, and in that moment the battle proper was joined.

Every cretinoid producer and director in Hollywood who worships at the Mel Gibson Memorial Blockbuster Temple of Explosive Faith has a statue of Spielberg on his or her mantle and each night sacrifices a virgin cockroach in hopes that someday they too may become a demiurge.

Whatever those things are, they are an affront to the Demiurges and they must be stopped.

She had believed what the clerics told her all her life: that the Elabrej were the only sentient life in the universe, that the Demiurges made them unique, and that Doane and Gidding watched over them and kept them safe.

The words of power are the voces mysticae of real spells, intended to get the attention of demiurges whom the wizard is asking for aid.

The ancient words, the language of the demiurges who could adjust the powers on which the cosmos turned, were twisting themselves on her tongue.

The words of power, technically voces mysticae, are the language of demiurges who act as intercessors between humans and the Gods.

Unlike Manni, she recognizes it as the avatar of a posthuman demiurge, a body incarnated solely to provide a point of personal interaction for people to focus on.

The space center was a prime target for the separatists, since it coordinated most of the spacefaring activity, as well as for religious fanatics who believed that the extrasolar-vessel program was an affront to the Demiurges.