The Guardian Spirit And The Idea Of “Genii”

Most of us are familiar with the idea of the “patron saint” in Christianity.  The doctrine is even found in some branches of Islam.  It is a  comforting thing to believe that there is someone out there watching over us, and protecting us in an hour of need.  I never used to give this idea much serious thought until recent years.  But the idea predates Christianity; it was absorbed into Christianity from beliefs that came before it.  The idea of the “guardian spirit” was a commonly-accepted one in the late classical world, as this passage from the historian Ammianus Marcellinus reveals:

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