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We are Legion, for we are many.
~ Legion.

Legion is a supporting antagonist in Christian theology. He was considered a gestalt-demon made up of many different evil spirits.

History

The demon had taken possession of a man from the ancient Roman town of Gadarenes (Gadara) in Jordan during the travelings of Jesus Christ, and the Son of God spoke with the spirit, and asked it its name (to which it replied the now famous quote of “My name is Legion, for we are many”).

Jesus of Nazareth continued to directly speak with the dark spirit, and demanded it to leave the man. The evil spirit was afraid of Jesus' power, and did as commanded - taking possession of a herd of pigs instead, which promptly ran into the sea and drowned.

While it is believed Legion physically died, it is likely the demon(s) remain in Limbo or Hell, since spirits never truly die. However, it is equally likely they could have been permanently trapped in the pigs, meaning that they suffered a type of "soul death". Either way, it is mostly accepted that Legion was physically banished (if not outright killed), and no further mention of the demon is seen in official texts.

Symbolism

The tale is often cited as one of the most famous of all theological demons, and like most demons, Legion is symbolic of real-world suffering. In this case, it's a striking example of what would be considered severe mental illness in the modern world, most like DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). It is also cited as one of Jesus' great triumphs over evil, and showcased His strength as a healer and exorcist of the highest order (since he both removed the evil gestalt-entity, and cured the man of madness in one swoop).

Trivia

  • In ancient times, a Legion was considered to be a Roman army unit of at least 1000 men. This would suggest that Legion consisted of at least a thousand or more demonic entities.

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