The History of the Devil

The History of the Devil

2007, Religion  -   79 Comments
Ratings: 8.17/10 from 54 users.

The History of the DevilThe History of the Devil is wickedly good, informative and concise. A no-frills Welsh film produced in association with SBS Australia and distributed by Siren Visual, it’s roughly 52 minutes in length and packs a fair dinkum amount of history into its slender running time.

The documentary itself is made up entirely of mostly still images alternating sporadically with talking heads; religious scholars, theologians and reverends.

Directed by Greg Moodie and written and produced by Dave Flitton, it was researched by Eibhleann Ni Ghriofa, Deirdre Learmont and Craig McGregor.

It’s an impressive and very open-minded account and offers some fantastic insight into the evolution; the hows and whys the specter of the Devil has existed and morphed through the ages from the dawn of civilization through to the new millennium.

So despite its relatively low-fi approach, the richness and diversity of its imagery; the historical plaques, plates, engravings, illustrations, paintings, drawings, and the occasional staged re-enactment (some dude dressed up in rather bemusing demonic attire), keeps the documentary at a high level of beguilement.

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Huzaifa Kamran Khawaja
3 years ago

get your facts right, the Qur'an does not say fight non-Muslims as they are followers of evil, it says that fight against those who fight against you, hence defend yourself. The example can be seen from when Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAWW) marched into Makkah, with a 10,000 strong army, and did not hurt anyone, even a single tree and even forgave his enemies, following the instructions in Qur'an. And please, the crusaders were vicious armies that killed millions of Muslims regardless of age, color, and gender. Get your facts right.

Melissa Durant
6 years ago

The devil, satan, lucifer, the accuser...he is real. And the biggest lie ever told was that he doesn't exist. There is historical proof that what happened in the Bible actually happened. It is not made up so why them would he be of our imagination. This is an attempt by humans to not have to be held accountable... the devil didn't make you do it, he may have tempted you but in the end mankind has freewill. But thinking that he doesn't exist is very foolish!! Jesus loves you! Be prepared, Satan is a liar

Jessie Powers
9 years ago

This was very much an atheist film who never read the bible or torah, I can think of a hundred ways to make this film even more exciting as well as accurate.

Jeff B
10 years ago

OK, the last guy in the video may have made the most sense...let's put the person of Satan to rest...governments have used his name in opposition to God to justify killing others whom they opposed...the Book of Revelation mentions in passing, towards the end, that Satan was thrown into the Lake of Fire after the destruction of Jerusalem...with that in mind...does he REALLY still exist? Or is our battle, as Paul suggested, against our own fleshly desires???Just a thought....

10 years ago

Started off as an excellent concise and documented history of the origins of "the Devil", and I was very impressed that the ancient versions were covered, as was Satan's evolution. These are concepts I had learned in grad school and with my own research.

It derails off the character of Satan himself with the Crusades and Intuition, and the rest of the documentary is about how Christians kill in the name of Satan. The link to Bush is extreme.

Would have preferred a more-in depth look into Satan's older references and evolution, with textual citations and comparative religions. Overall, a good documentary, however.

11 years ago

"Is there a bar around here? Anyone know where the nearest bar is?"
-W. Murderface (Dethklok)

Kyle Parker
11 years ago

@ 33mike77
how can the devil be fought using physical weapons???
you obviously havent read the bible.

it specifically states;

"and if thou shalt come across satan, in his many forms, thou shalt use a bazooka unto him"

11 years ago

Great documentary, but while watching it I though of a quote from The Usual Suspects: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

11 years ago

there is something destructive about personifying every aspect which one, or one's group, might find bad, or wrong, or evil.

it gives all you reject a personality.
it is a distortion of reality.
it promotes a morbid preoccupation with all that is undesirable, hated.

far more evil than good has been done in in the name of opposing this shadow.

so, like the padre at the end, i agree its best to move on from the devil, leaving that concept to history.

his persistance is a side-effect of religious fundamentalism, including catholicism. he's a very useful little ogre.

11 years ago

forget ya'll then lol thats okay i'll just find Another Doc to watch :P I'll get you back tommorrow Achems Razor Man... Peace :D

11 years ago

Dude "video currently unavailable" umm i'm not talking crazy to ya or anything but like this happened twice yesterday like okaayy should I smile and say shitte happens and find another Doc to watch whats up lol?

11 years ago

I think there is so much information left out of this "documentary". It is clear that satan is an evil spirit, but how can mankind fight it with physical weapons? Satan can only be fought and defeated through constant everday prayer. The bible hold a great amount of information that would make this video merely a part of the subject. The book of Job is only one of 66 books in the bible. "My people perish from lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6
"Seek and you shall find" Matthew 6:6

God bless you all.

12 years ago

Not bad, but not the actual history I was hoping for. Nonetheless it presents an interesting hypothesis about the relation between the belief in the dualism of good and evil and the political and sociological demonization of others.

12 years ago

Im am beyond grateful I saw this documentary. Its a MUST-SEE.

12 years ago

That soldier thinks he is fighting the devil? Then give him a crucifix not a gun!!! Crazy people. Haha it would be funny to see all those soldiers in middle east trying to shoot with crucifixes hehehe...

12 years ago

It's all a method of "control", by dividing us up they maintain power.This doc proves that.So until everybody decides to evolve into people who don't pic a side and not believe in all this nonsense.Only then will bad things not be done to each other.the only way you don't pick a side is to seek the real truth that we are all equal!

12 years ago

One should not seek a religion, but instead seek a relationship with God.
Many times when people hear of God, Jehovah, Jesus, The Holy Bible, they imediately think of a religion, as if it was a religion who had created them. The Bible itself never tells anyone to "be" of certain religion, but does encourage God's creation to build a relationship with God. Many ignore that "religions are man-made" but our relationship with God is private, intimate, personal and not even the devil can disrupt it (if our relationship is strong). We must be spiritually wise and mature in the Lord. Seek him. Jesus is the way.

"Seek and you shall find" Matthew 7:7

God bless us all

12 years ago

Religion is not dangerous....people are dangerous.People kill people with or without religion.Take away religion and killing will go on with or without it, not missing a beat. Thomas de Torquemada, who was known for the torture of woman and children during the Spanish inquisition,killed in the name of religion.Are we supposed to believe that he would not have done so had it not been for religion? He took pleasure in the killing and torture of children.People such as this will find a way to kill and torture with or without religion.So tired of "religion is dangerous" stupidity.I am no fan of religion but to blame religion and not the person is ridiculous.People who kill , it because it gives them pleasure.They enjoy it and they are sick.It has nothing to do with religion, "religion is dangerous"only gives people an excuse to avoid the truth. People kill and will continue to do so, with or without religion...quit making excuses.

12 years ago

If people kill people it's because they are bad or sick...or pretending to be good.Religion itself kills no one.

"Blame is just a lazy person's way of making sense of chaos."
Doug Coupland

power, money, possessions, love,science---- People kill for these things also. Should we get rid of them? Would you be willing to? I doubt it.

12 years ago

From newyork. This Documentary Doesn't even come close to covering the origins of satan.... what about pagan religions, the sun worshippers... They call satan the morning star for a reason. He is the Sun. Every old Civilization has been worshipping him. he is horus, he is rah. Constantine and the vatican turned him and his spirits into evil beings when really they werent at all. The new age came in and kicked him out. We' shall see who stays in power this coming age.. 2012

12 years ago

God rules, enough said.

12 years ago

burning people at the stake, In the name of GOD. torture! Gets me sick to my stomach

12 years ago

Religion is a man-made nightmare! The control of the people is the aim, this is obvious! My Lord protect me from your followers

12 years ago

Satan is the total of all self-awared bad actions done since
humans are made to be self-awared of what is really against GOD
no matter what ridicoulous laws they have voted in the name of GOD according to their religious beliefs carried through time
by their family.... but hopefully the time will come when the real rulers will have to realize they lost the war of godly
values....women are made equal to man O.K "ALL WHO THINK OTHERWISE. To fight for values proved to be wrong IS part of the devil, especially when aware of it "AND YOU KNOW IT".
Enough said......

12 years ago

I want a shirt of God and Satan french-kissing, with a group of humans in the background touching themselves

Seth Derrick
12 years ago

@Waldo: Beers on me next time you're in Phoenix!

Robert Allen
12 years ago

A particularly interesting documentary, in that it treats the various incarnations that Satan (and, of course, his abode) have taken throughout the years.

However, one thing it didn't mention is that while the devil is often portrayed as hot, in German literature and folklore, he is ice-cold. Goethe's Faust is one example of this.

A. Fiend
12 years ago

I am A.Fiend,my dwelling is in Hell.

I can't anything good about this documentary as that would be against my nature and the boss wouldn't like it and, if you've read "The screwtape letters" by C.S. Lewis, you'll know about the house of corrections, down here, for us workers. Shudder!

But I digress. My purpose in writing this is to inform a certain section of the humam population that Hell is no longer the desirable destiny you have imagined,especially from the "wish you were here" spiritual messages. It's not, and, if it was, the good times are over!

I am talking about you masochists. An eternity on pain killers awaits you. Welcome to Hell! All hope abandon!

12 years ago

me and my friend when we were younger saw a demonic creature run out of her living room.idc what anyone says thank god i had a witness i was in shock wen i saw it i said nothing she then spoke up and said kathrin, i saw it too! this talk of the devil is only the result of humans not being able to take blame for our messed up as humans are...demonic things are real they r alive just like we have life we r just on borrowed energy thus we die we dont live forever evil exists i believe more so than good.

we dont realize it but we devil worship in music and the media we sing chants and don't even know it we watch movies were we expose our selves to images and sometimes downright listen to people chant and devil worship.its real it wants us to think we have evolved we are smarter that this is foolish! other bible thumpers have ruined it for other so its easy to think this is c@#$ i don't believe you have to read the bible or change ur mind... i am just telling u i felt and seen evil...forget people and how dumb they are i just want to say that it is real and it wants you to think this is myth that science and evolution is the answer science and spiritual things can live side by side idk why nobody cant think they both cant be correct...together...people are being spiritually played and they don't even realize it.

12 years ago

This documentary should be named "The history of the Devil in Christianity". Because 80 % of it is about the Bible. And where exactly is Judaism and Islam here? Isn't the devil a part of these two monotheistic religions too?

12 years ago

Our arrogance is pathetic! We already have created one f--ked up POEM in this UNI-VERSUM (one song) because we think too much and feel too little. We have forgotten that we are like cells of a body. We have become a cancer witch, universally, the body will be cured of or it will die.

Satan or no Satan; there is only one Evil and that is ignorance! Whoever thought of the phrase 'ignorance is a bliss' was a brilliant coercive mind or an ignorant one!

Even if it is just an allegory: Learn from it.

12 years ago

funny, he says that st augustine is one of the greatest thinkers of his time, and then without any pause goes on to tell you what he actually thought.

gee.... what a great thinker..... (SARCASM)....
i'm sure all the greatest thinkers of the time were probably being burnt to death.

12 years ago

Is there anybody, with an average IQ, that think that the people that don’t believe in god-any god-turns to Satan instead? LOL…they’re either Gnostics or atheists or even “indifferent” but THE DEVIL—HAHAHAHAHA- never cross these people’s mind…I didn’t watch this doc, I don’t have to…I don’t care to…F Satan…GTFOH with this nonsense…

12 years ago

Why people even bother with this nonsense about the devil-Satan- is amusing to me…I know that there are a whole bunch of losers worshiping & probably even killing, in the name of this created loser…but think about it, privileged people-you know, the one having a good time on this blue dot-are such an insignificant minority—that you’d imagined that a half smart Satan would have an wide open field to do his “evil” tempting & stuff…common people…wake tfu…

12 years ago

Mike, the fact that you don’t like the “first comment people” doesn’t mean much to anybody else but you…in an overpopulated world, where competition is fierce, to be “first” on anything is an advantage…loosen up, bud…

12 years ago

I'm from Berlin/Germany and a non-believer but I'm open minded. Hey,Waldo I really like your comment. Excellent! I think religion is very dangerous for gullible people.Many people are not skeptical.
God is man made too!!!

12 years ago

A good documentary explaining that satan is man made,
I love this site I have learned a lot from this and
some things I never knew about thank you for the extra's
over the holiday's and have a good time.
Happy Midwinter to everyone
Linda ;-*

12 years ago

Well said Waldo. I live in the US and it really worries me when the government starts spouting religious reasoning to justify the actions they take. Government and Religion should never mix. It truly is amazing how history repeats itself if you step back and look at the larger picture. Romans feared christians and burned them, religion feared anything opposing it and burned it and now it is terrorist, though we have moved past the burning phase. I don't think you can make good vs evil so black and white. While people do things that someone perceives as evil it is just that a perception of that persons own moral judgment. When a male lion takes over a pride the first thing it does is kill any cubs from the other male. Some would argue that it is evil. Anyway, my point is, the world is not black and white.

@Grey area

I am interested in your offer as well. Will you be taking resumes or setting up interviews? I know it's a bad question to as right away but what kind of benefits do you offer? Do we get paid vacation time?


The woman you are thinking of is Elizabeth Bathory, Hungarian noble that became obsessed with trying to keeping her "beauty" by bathing in virgin blood. She used the blood for everything, not just bathing. Some historians think she killed between 30-50 girls and other historians think it was more in the 100 range.

12 years ago

Just to let ya know,this isnt a Welsh film its Irish,TG4 at the end,is an Irish (mostly in Gaelic) TV channel.

But anyway,good doc.Not so much about the devil,rather how he was used as a justification for ironically, evil acts.

The conclusion I got from this doc is that it wasnt religion that brought about these evil acts it was dualistic thought.
And that the devil seems to be the fall guy.

Bad day-blame it on the devil
Divorced-blame it on the devil
lost your job-blame it on the devil
wife cheats on you-blame it on me

12 years ago

@Waldo and Chuck ~ The woman is Elizabeth Bathory.

Rina Ralls
12 years ago

Do people really believe gov't officials and presidents re: Satan? So easy to brainwash people. A doc about Satan is like a doc about Frankenstein. People don't believe in the devil anymore.

12 years ago

@ Grey area

Deal! You sure you want my soul, its an older model but I've kept it fairly clean. Not much on the short track but its long legged as h#ll. As is, no warranty..

@ Chuck

They had a documentary on this site about the most evil people in history, posted sometime around Halloween. It had Vlad Dracula in it and some weird lady from I think it was Romania that bathed in blood. I can't remember the name but it sounds sort of like what you are looking for. Good luck.

12 years ago

I've known two people who I'd say were truly evil. I don't know if one of them had any sort of religious upbringing or concept of either good or evil, but I do know he caused hatred and discontent, purposely, everywhere he went. This man died a violent death by his own stupidity. The other was the same way, but only worse and did have a religious upbringing. He died young, but I don't know how. He was a pedophile and a master at brainwashing. I don't know why people take pleasure in doing evil things other than it gives them a position of power. All and all I found this very interesting. I'd like to see one on just evil,leave out the pagans and just delve into the evil deeds.

12 years ago

Great documentary... Kind of sad that even in a forum like this you have to deal with the "first comment" people. If there's ever eugenics those are the only people i wouldn't let procreate

12 years ago

@Waldo - You've said it all - Simply brilliant! Thank you!

Excellent documentary! Thank you Vlatko!

grey area
12 years ago

you will be given a cushy job in my new world order as one of my minions .
well said my friend , now care to sell your soul for riches , glory and women to me??? camonnnnnnn , its such a sweet deal buddy. also ill throw in a sweet orangish/red tan free for the both of yous . the duma$$es from jersey shore would kill to be this tan- the dark lord

12 years ago

@Waldo. You have made a very articulate, and intelligent comments! Documentaries, such as these that illustrate the origin of early Human literature (i.e. Devil myth) showcases the evolving nature of literature, culture, morality, ethics, and religion.

Our species is capable of such creative, imaginative thinking; unfortunately, our species is also capable of believing our imaginations to be REAL! This, unwavering belief in the supernatural I submit is a very dangerous proposition, as history has clearly demonstrated.

12 years ago

A very interesting explanation of the origins of dualism. As someone that has studied theology extensively I have always found it interesting that the devil or Satan plays a very small and contextual role in the Bible. He is barely mentioned, and never truly explained. In my opinion were it not for the necessity of antithesis to bring about some type of conflict to be resolved in literature the devil simply would not exist. He is mans attempt to anthropomorphize the human concept of injustice. From the beginning of time man has questioned why he must suffer and why things simply fail to go his way many times. In reality there is no such thing as injustice when we are dealing with the natural world. We act as if nature knows whether or not we have lived a good life and should treat us accordingly. It is the application of our concept of reciprocity to all situations. Whether we are dealing with an unconscious entity, such as nature, or a conscious entity, such as other people, we expect to get what we feel we deserve, and anything less or to the contrary we classify as unjust or evil. What a simple creature man is, how vane and entitled he feels.
Or, maybe we simply need some entity to lash out at, somewhere to spend the anger we feel when we perceive an injustice. Maybe we simply cannot handle our own human nature and how vile it truly is, we need some entity to blame to remove the weight of such actions. Instead of fighting that nature or denying ourselves the indulgence we simply create some supernatural entity that is beyond our control or ability to resist, you know “the devil made me do it”.
Whatever the reasons for the Devil’s creation he is just that, a human creation with no reality. Things happen to us in this world because that is the way reality works. We are what we are because that is the evolutionary reality of our natures. The sooner we realize this the sooner we may rise above these petty feelings of entitlement, the sooner we may learn to deny ourselves these base desires. As long as we see evil where in reality is only the natural order of things, we will never learn to rise above and become what we call “divine”.

12 years ago

Cool stuff!

12 years ago

@grey area
all hail satan, the prince of darkness