"Prince of Darkness"


Prince of Darkness (Lucifer)
Public DomainPrince of Darkness (Lucifer)

Traditional phrase used to refer to Satan, the personification of evil. It may have first appeared in English in John Milton’s 17th century epic poem about the Fall of Man, Paradise Lost, but it is an English translation of a much older Latin phrase, princeps tenebrarum, which turned up in sacred poems and sermons in the 11th and 12th centuries.

This illustration from an 1866 edition of Paradise Lost is by Gustav Doré (see bookmark for page 16).