Mephistopheles first appeared in the late 16th century chapbook Historia von D. Johann Fausten, which featured the first account of the legend of Faust and his deal with the Devil. This chapbook was written by an anonymous German author. The name Mephistopheles thereby entered Faustian literature and was used by many later authors who wrote their own rendition of the Faust legend, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Christopher Marlowe.
The name itself could derive from the Hebrew mephitz, meaning "distributor," and tophel, meaning "liar;" "tophel" is short for tophel shequer, the literal translation of which is "falsehood plasterer." The name can also be a combination of three Greek words: "me" as a negation, "phos" meaning light, and "philis" meaning loving, making it mean "not-light-loving," possibly parodying the Latin "Lucifer" or "light-bearer."
Major Story Arcs
Xena: Warrior Princess
Mephistopheles served as the Royal Ruler of Hell in the television series, Xena: Warrior Princess.
The Ides of March
After she died and wound up in Hell, Callisto was ordered by Mephistopheles to kill Julius Caesar and make Xena follow Gabrielle's path of peace in exchange for Callisto to have a chance at resurrection. She failed however and inadvertently caused Xena and Gabrielle's deaths, for which Mephistopheles turned her into an Archdemon. Callisto was later redeemed however with the aid of Xena.
The Haunting of Amphipolis
During Xena and Gabrielle's 25-year sleep, Mephistopheles opened a portal to Hell in Cyrene's tavern in Amphipolis and released his minions onto the town. When Cyrene told people she was hearing voices and that her house was haunted they simply thought she was mad, but when the spirits from Hell made themselves known the townspeople thought Cyrene was a witch. They burned her at the stake believing her death would rid Amphipolis of the evil spirits, but it didn't.
When Xena, Gabrielle, and Eve returned to Amphipolis after the 25-year sleep, they found Cyrene's tavern filled with the evil spirits. Upon finding Cyrene's charred remains, Xena vowed to avenge her mother and return Amphipolis to its former state. Mephistopheles could not be beaten in Hell or the Spirit Realm however, and so he had to be brought to the surface world. To be summoned, he requested a drop of blood from Eve, the Messenger of Eli, which Eve willingly gave Xena to end Mephistopheles' reign. Once he arrives on the surface, Xena battled Mephistopheles. During their fight, he told Xena that killing him would mean she'd have to take his place as the rightful ruler of Hell. Xena accepted this fate and impaled Mephistopheles with her sword, killing him.
Heart of Darkness
To avoid her inevitable fate, Xena ends up forcibly tricking the Archangel Lucifer into taking her place as the new King of Hell.
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