* This trope originates with Greek mythology, wherein each mortal has a pair of spirits, which are aspects of themselves, and represent good and evil and actually sit on the character's shoulders. The angel/devil interpretation, however, according to TheOtherWiki, originated with Islam in the form of ''kiraman katibin'' (literally, "honorable recorders"-their job is to write down a person's good and evil thoughts and deeds).
* The myth of [[Characters/ClassicalMythology Hercules]] at the crossroads is a pre-Christian version of the scenario in which the hero makes a choice between {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of vice and virtue.
* The earliest mention of the concept in Christian Literature is in the 1st or 2nd century apocrypha "The Shepherd of Hermas". A whole chapter discusses "the two angels that accompany the man : the Angel of Justice and the Angel of Sin".
* Judaism has the concept of ''yetzer (ha)tov,'' or "good inclination," and ''yetzer (ha)ra,'' or "evil inclination."
* An anecdote often attributed (falsely) to Native American legend says everyone has a good wolf and an evil wolf battling in his or her heart. The winner will be the wolf that the person feeds.
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