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Is the Hebrew and later Jewish figure of Lilith a syncretization of the figures of Lillake, Lilītu, Ardat Lilî, Bilulu, and Lamashtu? The following is an examination of the possible descent and devolution of a Goddess into a malignant Demon and back again.
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The Transformations of a Goddess: Lillake, Lamashtu, and Lilith.
© March 15, 2018, Wendilyn Emrys, M.A.
Is the Hebrew and later Jewish figure of Lilith a syncretization of the figures of
Lillake, Lilītu, Ardat Lilî, Bilulu, and Lamashtu? The following is an examination of the
possible descent and devolution of a Goddess into a malignant Demon and back again. For
the Sumerians and Akkadians, the word commonly translated as demon’ is ‘rabisu’. A
rabisu is neither benign nor malignant by nature. The word is given a determinative to
reflect if they are ‘good’ or ‘evil’.
What would night be like for those ancient Sumerians? At night, with a deep darkness
enveloping their world, their early homes made of reed bundles. The windstorms shaking and
rattling the reed walls and whistling between the closely packed reeds, like a panpipe. Not
knowing what dangers might be lurking out there in the dark, what mythic figures might take
root in their consciousnesses? In those primordial times, just as in the myths, it is likely that
the terrifying figures of the Lilîm “Storm Demons”, in their various functions, were born.
Created by the imaginative and numinous expressions of an individual’s powerlessness
against the forces of nature, chaos and fear.
When the sun rose the next day and they emerged from their shelters, what chaos
might have been wrought by the windstorm and the Lilîm who had brought them. The next
night might be eerily silent, but then they might hear the piercing cry of an owl hunting,
causing a numinous awe and fear. The Lilītu, or perhaps the Lillake, was out hunting. She
was Death on silent wings, with terrible talons, and a sharp beak to rend her victims. She is a
Mother Goddess who gives life, but also takes it. She is the Goddess who cures, but also kills
with disease. Perhaps this is how the mythic persona of Lilith came to be?
Emrys 2
Later in the large urban centers of Sumer, where the tight streets and narrow
alleyways surrounded by tall walls of mudbrick would act as wind tunnels, even a small
windstorm might be enhanced by the very architecture that arose alongside civilization.
Winds and sand that can rip flesh from bone and deeply scour the mudbrick of walls. Sitting
in a tavern, escaping the wind they likely told and retold the stories of their ancestral groups.
Stories that included the dread Lilītu and her related storm demons who cause chaos.
At the beginning of time, Inanna finds a primordial tree, brings it to her garden,
replants it and tends it:
“At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub [ĝa-lu-ub2] tree, a
single tree, growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the
Euphrates.”
42. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest.
ur2-bi-a muš nu-zu-e gud3 im-ma-ni-ib-us2 [muš = snake]
43. In its branches, the Anzû d bird settled its young.
pa-bi- a mušen Anzû dmušen-de3 amar im-ma-ni-ib-ĝar
[mušen = bird; Anzû dmušen = Anzû Bird]
44. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling,
šab-bi-a ki-sikil lil2-la2-ke4 e2 im-ma-ni-ib-du3
[šab-bi-a = middle part; ki-sikil = young woman; lil2-la2-ke4 = ghost,
phantom, spirit double; e2 = to erect; im-ma-ni-ib-du3 = household]
45. the maid who laughs with a joyful heart.
ki-sikil zu2 li9-li9 šag4 ḫul2-ul2
Emrys 3
[ki-sikil = young woman; zu2 li9-li9 šag4 ḫul2-ḫul2 = tooth happy “smiling
or laughing”]
(ETCSL Gilgameš, Enkidu, and the nether world: c. 1.8.1.4)
The Hullupu Tree, was considered by Kramer to be a Willow, but recent scholarship
identifies it as a Poplar because of a taxonomic confusion. However, it may be neither, or
both, or all trees. The current precise translation of the word Haluppu or Hiluppu means a
type of tree, or wood used, for images, furniture and other craft uses. It does not specify the
exact species of tree, or wood, used.
The Hullupu Tree is not just a World Tree covering the span from the Sky to the
Earth, and down into the Underworld. Inanna intends it to be transformed into both her
throne (or chair), and her bed. She will enhance her powers of sovereignty with it as her
throne (or chair), and thereby she appears to want to become a Goddess of Sovereignty over
all three realms. Having a bed made from it enhances her status as a Goddess of Sexuality
and Fecundity.
The Hullupu tree covers three levels of worldly existence, the Sky, Earth and
Underworld. Inanna seems to be intending to control all three levels, but when the Anzû
Lion-Eagle-Bird who may represent control of the sky, nests in the branches it usurps
Inanna’s power over the sky. However, the Anzû Lion-Eagle-Bird is also associated in
Sumerian/Akkadian myth with the theft of the Tablet of Destinies from the Gods, and other
battles with the with the Gods. His usurpation of Inanna’s sky domain may also be read as an
usurpation of the control of Fate. Inanna, here, may wish to vanquish the Anzû Lion-Eagle-
Bird as others have done before her, control the sky, and Fate. [see Fig. 3]
Emrys 4
Lillake, the “Phantom Maiden” making a home in the trunk, may represent the
usurpation of control of the Earth. What exactly does ‘Phantom Maiden” mean in this
instance? Is Lillake an underworld and ghostly figure? Is she to be read as an Owl, or Death
Bird Goddess figure, or perhaps she is even a doppelganger figure for Inanna, Inanna’s other
self. Then there is the description of Lillake as a ‘joyful, laughing, smiling maiden’. here
does this description lead one. Is it a hidden reference to a double of the joyful Inanna, the
seductress? Having functions of both sexuality and death? No matter, Lillake is seemingly
usurping control of the earthly realm from Inanna by making her home in the Hullupu tree
trunk. [see Figs. 2a-c]
A snake “mus” living in the roots likely represents usurpation of control of the
Underworld and Immortality. This snake is said to be immune from incantations, so it is
powerful against otherworldly weapons. When Inanna finds these monstrous squatters in her
Tree of Sovereignty/World Tree she cries out and pleads first with her twin-brother Utu to
get rid of them, but he refuses. Inanna next asks Gilgameš, to help her drive out the squatters.
Gilgameš offers his help and uses worldly force, in this case a mighty ax, instead of
an incantation to kill the snake. He then drives off the Anzû Lion-Eagle Bird and his
fledglings. Lillake wisely knows when she is in danger and flees off to the wilderness.
Gilgameš then cuts down the tree for Inanna’s, and his own, use. Inanna gets her throne
(chair) and bed, and Gilgameš creates weapons and tools from the branches. The tree holds
aspects of sovereignty over all three realms, and Inanna seems to desire to encompass her
control of all three realms. As such Inanna would have control over life and death. Inanna
seems to seek to control all things.
Emrys 5
Marija Gimbutas when speaking of the Bird Goddess of Life, Death, and Resurrection
points out that:
“From prehistoric times to the present day the owl has been considered a
harbinger of death. [. . . ] In spite of the gloomy aura which surrounds it, the
owl has also been endowed with certain positive qualities. It is credited with
profound wisdom, oracular powers, and the ability to avert evil. [. . . ] This
ambivalent image is a dim reflection, diffused through time, of the owl as an
incarnate manifestation of the fearsome Goddess of Death. She was revered as
a divinity and perhaps respected for her grim but necessary part in the cycle of
existence. [. . .] In Mesopotamia she is known as Lilith, whose name means
‘screech owl.’ (Gimbutas 190) [See Fig. 1]
Another Inanna myth, Inana and Bilulu, recounts an alternate tale of Dumuzid’s
(Damuzi’s) death. Bilulu (originally translated as “Belili”) and her son Jirjire murder Inana’s
consort Dumuzid (Damuzi). Bilulu, and Jirjire her son, are killed and cursed to become
deities of the desert by Inana in punishment for murdering Dumuzid (Damuzi). They may
have a connection with the Lilîm demons of the winds, storms, wastelands. Bilulu’s name
may associate her with the Lilîm, as well as where she abides, in the outlands, and the desert
where she later becomes the patroness Goddess. In this mythic narrative, Inanna loves
Dimuzid (Damuzi), and goes out looking for him when he goes missing. She finds his
murdered body and takes personal, and monumental, revenge on those who murdered him.
Inana in the Inana and Bilulu narrative is not the jealous, vindictive, and uncaring Goddess
of the Descent of Inanna narrative who purposely sends Damuzi down to take her place in
the Underworld. (see APPENDIX 1)
Emrys 6
The mythic figures named Lilītu (female); Lilû (male); and Ardat Lilî
(female) are demons, and not deities. Lilītu and Lilû are associated with wild places and
outer boundaries. They are primarily wind demons and storm demons, who cause chaos.
However, like Lamashtu they attack pregnant woman and babies. The Ardat Lilî is sexual in
function and attacks young men causing both nocturnal emissions and impotence, and they
render young women infertile.
Lillake and Bilulu, albeit by their names they can be associated with wind and other
storm demons, seem to be additionally associated with Otherworldly and Death Goddess
functions. They are not as fully fleshed out as Lamashtu. Lamashtu’s resemblance to the
Hebrew Lilith, with her infant killing and disease bringing capabilities, is nearly an exact
match.
Lamashtu is said to be a “Daughter of Anu” and a Goddess, albeit she was driven out
of the “Great Above”. She is associated with an earlier Sumerian Goddess “DIM. ME” by
her mythic attributes and titles. There is scholarly disagreement as to whether Lamashtu has
been driven from the Great Above to Earth because of her deeds, or because she an
instrument of the greater Gods to punish humans with disease. However, there are texts that
state that she was made to “come down from Heaven”, to have been driven away by her
parents: ‘Anu her father and Antu her mother, because of her bad deeds […], they sent her
away [from heaven? …]’ This feature characterised her already in the earliest texts, where
one can read: ‘because of her bad intention, of her improper advice, Anu, her father, cast her
down to earth’” (Tourtet 243-4). Lamashtu is depicted as a female figure covered in hair;
taloned bird’s feet, a face of a lioness; donkey’s ears, bare breasts, and holding snakes. She is
often accompanied by canines and swine; and shown riding on a donkey.
Emrys 7
Incantations to keep Lamashtu at bay emphasize that she is a Goddess, and not
merely a demon. She is identified with Inanna in the first incantation below.
I. (1) INCANTATION: (2) Lamash, daughter of Anu; (3) whose name has been
uttered by the gods; (4) Innin,[Inanna] queen of queens; (5) Lamashtu, O great
lady; (6) who seizes the painful Asakku; (7) Overwhelming the ‘Alû; (8) Come
not nigh what belongeth to the man; (9) Be conjured by Heaven; (10) Be
conjured by the Earth; (11) Be conjured by Enlil; (12) Be conjured by Ea.
II. (1) INCANTATION: Lamashtu, Daughter of Anu; (2) is they first name.
The second is, “Sister of the gods of the streets”; (3) The third is, “Sword
which splitteth the skull”; (4) the fourth is, “She who kindleth a fire”; (5) the
fifth is, “Goddess [the sight] of whose face causeth horror”; (6) the sixth is,
“Committed to the hands. (Budge 117)
In Incantation I line 4, Lamashtu is called ‘Innin’ which is an alternate name for Inanna.
Does this mean Lamashtu may be an alternate form of Inanna? In this incantation Lamashtu
is syncretized with Inanna. The Asakku/Asag is a demon who kills humans and causes head
fevers. The Asakku, are also called the Seven Asakku, and sometimes the Eight Asakku, and
are considered children of Anu. The Alu is a demon of Utukku, the Underworld. It has no
mouth, lips, or ears, and is said to cause nightmares and coma in those it attacks. Lamashtu
here is linked with diseases of the spirit, psyche, and body. Depending upon the incantation,
she can be called upon to either cause or cure a disease or ailment.
Lamashtu’s symbolic animals are the lion and lioness, donkey, canine, snake,
scorpion, and pig. Animals, that depending on the context may be either protective or deadly
and unclean. She is commonly depicted in a monstrous and composite form with: the head of
Emrys 8
a lioness; teeth (and sometimes ears of a donkey); bare humanoid breasts; body covered in
long shaggy hair; long blood covered fingers and nails; and the deadly taloned feet of the
Anzû Lion-Eagle-Bird. In some depictions she is shown with a pig and a canine suckling at
her bare breasts, while she holds snakes in her hands, and rides on a donkey in a boat being
driven back into the Underworld by her spouse, Pazuzu. [Figs. 8-9]
Amulets of Pazuzu’s head were worn or kept in the rooms of pregnant women to
drive Lamashtu away. Lamashtu is primarily a Goddess/Demoness who brings about
miscarriage, and infant mortality. Later amulets and plaques expand her function to be a
bringer of disease to all, not just pregnant women. These plaques, as well as offerings of
material goods, such as jewelry, and poisonous creatures either appease or drive off
Lamashtu.
Pazuzu is another composite figure, he is both a God and Demon, and as a way to
drive off Lamashtu. He has a canine (or perhaps leonine) face, a body covered in scales, a
snake for a penis, and bird feet and wings. He protected against the disease carrying west
wind, and as in some texts this spouse of Lamashtu could drive her back to the Underworld.
His image is often used in an apotropaic function to drive off Lamashtu.
Whereas Lamashtu brings pestilence, disease and death, there is another Sumerian
Goddess who shares donkey and canine associations with Lamashtu, Gula (‘Great’). Gula
(a.k.a. Ninisina ‘Lady of Insin’ and Ninkarrak ‘Lady of Kar’) is the Goddess of healing and
medicine, and like Lamashtu is a daughter of Anu. She encompassed many forms of healing:
herbal medicines; surgery; rituals; and dream incubation. Like Lamashtu she is associated
with windstorms and referred to as a “queen whose ‘tempest’, like a raging storm makes
heaven [tremble (?)], makes earth quake” (Avalos 106-7). Many archaeological foundation
Emrys 9
deposits of small canine figurines in homes, temples, and palaces may be associated with an
apotropaic function to both call on Gula’s aid and to fend off disease demons like Lamashtu.
Texts associated with these canine figures indicate that they are placed to drive away demons
and disease. Gula’s temple was named the “Dog Temple” [é. u. gi7. ra] (Shaffer 252). Is it
possible that at some point, Gula and Lamashtu were a single Goddess, who later became
two Goddesses, one benign and one malign? Often a Deity who cures is also the deity who
kills Selquet, Athena, Artemis, and Hekate to name a few. [see Figs. 5a-b]
In the Enuma Elish the first beings born are Lahmu (male) and Lahamu (female).
They are primarily guardian and protective deities. Their names may come from the “Old
Akkadian lahmum (‘hairy’)” (Black and Green 114). Later Lahmu becomes a protective deity
associated with the Gods, Enki, Ea, and Marduk. [see Fig.4].
Perhaps Lamashtu started out as one of these earlier primordial deities. Lamashtu is
commonly depicted as being covered with hair, and can have apotropaic functions, like
Lahmu and Lahamu. This poses a question if Lamashtu may have originated as a primordial
deity who may have taken sides with Tiamat in the Enuma Elish. Or perhaps even a child of
Anu who fought on the other side in the war? Like windstorms, these Goddesses and Demons
may represent the forces of disruption and chaos attacking the normal processes of life. The
Lilītu and Lilû, exist in both female and male forms. Thereby, afflicting both females and
males in disruptive and destructive ways.
These forces of disruption and chaos are not merely shadows on an individual’s
psyche. We may also view them as shadows acting upon a culture or being feared as acting
upon that culture within its cultural context. Forces of addictive and destructive behaviors in
individuals that cause stress, pain, and anxiety upon those surrounding them. Forces that
Emrys 10
seem beyond both individual and cultural control. The fear of the outsider and the forbidden.
Uncontrollable desires and lust for what may be viewed as unacceptable in a specific cultural
construct.
Also, to be considered are the materials used to keep Lilith, and her children, at bay.
They seem to cover all strata of the culture, from the wealthy and literate, to the poor and
illiterate. Finely inscribed, and most likely, expensive seal stones, amulets, plaques and icons
and relatively inexpensive examples of “Incantation Bowls sometimes with gibberish or
accurate rituals written upon them are used to keep Lilith and her associated demons at bay.
These finds imply both artistic and literate ritual practices, and oral ritual practices that
flourished and enabled all societal classes to deal with the perceived threats that Lamashtu,
and later Lilith, posed. [see Figs. 6-12]
Consider the Hebrews of the Babylonian Exile: displaced, disenfranchised, and
dispossessed. It is reasonable to see how they may have conflated the various mythic figures
of the Sumerian/Akkadian Goddesses and Demons they encountered during the Babylonian
Exile. Now Lilītu, Ardat Lilî, and Lamashtu become syncretized with the Hebrew ‘Lilith’. A
combination of threatening ever present shadow figures who haunted their neighbors in many
forms. She who was real to their neighbors for æons. These demons are not limited to
Hebrew or Jewish cultures. These demons are seen in many cultures in the Near East, and
even Zoroastrian examples have been found. Now this demonic Lilith threatened the
Hebrews in exile, their present, their futures, their families, and their very existence. Perhaps
she was even more of a threat, as their children grew up in an urban environment where
many cultures interacted.
Emrys 11
Babylon was a melting pot, and a culture that may have held an allure to the foreign children
raised among its streets. For a somewhat insular culture, as that of the Hebrews, everything
around them might feel both attractive and threatening simultaneously.
The Hebrews of the Babylonian Exile and captivity most likely came across these
tales when they were set down in an atmosphere of foreign, and forbidden, Goddesses and
Gods. After the deep psychic wound of being conquered, enslaved, and transported it is
reasonable to imagine that they would latch on to Lilītu, as their Lilith, a personification of
all that they felt threatened them in Babylon.
Many were of the elite class, now made slaves, servants, or commoners. Their self-
esteem may have been shattered. Some of the younger Hebrews might have felt excited by
the changes and new opportunities. Some young men and women may well have been
enticed by the freedoms of the Babylonian lifestyle.
Thus, this Lilītu spoken of in whispers in the darkness of taverns and winding streets
might well have entrenched herself in their psyches in subtle ways. Stories told in the taverns
and marketplace may have crept into their homes to be told in whispers to the families.
Certainly, the elder males and females of the Hebrew exiles would see her as a threat to their
ancestral way of life. A threat to their religious beliefs and familial cohesion. Lilītu becomes
Lilith, and a thing to both fear, and perhaps even desire, in the hidden places of their minds
and souls.
The Jewish Study Bible has little to say regarding Lilith, in the specific, excepting that
when Edom is destroyed:
It shall be a home of jackals,
An abode of ostriches.
Emrys 12
Wildcats shall meet hyenas,
Goat-demons shall greet each other;
There too the lilith shall repose
And find herself a resting place.
(Berlin, Brettler, and Fishbane Isaiah 34.13 - 34.14)
After the Babylonian exile Lilith figures large in Hebrew and Jewish Mythologies.
Lilith captured their imagination of Jews living under the control of other nations and while
she remains a threat in the Talmudic literature, she becomes an almost Goddess figure to the
writers of the Zohar, and Kabbalistic literature:
The new mythology of the Kabbala, revealed in the writings of the Jewish
mystics of the 13th century and amplified in those of the 16th, knows evil
goddesses in addition to the good ones. They are the she-demons of yore,
Lilith, Naamah, Igrath bath Mahalath, who first appear in Talmudic literature
as lowly and hairy female ghouls, and who managed to work themselves up to
much higher position, until their queen, Lilith, became God’s consort.
(Patai 27)
This is a fear that is found as far back as the literature and laws of Sumer and
Babylon, where legal inheritance became important. Laws were enacted to specify who
inherited what and how. There was always a fear that the child of the handmaid might usurp
the position of the child of the primary wife, or wives. That the handmaid or concubine might
take over control of the family from the wife, because of her sexual allure, or ability to
conceive if a legal wife could not do so. This is seen, as well, in Hebrew and Jewish Myth, in
the strife between Sarah and Hagar, and the disputes between their children. We see this
Emrys 13
same drama acted out in the Kabbala where, when the Matronit is exiled, Lilith wheedles her
way in and takes the Matronit’s place as God’s Consort.
In Talmudic Literature, Lilith becomes the first wife of Adam, and refuses to be either
subservient to him, or to be raped by him. She flies off away from Eden and finds more
suitable companions to consort with. She begins to produce many demon children from these
pairings.
When approached by three Angels sent by her Creator to bring her back, she says
something very interesting and reminiscent of why Lamashtu may have been sent from the
Great Above down to Earth, “Let me be, for I was created in order to weaken the babes: if it
is a male, I have power over him from the moment of his birth until the eighth day of his life
(when he is circumcised and thereby protected), and if a girl, until the twentieth day” (Patai
210).
Lilith’s divinely ordained purpose, per this statement, is to take the lives of infants. A
similar function has been supposed for Lamashtu, either she has such a purpose given to her
by the Gods, or she chooses to do so by her nature and choice. However, the Sumerians and
Akkadians believed that disease was often sent by the Gods, for one reason or another via
demons or ghosts. As well as being caused by demons and ghosts by their own actions.
Lilith, like Lamashtu, in this case would be an instrument of the Higher God(s).
By the Post Diaspora period the Lilith of the Hebrews and Jewish Peoples, and the
neighboring peoples, becomes a composite figure. Like Lamashtu she brings disease and kills
infants and parturient women. However, her physical characteristics become that of the Ardat
Lili. She becomes a beautiful cajoling seductress who visits men at night, steals their semen,
Emrys 14
and drains them of energy and sometimes even takes their lives. Her male compatriot, does
the same for young women who are at risk. [see Figs. 10-12]
These pervasive fears of Lilith and her demon offspring impacted the way that folks
lived their everyday lives. Multiple sources, but most especially in the Zohar (circa 1290
CE), have Lilith seducing men while they sleep, and harvesting their semen to create her
demon children. The simple joy of sexual love between partners is constrained by extreme
prohibitions on how and when sexual intercourse was to be performed. R. Naphtali stated
that, “Lilith, God preserve us, has dominion over children who issue from him who couples
with his wife in candlelight, or with his wife naked, or at a time when he is forbidden to have
intercourse with her” (qtd. in Patai 223).
A child’s spontaneous laughter was considered an attraction to Lilith and her
influence, and children were to be admonished for expressing themselves in an uninhibited
manner. Let alone if they created an imaginary friend for themselves. “If children laugh in
their sleep, or if they laugh while they are awake but alone, this is a sign showing that Lilith
is playing with them, and especially when this happens on the night of the new moon.
Whoever notices that they laugh, will do well to tap them on their nose with his finger and
say: ‘Go hence, Pelonith (i.e. Lilith), you have no portion or inheritance here, you have no
satisfaction here!” (Patai 228).
Some Orthodox, and Conservative, Jews still react strongly to Lilith. In one recent
instance at a Los Angeles California Jewish Charity, elderly female volunteers reacted
strongly to my reading a book on Lilith. They referred to Lilith, with intense emotion as
“That dangerous and evil woman!” It seems that Lilith, and the threat she poses, is an active
presence to these ladies even today.
Emrys 15
It is somewhat disturbing to reflect upon how these intense fears seem to have taken
hold of entire cultures. How these fears dictated personal behavior and intruded upon
personal freedoms. How even to this day, in some communities, sexual behavior between
partners is rigidly controlled, lest a malevolent presence like Lilith take advantage of them.
Lillake, who started out as a laughing phantom maiden; Lilītu who rode the storms
and whipped up the winds leaving chaos and destruction in her wake; Ardat Lilî who seduced
and destroyed the unwary; Bilulu who conspired to murder the consort of a Goddess; and
Lamashtu the Goddess-Demon who brought disease and death; all seem to have syncretized
over millennia into the terrifying and powerful Demon-Goddess Lilith. She who instills fear
in some cultural contexts even to this day. Albeit, in other cultural contexts, Lilith represents
freedom and freewill because she refused to submit to oppression. Thus, Lilith is a
composite, complex, and liminal figure who is significant in the very multiplicity of her
functions and myths. Lilith is a multivalent figure, and depending on the context, she can be
either divine or demonic.
Emrys 16
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<http://www.arkive.org/eurasian-eagle-owl/bubo-bubo/image-G62013.html>.
Gimbutas, Marija. The Language of the Goddess. 1st ed. London: Thames & Hudson, 1989.
Print.
Emrys 18
"Inana and Bilulu: Composite Text." Inana and Bilulu: Composite Text. ETCSL Oxford
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<http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/c144.htm#line65>.
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n.d. 14 Jan. 2018. <https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/perforated-plaque-dudu>.
Kalensky, Patricia. "Statuette of the Demon Pazuzu with an Inscription." Statuette of the
Demon Pazuzu with an Inscription | Louvre Museum | Paris. Louvre Museum, n.d.
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inscription>.
Patai, Raphael. The Hebrew Goddess. Brooklyn: KTAV House, 1967. Print.
"RITUAL AGAINST THE DEMON LAMASHTU." MS 2779 - The Schoyen Collection.
The Schoyen Collection, n.d. 20 Nov. 2017.
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/magical-literature-introduction/babylonian-
magic/ritual-against-demon-lamashtu-ms-2779>.
Shaffer, Aaron. “Enlilbani and the ‘Dog House’ in Isin.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 26.4
(1974): 251-55.
Shaked, Shaul. "INCANTATION BOWL: BIBLE, INCANTATION & DRAWING." MS
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<http://www.schoyencollection.com/palaeography-collection-introduction/aramaic-
hebrew-syriac/4-6-3-jewish-aramaic/ms-1911-1>.
Emrys 19
Shaked, Shaul. "INCANTATION BOWL TO WARD AGAINST DEMONS." MS 2053/198
- The Schoyen Collection. Schoyen Collection, n.d. 20 Nov. 2017.
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/magical-literature-introduction/asian-african-
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Shaked, Shaul. "ZOROASTRIAN INCANTATIONS AGAINST DEMONS." MS 2056/12 -
The Schoyen Collection. Schoyen Collection, n.d. 20 Nov. 2017.
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/23-religions/living-religions/23-14-
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Sliva, Jean-Paul. "Kiskilili." Assyrian Languages. Assyrian Languages.org, 07 Feb. 2012.
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Nov. 2017.
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Sliva, Jean-Paul. "Lilu." Assyrian Languages. Assyrian Languages.org, 07 Feb. 2012. 20
Nov. 2017.
<http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php?searchkey=lil%C3%BB&
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Tourtet, Francelin. "Demons at Home." Dūr-Katlimmu 2008 and Beyond. Ed. Hartmut
Kühne. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010. 241-65. Print.
Emrys 20
"Western Asiatic Neo-Assyrian Lamaštu Demon Amulet." Timelineauctions.com. TimeLine
Auctions, n.d. 20 Nov. 2017. <https://timelineauctions.com/lot/neo-assyrian-lamastu-
demon-amulet/84629/>.
Emrys 21
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Emrys 23
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Emrys 24
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Emrys 25
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Emrys 26
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demon-amulet/84629/>.
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Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. Print.
Emrys 27
APPENDIX 1
INANA AND BILULU
65 […] from the sheepfold […]
65 [...] amac-ta [...]
1 line missing
67 to the house of old woman Bilulu (source, erroneously: Belili) […]
67 [e2 um]-/ma\ dbi-lu-lu-ce2 (ms has erroneously: be-li-li-ce3)[...]
68 There the shepherd, head beaten in […]
68 ki-bi-a sipad saj-a ra [...]
69 Dumuzid, head beaten in
69 ddumu-zid saj-a ra
70 Ama-ucumgalana, head beaten in
70 dama-ucumgal-an-na saj-a ra
81 [. . .] Bilulu, matriarch and her own mistress,
81 ud-bi-a um-ma dbi-lu-lu
90-97: My lady [Inanna] went to Bilulu in Edin-lila. Her son [bilulu’s] Jirjire like the wind
there did… [. . . ]
90ud-bi-a nin-e cag4-ga-ni a-na am3-de6
91kug dinana-ke4 cag4-ga-ni a-na am3-/de6\
92 um-ma(ms has erroneously: u3-mu-un) dbi-lu-lu ug5-/ge\-[de3] cag4-ga-ni /am3\-[de6]
93nitalam ki aj2-ja2-ni ddumu-zid-dama-/ucumgal\-[an-na-ra]
94ki-nu2 dug3-dug3-ge-de3 cag4-ga-ni nam-[de6]
95nin-ju10 dbi-lu-lu edin-lil2-la2ba-an-[...]
Emrys 28
96dumu-ni jir2-jir2-e lil2-la2-a-bi bi2-/in\-[...]
97dumu-na ku-li-na SIR3-ru edin-lil2-la2 [...]
98-110: Holy Inana entered the alehouse, stepped into a seat, began to determine fate:
“Begone! I have killed you; so it is indeed, and with you I destroy also your name: May you
become the water skin for cold water that is used in the desert! May her son Jirjire together
with her become the protective god of the desert and the protective goddess of the desert!”
98 kug dinana-ke4 ec2-dam-ma ba-ni-in-kur9 [...]
99 ki-tuc-a ba-e-gub nam mu-ni-ib-tar-re
100 jen-na ba-ug5-ge-en na-nam-ma-am3 mu-zu ga-ba-da-ha-lam-e
101 kucummud a ced7 nij2-edin-na he2-me-en
102 dumu-ni jir2-jir2-re e-ne-bi-da
103 dudug edin-na dlama edin-na he2-em-ma-da-me-ec-am3
104 dumu-na ku-li-na SIR3-ru/edin\-lil2-la2
105 edin-na ha-mu-ni-ib2-du zid2hu-mu-ni-ib2-CID-e
106 juruc edin-na du a ub-ta-an-bal-bal zid2 ub-ta-an-dub-dub
107 dudug edin-na dlama edin-na
108 [...] ced7-a hu-mu-ni-ib-be2dub-a hu-mu-ni-ib-be2
109 ki sa-ha-a-na [edin]-/na\ hu-mu-un-jal2
110 um-ma dbi-lu-lu cag4-ga-ni hu-mu-hul2-le
From: "Inana and Bilulu: Composite Text." Inana and Bilulu: Composite Text. ETCSL
Oxford University, n.d. 10 Dec. 2017.
<http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/c144.htm#line65>.
Emrys 29
APPENDIX 2
SUMERIAN/AKKADIAN WORDS OF INTEREST
(From: A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian)
Word
Sumerian Spelling
Meaning
Location
Akkû; Akû
Owl
Page 10
(CDA)
Dimitu
A bird;
An illness (possibly
convulsions)
Page 60
(CDA)
Dimmatu (m)
Wailing or lamentation;
A mourner
Page 60
(CDA)
Dimmerû
A God
Page 60
(CDA)
Dimmu
Damāmu
Wailing; especially like
that of a child
Page 60
(CDA)
Gula
Gúla
Gúlá
Ninkarraak
Ninkarraaka
dME.ME
Great
British
Museum
site
BM ME
130814
Haluppu (m)
also Hiluppu
GIS.A.LU.UB
a tree;
wood for a vessel,
furniture, etc.
Page 103
(CDA)
Hilēpu (m)
GIS.KIM
willow tree;
willow-wood
Page 115
(CDA)
Kilīlu (m);
Kilīliš;
Kullulu;
Kulilum;
Kulûlu
An Owl;
A female Demoness
Page 157
(CDA)
Lamassatu (m)
tutelary goddess;
image/figurine of a
tutelary goddess
Page 177
(CDA)
Lamassu (m)
Female tutelary deity
Page 177
(CDA)
Lama`stu (m);
Lammassu
DIM.ME
Goddess, Daughter of
Anu;
Demoness who attacks
newborns and sucklings
Page 177
(CDA)
Lillu (m)
a demon;
a god
Page 177
(CDA)
Emrys 30
Lilû;
Lilîm
LÍL.LA.EN.NA/NU;
LÚ.LÍL.LÁ
Storm Demons;
Singly pl. (lilû);
in a pair (lilû lilītu);
and as a triad (ina sit
lilîm) “at the rising of
the ___” (SUM)
Kiskilili; Wardatum.
Page 182
(CDA)
Lilītu
MUNUS.LÍL.LÁ;
KI.SIKIL.LÍL.LÁ
Storm Demon female
Page 182
(CDA)
Ardat Lilî
KI.SIKIL.LÍL.LÁ;
KI.SIKIL.UD.DA.KAR.RA
Storm Demons who prey
sexually on young men
Page 182
(CDA)
Lilītu:
MUNUS.LÍL.LÁ :
KI.SIKIL.LÍL.LÁ :
a she-devil , a she-demon , a demoness.
Syriac : lilita "a ghost"
<http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php?searchkey=8148&language=id>.
Lilû:
LíL.LA.EN.NA
LÚ.LÍL.LÁ :
Sumerian origin: a (kind of) demon.
Ardat Lilî : storm demons:
KI.SIKIL.LÍL.LÁ :
KI.SIKIL.UD.DA :
ina ṣīt lilîm: at the rising of the demons.
<http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php?searchkey=lil%C3%BB&langua
ge=rawakkadian>.
kiskilili: a demoness, a she-devil.
<http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php?searchkey=kiskilili&language=ra
wakkadian>.
Emrys 31
Figures
Figure 1
Figure 289 from The Language of the Goddess, Marija Gimbutas Ph.D. Print. Page 191
Emrys 32
Figure 2a
Eurasian Eagle-Owl The joyful laughing young maiden
<http://www.arkive.org/eurasian-eagle-owl/bubo-bubo/image-G62013.html>.
Emrys 33
Figure 2b
Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) fledging The joyful laughing young maiden, the females
are known for their loud barking scream.
<http://www.arkive.org/eurasian-eagle-owl/bubo-bubo/image-G62013.html>
Emrys 34
Figure 2c
Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) Flying
<http://www.arkive.org/eurasian-eagle-owl/bubo-bubo/image-G64024.html>
Emrys 35
ANZU (IMDUGUD) LION-EAGLE-BIRD
Figure 3
Perforated plaque of Dudu
© Louvre Museum © R.M.N.
Technical description:
Votive bas-relief of Dudu, priest of Ningirsu in the time of Entemena, prince of Lagash
C. 2400 BC
Tello (ancient Girsu)
De Sarzec excavations, 1881
Emrys 36
Accession # AO 2354
Author(s):
Iselin Claire
Plaques perforated in the center and decorated with scenes incised or carved in relief were
particularly widespread in the Second and Third Early Dynastic Periods (2800-2340 BC),
and have been found at many sites in Mesopotamian and more rarely in Syria or Iran. The
perforated plaque of Dudu, high priest of Ningirsu in the reign of Entemena, prince of
Lagash (c.2450 BC), belongs to this tradition. It has some distinctive features, however, such
as being made of bitumen.
Dudu, priest of Ningirsu
The bas-relief is perforated in the middle and divided into four unequal sections. A figure
occupying the height of two registers faces right, leaning on what appears to be a long staff.
He is dressed in the kaunakes, a skirt of sheepskin or other material tufted in imitation of it.
His name is inscribed alongside: Dudu, rendered by the pictograph for the foot, "du,"
repeated. Dudu was high priest of the god Ningirsu at the time of Entemena, prince of Lagash
(c.2450 BC). Incised to his left is the lion-headed eagle, symbol of
the god Ningirsu and emblem of Lagash, as found in other perforated plaques from Telloh, as
well as on other objects such as the mace head of Mesilim, king of Kish, and the silver vase
of Entemena, king of Lagash. On this plaque, however, the two lions, usually impassive, are
reaching up to bite the wings of the lion-headed eagle. Lower down is a calf, lying in the
same position as the heifers on Entemena's vase.
The lower register is decorated with a plait-like motif, according to some scholars a symbol
of running water. The image may be read as a series of rebuses or ideograms. A priest
dedicates an object to his god, represented by his symbol, and flanked perhaps by
representations of sacrificial offerings: an animal for slaughter and a libation of running
water. The dedicatory inscription, confined to the area left free by the image in the upper
part, runs over the body of the calf: "For Ningirsu of the Eninnu, Dudu, priest of
Ningirsu ... brought [this material] and fashioned it as a mace stand."
Perforated plaques
This plaque belongs to the category of perforated plaques, widespread throughout Phases I
and II of the Early Dynastic Period, c.2800-2340BC, and found at many sites in
Mesopotamia (especially in the Diyala region), and more rarely in Syria (Mari) and Iran
(Susa). Some 120 examples are known, of which about 50 come from religious buildings.
These plaques are usually rectangular in form, perforated in the middle and decorated with
scenes incised or carved in relief. They are most commonly of limestone or gypsum:
this plaque, being of bitumen, is an exception to the rule. The precise function of such
plaques is unknown, and the purpose of the central perforation remains a mystery. The
inscription here at first led scholars to consider them as mace stands, which seems unlikely.
Some have thought they were to be hung on a wall, the hole in the center taking a large nail
or peg. Others have suggested they might be part of a door-closing mechanism. Perforated
plaques such as this are most commonly organized in horizontal registers, showing various
ceremonies, banquets (particularly in the Diyala), the construction of buildings (as in the
Emrys 37
perforated plaque of Ur-Nanshe), and scenes of
cultic rituals (as in the perforated plaque showing "the Libation to the Goddess of Fertility").
The iconography is often standardized, almost certainly an indication that they represent a
common culture covering the whole of Mesopotamia, and that they had a specific
significance understood by all.
Bibliography
André B, Naissance de l'écriture : cunéiformes et hiéroglyphes, (notice), Paris, Exposition du
Grand Palais, 7 mai au 9 août 1982, Paris, Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux,
1982, p. 85, n 42.
Contenau G., Manuel d'archéologie orientale, Paris, Picard, 1927, p. 487, fig. 357.
Heuzey L., Les Antiquités chaldéennes, Paris, Librairie des Imprimeries Réunies, 1902, n 12.
Orthmann W., Der Alte Orient, Berlin, Propylaën (14), 1975, pl. 88.
Sarzec É., Découvertes en Chaldée, Paris, Leroux, 1884-1912, pp. 204-209.
Thureau-Dangin, Les inscriptions de Sumer et d'Akkad, Paris, Leroux, 1905, p. 59.
<https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/perforated-plaque-dudu>
Emrys 38
Figure 4
From: Black, Jeremy, and Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient
Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. London: Brit. Museum, 2008. Print. Page
114
Emrys 39
Figure 5a
Chalcedony Stamp Seal © Trustees of the British Museum
Emrys 40
Figure 5b
Chalcedony Stamp Seal © Trustees of the British Museum
Museum Accession # 130814
Culture/Period: Neo-Assyrian
Date: 700 600 BCE
Height -- 2.4 cm; Width 1.5 cm; Length 1.7 cm
Description: Conical stamp seal: with an oval and slightly convex base. It is made of light
grey chalcedony with a modern gold setting. The base is slightly convex; on the base, a
standing bull [No penis, it may be a cow?] faces left but looks over its shoulder towards the
right; its tail is curved up over its back. Above is an eight-rayed star. Below is a palmette,
and behind is a crescent. On the side Gula, goddess of healing, sits on a throne, the back of
which is decorated with five drill holes representing stars; it rests on her recumbent dog. She
wears a tall, star-topped horned head-dress and a dress with fringes down the front, across the
knees and around the hem; she raises one hand and holds her dog’s lead in the other. A
bearded worshipper stands facing her and raises one hand; he wears a shawl with a deep
fringe wrapped over a fringed robe.
<http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?o
bjectId=368921&partId=1&searchText=Gula+stamp+seal&page=1>.
<http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?o
bjectId=368921&partId=1&searchText=130814&page=1>.
Emrys 41
Figure 6
Amulet with a Lamashtu demon
© MMA
Emrys 42
Accession # 1984.348 in Gallery 406
Date: early 1st Millennium BCE
Geography: Mesopotamia or Iran
Medium: Obsidian
Dimensions: 2 ¼ x 1 13/16 x 3/8 in. (5.7 x 4.7 x 0.9 cm)
Classification: Stone-Ornaments-Inscribed
Credit Line: On view at The Met Fifth Avenue
Purchase, James N. Spear Gift, 1984
Provenance:
Before 1974, said to be from French
private collection; [ca. 1974-1984, Iraj
Lak, London]; acquired by the Museum
in 1984, purchased from Iraj Lak, Naxos
Art Ltd., London.
References
Annual Report of the Trustees of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art 115 (Jul.
1,1984 - Jun. 30, 1985), p. 21.
Harper, Prudence O. 19841985.
"Plaque with Figure of the Goddess
Public Domain
Lamashtu." Notable Acquisitions
(Metropolitan Museum of Art), No.
1984/1985, p. 4.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.1987.
Academic Programs Bulletin, p. 2.
Benzel, Kim, Sarah B. Graff, Yelena
Rakic, and Edith W. Watts. 2010. Art of
the Ancient Near East: A Resource for
Educators. New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, fig. 21, p. 42.
<https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/326961?
sortBy=Relevance&amp;ft=Lamashtu+demon&amp;offset=0&amp;rpp=20&amp;pos=2>
Emrys 43
Figure 7
Lot 0580 Western Asiatic Neo-Assyrian Lamastu Demon Amulet (8th-7th century B.C.E.)
A rectangular obsidian amuletic pendant, with rounded corners and a perforated flange for
suspension, the obverse with an incised image of the demon Lamashtu with head of a bird
facing right, striding right, with and elongated body, her arms raised in a threatening posture,
a seated dog to lower right in profile with comb above; a piglet in profile to lower left with
spindle abovel an uncertain ‘sideways-T’ symbol at top left corner and donkey’s ankle to top
right; a line of cuneiform text below reading: “[T]U6. ÉN. É. NU. RU.” Translating as:
“Incantation”. The reverse with seven lines of cuneiform text, being a truncated version of
‘Lam.” Inc. 11 and reading: “ÉN. É. NU. RU. / DIM.ME / DUMU. AN.NA. / BI. IB?. GU.
LA. / DINGIR. RE. E. NE. KE4. / ZI. AN.NA. H É.P[À] (written over to end of next line) /
KI. A! P À.” The next text translating as: “Incantation, O Lamashtu, daughter of Anu, though
art great among the gods. Be conjured by the heavens and be conjured by the earth”. 9.41
grams, 39 mm (1 ½ “). Fine Condition. Rare.
Provenance: Ex Milton Yondorf collection, Chicago, USA; acquired around 1938; thence by
descent to John D. Yondorf Jr., Chicago, 1948.
Emrys 44
Published: Farber, W. Lamaštu: An Edition of the Canonical Series of Lamashtu Incantations
and Rituals and Related Texts from the Second and First Millenia B.C., Winina Lake,
Indiana, 2017, p. 338, fig.22, (photgraphs by A. Ressman, Oriental Institute); accompanied
by a copy of this published entry, with a second partial extract bearing manuscript ink and
pencil notes on the transcription and translation of phrases. Accompanied by an Art Loss
Register certificate.
Footnotes: In Mesopotamian mythology, Lamashtu was a female demon, monster,
malevolent goddess or demigoddess who menaced women during childbirth and, if possible,
kidnapped their children while they were breastfeeding. She would gnaw on their bones and
suck their blood, as well as being charged with a number of other evil deeds. Lamashtu is
depicted as a mythological hybrid, with a hairy body, a lioness’ head with donkey’s teeth and
ears, long fingers and fingernails, and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown
standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog, and holding snakes. She thus
bears some functions and resemblance to the Mesopotamian demon Lilith. Lamashtu’s father
was the Sky God Anu. Unlike many other usual demonic figures and depictions in
Mesopotamian lore, Lamashtu was said to act in malevolence of her own accord, rather than
at the gods’ instructions. Along with this her name was written together with the cuneiform
determinative indicating deity. This means she was a goddess or a demigoddess in her own
right. She bore seven names and was described as seven witches in incantations. Her evil
deeds included: slaying children; causing harm to mothers and expectant mothers; eating men
and drinking their blood; disturbing sleep; bringing nightmares; destroying crops; infesting
rivers and lakes; and being a bringer of disease, sickness, and death. Pazuzu, a god or demon,
was invoked to protect birthing mothers and infants against Lamashtu’s malevolence, usually
on amulets, such as this one, and statues. Although, Pazuzu was said to be a bringer of
famine and drought, he was also invoked against evil for protection, and against plague, but
he was primarily and popularly invoked against his fierce, malicious rivil Lamashtu.
Sale Date: Tuesday 21st February 2017 to Saturday 25 February 2017 Antiquities and Coins
<https://timelineauctions.com/lot/neo-assyrian-lamastu-demon-amulet/84629/>
Emrys 45
Figure 8a
Emrys 46
Plaque for protection against the female demon Lamashtu
© Louvre Museum © R.M.N.
Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Mesopotamia
Author(s):
Castor Marie-José
Intended to be hung over the patient's bed, this plaque afforded protection from the terrible
female demon Lamashtu, who appears on the front. She was believed to cause many
illnesses. Her husband Pazuzu, shown on the back, is invoked to persuade her to go away and
thus speed the patient's recovery.
Characters in an exorcism ceremony
The exorcism scene is divided into registers. In the upper register, symbols represent the
great cosmic gods that are invoked to heal the sick person: the sun of Shamash, the crescent
moon of Sin, the lightning bolt of the storm god Adad, and the winged disc of Ashur, the
supreme god of the Assyrian Empire. The seven spirits in the second register, each with a
different animal's head, probably have a beneficial function: they seem to be symbolically
guarding the door of the patient's bedchamber. The patient is in the
third register, lying on a high bed surrounded by two figures dressed in fish skins like the
spirits associated with Ea, god of the depths and wisdom. They are probably the priestly
exorcists who are conducting the ritual, with the help of three animal-headed spirits.
Driving out evil spirits
The causes of the illness appear in the lower register. Lamashtu, sitting on a donkey in a boat,
is twice as big as all the other characters. She is presented as physically fearsome, with a
hairy body, lion's head, and talons. She is holding snakes and suckling two lion cubs. An
inscription describes her as "furious and cruel, a dazzling goddess; she is a she-wolf; she
snatches the young man on the path, the girl at play, the child from the arms of his nurse."
The boat is sailing along a river full of fish, which symbolizes the world of
Apsu - the underworld that is home to demons. The gifts and provisions at the side of the
scene are meant to encourage her to set off on her journey back to the underworld. Pazuzu is
standing behind Lamashtu, with one arm raised. Even though his gesture may seem
threatening and, with his scaly winged body, dragon's head, scorpion's tail, and talons, he is
physically as fearsome as his spouse, he is nonetheless there to protect the patient by coaxing
his wife to retreat. Pazuzu is again seen looming up above the
scene clinging on to the back of the plaque. Documents and objects that give protection from
Lamashtu's evil doings were widespread in the 1st millennium in Mesopotamia, a period in
which this type of belief seems to have flourished.
Technical description
Plaque de conjuration contre la Lamashtu, dite "plaque des enfers''
Époque néo-assyrienne
Ancienne collection De ClercqDon H. de Boisgelin, 1967, 1967
Known as the "Hell Plaque"
AO 22205
<https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/>
Emrys 47
Figure 8b
<https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/plaque-protection-against-female-demon-
lamashtu>.
Emrys 48
PAZUZU
Emrys 49
Figures 9a-c
Statuette of the demon Pazuzu with an inscription
© Louvre Museum © R.M.N.
Accession # MNB 467
Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Mesopotamia
Technical Information:
Start of the first millennium BC
Mesopotamia, Iraq
Bronze
H: 15 cm; L: 8.6 cm; Depth: 5.6 cm
Purchased 1872
MNB 467
Near Eastern Antiquities
Author(s):
Kalensky Patricia
Pazuzu was one of the demon-gods of the underworld, although he was sometimes invoked
to beneficial ends. This bronze statuette is one of the finest representations of the figure. The
inscription covering the back of the wings describes the demon's personality: "I am Pazuzu,
son of Hanpa, king of the evil spirits of the air which issues violently from mountains,
causing much havoc."
Emrys 50
A hybrid mythological being
Pazuzu first appeared in the 1st millennium BC in hybrid form, with the body of a man and
the head of a scowling dragon-snake which also has both canine and feline features. He is
represented as a spirit with two pairs of wings and talons like those of birds of prey. He also
has a scorpion's tail and his body is usually depicted covered in scales.
A spirit invoked for protection
The inscription on the back of the wings describes the figure's personality: "I am Pazuzu, son
of Hanpa king of the evil spirits of the air which issues violently from mountains, causing
much havoc." The demon Pazuzu was associated with ill winds, particularly the west wind
which brought the plague. His terrifying,scowling face and his scaly body repel the forces of
evil, which meant that in certain circumstances the
figure was considered a protective spirit. Pazuzu, a demon from the hellish underworld, had
the power of repelling other demons, and was thus invoked for beneficial ends, particularly to
drive his wife Lamashtu back to the underworld. Lamashtu was a demoness who attacked
men to infect them with various diseases.
A popular image during the Assyrian period
Pazuzu was widely depicted in Assyrian art of the 1st millennium BC in the form of
numerous bronze statuettes and protective amulets, made in a variety of materials ranging
from plain terracotta to precious steatite or jasper. During this period, many beliefs and
magical practises were associated with Pazuzu. The ring at the top of the statuette suggests
that this type of object was worn round the neck or hung up in the home, particularly where
invalids were sleeping. Other examples of demon-gods of the underworld, including Bes and
Humbaba, are also attested in the Orient of antiquity.
Acquired in 1872
MNB 467
<https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/statuette-demon-pazuzu-inscription>
Emrys 51
LILITH
Figure 10
MS: 1911.1
1. Text: BIBLE: EXODUS 3:14 15; 2. BIBLE: ISAIAH 40:31 & 60:11 ;
1. IN THE NAME OF ABRAHSIYA THE GREAT HOLY SAVIOUR, KING OF THE
UNIVERSE, AGAIN, BOUND AND SEALED ARE THEY WITH SEVEN SEALS
AND EIGHT BONDS. THE FIRST SEAL IS OF NEBURIZ, THE SECOND OF
NEBURIZ SON OF IRI, THE 3RD OF IBOL SON OF SAGUL, THE 4TH OF
TSURBIN NURBIZ YATGZY’, THE 5TH SEAL IS OF THE MIGHTY BURGIZ,
THE 6TH OF TURMIN, THE 7TH OF TURMIS. WITH THE SEAL OF THE SUN(-
GOD) AND THE SEAL-RING OF THE MOON (-GOD). BY THE MYSTERY OF
Emrys 52
THE EARTH AND THE ANVIL-BLOCK OF HEAVEN, AND BY THE SEAL-
RING OF THE GREAT EL-SHADDAI FOR HOSA’YA SON OF HATAI, AND
HADADOI SON OF KIL.
Descriptions: MS in Hebrew (texts 1-2) and Jewish-Aramaic (text 3) on clay, Near East, 5th-
7th c., 1 incantation bowl, 17.0 x 6.5 cm, 10 lines in Jewish-Aramaic script, drawing of the
demon Lilith with her hands and feet bound.
Commentary: Text 1, Exodus 3:14 15, quoting the Hebrew Bible is among the earliest
known, only preceded by the Dead Sea Scrolls, 4QGen-Exoda and 4QExodb. Text 2, Isaiah
40:31; 60:11, quoting the Hebrew Bible is among the earliest known, only preceded by the 2
Dead Sea Scrolls, 1QIsaA and 1QIsaB, from ca. 100 BC. Incantation or magical bowls are
also called demon traps. They were placed with the bottom up under the floors and thresholds
of the houses in the Near East. The demons were then believed to be trapped inside the bowl
with the magical spells written against them.
The drawing of the demon Lilith with her hands and feet bound, her breasts bare and her hair
undone, shows her as a promiscuous adulteress, who is stripped naked and cast out of the
house. This picture accords well with Lilith’s role as a succubus, who has sexual relations
with men at night in order to propagate a new generation of demons.
Published: To be published by Prof. Shaul Shaked in the series Manuscripts in the Schøyen
Collection. Exhibited: XVI Congress of the International Organization for the study of the
Old Testament, Faculty of Law Library, University of Oslo, 29 July 7 August 1998; 2 The
Warburg Institute: A Special exhibition on the occasion of the workshop “Officina Magica”,
London 15 17 1999. Origin: Near East. Dates 5c 7c CE”
Emrys 53
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/palaeography-collection-introduction/aramaic-hebrew-
syriac/4-6-3-jewish-aramaic/ms-1911-1>
Emrys 54
Figure 11
MS: 2053/198 INCANTATION BOWL TO WARD AGAINST DEMONS
Text: INCANTATIONS” SUPRESSED ARE ALL DEMONS, ALL NO-GOOD-ONES,
ALL PEBBLE-SPIRITS, AND LILITHS, AND MEVAKKALTAS, AND IDOLS AND
GODDESSES, AND BARREN ONES, AND PREGNANT ONES. THIS IS THE
SURPRESSION BY WHICH HEAVEN AND EARTH IS SURPRESSED. YOU ARE ALL
SURPRESSED BY YOUR NAMES, WHETHER THEIR NAMES ARE MENTIONED OR
ARE NOT MENTIONED. ALL THOSE WHO DWEEL WITHIN THIS HOUSE AND
Emrys 55
RESIDE OVER THEIR THRESHOLD AND WHO KILL AND HARM AND APPEAR
IN HATEFUL SHAPES WHICH ARE NOT GOOD.
ON SUNDAY, IN THE MONTH OF AB, I SALUK SON OF HORMIZDUKH,
PERFORMED A MAGIC ACT BY THE NAME OF ME, MESHALLAH SON OF
MESHALLAH. IT IS BURIED IN THE THRESHOLD OF THE HOUSE OF SALUK SON
OF HORMIZDUKH, IT IS BURIED BY MY HAND, AND I SEAL IT AGAINST
YOU THIS IS THE SEAL THAT IS NOT BROKEN, WITH WHICH ARE SEALED
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Description: MS in Jewish-Aramaic on clay, Near East, 5th-6th c., 1. Incantation bowl, 13.0 x
26.2 cm, 12 lines in Jewish Aramaic script, drawing of standing demon at center and with 2
snakes eating eating each others tails along the rim, and 2 pairs of bound demons outside.
Published: The partial quote of the text is preliminary and by permission of Prof. Shaul
Shaked, who will publish the present incantation bowl in the series Manuscripts in The
Schøyen Collection.
Exhibited: University College London, Centre for Jewish studies, and the Warburg Institute:
Babylonian Aramaic Magic Bowls from the Schøyen Collection, A Special exhibition on the
occasion of the workshop “Officina Magica”, London 15 – 17 1999.
Origin: Near East
Dates: 5c 7c CE
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/magical-literature-introduction/asian-african-american-
magic/incantation-bowl-ms-2053-198>
Emrys 56
Figure 12
“MS: 2056/12 ZOROASTRIAN INCANTATIONS AGAINST DEMONS
Text: ZOROASTRIAN INCANTATIONS AGAINST DEMONS, INVOKING AMESHA
SPENTA, WITH A QUOTE OF ATASH NIYAYUESH, THE FIRE PRAYER: ‘WORTHY
OF SACRIFICE IN THE HOUSE OF …..’
Emrys 57
Description: MS in Zoroastrian Middle Persian on clay, Persia, 5th-7th c., 1 incantation bowl,
28.4 x 14.5 cm, 15+1+5 lines in Pahlavi script, drawing of 2 very large demons with feet
chained.
Commentary: Amesha Spenta or Amahraspand (Holy Immortal) is 6 celestial beings,
representing Ahura Mazda’s spiritual powers. The major part of this very extensive text,
written both inside and outside the present large bowl, has so far not been understood. What
has been read is rather preliminary, communicated by a follower of Zoroaster, only reading
from photographs. Incantation or magical bowls are also called demon traps. They were
placed with the bottom up under the floors and thresholds of the houses in the Near East. The
demons were then believed to be trapped inside the bowl with the magical spells written
against them.
Published: To be published by Prof. Shaul Shaked.
Origin: Persia
Dates: 5c 7c CE
<http://www.schoyencollection.com/23-religions/living-religions/23-14-
zoroastrianism/incantations-against-demons-ms-2056-12>
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Mesopotamian Chronicles
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Inana and Bilulu: Translation
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Work Perforated Plaque of Dudu
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Iselin, Claire. "Work Perforated Plaque of Dudu." Perforated Plaque of Dudu. Louvre Museum, n.d. 14 Jan. 2018. <https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/perforatedplaque-dudu>.
Statuette of the Demon Pazuzu with an Inscription | Louvre Museum | Paris. Louvre Museum, n.d
  • Patricia Kalensky
Kalensky, Patricia. "Work Statuette of the Demon Pazuzu with an Inscription." Statuette of the Demon Pazuzu with an Inscription | Louvre Museum | Paris. Louvre Museum, n.d. 14 Jan. 2018. <https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/statuette-demon-pazuzu-inscription>.
Assyrian Languages. Assyrian Languages.org
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Lauffenburger, Olivier, and S. M. Hafidh. "Labatu." Assyrian Languages. Assyrian Languages.org, 17 Jan. 2007. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akkadian/dosearch.php>.