Daemons cause evil silence

Demons and defense against demons in Babylonia and Assyria

WWU Münster Faculty 01

Exercise on biblical archeology / religious history of the ancient Near East: rulers, gods and demons - ancient oriental monuments of the AT in the Vorderasiatisches Museum zu Berlin

Literature: V. Haas, Magie und Mythen in Babylonien, Gifkendorf, 1986, p. 109ff .; E. Ebeling, From the daily work of an Assyrian magical priest, MAOG V.3; Leipzig 1931.

Lecturer: Dr. Rudiger Schmitt

Speakers: Kirsten D. Fricke and Julia Witzel

Assyria and Babylonia IV: Demons and their defense

I. The nature of demons

I.1 Demonizations

- Demons are superhuman powers that have unpredictable and damaging, but sometimes also beneficial effects on people

- humans can cope with them by magic alone

- many demons are not malevolent to humans, especially if they embody the forces of nature

- The essential difference between gods and demons is that the residences of the gods, their temples and other places of worship are located within settlement areas, while the demons live in lonely, wild places which man hardly dares to enter therefore are also excluded from any cultic worship ® the belief in storm demons arose from the hurricanes, which attack the country like horror figures and destroy the cities and plantations and the fires sweeping across the steppe, which destroy the herds and cause famine

- the Mustabbabbu -Demon (sababu = glow, wither) embodies the withering, the embers and the heat

- The incandescent summer heat can be up to 55 degrees in the Babylonian lowlands

- in the process, all grasses and herbs that do not grow on watercourses wither

- the demon Dimitu represents the insatiable, bald-eating swarms of locusts ® of him is said to be out of the Ap š u come out

- another demon who destroyed the plantings Merhu, the nut or stye

- Belief in demons has certainly also developed out of fear of malice, cruelty and sadism of man

- According to this belief, the soul of an evil person will still be able to inflict damage even after death and thus enter the horde of demons

- the dream and the primordial fear of the dark are further origins of demonism

- The organs of the state, such as the police, informers and watchdogs, are demonized: scouts, lurkers and fesslers are the names of such demons

- Gallu, the designation of those demons who come from the underworld, was originally the name of certain police officers and only became the name of a class of demons as a secondary function Rabisu is a commissioner who can also be posted at the underworld gate ® Isum is an overseer of the Underworld Road

- in the same way, the entire hierarchy of a state is transferred to the underworld

- if only because the demons are outside the localities, they are threatening - just like the wild animals or like enemies and strangers

- So the foreign land is demonic and scary

- therefore the enemy or stranger, which is often the same, is demonized, since he threatens the community

- he could stand under the protection of foreign powers, with whose help he might try to bewitch people in unknown and therefore insoluble rites

- The inveterate fear of the feminine, the taboo and demonization of women, meant that especially the women of foreign peoples (Guteans, Elamians, Lubeans, Hanigalbataeans, Hurrites and the Nari peoples in the northeast) were the most dangerous possessions magical powers was said to be

- Many demons also have strange names, Elamite, Sutean or Lullubean, like the demon prince Almu-Almu

- also the name of the childbed and fever demon Lamastu is strange, maybe Elamish or Sutian

- she is therefore seen as a stranger

- Witches are also seen as strangers

- They belong to the blacksmith's trade and the blacksmith is originally a stranger as he constantly changes places in search of pig iron and orders

- the poetry of the plague god Erra originated as the inhabitants of Babylon against their king Adad-apal-iddinawho was an Aramean who raised arms and was bloodily slain by him

- especially in a time of internal and external unrest, man is exposed to the whims of demonic fiends, gloomy and unpredictable forces that he can neither escape nor withstand

- Erra, the god of perdition and his demon followers, have taken over the rule in heaven and on earth, they want to wage war and kill people ® so the invasion of foreign peoples and civil wars becomes a battle of demons against people

- the gods themselves take part in the fighting, they lead the armies themselves and cut down their enemies in a wild frenzy

- e.g. B. becomes the goddess Istar described as wading in the blood of the fallen or enjoying the severed limbs and heads

- Magical abilities such as the 'evil eye' can also be demonized and personified

- the evil eye or the evil eye is the most dangerous weapon of many demons and witches

- A distinction is made between many different types of 'evil eye'

- The original storm or wind demons are probably many of the disease demons who, like the devil in the Middle Ages, enter people through the nose, mouth, ears and anus

- the entrenched demon is itself the disease, d. H. a living being ® some disease demons attack very specific parts of the body: à the Asakku -Demon attacks people on the head

- the Namtaru attacks people by the throat

- the Utukku afflicts people on their necks

- the Alu afflicts man on his chest

- the spirit of the dead attacks people in the middle of their bodies Gallu afflicts man by his hand

- so the name of a demon can also become the name of a disease

- The demon, for example, is fixated on a certain disease Bel uri (= Master of the roof beam), which causes epilepsy

- But the most endangered victims of demons are the small children and women during menses and childbirth, but also the bride and groom on the wedding night

- the demon Ashmedai encounters, for example, women during menstruation

I.2 Origin and Character

- Demons are mostly creatures of the sky god Anu, conceived with the earth goddess Antu, but this mother position plays almost no role

- sometimes also applies Enlil (= the lord of the winds), the god of the land, as her father

- In older, more popular ideas, on the other hand, it is said that demons have no parents or families

- like us the king's witch trial Naramsin shows, unlike humans, demons have no blood

- At this witch test, the alleged witch was stabbed in the side with a sword, if blood came out, then she was rehabilitated and not a witch

- Demons also have no real names; most demon names are only property names, such as B. Pazuzu (= the packer), Asakku (= the one who hits the arm) or Hultuppu (= hitting badly)

- Due to this namelessness, the demons, in contrast to the gods and men, lack individuality

- they are imagined as an anonymous horde of repulsive forces

- this complete lack of individuality - genderless, nameless, familyless, disembodied and bloodless, is also the cause of their dangerousness

- because to fight somebody or something magically, you need a precise knowledge of his name and his nature

- The indefinability, the actual shapelessness or the shadowy nature of the demons correspond to the frequent comparisons with other beings, especially with animals ® also is a special characteristic of demons, their uttering hideous sounds, they roar like cattle, bleat like sheep, grunt like goats, scream like donkeys, bark like dogs or grunt like pigs

- mostly disembodied and invisible, demons like to take on frightening forms, which they can also change

- they often take the form of animals, such as snakes, panthers or lions, but often there are also mixed forms, which shows the diversity of their strength and ferocity ® e.g. Pazuzu (= the packer) has the body of a dog, a scorpion tail, an animal phallus, bird feet and claws, a blunt nose and large, gawking, bulging eyes

- or the fever and child-bed demon Lamastu soon it is a hybrid creature with a lion's head, donkey body and eagle's claws, lithe like a snake or nimble like a mongoose, soon it is provided with wings, it transforms just as the situation requires. ® Demons are often in groups of three or seven summed up ® thereby the calamity that they spread hit people threefold or sevenfold ® to the seven belong the evil seven, who Utukku - Demons, the seven wind demons and less often the seven Lamastu -Demons, whereby the seven names of the demon are meant here

- these summaries and thus systematizations were made by Babylonian priests who thus created a demonology

- but this certainly did not exist in the people's imagination

- In this demonology it is clear that not a single demon, but the whole horde together attacks people and animals and strikes them with diseases

- They attack even the heavens, the domain of the gods, darken the moon and reach for world domination

- when the moon disappears at the end of the fifth Babylonian month, the demons and witches intensify their ominous doings

- these days will be the incantation ritual maqlu completed

I.3 Demonic Places

- the residences of the demons are outside the human settlements

- They are lonely, uncultivated places such as mountains, steppes, deserts and especially in extensive marshland

- All these places, which are uncanny for humans to enter, already lead to the border districts of the underworld, the actual abode of the demons

- others inhabit the freshwater ocean, the groundwater as, in which many prehistoric beings can also be found

- In addition, distant uninhabited mountains teem with demons, of which z. B. The Evil Seven descends, but also the witches, women of the dangerous mountain peoples, who succeeded not only once in destroying Babylon, come from there

- and also the Gallu - Demons live there

- They also like to hang around springs, rivers and in the forests

- The abode of the demons is also the air as the space between heaven and earth

- The air and similarly the mountains are the dwelling places especially of the wind and storm demons, which are invisible when there is no wind, but become visible in sandstorms and hurricanes ® their playground also includes all polluted places such as sewers, heaps of dirt and burial grounds

II. The demons

II.1 The wind or storm demons

- The storms are among the oldest demons in Mesopotamia

- from them a number of other demons have emerged

- in summer it is especially the north and west winds, in winter the cutting cold north storms, which with elementary violence - like dancing demons - stir up sand and dust, darken the sun, chase white wisps of fog and cloud over mountains and valleys and fall like an angry demon in hurricane-like gusts on the settlements of the people

- the Babylonians thought the storms were creatures of the oldest gods of the land

- your father is Anuwho was perhaps once a god of air and wind himself

- just like Enlil, the chief of all gods of the Sumerian pantheon, who is also a god of the skies and storms according to his name

- the storm is the embodiment of the destructive and, in the sense of the Old Testament, of the anti-divine forces

- as Marduk to fight against Tiamat When he opened up, he created seven winds, including the evil wind, the storm wind and the sandstorm

- the south storm is a winged demon and offspring of the moon god ® often seven terrible storms are summarized:

1. the angry south wind
2. the Usumgallu -Dragon whose mouth is open and no one can attack
3. an angry panther
4. Terrible belt snake
5. Horrible worm
6. a rushing one that neither gods nor kings can defeat
7. a storm, a bad wind

- these seven are the messengers of the god of heaven, but their abode is the underworld

- they walk around in the mountains and in the steppe or live in the swamps

- their power is so enormous that they not only terrify humanity, but also threaten the gods

- together with the sun god and the Istar try to usurp world domination ® through incantations and certain rituals, every king or normal mortal can be saved from the demons

II.2 The bad and the good seven

- With all oriental peoples, the number seven has a special meaning, probably because the moon phases cause the seven cycle in the division of time ® the period of seven days was therefore referred to as the full period ® something seven times thus represents something whole, perfect

- the group of demons, which is summarized as the Evil Seven, consists of the Evil One A-battery, the bad one Namtaru, the bad one Utukku, the bad one Alu, the evil spirit of the dead Etmmu, the bad one Gallu and the evil god Ilu

- This group of the Evil Seven is often inseparable from the seven wind demons, indeed they seem largely identical to one another

- The Evil Seven probably evolved from the seven storm winds

- Like most demons, the Evil Seven are also the offspring of the sky god and his wife Antu, or the goddess of the earth

- their relationship to Anu is also expressed in the fact that they are the messengers of the god of heaven

- on the other hand, we encounter them as messengers of Enlil or des Namtaru, who in turn is the messenger of Ereskigal is

- see Annex Text 1 (Haas, p. 135/36)

- after an evocation against the winged spirits of the dead, who are also grouped together to form a group of seven, the evil seven dwells in the depths of the Apsu

- they are sexless, i.e. neither male nor female

- they attack gods and people and once also shine the god Ea To have overcome: "The Seven the Feßler Eas". (see: Text of an old incantation relief)

- if they attack a person, they strike him with various diseases, because each of them takes possession of a certain part of the body

- Blood-hungry, like vampires, is Böse Sieben ® see appendix text 2 (Haas, p.137)

- Figures of the Evil Seven are created in incantations ® see appendix text 3 (Haas, p. 137)

- In the wake of the Evil Seven we also find an Elamite goddess, the demoness Narundawho is called the sister of seven

- the lord and master of the Evil Seven is the demon Almu or Alamu ® they are occasionally assigned to the underworld god Nergal

- In Babylonian astrology the Evil Seven was identified with the Pleiades, which were also symbolized by a seven-headed serpent

- the bad seven is now facing a good seven

- they are the sons of Enmesarra or the seven ways of Eridu ® is also to them as a sister Narunda put aside

II.3 Alu, the disembodied ghost

- an ancient wind demon is the monster Alu (= "Devastating storm, storm" according to the oldest Sumerian spelling; "bad, evil" according to the more recent Sumerian spelling) ® appears personified Alu as a faceless and disembodied ghost that "throws people down like a safety net or envelops them like a garment"

- as you would expect from a storm demon, so also resides Alu in the mountains ® it is also called "mountain Alu -Demon"

- it causes headache to people

- Epilepsy is occasionally mentioned with him

III.4 Lama š tu, the child-bed demon

- the child-bed demon Lamastu was so feared because child mortality was very high due to the dangerous birth

- Mother and child were protected more through incantation rites and amulets than through hygienic measures

- Already during the pregnancy, but also afterwards, the mother is exposed to the attacks of the demons in the highest degree

- In the last months before the birth and a few weeks after the birth, it is the demon Pazuzu the mother and child threatened

- but the insidious one is even more dangerous Lamastuthat with the demons Labasu and Ahha- too forms a trinity

- also Lamastu is the daughter of the sky god and the earth goddess

- it has a total of seven names, which the summoning priest must all name in order to be able to fight it effectively:

1. Lamastu, daughter of Anu
2. Sister of the street gods
3. Sword that splits the head
4. the one that causes inflammation
5. the goddess whose face is hideous
6. Cause of concern
7. Seized by Irnina

- If the conjuring priest forgets a name, it is not finally banned and falls to its victim with its forgotten name

- it has many different shapes: it appears as a hybrid creature with a lion's head, a donkey's body and eagle's claws, or inconspicuous and nimble like a snake or a mongoose, or it flies up like a bird, or its points are spotted like those of a leopard, her hideous visage green and pale as clay; it has fire in its body and it is provided with wings

- In addition, her breasts are bloodied, her hair is loose and tangled hanging down from her skull, she sprays snake venom on people, animals and plants and the path she walks is marked by her abomination

- if it goes along a path it inhibits all growth, it tears blossoms from the trees and knocks the fruits to the ground

- it lets the vegetation wither

- and brings pain, suffering, sickness and death

- with fever and chills she throws people down ® voluptuously she feasts on people's pain

- she counts the days of the pregnant woman and when the child is freshly born, she snatches it from the nurse and nurses it with poisonous milk

- Human flesh and human blood is their food

- it makes women sterile and men impotent ® it is the ultimate manifestation of evil ® to deter them there are different possibilities

- she hates donkeys, pigs or horses, so tufts of hair from these animals or pork fat play in the defense magic of the Lamastu a major role

- the fear of Lamastu was so widespread that such incantations have even been found in distant Asia Minor in one of the old Assyrian trading colonies there ® because they were also used in later times in Hittite texts under their Sumerian names Dim (= Lamastu) is called, it turns out that it was feared also by the Hittites was ® see appendix text 4 (Haas, p. 144/45)

III.5 Pazuru, the packer

- Pazuzu, the packer, was probably originally also a storm wind, namely the devastating westerly wind that descended from the mountains

- He is depicted as a hybrid creature with four wings, claw feet, paw hands, a tail with a scorpion sting, a grim grimace and often long, curved horns ® his entourage includes the westerly winds that he brings with him from the underworld located in the west

- his father is the otherwise little known God Hanbi (= he conjures)

- against the power of Pazuzuwho like that Lamastu the women in childbed are protected by amulets with the image of the demon, as if he were startled by his ugly image of himself

- With the help of various magical practices, he could also become a kind of auxiliary demon to fight his own kind

- Depicted on an amulet, it protects against the attacks of the Lamastu

III.6 Gallu, the angry devil

- the Gallu -Demons are sexless beings

- they are also grouped into a group of seven

- when they rise from the underworld, they spread horror, disease and death

- They roam the cities and at night block the way of those returning home and mercilessly kill their victims

- was in the time of Assurbanirpal Gallu, similar to our usage of "devil", a bad swear word for opponents

- this is how an angry person was also called Gallu -Demon called

III.7 Asakku, the corpse star

- the demon Asakku (= the one who hits the arm) is the embodiment of death and plague

- he is also a creature of the sky god and the earth goddess ® he also appears in seven, but also in nine forms:

1. Lugaledinna
2. Latarak
3. Abgula
4. Equ
5. Muhra
6. Kusu
7. Silakku
8. Anunki
9. Aurunki

- these are names that partly also bear underworld deities

- in demons or lists of illnesses he often appears together with Namtaru (= the cold shower) and the spirits of the dead

- With humans, he is particularly interested in the human head

- He penetrates the body of his victim and sets up his home there

- as a disease name means the name of the demon Asakku roughly "emaciation"

- to the Asakku - Several myths have formed demons, the most important of which is that of the battle of God Ninurta against the demon

- Although cultic worship was reserved for the gods, strangely enough, cult shrines for the demon were also attached to streets and gates

- the constellation in which the Babylonians recognized the body of the demon is called the "corpse star"

III.8 The witches

- the fear of the Witches, is an age-old fear of men of women, of their knowledge of medicinal or deadly plants and of the realm of menstruation and childbirth ® in Babylon there was no fixed line between ordinary women and real women Witches, the herb women, the wet nurses and midwives

- they should all have a demonic power

- often led the profession of wet nurse Hierodules whose magic was considered very dangerous

- the demon Pazuzu was raised e.g. by such a "vicious wet nurse"

- Witches are almost as terrible beings as the demonesses themselves, who embody the negative forces of the feminine

- such as. Lamastuthat kills children and brings death and ruin

- The witches, the women of dreaded foreign peoples, have similar traits as they: the Gutaean women, the Elamite women, the Lullubean women or the Hurrian women and the women of the Nairi peoples , makes them as dangerous to humans as demons

- According to the Babylonian view, there is hardly any difference between the activities of demons and the independently thought of curses, slander, spells and witches. Like demons, they are summarized in a number seven

- and like demons they come down from the loneliness of the mountains into the villages at night

- they are under the protection of the goddess Istarwho is a magical and demonic goddess herself

- the goddess, the demoness and the witches share common anarchic traits: lawlessness, riot and all chaos is their passion

- they frighten peaceful people

- they rob men of their fertility and women of their fertility ® they disturb the dead

- they destroy the pastures and slaughter the cattle

- many incantations against witches can be found in the extensive work of incantation Maqlu

- The ritual gets its name from the means he used in particular, figures of witches and magic by fire, i.e. by burning (Maqlu = Burn), to destroy ® see Appendix Text 5 (Haas, p. 158)

- The magic practices of witches are varied

- If they want to bewitch someone, they get hair, saliva, fingernails, clothes and other objects that have been in close contact with them

- because all of these things are associated with the personality of their previous owner or wearer ® they are, so to speak, permeated with his “soul matter”

- Hair, nails, but also bones are also the incorruptible parts of the corpse, in which the soul matter remains even after death

- Witches draw magical circles, make figures, so-called revenge dolls, of their victims and bury them near a corpse

- Through this magic of analogy, the person affected is of course exposed to death

- but it means even more, since a corpse, death itself, is perceived as something demonic, the contact with this corpse is extremely polluting

- The summoning priests also use the same manipulation

- They also need the personality of their patient, namely hair, fingernails, urine or sweat

- They mix this with clay and make a figure out of it to represent the sick person

- the demons are deceived and take possession of the figure and leave their victim alone

III. Defense against demons

III.1 The summoning priests of the city of Eridu

Eridu, the city of the magic god Enki-ea and the conjuring priest, indeed the city of the conjuring arts in general, was situated on the bay of the Persian Gulf and is one of the oldest cities in southern Mesopotamia. Archaeologically, its foundation can be traced back to at least 5300 BC Trace back to BC.

According to the idea of ​​the Babylonians heard Eridu with four other cities - Badtibira, Larak, Sippar and Š uruppak - to the five places that existed before the great flood. The city god of Eridu is Enki-ea, the god of the south water ocean Apsu, of wisdom, artistry and accordingly all magic. In this way he becomes the protector of civilization and culture. In this capacity it suits him Mummu, his vizier, a divine being who embodies wisdom, aside; likewise also the wise sons of Eriduthat is extensively related to the seven sons of God Enme š arra are identical.

The son of Enki-ea is the god with the probably Hurrian name Asalluhu. Asalluhi but is also one of the seven names of the Marduk become. He is the summoning priest of the gods; he knows the secrets of the demons, which he tells his father, in order to then receive from him the instructions for the appropriate ritual. This god with the strange name and his cult city far in the northeast of Babylonia Kuara was with Marduk, the city god of Babylon, equated. That way could Marduk to become the lord of the summoning priests.

In the service of God Enki-ea stand the summoning priests or exorcists - “the wise sons of Eridu “ - A š ipu or Ma š ma š u called whose office of course Eridu originates.1 In the earliest times, of course, long before the written tradition, the expulsion of demons was certainly not practiced by a priestly class, but by unrelated, free charismatic persons and probably also without a fixed rite.

The A š ipu - The priest was primarily an exorcist who not only chased the demons out of the sick person's body, but also appeared wherever their malevolent nature was to be expected (inauguration of a canal, building a house, making idols or deaths). The invocations of the priests are usually of divine origin - they are mostly the invocations of the magical god Enki-ea or that of the Asalluhi.2

We find this assumption that magic formulas are of divine origin both among the Hittites and in ancient Egypt; there is Thoth, the deity of wisdom, also a master of conjuring.3

The Babylonian conjuring priest not only recites the divine formulas, but even identifies himself with the magic god Enki-ea, he is virtually identical with God during his dangerous exorcistic activity.4 The conjuring priest is also outwardly like God; he wears a fish mask, whereby he takes on the fish shape of the Ea. In this way the priest protects himself, irritates the demons and frightens them at the same time.

Usually, however, the liturgical costume of the conjuring priest was not the fish mask, but white linen; the white linen robe in Eridu was consecrated, certainly had symbolic power through its color, because white is the color of fire, light and sun and so of course also of purity. For special cases of his exorcistic art, the priest also dresses in red robes, because red is a demonic, but also apotropaic (warding off evil spirits and influences) color.5 The necessity of an “official costume” arises from the dangerousness of exorcistic activity, because the priest enters into direct intercourse, and under certain circumstances even into a bitter fight with the demon.

The rites that the priest opposes to the rage of terrible beings, demons, spirits of the dead and witches are varied. The most important basis of their ritual is the knowledge of the water rites of Eridu. The holy cleansing water was in Eridu in the temple of Ea in one as Ap š u designated vessel. Water is that materia magica par excellence - it is the holy water of the Ea.

The ablution priests Ramku, whose office is also on Eridu is led back, perform their atonement rites in the "ablution house"Bit rimki. Groups of priests fulfill similar functions Nisak ​​ku and I š ippu, their protectors too Ea in its manifestation Nunurra is. The waters of the springs, des Apsu, but also the river water, especially the water of the Euphrates and des Tigris but other rivers are mentioned as well. Even the water of the sea has this property.

Since fire has purifying power in addition to the element of water, the fire god appears under the name Girra, Gibil or Nusku towards demons and witches; his job is to burn the witch pictures.

The place of the ritual or incantation acts was mostly the house of the sick or possessed. Disease demons are persuaded, for example, to let go of the body parts of the human being and instead to seize those of an animal provided. There is of course also magical literature. A Babylonian guide to the “art of conjuring” provides information about the scope of this literature. It was used for the purpose of learning the lamentations and liturgies of conjuration in Sumerian and Akkadian languages. This text contains a list of various works of conjuring art, some of which are quoted according to their series names, and others according to their opening words. Summoning series are collections of various individual summons, each with the same intention. A series created in this way could then either be performed or recited as a whole, or only in parts. The spells often end with the same mantra. So if the opportunity arises, not only this or that saying should have been recited on its own, but ideally all of them together. The incantations were performed or sung rhythmically. Sometimes the words, to increase their intensity, were whispered in a bull's right ear.

But incantations can also be shouted. The screaming of the incantations is certainly connected with the fact that the demons also utter hideous noises. Since one believed less in a natural origin of diseases, but only in those caused by demons, the healing methods are mostly of an exorcistic-aprtropean nature. Naturally, this primarily affects brain and mental illnesses, epilepsy and hysteria. This is probably also the reason why head diseases, fever, chills, screaming, etc. are often mentioned among the diseases listed in incantation rituals.

III.2 Props and exorcisms

In addition to the powerful incantation words, magical tricks and defensive formulas, the incantation priest has all kinds of props at his disposal in addition to his liturgical clothing.In addition to certain animals, this includes many other objects, e.g. various drums and timpani; these were used, for example, in the case of a lunar eclipse, which was perceived as a state of death of the celestial bodies and nature, including humans, in resuscitation rites of the moon and nature.

These instruments have high magical powers and therefore also have a cleansing effect; thus we find the copper kettledrum among magical devices that attract or remove impurities. The "fur of the big bull" has high magical powersSugugallu. This fur, like some other animal fur, is able to absorb impurities. The "skin of the great bull" was even deified and with the sky god Anu and the goddess Nindagud identified. At the beginning of the New Year, the temple is cleansed in Babylon with the skin of a previously decapitated sheep.6 The atonement kid should also have a purifying power Maš hulduppu at the sick bed.

Many different herbal substances also have a protective character:

- The wood of the cornel cherry tree (the incantation priest touches the lower end of the branch with fire at the bedside and holds the burnt wood over the head of the sick person)

- Date palm

- Kiš canoe -Tree (It has an exorcistic effect and is placed on the head of the sick person) A kind of rod of the conjuring priest is an als Hultuppu designated device that appears together with the cornel cherry wood and on which the name of the god Ea is written. In a similar function as the cornel cherry wood, an unspecified metallic object is also used, Urudnigkalagu Called “the strong copper”.

A real weapon that the priest uses against the demons is a kind of stick or boomerang, Gamlu called, made from cornel cherry wood or from the wood of the Kiš canoe Tree is made. This weapon is itself demonized and is later also an alias for as a constellation Marduk-Jupiter: The star Gamblu is “the weapon in the hand of Marduk ". In the hand of the summoning priests, it shrinks back demons.

That the power, especially of gods weapons, can be strengthened by means of magical practices, is made clear by a northern Syrian-Ugaritic text, where it is reported how Kotar, the god of craft, the war clubs of Ba`a l put spells and names on them.

In addition, there were a myriad of other devices, such as figures of gods and symbols. So the ram's head put that on a pole Ea, a lance Marduk, a lamp den Nusku, a lightning bolt den Adad and a scorpion die I š ara There were also demon figures, dolls of humans and animals, magic cords and much more. The most important here are the Apkal- lu -Figures of the seven wise men of Eridu.7 These seven Apkallu - Shapes and knew their Sumerian names too Berossos, the Bel - or Marduk -Priest of Babylon at the time Alexander the Great. Berossos has a no longer existing work, "Die Babyloniaka". Written, but excerpts of which appear in later Greek writers. Berossos now names seven such names in Greek rendering, which are combined with the Sumerian names on one Warka can compare the original cuneiform tablet. The board out Warka notes that the seven wise men lived before the great flood:

1. Warka table 2. Berossos

- u 4 - D to Oannes

- u 4 - D an-du 10 -ga Deuteros Annaedotos

- en-me- du 10 -ga Enedokos

- en-me-galam-ma Eneugamos

- en-me-bul ù g-g á Eneubyblos

- D an-en-l í l-da Anaementos

- ù -tu-ab Anodaphos

Berossos also knows to report that the seven wise men were hybrid beings - half fish, half human - who rose from the sea in prehistoric times to bring culture to human beings. The most famous of them is Oan or. Oannes been. These strange figures of the seven wise men, but also a whole scenario of apotropaic figures of gods and symbols, which are posted everywhere in the household in which the cleaning is to be carried out, one encounters in the second panel an incantation ritual of the large series Bit meseri "House of Enclosure". The ritual series "House of Enclosure" serves to remove all un-

all good from the palace. Probably the cause of the purification is the illness of a member of the royal family.8

III.3 Primeval beings and defensive magic

Marduk was able to overcome the primeval beings, but they are still far superior to the demons. If you use their help in the incantation ritual and set up figures of them at the house entrances, you are protected from evil influences. That one could use that demonic power for the protection and benefit of man was through the victory of Marduk over the forces of chaos.

The Sumerian city prince of Laga š, Gudea, let Baš mu - and Mu š ha šš u - Attach snakes to the gate lock of the temple. Door locks were also in the shape of the dragon U š umgallu manufactured. Together with the fish people and wild dogs, a scorpion person guards an entrance to the temple Enhursagkurkurra in Assyria. Agum kakrime, the Kassite king of Babylon, let the monsters of Tiamat, including the angry dog, on the doors of the one he restored Marduk temples Esangila, the Herodotus describes in detail, depicts - there also stood the great lion and the monster Lahmu Guard. Mythical creatures in the temple of Marduk-Bel also knew Berossos.

A representation of the wild primeval bird Anzu kept the demons and witches from the temple in Nippur from.

As do at least some of the monsters of the Tiamat into the retinue of their conqueror Marduk came in, so became that bird Anzu to the emblem of his conqueror Ninurta. Besides other beings, he also guards the temple of God Nungal.

As the Assyrian king Sennacherib the renewal of the temple in Assyria he had a scorpion man made of gold, four fish men made of bronze, and a few other figures set up, among other things.

Winged bullmen too - the protective demons Š edu and Lamassu - were placed at the entrances of the palaces in the Neo-Assyrian period.

In incantation rituals the priests often call on these beings or depict them as clay figures so that their presence during the magical acts helps to ward off or subdue demons.

To the presence of the Baš mu -Snake, which is supposed to destroy the demon, to effect during the summoning acts, figures of the same are made.

Writing spells on these apotropaic figures is a popular custom.

The primeval beings are also needed for magical acts during conjurations; z.

B. during a ritual in which the statuettes of the seven wise men are made.

Against this background, namely the overcoming of primeval creatures, which was only possible for a ruling god, the snake and dragon amulets, still popular in the Orient today, are to be understood; It was said of such snake beings that “there is no incantation against them”.

The primeval creature, the fish man, has retained its apotropaic function in the Orient to this day.9

III.4 The magic power of amulets

The amulet is a power-filled object, the power of which works where the amulet is located. This power can act apotropaically; But it can also exercise compulsive acts, in which case it is used in particular for the magic of analogy; it can further strengthen the strength of its wearer: the strength of the amulet is added to the strength of the wearer; this applies to both a man and a god.

The powers of the amulets can come from the powers of gods, demons and animals, if their images or symbols are represented on them; they can also be found in plants or stones, the forces of which are expressed in colors, smells or shapes. Basically, clothing is also charged with power for people with magical thinking, because they too can have a power-increasing effect; this relates to both the color and the material. If the garment is made of animal materials, the forces of the respective material are transferred to the wearer.

It is similar with the color of the robe; red has a demon-repellent effect; There are therefore powers inherent in color. The tattooing of the body and the make-up are also of magical origin. The deities Marduk and I š tar put on make-up to increase their magical powers. The original amulet character of the jewelry is largely known today. Even gods can according to that Enuma eliš do not do without amulets: Marduk keeps fighting Tiamat with his lips an eye amulet made of red paste to avoid the evil eye; In his hand he holds a magic herb to protect himself against the poison of the enemy. As yourself I š tar When she went to the underworld, she had to take off all her clothes, belts and jewelry "according to the old rules of the underworld" and succumbed naked, that is, defenseless, to the death look of Ere š kigal.10 Now to the different types of amulets:

- Sealing cylinders: These are worn around the neck with a cord. They depict gods, protective demon figures and a wide variety of animals and symbols. Their color will also have had a magical meaning. Of course, these seal cylinders are primarily used for business purposes, but they also had the character of amulets. Through this religious representation man was in constant proximity to his God and could therefore hardly be attacked.

- Animal pendant: This amulet shape is one of the oldest in Mesopotamia (4000-3500 BC). They are cut from different colored stones or from shells. They are depictions of lions, bulls, sheep, hares, birds of prey and birds with lions' heads. The fish seemed to be very popular; even then it was felt to ward off demons. In the beginning of the 2nd millennium date amulets depicting frogs, toads, and turtles.

- Terracotta figures: These appeared in ancient Babylonian times. Among them was the naked goddess type - that is, one I š tar - Shape - particularly common. Strangely enough, these figurines are found remarkably often as grave goods.

- So-called guardian figures: These were made from the 13th to the 10th century BC. Often used for apotropaic purposes. they provide Gilgame š and Enkidu, the seven wise men Eridu, the twins, the two Dumuzi -Shape Latarak and the " Honey man There was a custom to hide such and other apotropaic figures, some of which are still provided with remains of blue, black and white paint, but also other magical objects in temples, palaces and houses. They were installed at the gates, placed under the floors, buried in the corners of the courtyards or hidden in other parts of the building. Most of them were placed in boxes, made of bricks or other containers. These containers contained small statuettes of gods made of clay, more rarely made of metal, guardian figures male and female, bird genius, scorpion genius, fish genius, goat fish, bull people, lion people, lion centaurs, snakes, birds, standing and sitting dogs, but also various symbols of gods such as crescent moon and lightning bundles, miniature weapons such as sword and ax, hooks, amulet pendants made of frit and lead, rings, animal skeletons, plant remains and other apotropaic objects. Some of the guardian spirits are also provided with inscriptions from which the meaning of these figures clearly emerges; e.g. "Messenger of the gods, the leader who conquers all storms".

- Figures of gods: They can be recognized by their horned caps and are often depicted in attacking positions. They usually wear a long robe and a belt with weir hangings and a metal dagger. In the raised right hand they wield a copper sword, a copper ax or a club.

- Geniuses: They are occasionally provided with tools that they need during ritual activities - vessels, branches, sticks and standards. The greatest find of these magical devices for protection against evil spirits comes from Assyria from the so-called house of the conjuring priest. Twelve pairs of clay reliefs with a thick white coating and round sculptural figures painted with black and red paint were found in cavities made of raised bricks under the floor.

- Pazuzu - Figures: These pendants were widely used. They were attached to walls and doors, but also worn on the body and even given to the grave. Such an amulet primarily protects against the demon himself; he also frightens other demons with his grimace. Such an amulet was doubly effective if it also contained a powerful spell, i.e. it was a composite amulet.

- Amulet tablets: These only contained the written word. The incantation texts are often excerpts from a specific collection.

- Dogs: These clay animals are buried on the doorstep or placed by the window to prevent the demoness from entering. There are several such dogs in Ninve and Nimrud rediscovered.

- Amulet demon heads: e.g. des Pazuru or des Humbala

- Erra - Seal: This seal is written on boards, one of which has an eyelet for hanging. The amulet tablets against the plague god are also made from this seal Erra derived that were worn around the neck.

- In addition to these amulets described, there were also those that were supposed to work solely through the power of matter. Such materials are stones, minerals, but also vegetable and animal substances.

- Amulets of foreign origin: These were also considered to be particularly magical. A pedestal in the bottom layer of the brick I š tar -Tempels in Assyria In addition to other magical devices, there was also a Hittite amulet made of lapis lazuli, which represented the Hittite god of the hallway.

Since the 2nd millennium, amulet pendants have been encountered in the entire area of ​​the Near East, often made in filigree technique, which were worn around the neck. In the form of terracottas, the "naked goddess" has also been given to the grave of the dead since the Babylonian period. Often put the amulets I š tar - and symbols of the sun or the crescent moon. There were even real amulet chains, the most famous of which was made Dilbat originates. It consists of seven pendants, namely, the sun disk, the crescent moon, the lightning bolt of the weather god, two statuettes of intercessory goddesses and two disks with eight-pointed stars.

Real fertility amulets for women are those pendants that depict the naked goddess. In these figures, the breasts, belly hubs and the pudding area are always emphasized too clearly.

There are so-called stone amulet lists, from the ancients as turru "Ribbon" called, because here stones and minerals are listed that were hung around the neck as necklaces, that is, strung on a ribbon. These amulets consist of six ribbons:

- The first tape is used "to make the access of the sun god ineffective", "against disorder"

- The second tape is used “to reconcile his god and his goddess, for the palace officials to bring about profit, abundance and wealth”.

- The third volume serves "against the calamities of a bad day, month or year."

- The fourth volume "to make God have compassion for man."

- The fifth volume "to make the access of all gods ineffective."

- The sixth volume bears the note: “An amulet in the shape of a dog, to be worn on the larynx, made of gold, a white-spotted stone in a gold setting sahhu - Stone in gold setting, four jasper pearls, one of which is in the shape of a crescent moon. "

- In relation to all six bands, the note: “In sum, six amulets for the reconciliation of Gula, Š amaš and I š tar.“

Amulets worn by powerful and successful people have been tried and tested in terms of their effectiveness.

Magic stones were not only worn on necklaces, but also as rings.

From the number of amulets that are made from plant matter, the date core amulets or that would be Cucumber god - call amulet. The powers of apotropaic plants are occasionally emphasized in incantations.

When making amulets, it is necessary to recite incantations. Through these recitations, the materials to be used are loaded, as it were, with the forces contained in the incantation words.

Personal names can also have a defensive character. So could the name Kubu Protecting the “fetus” from a miscarriage wandering around as a ghost of the dead.

A particularly interesting amulet, like that Pazuzu -Amulets that seem to have been hung in the room of a woman giving birth are the amulet of Arslan Tas, in the valley of the Sruj. It dates from the 7th century. v. chr. and contains a Canaanite incantation written on the obverse against the child-murdering demoness, who is known as " the flying one “, „ the lamb's strangler " and as Lilith referred to as. In structure and form, the incantation text clearly draws on old Babylonian traditions, but at the same time shows elements that we encounter again in late Jewish magic.

The reverberation

The demons of Babylon in Islam and Christianity

It is a recurring development that the gods and demons of an old religion are not simply extinguished in the new and neighboring religious ideas, but are remembered precisely in the popular religion. The great gods sink into demons or are merged with the old demons and gain a new identity through a new name, whereby their properties are largely retained.

Here, above all, the ideas about I š tar get that with the demoness Lilith (which runs through the legendary world and through the apocryphal writings of the Old Testament) merged. Above all, however, the shape of the seven stands out. The seven encounter in Syrian magic texts as angels. seven Djinn or there are demon princes in the Arab spirit world in Egypt: the seven are differentiated according to color. Seven evil stars, namely the seven demonic sons of the Ruha, play a major role in the Mandaean religion. The superstition of modern Palestine knows seven demon princes, a seven-headed serpent, but also according to the Babylonian idea of ​​the Good sieves n, seven angels and seven virgins as good spirits.


1 The name of the Asaphim singing guild mentioned in the Old Testament, but probably pre-Israelite, also goes back to the name Ašipu.

2 "This incantation is not my own, it is the evocation of Ea and Asalluhi." (Haas, p. 165)

3 We encounter similar ideas in the Old Testament when Moses receives all the instructions from YHWH.

4 "I am the man of Ea, I am the man of Damkina, I am the messenger of Marduk." (Haas, p. 166)

5 “I have clothed myself against you in a red robe that inspires terror; a red dress of terrifying shine, I pulled clean against you. "(Haas, p. 167)

6 Parr. in Lev 16?

7 Cf. on the function: Section Assyria and Babylonia II and III.

8 Course of this ritual Haas, pp. 180-189.

9 As a silver amulet, it protects women, especially pregnant women, and also children from the ghosts of harm. (Haas, p. 195)

10 The Sumerian version of this poem summarizes the goddess's clothing, jewelry and make-up as her seven me-powers - these are divine, power-charged objects. (Haas, p. 199)