Getty Images/Corbis Historical/Frank Trapper, Not to be confused with the demon snake Apep, Uraeus is a rearing cobra symbolizing the majesty of the Egyptian pharaohs. There are generally 2 types of evil spirits: The Babylonians and Assyrians borrowed had many names for spirits including utukku (‘spirit), Alu (‘demon’), Lilu (a ghost, the feminine versions include Lilitu and Ardat Lili), and Gallu (‘devil’). Being the goddess of alcohol, she was born out of fresh sparkling water and was said to brew alcohol daily. According to legend, after a person died, the Egyptian god Anubis weighed the deceased's heart on a scale against a single feather from Ma'at, the goddess of truth. The first part represents the image of a sacred goddess and the union of marriage between fresh and salt water, and in the second form she has monstrous associations for she is the symbol of primordial chaos. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Ereshkigal brings Inanna back to life. Shala is said to be the wife of Dagon, the god of fertility, and consort to Hadad, the storm god. She has been called various names such as Ninmakh, Mama, Makh, Aruru, and Mamma. Tiamat is the primordial Babylonian goddess of the salt sea who mated with the god of fresh water, Abzu, to produce younger gods. In a Babylonian epic on creation, she gives birth to the very first generation of gods. What's more, the subterranean movements of Apep were said to cause earthquakes, and its violent encounters with Set, the god of the desert, spawned terrifying thunderstorms. She is often represented by the Greek symbol Omega, with a knife. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, she is represented as a spoiled and short-tempered femme fatale. The ekimmu were the angry spirits of persons dead but unburied, prowling the earth until they found rest beneath the ground—a characteristic phase of the traditional vampire. Their power and importance cannot be overstated.

Sumerians say that while she was in Kur, the earth became barren giving rise to the season of summer. In the ancient poem Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, she is given the designation of Inanna’s elder sister. He later impregnated her again while she was disguised as a gatekeeper, leading to the birth of the god of death, Nergal. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly.

Yet another chimera, like Ammit, the Griffin features the head, wings, and talons of an eagle grafted onto a lion's body. For making her pregnant, Enlil was taken to the underworld with Ninlil. Wikimedia Commons A mythological chimera composed of the head of a crocodile, the forelimbs of a lion, and the hind limbs of a hippopotamus, Ammit was the personification of the man-eating predators so feared by ancient Egyptians. Like many other Egyptian monsters on this list, Ammit has been linked (or even conflated) with various obscure deities, including Tarewet, the goddess of conception and childbirth, and Bes, the protector of the hearth. The Assyrians adopted beliefs from their Sumerian predecessors, including belief in two classes of demons with vampire-like tendencies: the ekimmu and the utukku.

They were responsible for anything bad that happened from destructive winds, pestilent fevers, and disease to headaches, petty quarrels, hatred and jealousy. Agriculture and compassion are co-related when it comes to Sumerian mythology as a bountiful harvest shows the compassion of the gods. Below, you'll discover the eight most important monsters and mythical creatures of ancient Egypt, ranging from the crocodile-headed chimera Ammit to the rearing cobra known as Uraeus. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Another source says that she is the daughter of Antu and Anu. They would go out at night, enter homes through holes and crevices, and torture their victims. While they are trying to take her out of the underworld, two demons come and ask for someone else as her replacement. They are Seven: Demons and Monsters in the Mesopotamian Textual and Artistic Tradition She had multiple functions such as fertility, fishing, wildlife, social justice, and prophecy, and had a close association with water just like her father. Centuries old depictions show her carrying a double-headed mace and sometimes a lion-headed scimitar. She is known for the creation of both mortal and divine entities. Other than that, though, all sphinxes serve pretty much the same function: to zealously guard treasures (or repositories of wisdom) and not allow travelers to pass unless they can solve a clever riddle. The daughter of Uruk and Inanna, Ninkasi was born to be one of the healers of Enki’s eight wounds. Inanna travels to the underworld with the aim of extending her powers.

The 10 Oldest Ancient Civilizations That Have Ever Existed, Top 10 Most Worshiped Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Top 10 Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient Greece…, Top 11 Inventions and Discoveries of Mesopotamia, Epic of Gilgamesh: Summary in 10 Interesting Points, Top 21 Fascinating Facts about the Ancient Persian Empire, Top 12 Surprising and Fascinating Facts about Ancient Sumer, Top 13 Surprising and Fascinating Facts about Ancient Babylonia, Top 12 Fascinating Facts about Ancient Mesopotamia. Her myth is mostly related to that of the Sumerian legend of the descending of Inanna to the underworld. This overview of Babylonian and Assyrian demonology explains the various classes of demons.

Because of ancient Mesopotamian texts and incantations, we know that demons were closely associated with the number _____. Blog. Her name means “the Lady of the Mountains” and comes from Lugale, a poem in which the god of war, Ninurta, defeats the demon Asag and builds a mountain from the corpses of his stone army. As goddess of prophecy, she determined the future by oneiromancy, the process of interpreting dreams.

According to Morris Jastrow’s Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Download free at Project Gutenberg), these demons lurked in remote or hidden places like graves, mountain tops and in the shadows of ruins.

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A mythological chimera composed of the head of a crocodile, the forelimbs of a lion, and the hind limbs of a hippopotamus, Ammit was the personification of the man-eating predators so feared by ancient Egyptians. Texts show that the goddess had two parts: the Tiamat mythos and Chaoskampf Tiamat. Neti follows these instructions and when Inanna reaches the throne, she is naked and powerless.
One theory is that Serpopards represented the chaos and barbarism lurking beyond the borders of Egypt during the pre-dynastic period (over 5,000 years ago), but since these chimeras also feature in Mesopotamian art from the same time span, in pairs with necks entwined, they may also have served as symbols of vitality or masculinity. A banquet was held by the gods which Ereshkigal did not attend. He later married her and they ruled the underworld together. For example, Ishtar, the goddess of procreation, was known as Inanna among the Sumerian people. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website.

This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. She is often seen in first millennium BC texts where she is equated to the goddess Antu. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. ", Monsters and Mythical Creatures of Ancient Egypt, Bob Strauss is a science writer and the author of several books, including "The Big Book of What, How and Why" and "A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of North America.
Ninhursag is also named as the mother of men and gods and is called different things in different myths. Her temple was situated at Sirara near Nina.

These cookies do not store any personal information. Enki was assigned the task of giving responsibilities to every god and Nanshe was assigned to rule over the Persian Gulf. Completely enraged, she takes the form of a sea dragon and wages war against the killers. In the Egyptian canon, it's often difficult to distinguish monsters and mythical creatures from the gods themselves — for example, how do you classify the cat-headed goddess Bastet, or the jackal-headed god Anubis? Her husband Absu is killed by them so that they could take over the throne. In literature, she is known as Ninkigal which means “Lady of the Great Earth.” She was the only woman who made laws or passed judgments in the kingdom of the dead.

Both Irkalla and Hades are the names for the territory of the underworld and its gods. When Inanna finds out that her husband did not mourn her death, she tells the demons to take him in her place. the Siren of Greek myth, and that creepy girl from the "Ring" movies, El Naddaha has a relatively recent origin compared with the 5,000-year span of Egyptian mythology. Being the goddess of the underworld, she sent her messenger Namtar who was treated well by all the gods and goddesses except for Nergal. The belief in demons and evil spirits predates Judeo-Christian theology.


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