Im Bann der Würgerin – Kamadme, Lamaštu und Lilith in der Hellas?

Bemerkungen zu Kindbettdämonen in Orient und Hellas

Authors

  • Mieszek Jagiełło Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CC.23.2020.23.05

Keywords:

Kamadme, Lamaštu, Lilith, Hesperides, Sphinx, Strix, Gello

Abstract

The following paper explores some possible connections between Greek and Mesopotamian child-killing demons. First, the main Sumerian/Akkadian demoness Kamadme Lamaštu is being characterized and set in comparison with the lil-demons and their singularisation Lilith. Briefly, their modus operandi is being studied with a focus on strangulation. It is being proposed that the reoccurring meme of children being strangled by these demons comes from a misinterpretation of the anatomy of the human body which manifested in the belief in a rāṭu in Mesopotamia or ὁδός in Greece. This organ was believed to be a “channel” that connects women’s genital system with the respiratory tract. With that in mind, some Greek and Roman demons are being considered as potentially being derived from the aforementioned ancient Near Eastern supernatural beings. Hence, the proposal is put forward that the Greek Hesperides, the Theban Sphinx, the Lesbian Gello as well as the Greco-Roman Stri(n)x have in fact been adopted by the Occident from the East.

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Published

2021-08-06

How to Cite

Jagiełło, M. “Im Bann Der Würgerin – Kamadme, Lamaštu Und Lilith in Der Hellas? Bemerkungen Zu Kindbettdämonen in Orient Und Hellas”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 23, Aug. 2021, pp. 119–146, doi:10.12797/CC.23.2020.23.05.

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Classica Linguistica