The devils and evil spirits of Babylonia - by R. Campbell Thompson - PDF book

The devils and evil spirits of Babylonia

The devils and evil spirits of Babylonia
The devils and evil spirits of Babylonia


Being Babylonian and Assyrian incantations against the demons, ghouls, vampires, hobgoblins, ghosts, and kindred evil spirits, which attack mankind, tr. from the original Cuneiform texts, with transliterations, vocabulary, notes, etc.

the object of the two volumes which form the present work is to supply the student of Assyrian Demonology with English transliterations and translations, with the necessary notes, etc., of the documents printed in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Parts of Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., which have been recently issued by the Trustees of the British Museum. 

An examination of these two Parts will show that they contain copies of all the Tablets belonging to the Series Utukki Limnuti, Asakki Maruti, and, " Evil Spirits," '' Fever Sickness," and '' Headache," which have now been identified, together with the texts of a considerable number of compositions of a similar character. 

These collections of Evil Spirit Texts form large and important sections of the native literature concerning Babylonian and Assyrian Demonology, and there is reason to believe that the material now published represents about one-half of that belonging to the three Series mentioned above which was known to the scribes of Assurbanipal. 

Of the condition of the archetypes in pre- Babylonian times we have no information whatever, but there is no reason to doubt that the versions which were adopted as standard texts In the reign of Assurbanipal represented substantially the readings of the primitive documents. We are, In short, justified In assuming that we have 

In our hands at the present time tolerably accurate copies of the exorcisms and spells which the Sumerian and his Babylonian successor employed, some six or seven thousand years ago, to avert the attacks of devils, and to ward off malign Influences of every kind. The first to make known to the world the character of the Evil Spirit Texts was the late General H. C. Rawlinson, Bart., G.C.B., who published In the Fourth Volume of the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, London, 1875, much of the text of the Fifth and Sixteenth Tablets as had then been Identified. 

During the period of the preparation of the seventy plates which form the Fourth Volume printed copies of many of them were supplied to M. Francois Lenormant, and to various other scholars, and M. Lenormant Issued some months before the appearance of the British Museum publication his La Magic chez Les Chaldeennes et les Origines AccadienneSy In which he gave renderings of several of the texts relating to Evil Spirits. In the year 1887 Professor Sayce, 


In his Hibbert Lectures, gave English translations of the greater number of the texts with which M. Lenormant had already dealt, as well as of others. The translations, however, of both these scholars were necessarily Incomplete, for the simple reason that only a portion of the available material had been published by the late Sir Henry Rawlinson, who made no pretence of publishing In his Immortal Corpus of cuneiform texts more than specimens of the various classes of literature which were known to the Babylonians and Assyrians. 

Subsequently several of the texts of this class have been studied and referred to in the publications of various Assyriologists, but the present work represents the first attempt which has been made to deal with any of the groups of the Evil Spirit Texts as a whole, and of course, no connected translations of them have before appeared. In this and the following volume of Messrs. Luzac's *' Semitic Text and Translation Series " transliterations and translations of about two hundred and forty tablets and fragments belonging to various collections In the British Museum are given, and it is believed that about one hundred and sixty of these are published in Ctmez/brm Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., Parts XVI and XVII, for the first time. 


The present publication is intended to do for the '' Evil Spirit " Series, and the Series relating to Fevers and Headaches, what Professor Zimmern has done for the Shurpii Series, and Professor Tallqvlst for the Makati Series. The reader's attention Is called to the fact that where It has been impossible to assign to Tablets their correct position In their Series, they have been indicated by the letters "A," " B," '' C," etc. In. translating the texts the renderings into English have been made as literal as possible, and wherever possible the Assyrian word has been translated by the same English equivalent. 

The material given in the following pages will be found to afford abundant proof of the fact that a considerable proportion of the magical practices which are in use in the East to the present day were well known to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia several thousands of years ago, and that many of them were borrowed by the Hebrews and other dwellers in Syria and Persia from their neighbours on the Tigris and Euphrates. 

the book details :
  • Author: R. Campbell Thompson 
  • Publication date: 1903
  • Company: London: Luzac

  • Download 10.6 MB- Volume 1

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