Asakku

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In Babylonian mythology, the Asakku (Sumerian Asag) were one type of Mesopotamian evil spirits and monsters, classed with good spirits as Utukku. Asakku demons attack and kill human beings, especially by means of head fevers. They are mentioned in poetical enumerations of diseases and are named for Asag, a monstrous demon whom the god Ninurta/Ningirsu defeated using the mystic mace Sharur. Other types of demon include the Edimmu.

The incantation literature is quite extensive among the Sumerians as well as the Babylonians. Sumerian incantations have survived in monolingual form mostly in old Babylonian transcriptions and were later handed on accompanied by Akkadian translations. In many cases, even the Sumerian text is post-Sumerian. These texts were later compiled in the great series Evil Udug/Utukku's and Bad Asag/Asakku's. In some of these, the activities of the demons are portrayed in lively fashion, and often long successions of similar pronouncements are found. Depending on one's purpose, various types of incantations with particular emphases can be distinguished. The post-Sumerian incantations, which were likely translated from the Akkadian with some frequency, were not compiled into their own larger tablet series and have not yet been studied from a literary standpoint. Among these are the incantations directed against spells. By contrast, there is still no evidence for Sumerian incantations against witches.

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