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King of Ellasar[1](Sellasar)

Arioch (Hebrew: אַרְיוֹךְ’Aryōḵ) appears in the Book of Genesis[2] as the name of the "King of Ellasar", who participated in the Battle of the Vale of Siddim. The battle is described in Genesis as consisting of four kings, led by Chedorlaomer of Elam (Amraphel, Arioch, Chedolaomer, and Tidal), engaging in a punitive expedition against five kings of Canaan who rebelled against Chedorlaomer (Bera, Birsha, Shinab, Shemeber, and the king of Bela). The same story is also mentioned in the Book of Jubilees, where Arioch is called "king of Sellasar".[3] As in the case of other stories from the Book of Genesis, the consensus of modern scholarship is that these stories do not constitute reliable history.[4]

Arioch and Eleasar[edit]

Some historians have placed the area where Arioch ruled in Asia Minor, but theories as to its specific locations differ, with some claiming it was in Pontus while others cite Cappadocia and Antioch.[5] There are also sources which associated Ellasar with the kingdom of Larsa and suggested that Arioch could be one of its kings called Eri-Aku, an Akkadian translation for the name Rim-Sin, where rim meant servant and Sin is the Semitic name of the moon god (Agu or Aku in Akkadian).[6]

By the 20th century, this theory became popular so that it was common to identify Arioch with Eriaku — through the alternative reading of either Rim-Sin or his brother Warad-Sin, who were both believed to be contemporary with Hammurabi.[7]

Adaptations by later writers[edit]

Arioch was a name for a fictional demon, and also appears as the name of a demon in many grimoires. Arioch is also named in John Milton's Paradise Lost (vi. 371.) as one of the fallen angels under Satan's command.

Arioch is one of the principal lords of Chaos in several of Michael Moorcock's fantasy series. For more information, see Deities in the Elric series.

Arioch is also the name of an escape artist and magician who rose to fame in the 1990s after performing on MTV.

Arioch is also the name of a secondary playable character in Drakengard for the PS2.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Book of Genesis, chapter 14
  3. ^ "Book of Jubilees: The Book of Jubilees: The Campaign of Chedorlaomer (xiii. 22–29)". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  4. ^ Paula M. McNutt (1999). Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-664-22265-9.
  5. ^ Fitzmyer, Joseph (2004). The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20): A Commentary. Rome: Editrice Pontifico Istituto Biblico. p. 232. ISBN 8876533184.
  6. ^ Funk, I.K; Wells, Newell (1894). The Homiletic Review, Volume 28. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company. p. 125.
  7. ^ Price, Ira, 1904. Some Literary Remains of Rim-Sin (Arioch), King of Larsa, about 2285 B.C. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 3–4.