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A depiction taken from an ancient Sumerian cylinder seal showing the god Dumuzid being brutally tortured in the Underworld by fierce galla demons

In Sumerian and Akkadian (Babylonian and Assyrian) mythology, the Gallus[1] (also called gallu demons or gallas [Akkadian: gallû[2]]) were great demons/devils of the underworld.

Role in mythology[edit]

Gallu demons hauled unfortunate victims off to the underworld. They were one of seven devils (or "the offspring of hell") of Babylonian theology that could be appeased by the sacrifice of a lamb at their altars.[3]

Inanna (or Ishtar) was freed by gallu demons sent by Enki while she was on a journey to the underworld.[3] An especially fierce gallu demon, the monstrous Asag, was slain by Ninurta using the enchanted mace Sharur.

Other uses[edit]

The word gallu may also refer to a human adversary, one that is dangerous and implacable.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morris, John (1880). The new nation. Original from Oxford University. pp. 40 & 311 (volume 3 of 5). 
  2. ^ Muss-Arnolt, William (1905). A Concise Dictionary of the Assyrian Language. Original from Harvard University: Reuther & Reichard; Lemcke & Büchner; etc., etc. p. 216. 
  3. ^ a b Charles Augustus Briggs, Crawford Howell Toy (1911). Essays in Modern Theology and Related Subjects. Original from Harvard University: C. Scribner's sons. pp. 155–158. 
  4. ^ I. Tzvi Abusch Babylonian Witchcraft Literature: Case Studies 1987 "...especially, the initial position which he occupies in both support the propriety of our earlier analysis of obv. 37-40 on the basis of the comparison "Contra AHw sv, gallu in this line refers not to a demon but to a human enemy..."