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For other uses, see Lotan (disambiguation).

Lôtān,[1] Litan,[2] or Litānu[3] (UgariticLtn, lit. "Coiled") was a sea monster in Canaanite mythology, similar to the Leviathan in Hebrew mythology.[4][3]

Lotan seems to have been prefigured by Têmtum, the serpent killed by the benevolent storm god Hadad in Syrian seals of the 18th–16th century BC.[4]

In the Baal Cycle discovered in the ruins of Ugarit, Lotan is a servant of the sea god Yammu and is defeated by the benevolent storm god Baʿal,[3] possibly with the help or by the hand of his sister ʿAnat.[5] Lotan or Litanu was his proper name.[5] The account has gaps, making it unclear whether some phrases describe him or other monsters at Yammu's disposal. Most scholars agree on describing him as "the fugitive serpent" (bṯn brḥ) but he may or may not be "the wriggling serpent" (bṯn ʿqltn) or "the mighty one with seven heads" (šlyṭ d.šbʿt rašm).[4]

The Baal Cycle's description of Lotan is directly paralleled by a passage in the later Apocalypse of Isaiah,[6][7] in which Yahweh fights Leviathan. Clear influences of the myth are visible in the slaying of Typhon in Greek mythology.[8]

See also[edit]