Pazuzu

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Bronze statuette of Pazuzu, circa 8th century BC, Louvre

In ancient Mesopotamian religion, Pazuzu (Akkadian: 𒀭𒅆𒊒𒍪𒍪 Dpà.zu.zu; also called Fazuzu or Pazuza)[1] was the king of the demons of the wind, brother of Humbaba and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.

Iconography[edit]

Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of diverse animal and human parts. He has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, talons of an eagle, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail and a serpentine penis. He has his right hand up and left hand down.

Mythology[edit]

Pazuzu is the demon of the southwest wind known for bringing famine during dry seasons, and locusts during rainy seasons. Pazuzu was invoked in apotropaic amulets, which combat the powers of his rival,[2] the malicious goddess Lamashtu, who was believed to cause harm to mother and child during childbirth. Although Pazuzu is considered an evil spirit, he was called upon to ward off other malicious spirits. He would protect humans against any variety of misfortune or plague.[3]

The Exorcist[edit]

In the 1971 novel The Exorcist and the film based on the novel, Pazuzu is supposedly the evil spirit that possesses the young girl Regan MacNeil.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lambert, Wilfred George (1970). "Inscribed Pazuzu Heads from Babylon". Forschungen und Berichte. 12: 41–T4. doi:10.2307/3880639. JSTOR 3880639.
  2. ^ "Statuette of the demon Pazuzu with an inscription". Louvre website. Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  3. ^ "Pazuzu". World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  4. ^ Guiley, Rosemary (2009). The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. Infobase Publishing. p. 197. ISBN 978-1-4381-3191-7.

External links[edit]