Who was Pazuzu according to mythology


Lamaštu (also Lamashto, Labartu; SumeriandDIM-ME, dLU.GAM.ME, dLUGAL.ME) was originally a sky goddess as the daughter of the god Anu. After the flood described in the Atraḫasis epic, she took over the role of a demoness in Mesopotamian mythology since the ancient Babylonian period (2000–1600 BC), who caused illness and death in order to prevent an overpopulation of humanity on a divine mandate. She belonged to the circle of the "seven evil demons". In the form of the Lamia, she later entered Greek mythology[1].

Mythological role

In order to prevent the unchecked increase in people, Lamaštu was given the nickname in the Atraḫasis epicDamperalluding to their new mythological function:

“The eradicator works among the people; she takes the baby on the lap of those who gave birth. "

- Atraḫasis epic, plate 3, VII, verses 3 to 5

The frequent term "demon of childbed fever" denotes only a small part of her activities. The texts mainly refer to fatal illnesses associated with miscarriages, chills, and fever. In this context, their victims were mostly pregnant women, maternity mothers and infants. In Assyrian tales, she stole the breasts of babies from mothers and contaminated both with her plague breath.

Their “work environment” is distinctive, often focusing on the areas of swamp, animal droppings and unsanitary materials that cause serious infections. It often caused deaths in adult males and could also cause livestock diseases.


It is described as having a hairy body, the head of a dog or a lion, the upper body of a woman, with claws on the feet like an eagle. She has a dog and a pig suckling her breasts. She holds a snake in each of her outstretched hands. In Babylonian incantation texts it is also described with a lion's head and a donkey's body. In her hands, which are nets, she holds a comb and spindle whorl.

The female demon is said to be the worst female demon in Mesopotamian mythology. It is part of the demonic fever triad of Labasu, Lamashtu and Aḫḫazu.

The Assyrians described Lamaštu like this:

She's angry, she's wild, she's dangerousit shines with horror.She is a she-wolf, the daughter of Anu.
Her feet are those of Anzu,
their hands are unclean.
Your face is the face of a hungry lion.
... Her hair is tangled, her loincloth torn. ...
Her hands are dripping with shreds of flesh and blood.
She comes in through the window, crawling on her stomach like a snake.
She comes and goes into a house (as she wants).

Lamashto can be banished with an amulet or a statue with the image of Pazuzu on it.


  1. ^ Siegmund Hurwitz: Lilith. The first Eve. A Study of Dark Aspects of the Feminine., 5th edition, Daimon Verlag, Einsiedeln 2011, 1980


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