What demons/fabulous creatures did the Sumerians mention?

  • I'm looking into fabulous creatures and demons specifically in Sumerian texts, or, if possible, in Akkadian texts but where the creature/demon still had a Sumerian origin. I can't seem to find a complete list, if it even exists, and many listed in places are extremely suspect. What I have so far:

    • Anzu bird
    • Asag
    • Bull of Heaven
    • Galla (same as Galatura?)
    • Humbaba
    • Kurgara
    • Namtar

    What else is out there from the Sumerian side? Any fabulous creatures would be helpful, but I hope to find specifically more demons, too.

  • A couple come to mind, though, of course, I make no claim I can provide anything like a complete list:

    F.A.M. Wiggerman's Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts, particularly Section VII "Inventory of Monsters, Brief Discussions" (starting page 143).

    Subsection C there gives histories of the following monsters, who are part of the army of Tiamat in the Enuma Elish (which is also discussed here in some depth):

    -Lahmu : "the Hairy One"
    -Bašmu : "Venomous Snake", "Birth Goddess Snake"
    -Mušḫuššu : "Furious Snake", "Aweful Snake"
    -Ugallu : "Big-Weather Beast", "Big Day"
    -Uridimmu : "Mad Lion"
    -Kusarikku : "Bison", "Bison(-bull)"
    -Girtablullû : "Scorpion-Man"
    -Urmahlullû : "Lion-Man"
    -Kulullû : "Fish-Man"
    -Suhurmasu : "Carp-Goat"

    If I'm not mistaken, all of these are Semitic creatures and demons, not specifically Sumerian ones. I washoping for strictly Sumerians creatures, though I do understand that in later times there was considerable overlap.

    @C.M.Weimer - Fair enough, I was of the belief that the Enuma Elish was believed to be based on Sumerian traditions, but it appears that recent consensus is against it, and I'm really not sure Lamashtu and Pazuzu have a Sumerian parallel. I suppose that really only leaves Lilitu and Lamassu, which I believe are of reasonably clear sumerian origin.

    @Gibet Do you have some good, recent studies on that? Unfortunately, it still doesn't really help with the problem of Sumerian origin vs. non-Sumerian origin of demons and monsters of the ANE.

    @Gibet On the Sumerian origin of the Enuma Elish. I also thought it was Akkado-Babylonian in origin.

    @C.M.Weimer Then nothing new. That would be a revolution btw. Just the usual material you find. Analysis, thesis, articles, papers. And the usual bullshit. Find recently a study of the tablet V for astrology and a PhD student (think he is student) calling the Enuma Elish a "Persian text". The Enuma Elish is Babylonian attested by Marduk. His origins are unknown. It is safe to assume it is older, so Akkadian OR Sumerian. But the original is still unknown and could perfectly be either lost or purely oral (then lost).

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM