Legendary Bronze Amulet Depicting Demon God Pazuzu

3/10/2011 05:17:00 PM ·

The demon god Pazuzu is the “king of evil spirits”, although on occasion, his powers have been evoked for beneficiary purposes. In this representation, Pazuzu is looking down from the top of this Assyrian bronze amulet as his abilities permit him to ward off diseases. Hence the duality of his nature. The Mesopotamians had a complex belief system of supernatural beings and forces, as many of their kings expressed a dichotomy of powers. This particular amulet expresses the treatment of illness and disease.Pazuzu2This section clearly illustrates the symbols of the highest gods, including the star of the goddess Ishtar. The area is appropriately named the “heavenly domain”.

To the far left of the last panel, Pazuzu is depicted with a dog’s head, a scorpion’s tail, and bird talons. He triumphantly chases Lamashtu in the middle of the amulet. Lamashtu has a naked torso of an old woman, with a dog and pig suckling at her breasts. She is also carrying a snake in each hand.

Lamashtu, more specifically, was a female demon who sucked on the blood of women during childbirth and stole children while they were feeding, back to the netherworld. The netherworld is another name for the underworld, which represents the surface of the earth where the departed reside.

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