How the devil got his hooves and horns: The origin of the motif and the implied demonology of 3 baruch

Alexander Kulik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reexamines the problem of the origins of a popular medieval and modern image of the devil as an anthropomorphic creature with hooves and horns and seeks to reconstruct the analogous ancient image of a satyr-like devil as it could be witnessed in diverse sources, including Hellenistic mythology, rabbinic legends, and early Christian texts. It seems that, not belonging completely to any of these worlds, this therianthropic motif emerges from a complicated literary history wherein Greco-Roman Pan, Jewish seirim, and other mythological figures graft themselves and their imagery around the forces of the demonic. The main argument of the paper as a whole centers around the place of 3 Baruch in this complicated history. This composition may contain the only physical description and detailed treatment of demonic seirim-satyrs in early Jewish literature and the earliest notion of satyr-like demons available to us.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)195-229
Number of pages35
JournalNumen
Volume60
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Chimerical
  • Demon
  • Devil
  • Iconography
  • Image
  • Therianthropic
  • Theriomorphic
  • Zoanthropic
  • Zoomorphic

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