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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



You are here: Home > Events > Events Archive > Academic Year 2011-2012 > Evil Spirits, Monsters and Benevolent Protectors: Demonology in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

Evil Spirits, Monsters and Benevolent Protectors: Demonology in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

The origin, nature, and function of supernatural beings, conventionally called 'demons,' in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, has not yet been clearly defined. This workshop, organized by Visiting Research Scholar Rita Lucarelli, brings together scholars of Egyptology, History of Religion, and Near Eastern Studies to perform a cross-cultural analysis of textual, iconographical, and material sources in an attempt to further develop a comparative study of demonology focused on the ancient Mediterranean world and Near East.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. Additional seats may be available, please email if you are interested in attending.


9:00am Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ISAW): Opening Remarks/Welcome
9:15am Rita Lucarelli (organizer, ISAW): For a Comparative Approach to Demonology in Antiquity: the Case of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
9:45am R. Lucarelli/K. Szpakowska/P. Kousoulis: The Demonology Project - Overview
10:15am Kasia Szpakowska (Swansea University): The Devil is in the Details: The Demonology 2K Project
10:45am Coffee Break
11:00am Colleen Manassa (Yale University): Divine Phylogeny in the Underworld Books: Gods and Daimones
11:30am Ludwig Morenz (University of Bonn)/Rita Lucarelli: Demons at Deir el Medinah: The Magical Papyrus of Mutemheb Reconsidered
12:00pm Lunch Break
2:00pm Karen Sonik (UCLA): Defining the Terms of Mesopotamian Demonology
2:30pm Lorenzo Verderame (Sapienza University of Rome): Their Divinity is Different, their Nature is Distinct! Origin and Features of Demons in Mesopotamian Cultures
3:00pm Eckart Frahm (Yale University): A Tale of Two Lands and Two Thousand Years: The Origins of Pazuzu
3:30pm Coffee Break
3:45pm Sarah Graff (The Metropolitan Museum of Art): Humbaba's Head: A New Interpretation
4:15pm David Frankfurter (Boston University): Amente Demons and Christian Syncretism
4:45pm Christopher A. Faraone (University of Chicago): Theriomorphic vs. Monstrous Demons in the Ancient Near East and Greece
5:15pm Coffee Break
5:30pm Final Discussion: the Role and Meaning of Demons in Egypt and the Ancient Near East

To RSVP, please email

Event Details

  • 04/23/2012
  • 11:00 AM
  • 2nd floor Lecture Hall

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