Lilu (mythology)  

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A lilu or lilû is a masculine Akkadian word for a spirit, related to Alû, demon.

Akkadian, Sumerian, Babylonian

In the Sumerian king list the father of Gilgamesh is said to be a lilu.

The wicked Utukku who slays man alive on the plain.
The wicked Alû who covers (man) like a garment.
The wicked Etimmu, the wicked Gallû, who bind the body.
The Lamme (Lamashtu), the Lammea (Labasu), who cause disease in the body.
The Lilû who wanders in the plain.
They have come nigh unto a suffering man on the outside.
They have brought about a painful malady in his body.
Stephen Herbert Langdon 1864

Dating of specific Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian texts mentioning lilu (masculine), lilitu (female) and lili (female) are haphazard. In older out-of-copyright sources, such as R. Campbell Thompson's The Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia (1904) specific text references are rarely given. An exception is K156 which mentions an ardat lili Jo Ann Scurlock and Burton R. Andersen (2005) see the origin of lilu in treatment of mental illness.

Possible Jewish associations

It is disputed whether, if at all, the Akkadian word lilu, or cognates, is related to the disputed Hebrew word liyliyth in Isaiah 34:14, which is thought to be a night bird by some modern scholars such as Judit M. Blair. The Babylonian concept of lilu may be related to the Talmudic concept of Lilith (female) and lilin (female).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lilu (mythology)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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