Queen of the Night Relief

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The demoness Lilith

Related images

Fig. 5 - The Assyrian demon Pazuzu with talons - Louvre Museum - [MNB 467](https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/statuette-demon-pazuzu-inscription)Fig. 6 - Mushhushshu-dragon with bird talons - Detroit Institute of Arts - [31.25](https://www.dia.org/art/collection/object/mushhushshu-dragon-symbol-god-marduk-55602)Fig. 7 - Relief of demoness Lamashtu with bird talons and wings - Vorderasiatisches museum - [VA 05163](https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/amulet-against-the-demon-lamashtu-with-inscription-unknown/fwG_xpdcnKX4sw?hl=de&ms=%7B%22x%22%3A0.5%2C%22y%22%3A0.5%2C%22z%22%3A8.459336949524399%2C%22size%22%3A%7B%22width%22%3A2.492307692307691%2C%22height%22%3A1.2374999999999994%7D%7D)

One of the candidates for the title of the Queen of the Night is Lilith, or Lillitu.

Lilith is known in Jewish folklore as a demoness and the first wife of Adam. She is known to cause infertility by men. Lilith is described as a winged woman with long hair and as the personification of temptation.

Much earlier, however, Mesopotamian myths already mention a demoness called Lilitu. This female demon-figure is often associated with owls. She is known to cause impotence in men and infertility in women.

The owls on the Queen of the Night relief could be an indication of the identity of the figure as Lilitu, because owls were seen as the symbol of the demoness. Collon, D., 2005. The Queen of the Night. London: British Museum Press: 42. The woman’s talons could also be an indicator of the connection between the woman and the owls that accompany her.

Another argument in Lilitu’s favor, is a story about the dream of an Assyrian king. The story talks about the king’s dream, in which he descends to the underworld. He describes the underworld as a place which is full of disturbing demons, almost all with wings and bird talons (Figs. 5-7), which is also how the Queen of the Night is depicted. Black, J. & Green, A., 2004. Gods, demons and symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. London: British Museum Press: 43

Is it possible that the Queen of the Night relief is a depiction of a demoness?