Friday, October 25, 2019

Persian Book of Monsters

People who love monsters will enjoy these watercolor drawings from a treatise on spells and demons compiled by an Iranian soothsayer. According to the Public Domain Review:
"Most of the figures shown are far from ordinary or angelic. A blue man with claws, four horns, and a projecting red tongue is no less frightening for the fact that he’s wearing a candy-striped loincloth. In another image we see a moustachioed goat man with tuber-nose and polka dot skin maniacally concocting a less-than-appetising dish. One recurring (and worrying) theme is demons visiting sleepers in their beds, scenes involving such pleasant activities as tooth-pulling, eye-gouging, and — in one of the most engrossing illustrations — a bout of foot-licking (performed by a reptilian feline with a shark-toothed tail)."
"The wonderful images draw on Near Eastern demonological traditions that stretch back millennia — to the days when the rabbis of the Babylonian Talmud asserted it was a blessing demons were invisible, since, 'if the eye would be granted permission to see, no creature would be able to stand in the face of the demons that surround it.'"


gronkchicago said...

The guy was no Hieronymus Bosch....

Rich said...

Why they all grow horns is another mystery.

The cross-reference to the Talmud was very interesting reading.

Islam has got such figures as well: the Djinns.