The Testament of Solomon, Part 18

What do you do for an encore after calling up the headless spirit of Murder? It’s time to bring out the big dogs – or rather, one really big dog.

…he spoke to me in a loud voice, saying, “Hail, O King Solomon!” I was astounded and said to him, “Who are you, dog?”

The answer the king receives is surprising:

“You suppose that I am a dog, but before your time, King, I was a man. I accomplished many unlawful deeds in the world and I was so extremely strong that I restrained the stars of heaven, and now I am preparing more evil works.”

For those who have been following this series, this is quite a surprise. So far we’ve had demons who were angels fallen from heaven, demons who were the offspring of angels and women, and a weird one who appeared as just a voice. Here, we learn that demons can also be wicked men who return to this world to do more evil.

What about his grandiose claims to be able to control the stars themselves? This sort of talk is actually par for the course. For example, in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass Lucius is talking to his friend Socrates about a witch. Here’s what Socrates relates about her:

Then with resemblance of admiration, What (quoth I) is she so excellent a person as you name her to be? I pray you tell me. Then answered hee, Verily shee is a Magitian, which hath power to rule the heavens, to bringe downe the sky, to beare up the earth, to turne the waters into hills and the hills into running waters, to lift up the terrestrial spirits into the aire, and to pull the gods out of the heavens, to extinguish the planets, and to lighten the deepe darknesse of hell.

This isn’t a passage that stands out from the literature of the time circa the birth of Christ. Try this passage from the Civil War of Lucan about the witches of Thessaly:

All things on earth

Change at their bidding; night usurps the day;
The heavens disobey their wonted laws;
At that dread hymn the Universe stands still;
And Jove while urging the revolving wheels
Wonders they move not. Torrents are outpoured
Beneath a burning sun; and thunder roars
Uncaused by Jupiter.

Many occult authors are long-winded and self-important, but they just can’t compete with the ancients.

Next time – what happens now? Does Solomon acquire this sorcerous dog’s services, or does it eat him messily? Hey, it could happen.

Published in: on January 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Testament of Solomon, Part 19 We’re still discussing the enormous ex-sorcerer dog demon from last time.  Solomon continues the discussion with him, and as we’ll see, the narrative […]

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