Incubus

Incubus

An incubus (plural "incubi") is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin, [Merlin's father was said to be an incubus in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Historia Regum Britanniae" and many later tales. See Lacy, Norris J. (1991). "Merlin". In Norris J. Lacy, "The New Arthurian Encyclopedia", pp. 322. (New York: Garland, 1991). ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.] and some sources indicate that it may be identified by its unnaturally cold penis. [Russel, Jeffrey Burton (1972), "Witchcraft in The Middle Ages", pp. 239, 235 Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, ISBN 0-8014-0697-8] Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death. [Stephens, Walter (2002), "Demon Lovers", p. 23, The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-266-77261-6]

Etymology

The word is derived from the Latin preposition "in", which in this case means on top of, and "cubo", which is Latin for "I lie". The word "incubo" translates into "I lie on top". [ [http://www.sunsite.ubc.ca/LatinDictionary/HyperText/i.html incubo] at "An On-line Latin word-list", Copyright ©1997, The University of British Columbia Mathematics Department, hosted at [http://www.sunsite.ubc.ca/ www.sunsite.ubc.ca] ]

Origins

A number of rational explanations have been offered for the origin of the incubus legends. They involve the medieval preoccupation with sin, especially sexual sins of women. Victims may have been experiencing waking dreams or sleep paralysis. Also, nocturnal arousal, orgasm or nocturnal emission could be explained by the idea of creatures causing an otherwise guilt-producing and self-conscious behavior.Lewis, James R., Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy, Sisung Kelle S. (Editor) (1996), "Angels A to Z", Entry: Incubi and Succubi, pp. 218, 219, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 0-7876-0652-9]

Purported victims of incubi could have been the victims of sexual assault by a real person. Rapists may have attributed the rapes of sleeping women to demons in order to escape punishment. A friend or relative may have assaulted the victim in her sleep. The victims and, in some cases the clergy,Masello, Robert (2004), "Fallen Angels and Spirits of The Dark", p. 66, The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016, ISBN 0-399-51889-4] may have found it easier to explain the attack as supernatural rather than confront the idea that the attack came from someone in a position of trust.

Ancient and religious descriptions

One of the earliest mentions of an incubus comes from Mesopotamia on the Sumerian kings' list, ca. 2400, where the hero Gilgamesh's father is listed as Lilu (Lila). [ Raphael Patai, p. 221, The Hebrew Goddess: Third Enlarged Edition, ISBN 978-0814322710] It is said that Lilu disturbs and seduces women in their sleep, while Lilitu, a female demon, appears to men in their erotic dreams. [ Siegmund Hurwitz, Lilith: The First Eve ISBN 978-3856305222] Two other corresponding demons appear as well, Ardat lili, who visits men by night and begets ghostly children from them, and Irdu lili, who is known as a male counterpart to Ardat lili and visits women by night and begets from them. These demons were originally storm demons, but they eventually became regarded as night demons due to mistaken etymology. [Raphael Patai, p. 221 & 222, The Hebrew Goddess: Third Enlarged Edition, ISBN 978-0814322710]

Incubi and succubi were said by some not to be different sexes but the same demons able to change their sex. [Carus, Paul (1900), "The History of The Devil and The Idea of Evil From The Earliest Times to The Present Day", [http://www.sacred-texts.com/evil/hod/hod15.htm "The Devil's Prime,"] at [http://www.sacred-texts.com sacred-texts.com] ] A succubus would be able to sleep with a man and collect his sperm, and then transform into an incubus and use that seed on women. Their offspring were thought to be supernatural in many cases, even if the actual genetic material originally came from humans.Lewis, James R., Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy, Sisung Kelle S. (Editor) (1996), "Angels A to Z", Entry: Incubi and Succubi, pp. 218, 219, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 0-7876-0652-9]

Though many tales claim that the incubus is bisexual,Russsel, Jeffrey Burton (1972), "Witchcraft in The Middle Ages", p. 145, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, ISBN 0-8014-0697-8] others indicate that it is strictly heterosexual and finds attacking a male victim either unpleasant or detrimental. [Stephens, Walter (2002), "Demon Lovers", pp. 54, 55, 332, 333, The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-266-77261-6] There are also numerous stories involving the attempted exorcism of incubi or succubi who have taken refuge in, respectively, the bodies of men or women.

Incubi are sometimes said to be able to conceive children. The half-human offspring of such a union is sometimes referred to as a cambion. The most famous legend of such a case includes that of Merlin, the famous wizard from Arthurian legend.Masello, Robert (2004), "Fallen Angels and Spirits of The Dark", p. 66, The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016, ISBN 0-399-51889-4]

According to the "Malleus Maleficarum", exorcism is one of the five ways to overcome the attacks of Incubi, the others being Sacramental Confession, the Sign of the Cross (or recital of the Angelic Salutation), moving the afflicted to another location, and by excommunication of the attacking entity, "which is perhaps the same as exorcism." [Kramer, Heinrich and Sprenger, James (1486), Summers, Montague (translator - 1928), "The Malleus Maleficarum", Part2, [http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/mm02b01a.htm Chapter 1] , "The Remedies prescribed by the Holy Church against Incubus and Succubus Devils," at [http://www.sacred-texts.com sacred-texts.com] ] On the other hand, the Franciscan friar Ludovico Maria Sinistrari stated that incubi "do not obey exorcists, have no dread of exorcisms, show no reverence for holy things, at the approach of which they are not in the least overawed."Masello, Robert (2004), "Fallen Angels and Spirits of The Dark", p. 66, The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016, ISBN 0-399-51889-4]

Regional variations

There are a number of variations on the incubus theme around the world. The alp of Teutonic or German folklore is one of the better known. In Zanzibar, Popo Bawa primarily attacks men and generally behind closed doors. [Maclean, William (Reuters, May 16 2005), [http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=16838&sec=39&con=58 "Belief in sex-mad demon tests nerves,"] on the [http://www.wwrn.org World Wide Religious News (WWRN)] website] El Trauco, according to the traditional mythology of the Chiloé Province of Chile, is a hideous deformed dwarf who lulls nubile young women and seduces them. El Trauco is said to be responsible for unwanted pregnancies, especially in unmarried women. [Lindemans, Micha F. (2004), [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/trauco.html Trauco] at the [http://www.pantheon.or Encyclopedia Mythica] ] In Hungary, a "lidérc" can be a Satanic lover that flies at night and appears as a fiery light (an "ignis fatuus" or will o' the wisp) or, in its more benign form as a featherless chicken. [Mack, Dinah, Mack, Carol K. (1999), "A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits", p. 209, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, ISBN 0-8050-6270-X]

In Brazil and the rain forests of the Amazon Basin, the Boto is a combination of siren and incubus, a very charming and beautiful man who seduces young women and takes them into the river. [ [http://www.ancientspiral.com/dolphin1.htm "Whales and Dolphins"] at [http://www.ancientspiral.com ancientspiral.com] ] It is said to be responsible for disappearances and unwanted pregnancies, [ [http://library.thinkquest.org/C001650/html/text_only_english/dolphin.htm Boto] at [http://library.thinkquest.org library.thinkquest.org] ] and it can never be seen by daylight, because it metamorphoses into kind of river dolphin during those hours. According to legend the boto always wears a hat to disguise the breathing hole at the top of its head. [ [http://www.sumauma.net/amazonian/legends/legends-boto.html "The Dolphin Legend"] at [http://www.sumauma.net sumauma.net] ]

ee also

* Classification of demons
* Christian demonology
* Demon
* Demonology
* Krampus
* Lilith
* List of demons
* Night terror
* Sexuality in Christian demonology
* Succubus

Notes


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  • Incubus — Основная информация …   Википедия

  • Incubus — In cu*bus, n.; pl. E. {Incubuses}, L. {Incubi}. [L., the nightmare. Cf. {Incubate}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A demon; a fiend; a lascivious spirit, supposed to have sexual intercourse with women by night. Tylor. [1913 Webster] The devils who appeared… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Incubus — puede referirse a: Íncubo, un demonio masculino (contraparte masculina del Súcubo). También puede referirse a: Incubus, banda de rock californiana. Incubus, película de terror. Esta página de desambiguación cat …   Wikipedia Español

  • Incŭbus — (Incubo), 1) Beischläfer; 2) so v.w. Faun, weil die Alten glaubten, er pflege verbotene Liebe mit den Frauen; 3) bes. in der Hexensprache ein Teufel, der mit einer Hexe Buhlerei trieb; 4) so v.w. Alp; 5) Päderast …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Incubus — Incubus, lat., Hauskobold; Alp. s. Alpdrücken …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • incubus — index weight (burden) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Incubus — vgl. Inkubus …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • incubus — (n.) c.1200, from L.L. (Augustine), from L. incubo nightmare, one who lies down on (the sleeper), from incubare to lie upon (see INCUBATE (Cf. incubate)). Plural is incubi. In the Middle Ages their existence was recognized by law …   Etymology dictionary

  • incubus — meaning ‘a male demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women’ and hence ‘a nightmare’, has the plural form incubuses …   Modern English usage

  • incubus — [n] evil spirit demon, devil, fiend, goblin, hobgoblin, nightmare, succuba, succubus; concepts 370,412 …   New thesaurus

  • incubus — ► NOUN (pl. incubi) 1) a male demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women. 2) archaic a nightmare. ORIGIN Latin incubo nightmare , from incubare lie on …   English terms dictionary

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