Genies English 9; Louise S. McGehee School; 2004 “Mesopotamia” (“Mesopotamia”)
The Genie • In Babylonian mythology the genie was a winged creature with the head of a human, lion, or hawk. • Most genies were high ranked and taught morals and lessons to society in the form of humans that would appear as genies. There was also a lower form of genies that protected and guided people of importance or power (mostly kings).
The Myths of the Genie • The Genies of more importance were thought to have magical powers that would teach people lessons on humility and other virtuous traits. • One myth shows the genie in the act of teaching a lesson. In the myth there is an old lady lying down near a well and a young boy and his father stop by the old lady. The young boy wants to help her but his father tells him to leave the old lady alone. The boy out of the goodness of his heart decides to go against his father. Then when the boy helps her the old lady suddenly turns into a genie and the genie throws asps at the boy’s father, and rewards the boy for his kindness.
Genies of the World • Many different cultures had genies or things that seemed very similar. Although Aladdin's genie in a bottle is the most commonly known genie, many genies were quite different. • Babylonian genies, which is our main concern, were in the image of a man with either a human or animal head and claws, hooves, or talons that hold religious and symbolic items. • Genies in many other civilizations were considered evil because they were the demons and servants of the devil and because they were the offspring of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, the demon queen (mentioned on the previous slide). • But even though they were evil it was also important to considerat that they were extremely close to man and although somewhat evil, like man, they had a choice. (“Introduction to archeology”)
Genies of the World (cont.) • Genies were thought to turn to evil because after millions of years they became bored with the good life. They were said to perform miniature evils like the cause of miscarriage. • Romans thought that each man had a genius and each woman had a juno. There was also the idea that each man had two genies, one on his right shoulder and one on his left; one evil and one good. • The Egyptians and some other cultures thought that genies were protectors of the dead and sometimes were found in carvings, protecting the tomb of the dead. (“Mesopotamia”)
Genies Influence on the Modern World • Genies are often used in books such as Anne Rice’s novel Servant of the Bones. The novel is about a young man who is killed and brought back to life by a witch. She turns him into a genie and condemns him to a life of servanthood. The book brings us from his life in ancient Babylonian times to Manhattan today and gives us his insight on life as a genie. • Often times in comedies on T.V. the main character, when going through a hard decision, has two creatures (an angel and a demon) trying to convince him to take their advice and disregard the other. This refers back to the Roman’s idea of each man’s two genies that lived on his shoulder and guided him through life in all decisions that he made.
Lilith and a GenieLilith on the left and the Genie on the right (“This Vampire”) (“Winged genie”)
Works Cited Page nHislop, Alexander(5-6). “Shaitan”. The Two Babylonians – Name of the Beast. January 14, 2003. Http://www.piney.com/his75.html n“Introduction of Archeological”. Images. May 11, 2000 www.utexas.edu/coursesclassicalarch/images.html n“Mesopotamia” The Mesopotamian Museum of Art. 2000-2004. www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/04/wam/ht04wam.htm nMurray, Alexander S. “Daemons, or Genii”. Manual of Mythology. Ed. William H. Klapp. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1946. 225-227. n"Legend has it". Lilith and Eve. 1999.http://www.unicorngarden.com/bkshe4.htm nRobinson, Herbert Spencer. “Djinn or Jinn” Myths and Legends of All Nations. Ed. Knox Wilson. Garden City, New York: Garden City Books, 1960. 194-195. n“This Vampire” Chicula in the Shadows.www.angelfire.com/ab2/Chicula/Page1.html n“Welcome to Melechesh”.Melechesh. January 10, 2004.www.melechesh.com/genii.gif.html