Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Aspects of ancient Near Eastern demonology ADED11549

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 0
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The belief in the existence of evil spirits is attested from the earliest times of history. Across the Ancient Near East (encompassing Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia) people believed that demons were the cause of illnesses and natural disasters: demons, like germs for the moderns, provided an explanation for misfortune and also a means of dealing with it. This course introduces Ancient Near Eastern demonology, examining the origins of the belief in evil spirits and focusing on some of the best known demons whose names still resurface in contemporary art and literature.


Block 3, weeks 1-5

Saturday, 11.00-13.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses






Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ introduce students to key aspects of Ancient Near Eastern demonology, including issues regarding definitions, and the role and place of demons in the religions of the region

■ familiarise students with the origins and development of some of the best known demons from the earliest times through to Christianity

■ encourage students to engage with primary and secondary sources and to critically assess scholarly research on the topic

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, in class discussion, students will be able to:


■ identify, name and compare key figures of Ancient Near Eastern demonology

■ demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the development of key themes and the development of the character of the main demons

■ discuss and critically evaluate previous and recent scholarly research on these issues

■ explain the impact of Ancient Near Eastern demonology on contemporary culture.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits