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MCotD: Scorpion Man

Continuing with our half human hybrid theme, today's creature is the Aqrabuamelu, or more commonly (and less creatively) known as Scorpion Men.


(sorry about the fantasy image, there's a historical one further down)

Scorpion men are featured in several Babylonian myths, including the Enûma Elish and the Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. They were also known as aqrabuamelu or girtablilu. They were first created by the mother goddess Tiamat in order to wage war against the younger gods for the betrayal of her mate Apsu. Their heads touch the sky, their "terror is awesome" and their "glance is death". Deadly warriors, they could fight either with their scorpion tails or their bows and arrows which never missed their targets.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, they stand guard outside the gates of the sun god Shamash at the mountains of Mashu. These also give entrance to Kurnugi, the land of darkness. The scorpion men opened the gates of the Mountain of the East for Shamash as he travels out each day, and at night they shut the gates of the Mountain of the West as Shamash descended into the underworld. They also warn travelers of the danger that lies beyond their post.


This detail is from a kudurru, or boundary stone, showing Gula with feathery crown attached to her conical headdress and a scorpion-man. Found near Abu Habbah. Dated by inscription to 12th. century BCE.

This creature was most certainly the inspiration for the character of the Scorpion King as he appears at the end of The Mummy Returns.

ref.
Wikipedia on Scorpion Man
Mostropedia on Scorpion Man

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
inahandbasket
Mar. 4th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
You sure you don't mean...


THE ROCK????
chillguru
Mar. 4th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
oh yeah! that's exactly what i mean.
wanderyng1
Mar. 4th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
(sorry about the fantasy image, there's a historical one further down)

It's cool...we can consider it an homage to Gary Gygax.
stephan75
Dec. 24th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Reference
Hi-
I appreciate that you reference your sources. I'm particularly interested in the source of the boundary stone image. I noticed that you got it from Mostropedia.org. However, this is the wrong website to source. They never asked permission to use my image; something I intend to rectify. So, the question for you is, how do you want to deal with this situation?
-Stephane Beaulieu
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )