In demonology Astaroth
(also Ashtaroth, Astarot, and Asteroth) is a Crowned Prince
of Hell. He is referred to in The Lesser Key of Solomon as a
very powerful demon. In art, in the Dictionnaire Infernal, Astaroth is
depicted as a nude man with feathered wings, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one
hand, and riding a beast with dragon-like wings and a serpent-like tail. According to
Michaelis he is a demon of
the First Hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness, vanity, and rationalized
philosophies. His adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has
resisted Astaroth's temptations. To others, he teaches mathematical sciences and
handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and
answers every question formulated to him. He was also said to give to mortal
beings the power over serpents.
According to Francis Barrett, Astaroth is the
prince of accusers and inquisitors. According to some demonologists of the 16th century, August is the
month during which this demon's attacks against man are stronger. He also goes
by the name ‘Ashtart/Astarte which was rendered in the Latin Vulgate translation
of the Bible as Astharthe (singular) and
Astharoth (plural), that last form rendered in the King James Version of the Bible
as Ashtaroth. It seems this plural form was taken either from the Latin or from some translation or other by those who did
not know it was a plural form.
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