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In demonology Astaroth (also Ashtaroth, Astarot, and Asteroth) is a Prince of Hell.

from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal

Origin

According to Lon Milo DuQuette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Astaroth is "a thinly disguised version of the goddess Astarte...."[1]


Rank

It is thought that this powerful grand-duke presides over 40 legions, and possibly over the East and is treasurer of hell. His main assistants are four demons called Aamon, Pruslas, Barbatos and Rashaverak. According to Sebastian Michaelis he is a demon of the First Hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness and vanity, and his adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has resisted Astaroth's temptations.


Appearance

In the Dictionnaire Infernal, Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with dragon-like wings, hands and feet, a second pair of feathered wings after the main, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a wolf or dog. Astaroth is cited as one of the seven princes of hell who visited Faust, appearing as a serpent with a colored tail, two small feet, a chestnut neck, and spines similar to a hedgehog that can grow up to a finger's length. Jeff Rovin's The Fantasy Encyclopedia (1979) depicted Astaroth with a likeness fitting the description of Baal, including a newly-created illustration, and this error has been repeated in other places, such as with Monster in My Pocket, in which a spidery, 3-headed Astaroth is #102.


Powers

According to some demonologists of the 16th century, August is the month during which this demon's attacks against man are stronger. Wierus mentions that he knows of past and future events, secret things, liberal arts, and the story of creation and the fall of the angels. 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. He is said to emit a powerful fetid odor, and to endure that, the magician should hold a silver magical ring that prevents odors under his nose.


Quotes

Astaroth's seal

Astaroth is a great and a strong duke, comming foorth in the shape of a fowle angell, sitting upon an infernall dragon, and carrieng on his right hand a viper: he answereth trulie to matters present, past, and to come, and also of all secrets. He talketh willinglie of the creator of spirits, and of their fall, and how they sinned and fell: he saith he fell not of his owne accord. He maketh a man woonderfull learned in the liberall sciences, he ruleth fourtie legions. Let everie exorcist take heed, that he admit him not too neere him, bicause of his stinking breath. And therefore let the conjuror hold neere to his face a magicall ring, and that shall defend him. Pseudomonarchia daemonum - Johann Wier (1583)

The Twenty-ninth Spirit is Astaroth. He is a Mighty, Strong Duke, and appeareth in the Form of an hurtful Angel riding on an Infernal Beast like a Dragon, and carrying in his right hand a Viper. Thou must in no wise let him approach too near unto thee, lest he do thee damage by his Noisome Breath. Wherefore the Magician must hold the Magical Ring near his face, and that will defend him. He giveth true answers of things Past, Present, and to Come, and can discover all Secrets. He will declare wittingly how the Spirits fell, if desired, and the reason of his own fall. He can make men wonderfully knowing in all Liberal Sciences. He ruleth 40 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, which wear thou as a Lamen before thee, or else he will not appear nor yet obey thee, etc.Goetia - S. L. MacGregor Mathers (1904)

Astarot: From Hebrew, OShThRVTh, = flocks, crowds or assemblies. Usually written "Ashtaroth". Also a name of the Goddess Astarte; Esther is derived from the same root.Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage - SL MacGregor Mathers (1898)


Popular culture

Film

  • Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (1920). This Silent film depiction of the "Golem of Prague" legend shows Rabbi Judah Loew consulting esoteric books to find the secret on how to create the clay monster. Rabbi Loew says to his assistant, "Venus enters the constellation of Libra! The auspicious hour has come to summon the dread spirit Astaroth, and compel him to reveal the magic word. Then we can bring the Golem to life to save our people." Later, when the Golem rebels, Rabbi Loew reads the following passage from a book: "If you have brought the dead to life through magic, beware of that life. When Uranus enters the house of the planets, Astaroth will demand his creature back. Then the lifeless clay will scorn its master and turn to destroy him and all it meets."
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). 'The Star of Asteroth' is the artifact the protagonists get from the Isle of Naboombu. It has the magic words "Tragoona Mequoites Trequorom Satis Dee" inscribed upon it.

Music

  • Referenced in the song "At the Sound of the Demon Bell" by the black metal band Mercyful Fate
  • Referenced in the song "Black Dwarf" by the doom metal band Candlemass
  • The song "Alone in the Dark" by Testament contains a reference to Astaroth.
  • Mentioned in the CD soundtrack to the hit computer game "The 7th Guest". Though the song is not featured in the game, the theme music used for the chapel room is used for the song that mentions Asteroth. It is the first song to be heard on the soundtrack, and the lyrics were composed by the writer of the game, Matthew Costello. (Incidentally, Matthew Costello actually spoke the lyrics down the phone to composer of the game music, The Fat Man, who decided to not only use it for the song, but actually mixed in the phone message by Matthew Costello into the soundtrack itself.)
  • A song of the Spanish heavy metal group Mägo de Oz from their album Finisterra. Astaroth is also mentioned in several of their songs.
  • Stage name of Josh Daly writer/producer/mixer of the instrumental progressive rock band "Dark Eulogy".
  • Mentioned by the Swedish doom metal band Draconian in their songs "The Gothic Embrace" and "Serenade of Sorrow".
  • Mentioned in the song "Come to the Sabbat" by Black Widow on their Sacrifice album. (Note that it is not "Sabbath", but "Sabbat")
  • Referenced in the title of California based Hardcore band Catherine's debut album "Rumor Has It: Astaroth has Stolen Your Eyes".

Literature

  • Name of a novel written by Croatian writer Ivo Brešan.
  • Made several appearances as a demon in the comic book Hellboy.
  • The chief enemy and brother of The Demiurge in the horror Role-playing game Kult.
  • A demon representing Sloth, one of the Seven Deadly Sins in the manga Angel Sanctuary. There he shares his body with his twin sister, who when appearing transforms the body into a female; Countess Astaroth.
  • One of the many aliases of the Stephen King villain Randall Flagg.
  • A daemon who appeared briefly in the Warhammer 40,000 comic Daemonifuge.

Game

  • Astaroth (Soul Calibur) a playable character in the Soul (series) series of video games by Namco.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Astaroth appears as a deity for those of chaotic evil alignment.
  • Name of Monster in My Pocket #102. He appears as a spider with heads of an old man, a frog, and a cat--in short, like Baal. This appears to be derived from a similar identification in Jeff Rovin' The Fantasy Encyclopedia.
  • Name of the prince of demons and enemy Kushulai'n in Omikron: The Nomad Soul.
  • Astarot, Asutarotto in Japanese appears is the card game and snack food Shinra-Bansho and is a purple-skinned female version. She was appropreated by the the imageboard 2chan and is depicted in her off time as prefering offensive and weird T-shirts more than her impractical demon outfit.
  • In Blood Ties (TV series), the lead character has the seal of Astaroth magically tattooed on her wrists.
  • Astaroth is present in Shadow Hearts: Covenant, in the form of Nicolai a brief ally and the primary antagonist through most of the game.