Ancient Egyptian Demon Advent Calendar, Day 21: Samanu demon
Day 21 features the samanu demon (written as s-m-n), also known as axw. We don’t really know what he looks like, but one spell (P. Leiden I 343 + I 345) specifies that this demon was responsible for nasty pounding pains in a person’s head and belly. While the spell is typically Ancient Egyptian in structure, Hans Fischer-Elfert convincingly argues for a Near Eastern origin of both the spell and this demon.
The following snippet is part of his translation of the spell:
O axw, O S-m-n! You son of the slave Htm ...! You driving one, you screaming/violent one, O Smn, who is pounding against the head. O Tmkn, who is pounding against the heart! O Jbsn, who is pounding against the belly! O D..., who is walking by in secret! To whom shall I hand you over, you axw? To whom shall I hand you over, you Smn? You belong to the wandering asses who are in the desert! – Fischer-Elfert 2011, 191.
For the full spell and discussion, see Fischer-Elfert, H.-W. (2011), ‘Sāmānu on the Nile: The Transfer of a Near Eastern Demon and Magico-Medical Concept into New Kingdom Egypt’, in Mark Collier and Steven Snape (eds.), Ramesside Studies in Honour of K. A. Kitchen (Bolton: Rutherford Press), 189-98.