- Monstrous female birth DEMONs found in Middle Eastern and Greek lore. The lamiae are named after Lamme, a destroyer deity in Babylonian and Assyrian lore, and Lamia, who was the mistress of Zeus. Lamia was the beautiful daughter of Belus, the king of Libya, who caught Zeus’ eye. In exchange for her sexual favors, Zeus gave her the power to pluck out the eyes of people and replace them. She had several children. Hera, the wife of Zeus, was so enraged by the liaison that she killed all the offspring who resulted from the union. She condemned Lamia to give birth only to stillborn infants. In revenge, Lamia became a demon and swore to kill the children of others. She joined the EMPOUSAI, female demons similar to the SUCCUBUS. Lamia bore a large family of children, all female demons, who became known as the lamiae. They have deformed lower limbs (often depicted as SERPENTs) and the face and breasts of beautiful women. They prey upon newborns, drinking their BLOOD and consuming their flesh.In Hebrew lore, lamiae are the lilim, the demonic childrenkilling offspring of LILITH, Adam’s first wife. JOHANN WEYER used the term lamia to describe female witches who had entered into a deceptive or imaginary PACT with the DEVIL in order to perpetrate evil.
Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. Rosemary Ellen Guiley. 2009.