The motif of Avestiția in popular Romanian demonology Cover Image

Motivul Avestiței în demonologia populară românească
The motif of Avestiția in popular Romanian demonology

Author(s): Petru Adrian Danciu
Subject(s): Cultural history, Customs / Folklore, Poetry, Anthology, Comparative Studies of Religion, Romanian Literature, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Sociology of Culture, Biblical studies, Cultural Essay, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Lunds Universitet
Keywords: Avestiția; demonology; Sisoe; Archangel Michael; totem

Summary/Abstract: Our research follows the demonic perspective on Avestiția′s activity and life. Considered today as a demonic character, she is highlighted by an activity defined almost exclusively against the killing of a pregnant woman or a baby, through appearances that cause fright (the disease called samcă) and the disfigurement of the "touched" by the demon. Because her history is unknown, the recent popular tradition has made one, Avestiția being the sister of Saint Sisoe, a murderer of children, and hence the generation of his witchcraft activity, which is why she is punished by her brother and by Archangel Michael. Newer theories claim a Semite origin (Lamashtu and Lilith), but we come with another, a totemic one, generated by the demon's descriptions. Thus, by systematizing the researched elements, we affirm that, starting from a totem (of the bear), dethroned by the masculine cults of Dacia, deity turns into a demon and encounters the demonological semite elements, prior to Christianity in our country. Subsequent intervention of Christianity "corrects" the history of the character, turning her into a legend, when Sisoe and Archangel Michael appear. This final formula is known by Romanian ethnologists. Christian syncretism almost immediately generates the incantations of samcă and the "Book of Avestiția," a charm that reveals the name and the real history of the demon, which aroused the attention of Christian syncretism when attempting to kill baby Jesus, defrauded by Michael. Sacred folk literature describes her as an extremely dangerous being, Satan's right wing.

  • Issue Year: 1/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 146-168
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Romanian