Spirits: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Spirit article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The English word spirit (from Latin spiritus "breath") has many differing meanings and connotations, all of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. The spirit of a human being is thus the animating, sensitive or vital principle in that individual, similar to the soul taken to be the seat of the mental, intellectual and emotional powers. The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are imagined as surviving the bodily death in religion and occultism,[1] and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. manifestations of the spirit of a deceased person.

The term may also refer to any being imagined as incorporeal or immaterial, such as demons or deities, in Christianity specifically the Holy Spirit experienced by the disciples at Pentecost.



The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning "breath" (compare spiritus asper), but also "soul, courage, vigor", ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European וח (ruah), as opposed to Latin anima and Greek psykhē. The word apparently came into Middle English via Old French. The distinction between soul and spirit developed in Judeo-Christian terminology (thus we find Greek psykhe as opposed to pneuma, Latin anima as opposed to spiritus, Hebrew ruach (רוּחַ rûaħ) as opposed to neshama (נְשָׁמָה nəšâmâh) or nephesh; in Hebrew neshama comes from the root NŠM or "breath").

Metaphysical and metaphorical uses

English-speakers use the word "spirit" in two related contexts, one metaphysical and the other metaphorical.


Metaphysical contexts

In metaphysical terms, "spirit" has acquired a number of meanings:

  1. An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things. Unlike the concept of souls (often regarded as eternal and usually believed to pre-exist the body) a spirit develops and grows as an integral aspect of a living being.[citation needed] This concept of the individual spirit occurs commonly in animism. Note the distinction between this concept of spirit and that of the pre-existing or eternal soul: belief in souls occurs specifically and far less commonly, particularly in traditional societies. One might more properly term this type/aspect of spirit "life" (bios in Greek) or "ether" rather than "spirit" (pneuma in Greek).
  2. A daemon sprite, or especially a ghost. People usually conceive of a ghost as a wandering spirit from a being no longer living, having survived the death of the body yet maintaining at least vestiges of mind and of consciousness.
  3. In religion and spirituality, the respiration of a human has for obvious reasons become seen as strongly linked with the very occurrence of life. A similar significance has become attached to human blood. Spirit in this sense denotes that which separates a living body from a corpse — and usually implies intelligence, consciousness and sentience.
  4. Various animistic religions, such as Japan's Shinto and various Native American and African tribal beliefs, focus around invisible beings which represent or connect with plants, animals (sometimes called "Animal Fathers"), or landforms; translators usually employ the English word "spirit" when trying to express the idea of such entities.
  5. Individual spirits envisaged as interconnected with all other spirits and with "The Spirit" (singular and capitalized). This concept relates to theories of a unified spirituality, to universal consciousness and to some concepts of Deity. In this scenario all separate "spirits", when connected, form a greater unity, the Spirit, which has an identity separate from its elements plus a consciousness and intellect greater than its elements; an ultimate, unified, non-dual awareness or force of life combining or transcending all individual units of consciousness. The experience of such a connection can become a primary basis for spiritual belief. The term spirit occurs in this sense in (to name but a few) Anthroposophy, Aurobindo, A Course In Miracles, Hegel, and Ken Wilber. In this use, the term seems conceptually identical to Plotinus's "The One" and Friedrich Schelling's "Absolute". Similarly, according to the panentheistic/pantheistic view, Spirit equates to essence that can manifest itself as mind/soul through any level in pantheistic hierarchy/holarchy, such as through a mind/soul of a single cell (with very primitive, elemental consciousness), or through a human or animal mind/soul (with consciousness on a level of organic synergy of an individual human/animal), or through a (superior) mind/soul with synergetically extremely complex/sophisticated consciousness of whole galaxies involving all sub-levels, all emanating (since the superior mind/soul operates non-dimensionally, or trans-dimensionally) from the one Spirit.
  6. Christian theology can use the term "Spirit" to describe God, or aspects of God — as in the "Holy Spirit", referring to a Triune God (Trinity): "The result of God reaching to man by the Father as the source, the Son as the course ('the Way'), and through the Spirit as the transmission".
  7. In (popular) theological terms, the individual human "spirit" (singular, lowercase) is a deeply situated aspect of the soul[citation needed] subject to "spiritual" growth and change; the very seat of emotion and desire, and the transmitting organ by which humans can contact God. In a rare theological definition it consists of higher consciousness enclosing the soul.[citation needed] "Spirit" forms a central concept in pneumatology (note that pneumatology studies "pneuma" (Greek for "spirit") not "psyche" (Greek for "soul" — as studied in psychology).
  8. Christian Science uses "Spirit" as one of the seven synonyms for God, as in: "Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love"[2]
  9. Harmonism reserves the term "spirit" for those which collectively control and influence an individual from the realm of the mind.

Metaphorical usage

The metaphorical use of the term likewise groups several related meanings:

  1. The loyalty and feeling of inclusion in the social history or collective essence of an institution or group, such as in school spirit or esprit de corps.
  2. A closely related meaning refers to the worldview of a person, place, or time, as in "The Declaration of Independence was written in the spirit of John Locke and his notions of liberty", or the term zeitgeist, meaning "spirit of the age".
  3. As a synonym for "vivacity" as in "She performed the piece with spirit" or "She put up a spirited defense".
  4. The underlying intention of a text as distinguished from its literal meaning, especially in law; see Letter and spirit of the law
  5. As a term for alcoholic beverages — stemming from medieval superstitions that explained the effects of alcohol as demonic activity.
  6. In mysticism: existence in unity with Godhead. Soul may also equate with spirit, but the soul involves certain individual human consciousness, while spirit comes from beyond that. Compare the psychological teaching of Al-Ghazali.

See soul and ghost and spiritual for related discussions.

Related concepts in other languages

Similar concepts in other languages include Greek pneuma and Sanskrit akasha/atman, see also Prana.

Some languages use a word for "spirit" often closely related (if not synonymous) to "mind". Examples include the German, Geist (related to the English word "ghost") or the French, 'l'esprit'. English versions of the Judaeo-Christian Bible most commonly translate the Hebrew word "ruach" (רוח; "wind") as "the spirit", whose essence is divine[citation needed] (see Holy Spirit and ruach hakodesh). Alternatively, Hebrew texts commonly use the word nephesh. Kabbalists regard nephesh as one of the five parts of the Jewish soul, where nephesh (animal) refers to the physical being and its animal instincts. Similarly, Scandinavian languages, Slavic languages and the Chinese language (qi) use the words for "breath" to express concepts similar to "the spirit".

See also


  1. ^ OED "spirit 2.a.: The soul of a person, as commended to God, or passing out of the body, in the moment of death."
  2. ^ Eddy, Mary Baker "Glossary" (TXT) Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures p. 587 http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext02/shkts11.txt. Retrieved 2009-03-11 "GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."  — "Glossary" entry for "GOD".


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Spirits are supernatural beings or essences — transcendent and therefore metaphysical in nature.


  • There is neither spirit nor matter in the world; the stuff of the universe is spirit-matter. No other substance but this could produce the human molecule. I know very well that this idea of spirit-matter is regarded as a hybrid monster, a verbal exorcism of a duality which remains unresolved in its terms. But I remain convinced that the objections made to it arise from the mere fact that few people can make up their minds to abandon an old point of view and take the risk of a new idea... Biologists or philosophers cannot conceive a biosphere or noosphere because they are unwilling to abandon a certain narrow conception of individuality. Nevertheless, the step must be taken. For in fact, pure spirituality is as unconceivable as pure materiality. Just as, in a sense, there is no geometrical point, but as many structurally different points as there are methods of deriving them from different figures, so every spirit derives its reality and nature from a particular type of universal synthesis.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Millions of spiritual beings walk the earth unseen,
    Both when we wake, and when we sleep.
  • Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
    Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
    And play the prelude of our fate.
  • Do we not hear voices, gentle and great, and some of them like the voices of departed friends,— do we not hear them saying to us, "Come up hither?"
  • Yes, thank God! there is rest — many an interval of saddest, sweetest rest — even here, when it seems as if evening breeze; from that other land, laden with fragrance, played upon the cheeks, and lulled the heart. There are times, even on the stormy sea, when a gentle whisper breathes softly as of heaven, and sends into the soul a dream of ecstasy which can never again wholly die, even amidst the jar and whirl of daily life. How such whispers make the blood stop and the flesh creep with a sense of mysterious communion! How singularly such moments are the epochs of life — the few points that stand out prominently in the recollection after the flood of years has buried all the rest, as all the low shore disappears, leaving only a few rock points visible at high tide.
  • There are times in the history of men and nations, when they stand so near the vail that separates mortals from the immortals, time from eternity, and men from their God, that they can almost hear the beatings, and feel the pulsations, of the heart of the Infinite.
  • It may be that at this moment every battlement of heaven is alive with the redeemed. There is a sainted mother watching for her daughter. Have you no response to that long hushed voice which has prayed for you so often? And for you, young man, are there no voices there that have prayed for you? And are there none whom you promised once to meet again, if not on earth, in heaven?

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wiktionary has an entry about spirits.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SPIRITS.' The original meaning of the word spirit (Lat. spiritus, from spirare) was wind in motion, breath, the soul, and hence it came to denote that which gives life or vigour to the human body and other objects, and it is, therefore, synonymous with everything eminently pure, ethereal, refined or distilled. In popular chemical nomenclature the term "spirit" in its former sense is still occasionally encountered, for instance, "spirits of salts" for hydrochloric acid. The spirits of the British Pharmacopoeia (e.g. sp. aetheris nitrosi; sp. chloroformi; sp. camphorae) are solutions of various substances obtained either by distilling these with, or dissolving them in, the rectified spirit of the Pharmacopoeia, which latter is pure alcohol with 16% by weight of water.

In the modern sense, spirits may be broadly defined as the products resulting from the distillation of saccharine liquids which have undergone alcoholic fermentation. Spirits of wine means rectified spirit of a strength of 43 degrees over proof and upwards. By rectified spirit is meant spirit rectified at a licensed rectifier's premises. Proof spirit, which is the standard spirit of the United Kingdom, is legally defined (58 Geo. III. c. 28) as a spirit which at 51° F. weighs exactly twelve-thirteenths of the weight of an equal volume of distilled water. The strength of proof spirit at 60° F. - the temperature now generally employed for official calculations - is now officially regarded as being equal to a spirit containing 57.06% by volume, or 49.24% by weight, of absolute alcohol. Spirit which possesses a greater or smaller alcoholic strength than proof is described as being so many degrees over or under proof, as the case may be. The strength is legally estimated by Sykes's hydrometer, which was legalized in 1816 by 56 Geo. III. c. 4 o. The degrees "over" or "under" proof as ascertained by Sykes's hydrometer are arbitrary percentages by volume of a standard spirit contained in the spirit under examination. This standard spirit is proof spirit. For example, by a spirit of strength 7 5.2 5 degrees over proof (absolute alcohol) is meant a spirit of such a strength that roo volumes of the same contain an amount of spirit equal to 175.25 volumes of the standard (proof) spirit. A spirit of 25 degrees under proof is one of which loo volumes contain only as much alcohol as do 75 (i.e. 100 - 25) volumes of proof spirit. According to Nettleton, "proof spirit" would appear to be the outcome of an attempt to produce a mixture of pure alcohol and water, containing equal weights of the constituents. The term "proof" probably originated from a rough test for spirituous strength formerly employed, which consisted in moistening gunpowder with the spirit and applying a light. If the gunpowder did not ignite, but the spirit merely burned away, the spirit was regarded as being under proof, i.e. it contained so much water that the gunpowder became moist and refused to deflagrate. The basis of the standard of other countries is almost invariably the unit volume of absolute alcohol, the hydrometers;or ` rather "alcoholometers" - such as those of Gay-Lussac and of G. Trallesemployed indicating the exact quantity of alcohol in a mixture at a standard temperature, in percentages by volume. In the United States the term "proof" is also employed, American proof spirit being a spirit which contains 50% of alcohol by volume at 60° F. American "proof" spirit is, therefore, considerably weaker than British "proof." Allowing for this difference and also for the fact that the American standard For the sense of disembodied persons, see Spiritualism.

gallon (which is really the old English wine-gallon) is equal to 0.833 of an imperial gallon, the American "proof" gallon roughly equals 0.7 3 of a British proof gallon.

Table of contents


The art of distillation, more particularly the preparation of distilled alcoholic fluids for beverage and medicinal purposes, is of very ancient origin. It is probable that the art of making spirits was well known many centuries before FIG. I. - Ancient form of Still, FIG. 2. - Ancient form of Still, used in China. used in Central India.

the advent of the Christian era. According to T. Fairley, the Chinese distilled liquor "sautchoo" was known long before the Christian era, and "arrack" was made in India at a date as remote as Boo B.C. Aristotle in his Meteorology (lib. ii. ch. ii.) says "Sea-water can be rendered potable by distillation: wine and other liquids can be submitted to the same process. After they have been converted into humid vapours they return to liquids." There is, on the whole, little doubt that spirits were manufactured in Egypt, India, China, and the Far East generally, as far back as 2000 B.C. Figs. 1-4 (from Morewood's Inebriating Liquors, published in 1838) show very ancient China, .India, Tibet and Tahiti.

As far as can be ascertained the oldest reference to the preparation of a distilled spirituous liquor in the British Isles is contained in the "Mead Song" written by the Welsh bard, Taliesin, in the 6th century. He said "Mead distilled I praise, its eulogy is everywhere," &c. (Fairley, The Ana- lyst, 1905, p. 300). The same authority points k out that the knowledge of distillation in the FIG. 4. - Ancient form of Still, used British Isles was indein Tahiti.

Missing image
Missing image

pendent of the art of distillation from wine, seeing that distillation from grain was known in Ireland before the art of making wine came to Europe. An Irish legend states that St Patrick first taught the Irish the art of distillation; but, however that may be, it is certain that at the time of the first English invasion of Ireland (1170-72) the manufacture of a spirit distilled from grain (i.e. whisky) was known to the inhabitants of that country. It is probable that grain spirit was first prepared in the Far East, inasmuch as a spirit distilled from rice and other grains was made in India before the Christian era. The establishment of regular distilleries in England appears to date back to the reign of Henry VIII., and they are said to have been founded by Irish settlers who came over at that time. It is difficult to obtain exact data _ - Mysore Still FIG. 3. - Ancient form of Still, used in Tibet.

Missing image

in in use forms of stills regarding the origin of the distilling industry in Scotland, but, as Fairley says, it is probable that distilling was carried on there almost as early as in Ireland. At the time of the Tudors Scotch whisky was held in great repute in England. The production of a spirit from wine (i.e. brandy) appears to have been known in the 9th century; but, according to Morewood, the first attempt at the distillation of wine in France is attributed to Arnaldus de Villa Nova, in the 13th century. As a manufacturing industry the distillation of brandy in France began in the r4th century. The history of the spirit industry in the United Kingdom is, as Nettleton has well pointed out, inseparably connected with questions of taxation. According to one writer, it was not until 1660 that an excise duty was first imposed on the consumption of spirit ("aqua vitae") in the United Kingdom, but it appears probable that the industry generally was taxed in one form or another in the reign of Elizabeth, when it first began to assume considerable importance. No record, however, of the quantity of spirit on which duty was charged was kept until 1684. In that year duty was paid on 527,492 gallons. At the end of the century the consumption reached r,000,000 gallons, and in 1745 it had risen to a quantity equivalent to about 5,000,000 gallons at proof. Cromwell imposed a tax of 8d. per gallon, but this was soon lowered to 2d. In 1751 a tax equivalent to is. per proof gallon was imposed, and in 1766 this was further increased to 2S. After this various changes and complex methods of assessing the duty were introduced (see Nettleton, The Manufacture of Spirit, Marcus Ward, 1893) until, in more modern times, a more rational and uniform system was introduced.

Conditions of Manufacture

The principal act now governing and regulating the manufacture of spirits and the working of distilleries in Great Britain is the Spirits Act of 1880. The provisions of this and of the other acts bearing on the subject are exceedingly numerous and complicated, and, therefore, only a few of the chief points can be set forth here, so that an adequate appreciation may be gained of the arduous and rigid conditions under which the spirit manufacturer is, in order to ensure the safeguarding of the revenue, constrained to carry out his operations. A distillery must not, without permission, be carried on at a greater distance than half a mile from a market town, nor may it be situated within a quarter of a mile from a rectifying establishment. A distiller must give notice of the erection of new plant or apparatus, of the time of brewing, of the removing of sugar from store or of yeast from wort or wash, of the making of "bub," of the locking of the spirit receiver supply pipe, &c. He may use any material he pleases, provided that the gravity of the wort can be ascertained by the saccharometer, but he may not brew beer nor make cider, wine nor sweet wines. When the worts are collected in the wash-back (fermenting vessel) a declaration must be made at once, specifying the original gravity and the number of dry inches remaining in the back. At the end of every distilling period a return must be delivered showing (a) the quantity of brewing materials used, (b) the quantity of wort or wash attenuated and distilled, out of store, the number and size of vessels, the locking of the latter, and the painting of the pipes carrying various liquids in certain colours. The methods of assessing the duty are threefold, and whichever of these methods gives the highest return is the one adopted. The first is the "attenuation charge." This consists of levying the charge due on one gallon of proof spirit for every hundred gallons of worts collected and for every five degrees of attenuation observed, the latter being calculated by taking the difference between the highest specific gravity of the worts and the lowest gravity of the wash after complete fermentation. Secondly, there, is the "low-wines charge," calculated upon the bulk-quantity at proof-strength of the low wines produced by the distillation of the wash; and lastly, the "feints and spirits charge." This is. the method usually adopted, as it generally gives the highest results; it is assessed on the number of bulk gallons at proof of the feints and spirits produced by the final distilling operations. The duty, which was fixed at ros. per proof gallon in 1860, remained at that rate until 1890, when an addition of 6d. was made, but a further increase to the like amount made in 1894 was remitted in the next year owing to the unsatisfactory results obtained. The rate remained at 10s. 6d. until 1900 when it was raised to I's., a further increase being made in 1909-1910.

Legally, the word "spirit" implies spirit of any description, and all liquors, mixtures and compounds made with the same. In the same way plain spirit is any British spirit which has not been artificially flavoured, and to which no ingredient has been added subsequent to distillation.

The extremely severe and inelastic provisions of the acts governing the manufacture of spirit in the United Kingdom have proved to be a very serious impediment to the development of the spirit industry on modern lines, and have placed the British manufacturer at a considerable disadvantage as compared with his foreign competitors. There is little doubt that the enormous revenue derived from the spirit industry could be adequately safeguarded in a manner more consistent with the development of the industry on sound commercial and technological lines than it is at present.

Production and Consumption

The production of spirit in the United Kingdom amounted in 1907 to roughly 50,000,000 proof gallons, the consumption to a gallon per head of population. In the decade1880-1890the quantity of spirits distilled remained practically stationary at about 40,000,000 gallons, but during the ten years1890-1900there was a rapid increase, the maximum being attained in 1898, when nearly 64,000,000 gallons were produced. A point had then been reached at which the production had considerably outstripped the consumption, due in part to the desire of the spirit trade to meet the increased demand for "matured" spirits, and in part to the fact that an excessive amount of capital had, owing to the increased popularity of Scotch whisky, been attracted to the distilling industry. This over-production led to a vast increase in the quantity of spirit remaining in warehouse. In 1906 production and consumption were about equal, and the quantity of spirit in warehouse represented roughly a five years' supply.


Total quantity


Total consump-

tion of pot-

able spirit

Consumption of

potable spirit per





Retained for


Remaining in


Duty paid


(proof gallon).

(proof gallon).

of popula-

tion (proof gallon).

(proof gallon).

(proof gallon).

18 95- 18 9 6

49,3 2 4, 8 75








6 3,437, 88 4










o 89





















1 9 06 - 1907

5 0 ,3 1 7,9 08







The following figures regarding production, consumption, duty, &c., need no explanation: - United Kingdom I. Statistics regarding Home-made Spirits. (c) the quantity of spirits produced at proof-strength, and (d) the quantity of "feints" remaining. Regulations also exist with regard to the amount of "bub" (see below) that may be added to the worts, or the quantity of yeast that may be removed from the wash, concerning the time permissible for drawing over spirit at the various stages, as to placing in and taking spirit The importation of foreign potable spirits into the United Kingdom has fallen off materially since 1870-1875, during which period it stood at 16,000,000 to 57,000,000 gallons. This is chiefly due to the decreased consumption of brandy, and, to a smaller extent, to the diminishing importance of rum and other foreign spirits. The most remarkable change in this connexion is in the case of foreign methylated spirit. At one time (1891) the quantity of this article imported 2. Statistics regarding Imported Spirits. was almost equal to the amount manufactured in the United Kingdom, the figures being 1,995,782 gallons for the home produce and 1,456,108 for the foreign. For various reasons - chiefly owing to the surtax of 4d. per gallon on all foreign spirit - the quantity imported has gradually dwindled away, and at the present time is practically negligible. The principal spirit-producing countries are Russia and Germany, the United States coming next, and then France, Austria and the United Kingdom in succession, followed by Hungary, Holland and Belgium. The following are the figures for 1905: Proof gallons.

Russian Empire 161,366,000 (1904) Germany. 146,014,000 United States 125,042,000 France 160, 584, 000 Austria 55,682,000 United Kingdom 48,520,000 Hungary. 40,216,000 Holland. 13,552,000 Belgium.. 11,924,000 If we except Canada and the Cape (which make roughly 6,000,000 and 1,500,000 gallons respectively), the production of the British Empire, apart from the United Kingdom, is very small. British Guiana exports 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 and Jamaica about 1,500,000 gallons of rum.

With regard to the consumption in gallons per head, Denmark stands first with 2.4, then follows the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with 1.98, Germany with P43, Holland with the same figure, France with P37, Sweden with 1.36, the United States with 1.26, Belgium with I Io, and last the United Kingdom with 0.91. The consumption in Russia is about equal to that of the United Kingdom. The figures given are for the year 1905. In the British colonies Western Australia comes first with a consumption per head of 1.33 gallons; and then in order Queensland 1.32 gallons; Canada 0.94 gallon; New South Wales 0.77 gallon; New Zealand 0.73 gallon; Victoria 0 . 64 gallon; the Cape o 68 gallon, and South Australia 0.47 gallon. Of the spirits distilled in the United Kingdom, Scotland produces roughly one half, England and Ireland about one quarter each. Although the number of distilleries in England and Ireland has varied but little of recent years, the number in Scotland increased from 120 in 1880 to 161 in 1899. In 1906 the actual numbers were - Scotland 150; Ireland 28; England 8. The apparent anomaly between the number of distilleries and the quantity of spirit produced in different parts of the kingdom is explained by the fact that the great majority of the distilleries in Scotland and Ireland are small, pot-still distilleries, whereas the English works are all of considerable capacity. It is difficult to arrive at any satisfactory figure with regard to the amount of capital invested in British and Irish distilleries, but it probably exceeds twenty millions.

Illicit distillation has almost ceased to exist in Great Britain, but in Ireland the number of annual seizures under this heading is still considerable. In 1906-1907, out of a total of 974 detections and seizures, 968 were in Ireland.



Malt (quarters).

Unmalted grain


Molasses and

sugar (cwt.)









The spirit produced in the United Kingdom is made almost exclusively from malt, unmalted grain (chiefly maize, rye, barley, wheat and oats) and molasses. The relative proportion of malt to unmalted grain has shown a slight tendency to increase during the past twenty years, but the quantity of molasses employed has increased very largely in the same period, owing mainly to the fact that home-made spirit has largely displaced the foreign article for several industrial purposes and particularly for methylation. The estimated quantities of the various materials employed in 1883 and 1906 respectively were as under: - With regard to the materials employed in the manufacture of spirits in France, roughly 80-90% now consist of maize (and other starchy substances), beetroot and molasses, whereas in 1840 nine-tenths of the alcohol produced was derived from the grape and other fruits. This change is due in part to the ravages of the oIdium disease (1850-1857) and the phylloxera (1876-1890), which destroyed an immense number of vines, but chiefly to the increased demand for commercial spirit in the arts and manufactures, and also to the improved methods for obtaining a high-class spirit from practically any starchy or saccharine material. In 1905 the number of alcohol units (the unit =1000 hectorlitres of pure alcohol) distilled from maize and other starchy materials was 589, from molasses 516, from beetroot 1002, from wine, cider, lees and fruits 499. In Germany roughly 75% of the spirit manufactured is derived from potatoes. In 1905 the total spirit distilled amounted to 3786 units (of woo hectolitres of pure alcohol), of which 2877 units were obtained from potatoes, 765 units from grain and 144 units from molasses and other material. In Russia spirits are distilled chiefly from potatoes and rye, in the United States from maize.


The manufacture of spirits consists broadly in converting starchy or saccharine matter into alcohol, the latter product being subsequently separated, concentrated and rectified. When spirits are made from a purely saccharine material the process of conversion into alcohol is a relatively simple one, but where farinaceous raw products are employed it is primarily necessary to transform the starch contained in them into sugar. The main varieties of spirits manufactured from sugar, or from sugar-containing materials, are: Sugar-Derived Spirits Raw Material. Product. Wine. Brandy.

Sugar-cane and cane molasses. Rum.

Beetroot; beet molasses. Industrial alcohol.

Occasionally wine, cider, perry and cane molasses are also employed for making either plain potable spirit or industrial alcohol, and at times cane molasses (chiefly obtained from Cuba and the West Indies) are used somewhat extensively in England for the manufacture of plain spirit. Occasionally, also, plain potable spirit is derived from beets, but rarely from beet molasses, the spirit derived from the latter being somewhat difficult of rectification.

The chief spirits derived from starchy materials, and their corresponding raw materials, are as follows: Starch-Derived Spirits Raw Material. Product. Whisky, "corn brandy," "vod Cereal grains: chiefly barley, rye, -ka," plain spirit; industrial oats, wheat and maize. .. alcohol.

Potatoes Industrial alcohol.

Y ear.

Total imports

(proof gallon).


per head of


(proof gallon).

Nature of spirits

(proof gallon).

Retained for


Rum.. 6,217,469




- Brandy.. 2,668,616


Other sorts. 1,935,433

r Rum.. 6,719,452




j Brandy.. 3,081,525


Other sorts. 2,617,090

Rum.. 4,879,958




Brandy.. 2 ,45 6 ,773


Other sorts. 891,704

Rum. .. 5,110,345




- Brandy.. 1,942,415


LOther sorts. 1,076,743

A. Spirits Derived from Saccharine Materials. - The manufacture of the finer brandies, such as those of Cognac, is, as far as the processes involved are concerned, by no means a complex matter. The excellence of this class of spirit is due mainly to the character of the wine employed and to the great experience of the distillers in selecting and blending the raw materials and finished products. The character of the wine is, of course, chiefly due to the peculiar soil and climatic conditions, and in some degree to the methods of cultivation. The latter, it may be added, have since the reconstitution of the Charente vineyards subsequent to their partial destruction by the phylloxera (see Brandy) been much improved. In the pre-phylloxera days the vineyards were planted and cultivated in a very rough and ready fashion, without any attempt at regularity of planting. The result was that the vines spread practically unrestrained in every and any direction. In consequence there was a great irregularity of growth, feeble and hardy plants being found side by side, and the yield was Door. In vineyards constructed in the modern style the vines are planted in regular rows, and the bushes are, with a view to obtaining regular and rapid ripening, methodically supported by wire. The wines produced by the Charente vineyards are of a light(white)character and possess no marked "bouquet," but they nevertheless produce a spirit of a peculiarly fine and delicate character. It is remarkable that the fuller and more aromatic wines of the Gironde and of Burgundy, for instance, are not so suitable for the manufacture of brandy as the relatively poor growths of the Charente. The apparatus employed for the distillation of the fine Cognac brandies is generally of a very simple potstill type. Fig. 5 depicts the still-room of a Charente distillery FIG. 5. - Old Cognac Pot-still.

of former times, and fig. 6 shows one of Messrs Martell's distilleries in Cognac, equipped on modern lines. It will be seen that, in principle, there is very little difference between FIG. 6. - Modern Cognac Pot-still (Martell & Co.) the two sets of plant, the reason being that experience has shown that for wines producing the finest brandies, the simplest form of still is also the best. For the distillation of wines not of the highest quality (from the brandy distillers' point of view) more complicated apparatus is employed, as the spirit from these wines must be more highly rectified than is the case with the finest brandies. Broadly speaking, it may be said that the type of still is suited to the production in the most economical manner of the best spirit to be obtained from the wine of a particular district. In Cognac, brandy is generally, but not universally, made by the "brouillis et repasse" system, this being a double distillation in a simple pot-still. The stills are (compared with whisky pot-stills) very small, holding roughly one hundred gallons, and the distillation is conducted very slowly and carefully, lasting about eight hours. Sometimes the whole of the spirit is collected in one receiver (corresponding to the low wines of Scotch whisky), but frequently the "brouillis," as the results of the first distillation are termed, are divided into several fractions. The "brouillis" which contain about 25 to 35% of alcohol are redistilled, this second distillation being called the "bonne chauffe" or "repasse." The first runnings - which vary in quality according to the quality of the wine, the manner of heating, &c. - are termed "produit de tete" or "tetes," and are separately collected and mixed with the "brouillis" of the following operation. The spirit which next comes over (starting at a strength of about 80% and running down to about 55%) is the "ceeur," and as a whole, marks roughly 66 to 70% of absolute alcohol by volume. The residue in the still is then run down to water, and the spirit so obtained, which shows zo to 25%, is called "seconde," and is either mixed with a fresh charge of wine or rectified separately, the stronger portion being mixed with the "brouillis," the weaker with a charge of wine (see Brandy).

There are two main kinds of rum, namely, Jamaica rum and rum of the type prepared principally in Demerara and Trinidad (see Rum). There are two varieties of Jamaica rum (a) the common clear rum, and (b) flavoured, Rum. or "German" rum. (a) " Common clear" rum is prepared from a mixture of sugar-cane molasses, "skimmings" (the scum from the boiling cane juice) and "dunder," this last name being given to the spent lees from previous distillations. Previous to use the "skimmings" are subjected to acid fermentation either alone or in conjunction with "trash" (crushed cane). The wort, which on the average contains about ro to 15% of sugar, ferments very slowly, owing to the fact that very little yeast - the latter being derived from the cane rind - is present. Roughly five to ten days are occupied by this operation. At first the fermentation is mainly alcoholic, but it rapidly assumes an acid character, owing to the presence of a great number of acidifying bacteria derived from the "dunder" and "skimmings." The distillation of the fermented wort is carried out in pot stills heated by fire or steam, either of a simple type or provided with rectifiers. In the former case two distillations are necessary, the first resulting in the production of a weak alcoholic liquid termed "low wines," the second, which consists in a rectification of the low wines, producing "high wines" or strong rum. The other type of still is provided with two rectifiers, which are interposed between the still and the condensing worm. These are charged with low and high wines respectively. The first runnings of the still (25 to 40 o.p.) constitute the rum proper, the next fraction the high wines, and the final distillate the low wines. (b) Flavoured or "German" rum is prepared from the same materials as the "common clear" variety, with the addition of "acid" and "flavour." "Acid" is obtained by acidifying fermented cane juice by means of cane "trash" and refuse from the wash backs. "Flavour" is prepared in much the same way as "acid," except that "dunder" sediment is also added. The fermentation, which is to a very great extent bacterial, results in the formation of large quantities of acid, including much butyric acid and compound esters. The distillation of "flavoured" rum is carried out in much the same manner as that of the "common clear." The manufacture of "Demerara rum" is differentiated from that of the Jamaica varieties mainly by the fact that the fermentation in the former case is practically purely saccharomycetic (i.e. yeast), whereas the latter is largely schizomycetic (i.e. bacterial). For the distillation of the Demerara rums, which are much lighter in flavour than the Jamaica varieties, stills of the "patent" (see below) or rectifying type are frequently employed (see Rum and Arrack).

For the manufacture of industrial spirit from saccharine materials see below, under Industrial Alcohol. B. Spirits Derived from Starchy Materials. - The manufacture of spirit from saccharine materials is, as we have seen, a relatively simple operation, the sugar being transformed into alcohol by fermentation, and the latter then distilled off. To convert starchy matter into alcohol is a much more complicated matter. To the operations necessary for the transformation of sugar into spirit, must, in the case of starchy materials, be added that of converting the starch into sugar. This is accomplished either by the action of a diastatic ferment, such as that present in malted grain (see Brewing) or secreted by certain living organisms, or by an acid such as sulphuric acid. The latter process is little employed at the present time. The materials employed by the distiller, and the methods of preparation and treatment to which they are subjected before and after entering the distillery, are in some respects similar, in others materially different, from those employed by the brewer. The materials most frequently employed are maize, rye, barley malt, raw barley, oats, wheat and potatoes. Comparing the main operations (apart from the actual process of distillation) of the brewer with those of the distiller, it is true that these are identical in the sense that they consist in the conversion of starch into sugar and of the latter into alcohol; but whereas the object of the brewer is to produce beer, of which alcohol forms only a relatively small proportion, the distiller, broadly speaking, desires to produce alcohol, and it is this fact which is responsible for the differences alluded to above.

Distillery Malting

Where malt is employed as the main raw material, as, for instance, in the case of Scotch pot-still whiskies, and also, but to a minor degree, in Irish pot-still whiskies and patent-still whiskies, the process of preparation does not, except in some specific particulars, differ very widely from that used in making brewer's malt (see Malt). With regard to the barley employed for this purpose, certain qualities which are of the greatest importance to the brewer, such as the nature of the husk, colour, and friability of the starch, are of little interest to the distiller, and providing that the grain is sound and that it contains a high percentage of starch and malts as well, it will pass muster as an average distillery material. It is usual to give barley intended for patent-still work a rather longer period in the steep and on the floors than in brewery malting, and it is well to treat the steep-water with some antiseptic, preferably lime, as the distiller has not the opportunity of lessening the dangers of bacterial infection at subsequent stages which is afforded to the brewer by the boiling and hopping of the wort. In distilleries where barley malt is not used as the main raw material, but mainly or chiefly as a diastatic agent (for instance, in potato and maize distilleries on the continent of Europe), the so-called "long" malt process is widely employed. This consists essentially in subjecting the grain first to a somewhat lengthy steep (until the increase in weight due to the absorbed water is about 40 to 45%), and secondly to a very prolonged "flooring" at a moderate temperature, great attention being paid to the conditions of ventilation and humidity. It was formerly believed that the germinating barley grain attains its maximum of diastatic power after a very short period, and that when the acrospire is three-quarters "up" and the rootlets say one and a half times the length of the grain, the malt is ready for removal from the floor. M. Delbruck, Hayduck and others have, however, shown that this is not the case, and the practical results obtained by adopting the twenty days' "flooring" period (and its attendant conditions) have amply confirmed the scientific researches on this subject.

Hayduck has shown that the relative diastatic strengths of "short" (seven to ten days) and "long" (twenty days) malt are, (I) for heavy barleys as ioo: 128.5 (average), (2) for light barleys as zoo: 160 5 (average). In contradistinction to the brewer (who can only use it on exceptional occasions and for special purposes), the distiller prefers, whenever this is feasible, to use green malt rather than kilned malt. One of the principal objects of kilning brewing malt is to restrict the diastatic power; but this is the very factor which the distiller desires to preserve, as the green malt possesses roughly twice the diastatic activity of high kilned malt. It is obvious that the distiller, who regards his malt merely as a starch-converting agent, will, ceteris paribus, use as little kilned malt as possible. The malt whisky distiller cannot, however, use green malt, as he relies to a great extent on the kilning process for the development of the peculiar flavour characteristic of the article he produces. Moreover, it is frequently difficult during hot weather to obtain a satisfactory green malt supply, especially as the latter will not bear carriage for any distance, and distillers who make pressed yeast (commonly called "German" yeast) find that a proportion of kilned malt is necessary for the satisfactory manufacture of this article. When the distiller is unable to use green malt he will, by preference, use a malt which has been kilned at as low a temperature as possible. Under these conditions the kilning is little more than a drying operation, and the temperature is rarely raised above 130° F.

Although green or low-dried barley malt is the saccharifying agent usually employed both in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe, malts prepared from other cereals are not infrequently employed for this purpose. According to Glaser and Moransky the relative starch-transforming capacities of the various malted grains, taking barley as the unit, are as. follows: - Barley malt Rye malt Wheat malt Oat malt. Maize malt Oat malt, notwithstanding its low transforming power, possesses certain advantages, inasmuch as it is easily and rapidly prepared, it acts very quickly in the mash tun, and its diastatic power is well maintained during fermentation. Rye is best malted in conjunction with a little barley or oats, as it otherwise tends to superheat and to grow together in a tangled mass.

Distillery Mashing

Distillery mashing, although outwardly very similar to the process employed in brewing, differs very widely. in some important particulars. In brewing all the necessary fermentable matter is formed from the starch by the mashing operation. The wort so obtained is then hopped and sterilized. This method of working, however, cannot be adopted by the distiller. The brewer must have a certain proportion of dextrinous, non-fermentable carbohydrate matter in his wort; the distiller, on the contrary, desires to convert the starch as completely as possible into fermentable, that is, alcohol-yielding, material. This result is obtained in two ways: first, by mashing at low temperatures, thus restricting the action of the diastase less than is the case in the brewer's mash; and, secondly, by permitting the diastatic action to continue during the fermentation period. Low temperature mashing alone will not have the desired effect, for part of the dextrinous bodies resulting from diastatic starch-transformation are not further degraded by diastase alone, but are rendered completely fer- mentable by the combined action of diastase and yeast. Hence the distiller is unable to boil, that is, to sterilize his wort, as he would thereby destroy the diastase entirely. In this he is at a serious disadvantage compared with the brewer, as an unsterilized wort is very liable to bacterial infection. The latter danger prevents the distiller from taking full advantage of the benefits of low-temperature mashing, and he is obliged to heat his mash to a temperature which will, at any rate, be a partial safeguard against the bacterial evil. The method employed varies according to the nature of the mash and the quality of the spirit that it is desired to obtain, but in principle it consists, or should consist, in bringing the mash as rapidly as possible to the temperature of maximum saccharification,. keeping the whole at this point for some little time, then heating to the temperature of maximum liquefaction, and subsequently to as high a temperature as is consistent with the thickness of the mash and the preservation of sufficient diastase for the fermenting period.

The Fermenting Operations

The conditions and methods of distillery fermentation vary considerably, and in some respects radically, from those employed in the brewery. In order to obtain the maximum alcohol yield the distiller is obliged to work with unsterilized wort, and at relatively high temperatures.. The necessity for the former condition has already been explained, but the latter is due to the fact that the optimum working capacity of distillery yeast is reached at a temperature markedly above that most favourable to brewing types. Apart from this, if the distiller worked at brewing temperatures the I 00 0 93 I.08 0.30 0.28 brewing yeasts would predominate, and these produce less alcohol than the distillery types. Thus at 75° F. (and above) distillery yeasts tend to predominate. The conditions of fermentation which are more or less forced upon the distiller are unfortunately also very favourable to the development of bacteria, and if special methods are not adopted to check their development, the result would seriously affect not only the quantity but also the quality of alcohol produced. The microorganisms chiefly to be feared are those belonging to the class of fission fungi (schizomycetes), such as the butyric, the lactic, the mannitic, and mucic ferments.


It has long been known to practical distillers that in order to avoid irregular (bacterial) fermentations it is necessary either to let the wort "sour" naturally, or to add a small quantity of acid (formerly sulphuric acid was frequently employed) to it before pitching with yeast. The reason for this necessity was until recent times by no means clear. It has, however, now been demonstrated that a slightly acid wort is a favourable medium for the free development of the desirable types of distillery yeasts, but that the growth of brewery yeasts, and especially of bacteria, is very much restricted, if not entirely suppressed, in a "soured" liquid. The acid which is the result of a properly conducted souring is lactic acid, formed by the decomposition of the sugar in the wort, by bacterial action, and according to the equation C6H1206= 2C3H603.

For various reasons (one being that in order to restrict the lactic fermentation when sufficient acid has formed it is necessary to heat the soured liquid to a higher temperature than is desirable in the case of the main wort) it is inexpedient to allow the souring process to take place in the main wort. It is usual to make a small mash, prepared on special lines, for the production of the "bub" (German Hefegut), as the soured wort is termed. This is allowed either to "sour" spontaneously, or, better, is inoculated with a pure culture of B. acidificans longissimus, which for this purpose is undoubtedly the best variety of the lactic acid bacteria. The optimum developing temperature of this organism is about 104° F., but it is better to keep the wort at 122° F., for at the latter temperature practically no other bacteria are capable of development. When the lactification is completed the wort is raised to 165° F. in order to cripple the lactifying bacteria - otherwise souring would go on in the main fermentation - and after cooling to the proper point it is pitched with yeast. When a good crop of the latter is formed the whole is added to the main wort. The beneficial effects of souring are not due to any specific action of the lactifying bacteria, but purely to the lactic acid formed. It has been found that excellent - and in some respects better - results can be obtained by the use of lactic acid as such in place of the old souring process. Some success has also attended the introduction of hydrofluoric acid and its salts as a substitute for lactic acid. Hydrofluoric acid is poisonous to bacteria in doses which do not affect distillery yeasts, and the latter can be cultivated in such a manner as to render them capable of withstanding as much as 0.2% of this acid. Bacteria, apparently, cannot be "acclimatized" in this fashion. Worts treated with hydrofluoric acid produce practically no side fermentation, and it seems a fact that this substance stimulates diastatic action, and thus permits of the use of relatively low mashing temperatures. The yeast employed in British and Irish pot-still and in some patent-still distilleries is still generally obtained from breweries, but it is now generally recognized that - at any rate for the production of industrial alcohol and for "plain" spirit - a special type of yeast such as the so-called "German" yeast, a good deal of which comes from Holland, but which is now also produced in the United Kingdom on a considerable scale, is desirable in the distillery. This variety of yeast, although closely allied botanically to that used in brewing (belonging as it does to the same class, namely Saccharomyces cerevisiac), is capable of effecting a far more rapid and far more complete fermentation than the latter. Probably the most widely known and best "pure-culture" distillery yeast is the one called "Species II," first produced in the laboratories of the Berlin Distillers' Association. The optimum working temperature of distillery yeast is at about 81 5° F.; but it would be inexpedient to start the main fermentation at this temperature, as the subsequent rise may be as much as 36°. It is, therefore, usual to pitch at about 80° F., and then, by means of the attemperator, to cool down very slowly until the temperature reaches 60° F. The temperature subsequently rises as fermentation goes on, but should not exceed 85° F. Pot-still malt whisky distillers frequently work at somewhat higher temperatures. Fermentation is carried on until practically all the saccharine matter is converted into alcohol; and when this is the case, the gravity of the mash is about equal to, or even a little below, that of water. In malt whisky distilleries the original gravity of the wort is usually from 1.050 to 1 . 060, occasionally lower, but in grain and potato distilleries the worts are often made up to a higher gravity. In Germany gravities as high as 1.11 are employed; but in that country "thick" mashes, owing to the method employed to raise the duty, are a matter of necessity rather than of choice.

It will be seen from the above that the employment of malt for the purpose of rendering starch soluble and fermentable leaves a good deal to be desired in regard to both the mashing and fermenting operations in the production of spirit. The use of acid for this purpose is also attended by serious drawbacks inasmuch as a considerable proportion of the starch is converted into "reversion" products which are practically unfermentable and thus considerable caramelization is brought about by the action of the acid. In the case of the production of potable spirits such as whisky, where the alcohol yield is not the only object, and the conservation of a specific flavour is desired, it is doubtful whether any material improvement can be made in this connexion, as it seems probable that part of the flavour may be due to some of the circumstances which from the point of view of alcoholic yield alone are most undesirable. For the production of industrial alcohol, however, and for the preparation of spirit intended to be used in compound potable spirits and liqueurs, these difficulties have now been surmounted. The older methods at the disposal of the distiller have of late years been enriched by the discovery that certain micro-organisms (or rather the enzymes contained in them) possess the power of converting starch into sugar, and also of splitting up saccharine materials into the ordinary products of alcoholic fermentation. It is possible to inoculate a sterilized wort with a pure culture of a micro-organism of this description and subsequently with a pure culture of yeast, and so to avoid all undesirable features of the older processes.

Details concerning the practical application of this discovery will be found below under Industrial Alcohol. Distillation. - The primary object of the distillation of all fermented liquids is that of separating, as far as possible, alcohol from the non-volatile constituents of the wash. In the second place the object of the distiller is to rectify and concentrate the dilute alcoholic liquid obtained by simple distillation. The degree and manner of rectification and concentration vary in accordance with the type of spirit to be produced, and it will be better therefore to discuss methods of distillation under the headings of the different types of spirit concerned.

1. Scotch Pot-still Whisky. - The raw material employed in the manufacture of Scotch pot-still whisky is practically without exception malted barley only. The malt is prepared Whisky. in much the same way as brewery malt, except that it is generally cured (dried) with a peat, or mixed peat and coke, fire. It is to this peat drying that the so-called smoky flavour of most Scotch pot-still whisky is due. The malt is mashed in a mash-tun on lines similar to those obtaining in the brewery, except that the mashing heats are somewhat different. They should be so regulated as to obtain the maximum yield consistent with the preservation of the proper flavour. In order to obtain as high a yield as possible four separate mashes are as a rule made with the same lot of grist, the temperature of each successive mash being somewhat higher than that preceding it. The worts obtained from the first three mashes are united prior to fermentation. The liquor from the last mash is used as mashing liquor for the next lot of malt. The general scheme of operations subsequent to mashing is illustrated by fig. 7, which depicts the process at one of Messrs Buchanan's distilleries.

Missing image

After the wort has been drawn off it is run through a refrigerator, and then passes to the wash backs. The latter are large wooden vessels corresponding to the fermenting backs of the brewer. Here the wort is pitched with yeast, the fermentation starting as a rule in the low wines still is termed "spent lees." Both these liquors are run to waste, or where local circumstances make it necessary are destroyed, or modified by means of a purification process. In some cases the solid matter contained is converted into manure. The mixed feints and foreshots contained in the feints receiver are worked up in the subsequent operation, being mixed with the next lot of low wines in the proportion of roughly one third mixed feints and foreshots, and two-thirds low wines. The object of the double distillation as described is in the first place to concentrate the alcohol FIG. 7. - Diagram of Malt-whisky Pot-still Plant. (Messrs J. Buchanan's Glentaucher's Distillery, Speyside, N.B.) e?1q at something over 70° F. The maximum temperature attained at some distilleries frequently exceeds 90° F., but in the opinion of the author this is excessive. Fermentation proceeds until the whole of the saccharine matter is converted into alcohol, and when this is the case the gravity of the fermented wort - now termed wash - should be equal to, or a little lower than that of water. The wash from the various wash backs is now collected in the wash charger, which is an intermediary vessel serving for the mixing of the contents of the different wash backs, and also for the purpose of enabling the revenue officer to ascertain the total volume and strength of the wash. In this way he obtains a check on the quantity and gravity of the wort as taken pr i or to fermentation. From the wash charger the wash passes to the wash still, which is a copper vessel varying in size in Scotland from about 3000 to 8000 gallons. The usual size is about 5000 to 6000 gallons. This still is heated either by direct fire (as shown in the illustration), or frequently by means of a steam jacket or steam coil. The wash still is provided with rakes or chains actuated from outside for the purpose of preventing the solid contents of the wash from being charred. The whole of the spirit is drawn off in one fraction from this still, and is condensed by means of a copper coil cooled by running water. The distillate so obtained is termed "low wines," and the strength is generally about 50 u.p. The next stage in the process is the redistillation of the low wines. This takes place in the low wines still, which is a vessel similar to the wash still, except that it is rather smaller. The distillate from the low wines still is collected in three separate fractions termed respectively and in the order of their collection, (a) foreshots, (b) clean spirit or whisky, (c) feints. The quantity of each of these three fractions collected will vary somewhat according to the nature of the spirit being made, the quality of the material employed, and to other circumstances into which it is not necessary to enter. As a rule the foreshots will be run from the starting of the still down to 25 to 30 o.p. Whisky will be collected from about 25 to 30 o.p. to proof, the remainder, namely the residual fraction, from proof down to water, being feints. In collecting the various fractions the distiller is mainly guided by the alcoholic strength of the spirit coming over, by its flavour, and by its behaviour on mixing with water. It is the object of the distiller to obtain a clean spirit or whisky which gives as little "blueing," that is opalescence, when mixed with water as possible. The foreshots and feints are run into the feints receiver, the whisky to the spirit receiver. The distiller is able to divert the spirit coming over into either of these receivers at will by means of a movable arm contained in the spirit safe. The spirit safe is a closed vessel containing two or more broad funnels each of which is connected with a pipe leading to a feints or spirit receiver as the case may be. The movable arm fixed on to the pipe leading from the condensing coil can be actuated from without by the distiller. In this way the distiller is able to regulate the distillation at will without having access to the spirit. The quality of the spirit coming over is judged by means of the apparatus contained in the sampling safe. This is another closed vessel containing hydrometer jars fitted with hydrometers, and with a water supply. A small part of the spirit coming from the coil passes through this box into the hydrometer jars, where its strength is taken by means of the hydrometers and its behaviour towards water ascertained by mixing with a known volume of the same. The strength of the whisky collected varies at different distilleries, but it is generally from 25 to 30 o.p. The quantity and strength of the spirit are gauged in the spirit receiver by the revenue officer, and the spirit is then run into casks and placed in store. The residue in the wash still is termed "pot ale" or "spent wash," the residue contained in the wash, and secondly to rectify it. Part of the volatile by-products pass out in the spent wash and spent lees; another part is eliminated by the modification which some of these products undergo during storage in the feints receiver.

2. Irish Pot-still Whisky. - Both as regards the raw material employed and the manner of manufacture, Irish pot-still whisky differs very appreciably from the Scotch variety. There are a few distillers who work with malted barley only, but the great majority employ a mixture of from (generally) 25 to 50% of malted barley and 50 to 75% of a mixed grist of "raw" (i.e. unmalted) rye, wheat, barley and oats. The malt is not peat cured. The distillation is carried out in a type of still radically different from the Scotch pot-still. The stills (of which there are generally three as against two in the Scotch process) are very large, ranging up to 20,000 gallons. A characteristic feature of the Irish pot-still is the great length and height of the "lynearm," i.e. the pipe connecting the still with the condensing coil. This lyne-arm generally runs up vertically from the still for a distance of to to 20 ft., then horizontally for another 30 or 40 ft., again vertically for io to 20 ft., and is then connected to the condenser. The horizontal portion of the lyne-arm lies in a shallow trough fitted with a water supply, and the temperature of the spirit vapours prior to their passing to the condenser may thus be regulated at will. According to the length and height of the lyne-arm and the temperature of the water jacket, more or less of the vapours condense and are carried back to the still by means of a pipe running back from the horizontal portion FIG. 8. - Diagram of single type of Irish Pot-still Plant. (Messrs John Jameson's Distillery, Dublin.) of the lyne-arm to the still. The return pipe is fitted with a cock, which enables the distiller to regulate the return flow. Occasionally there is a further return pipe for the condensing coil, but this is not usual. The result of this form of plant is that it is possible to work up far greater quantities of wash and to obtain a much higher rectification in a single operation than is possible in the case of the Scotch pot-still.

A single type of Irish pot-still plant as employed at Messrs J. Jameson's, Dublin, is shown in fig. 8. It will be noticed that in this case there is no return pipe from the lyne-arm. The method of collection and of working the Irish pot-stills is a great deal more complicated than that described under the Scotch variety. Three stills are employed and strong low wines and weak low wines, strong feints and weak feints are collected, and mixed in varying proportions according to the discretion of the distiller.

3. American Pot-still Whisky

There are two main varieties of American pot-still whisky, namely, rye whisky, in which rye is the predominant raw material, and Bourbon whisky, in which maize or Indian corn is the chief substance employed. There are different varieties of these whiskies.

"Sour mash" whisky is made by scalding the raw material with pot ale (i.e. the residue left in the stills from the previous operation), then cooling down to mashing temperature and saccharifying by means of malt. The distillation is sometimes carried out with naked fire, but more generally by means of steam which is passed into the wash (termed "beer" in America), either in a free state or by means of a coil, and then collecting the spirit, after condensing and subsequently rectifying by means of a second distillation (termed "doubling"). "Sweet mash" whisky is made by mashing the raw material in the ordinary way by means of malt. The stills generally employed for making whisky by this procees contain three compartments situated above one another and connected by means of a curve pipe. Live steam blown into the lower compartment causes the wash to boil. The vapours go up through the curved pipe into the next compartment and so cause the contents of the latter to boil. The vapour from the second compartment then passes up to the third in the same manner. The vapour from the third compartment passes into a vessel charged with low wines, and the vapours so obtained are finally condensed, forming whisky, or "high wines." 4. Patent-still Whisky. - Scotch and Irish patent-still or "grain" whiskies are manufactured usually with a mixed grist of raw and malted grain, and by means of an apparatus usually termed the "patent," but more properly called Coffey's still. For the manufacture of patent-still whisky a grist containing generally 2 5% or more of malted barley is employed. The balance consists of maize together with malted and unmalted rye, oats and wheat, and the mixture of grains employed varies at different distilleries. The mashing takes place as a general rule in an ordinary mash-tun, and calls for no special mention. The fermentation is conducted in much the same way as at potstill distilleries, except that at some patent-still distilleries where bakers' yeast is made it is conducted on somewhat different lines, the conditions being adjusted so as to suit the propagation of a healthy type of yeast of a particular type. For fermentation of this description it is well recognized that the use of selected or pure yeast is necessary. The fermenting vessels, wash chargers, &c., are much the same as in the pot-still distillery except that they are of much larger size. The "patent" still was invented by Aeneas Coffey in the early part of the 19th century with a view of accomplishing in one operation that which necessitates several operations in the pot-still, of economizing time, fuel, and material, and also of obtaining at will a spirit of a higher purity than that which can be got by, the pot-still. It is sometimes stated that the patent still does not produce whisky, but merely plain spirit or alcohol, but as a matter of fact this is not the case. It can be so worked by selecting the proper materials and by running the still in a particular way as to produce an article which is most distinctly a potable spirit of the character of whisky. It can also be employed by altering the proportion of the materials and by running the still differently to produce a spirit which may be used for purposes of methylation, or which may pass through the hands of the rectifier and emerge as plain spirit or alcohol pure and simple. It is, however, quite impossible to obtain from the Coffey still a really plain or silent spirit such as that produced by some of the stills on the continent of Europe; in order to obtain this type of spirit, the product of the patent still is treated by the rectifier in a special rectifying still with charcoal and potash. In certain details the Coffey still has been modified since it was devised by the inventor, but in principle it has been very little altered. Although it does not in some respects compare with some of the modern continental rectifying stills, it must be remembered that it is not made for the purpose of obtaining pure alcohol, and from this point of view it is a remarkable tribute to the ingenuity of Coffey that he should at so early a date have designed so perfect an apparatus.

The still shown in fig. 9 is one of the type designed by Messrs Robert Willison of Alloa for Scotch grain whisky distilleries. The Coffey still is a double still consisting of two adjacent columns, termed respectively the rectifier and analyser. Both columns are subdivided into a number of chambers by perforated copper plates. The main structure is of wood firmly braced with iron. Each compartment communicates with the next by means of a drop pipe standing slightly above the level of the plate and passing downwards into a cup, which forms a water seal or joint. Each compartment is also fitted with a safety valve in case of the plates choking or of the pressure rising unduly. At the beginning of the operation both columns are filled with steam at a pressure of about 5 lb. The steam at the base of the analyser passes upwards through it, and then to the bottom of the rectifier by means of the pipe B (termed the low-wines vapour pipe), and then up through the rectifier. When both columns are filled with steam the wash is pumped up from the wash charger through the copper pipe A to near the top of the rectifier, which it enters at the point A'. The pipe A runs from the top to the bottom of the rectifier forming a double bend in each compartment, and the wash (contained in the pipe) travels down in a zigzag course until it reaches the base of the rectifier at the point C. From here (still remaining in pipe A) it is pumped to the top of the analyser, where it emerges from the pipe and covers the plate of the top compartment. As there is an upward pressure of steam the wash is not able to pass through the perforations of the copper plate forming the base of the compartment, but collects until its level reaches the top of the first drop pipe. Through this it passes into the cup on the plate below and so out on to the next plate. The drop pipes being trapped by the cups the steam cannot pass upwards through the former. In this way the wash passes through compartment to compartment of the analyser until it reaches the bottom, and then passes out by means of the spent wash siphon. The steam on its passage up through the analyser carried with it the alcoholic vapours and other volatile matters contained in the wash. The alcoholic vapours pass from the top of the analyser to the bottom of the rectifier, and then upwards through the latter from compartment to compartment. In so doing they are gradually cooled by the wash flowing down through the pipe A. This gradual cooling causes the less volatile constituents to condense and so to flow downwards through the column until they reach the base of the rectifier. At a certain point in the upper part of the rectifier (marked S in the illustration) the bottom of the compartment in. question is formed not of a perforated plate, but of a stout copper sheet, pierced by a fairly wide pipe, which stands up about two inches above the level of the former. This is termed the spirit plate. It is so placed that the alcoholic vapours condense either on or immediately above it. The alcohol passes out from the spirit plate chamber from one of the two pipes shown in the illustration (either to the spirits or to the feints receiver as the case may be), and is then further cooled, in order to complete the condensation, by means of coils immersed in flowing water, as shown in the illustration. In order to render the condensation still more perfect the upper chambers of the rectifier are fitted with coils through which cold water is passed. The vapours condensed by this fall upon the spirit plate. The vapours which have an appreciably lower boiling-point than ethylic alcohol, such as the aldehydes, together with a large volume of carbonic acid gas derived from the wash, pass out of the top of the rectifier by means of the "incondensible gas" pipe E, and thence to a separate condensing coil. The spirit obtained is of high strength, generally about 64 o.p. The less volatile constituents of the wash, generally termed "fusel oil," which pass out of the base of the rectifier, are cooled and then passed to the oil vessel. After the apparatus has been worked for some time the fusel oil which floats in a layer on the top of the contents of the oil vessel is skimmed off. The watery layer from the oil vessel, which still contains a little alcohol, is again passed through the apparatus to remove the last trace of the latter. By employing the cold wash to cool the alcoholic vapours much condensing water is saved as compared with the ordinary pot-still apparatus. Conversely, as the hot alcohol vapours heat the cold wash to boiling-point, there is a great economy of coal as compared with the older process.

The distillation is controlled by an operator standing on the platform P. The operator is able by means of the sampling apparatus X to determine the quality and strength of the spirit and of the wash. He is able, by regulating the quantity of steam admitted to the apparatus, by modifying the rate of pumping, and by running the spirit either to the spirit or to the feints receiver, as the case may be, to control the strength and quality of the product in much the same manner as does the pot-still distiller.

Analyser of alcohol 95 parts and wood naphtha 5 parts, and they may also, under certain conditions and restrictions, employ pure alcohol. It is generally considered that the most satisfactory way of methylating or "denaturing" spirit intended for technical purposes is that which consists in adding one of the ingredients which would ordinarily be used in the course of manufacture, or some other ingredient which does not interfere with the manufacture of the specific article in question. In the year 1906 the total quantity of "industrial methylated spirit" employed in the United Kingdom was 2, 0 4 1 ,373 proof gallons. The quantity of pure alcohol employed in the same year was 435,915 gallons; for the same period the total quantity of ordinary methylated spirit produced was 6,055,285 gallons. On the continent of Europe and in America alcohol is used in the industries to a greater extent than is the case in the United Kingdom.

The raw materials generally employed in making industrial alcohol are the sugar beet, and beet or cane molasses, potatoes, maize, rice and similar starchy materials. The manufacture of spirit for industrial purposes in many respects resembles the process for manufacturing potable spirit, but, broadly speaking, it may be said that the raw materials employed need not be of so high a class, and that the main object of the distiller in this case is to produce as high a yield of alcohol as possible. Taste and flavour are secondary considerations, although in the case of industrial alcohol employed for some purposes - for instance, for pharmaceutical preparations - a very fine spirit is required. When beets or molasses are employed for making alcohol, the process is a comparatively simple one. If beets are used the sugar is extracted from them in much the same way as is the case in the manufacture of sugar itself (see Sugar), although in recent years a process for steaming the beets under pressure in much the same way as in the preparation of potato mashes has been employed. The sugar present in the beet and in molasses is not directly fermentable. It is generally rendered so by the addition of a small quantity of mineral acid. The saccharine solution is then pitched. with yeast and fermented in the ordinary way. Potatoes, maize, rice and other starchy materials are generally treated under pressure with steam in a close vessel termed a converter. This method entirely disrupts the starch cells, and so renders the starch very readily convertible. When the pressure "cooking" is completed the mash is run out of the converter into the mash tun proper, where it is treated with a minimum quantity of malt at the most suitable temperature. The wort obtained is, after (as a rule) removing a part of the husks and skins by means of special machinery, pitched with yeast and fermented.

Missing image

- - ......


We have seen above in the paragraphs dealing with the general features of distillery operations that the method of converting starch into sugar by means of malt possesses very serious Scale of Feet o 2 3 $ 6782 o to FeMt Pump FIG. 9. - Diagram of a Coffey Still. (Messrs R. Willison & Co., Alloa.) Industrial Alcohol. - By industrial alcohol is understood spirit which is employed for other than potable purposes. Alcohol is largely employed in the industries and arts, and for domestic purposes. It is chiefly used for the manufacture of varnish, fine chemicals and dye-stuffs, for pharmaceutical purposes, and in the form of ordinary methylated spirit for lighting and heating. Ordinary methylated spirit for domestic purposes is prepared in the United Kingdom by adding 10 parts of wood naphtha and a small quantity of mineral naphtha to 90 parts of strong spirit. This spirit may be employed duty free for any purpose, except that it may not be purified in such a manner as to produce pure alcohol or a potable spirit. Up to the year 1906 British manufacturers were forced either to use this spirit or to pay the full duty if they wished to use any other variety. As a result of the recommendations of the industrial alcohol committee of1904-1905the Revenue Act of 1906 contained provisions modifying this undesirable state of affairs. Manufacturers may now use a special "industrial methylated spirit," which consists drawbacks. Of late years a process has been discovered whereby these disadvantages, as far as industrial spirit is concerned, are entirely overcome. It has been known for some time that certain micro-organisms (or rather the enzymes contained in them) possess the power of converting the starch directly into fermentable sugar, and further of splitting up the latter into the usual products of alcoholic fermentation. Among the organisms of this description first known may be mentioned the moulds, Aspergillus Oryzae and Eurotium Oryzae. Later A. L. C. Calmette discovered a mould to which he gave the name Amylomyces Rouxii, which was employed by A. Collette and A. Boidin for producing alcohol on an industrial scale. Since then Boidin has discovered another mould to which he gave the name of Mucor 0, which possesses advantages over the other micro-organisms named inasmuch as it works more rapidly and in a more concentrated wort. The amylo process, as this method of producing alcohol is termed, is now worked on a very large scale in many countries. The process consists in inoculating a sterile (mostly maize or rice) mash in a closed vessel with a very small quantity of the spores of the mould, passing filtered air through the liquid for a certain time, thus causing the material to develop very rapidly, and subsequently inducing fermentation by the addition of a pure yeast culture. The mould is of itself capable of fermenting the sugar produced, but it is found that the yeast acts more quickly, and will stand a greater percentage of alcohol, than the former. The whole process occupies about five days. The advantages accruing from operating, as is the case in the amylo process, with sterile worts are enormous, inasmuch as undesirable bacterial and side fermentations are impossible. The quality and yield of the alcohol is, owing to this fact, considerably improved. The fact that no malt is employed leads to a further very considerable economy. The general course of operations in the amylo process may be gathered from fig. lc). The maize or other raw FIG. I 0. - Diagram of the Amylo Process.

material is steeped in the vessels AA with a sufficient quantity of dilute acid to convert the secondary into primary phosphates. When the steeping operations are complete the material passes into the converters BB. After conversion is completed the disintegrated material passes into the vessel C, and thence by means of the pipe D to the fermenting vessels EEE. After fermentation is completed the wash passes to the still F.

It is impossible at present to employ the amylo process in its most satisfactory form in the United Kingdom owing to the fact that it is necessary in order to take full advantage of the process to employ a thick wort, i.e. one from which the husks have not been removed. The gravity of a wort of this description cannot be taken by the saccharimeter prescribed by the spirit Acts, but no doubt this difficulty will in time be overcome. The average yield by the amylo process is from one to one and a half gallons a cwt. of raw material more than is the case with the processes ordinarily employed in the United Kingdom.

Distillation of Industrial Alcohol

A still intended for the distillation of industrial alcohol should be so devised as to yield a spirit of the greatest strength and purity in the most economical manner. Stills are now constructed which yield in one operation a spirit containing up to 98% of absolute alcohol, and free from all but the merest traces of aldehyde, fusel oil, &c. (foreshots and tailings). An excellent still of this kind is that of R. Ilges. He takes advantage of the fact that if a liquid containing 1 5% of alcohol is boiled, the quantity of fusel oil in the vapour is equal to the amount in the remanent fluid, and that if the percentage of alcohol is less than 15% the amount of fusel oil in the vapour is greater than that in the liquid. It is therefore possible, by working on proper lines, to remove the whole of the fusel from the mash by a single operation. By subjecting the vapours so obtained to a carefully regulated dephlegmation, the fusel oil condenses, together with the steam and a certain proportion of alcohol - in practice 1 5%. By further cooling the liquid so obtained the fusel separates out, and, being specifically lighter, rises to the surface of the watery spirit, and is then easily removed. This form of still is so arranged that any change from the correct temperature necessary for the adequate separation of the concentrated "feints" into two layers is automatically corrected by the admission of more or less cooling liquor to the refrigerating pipe coiled round the dephlegmating column. The "foreshots" (aldehyde, &c.) are removed by submitting. the alcoholic vapour passing through the main dephlegmator to further purification. The Ilges apparatus yields three continuous streams of fine spirit, fusel oil, and foreshots respectively.

By-products of Fermentation and Distillation

The main constituent of spirits is, of course, ethyl alcohol - spirit of wine - but all spirits contain small but varying quantities of by-products and it is by these that the character of a spirit is determined. The by-products are mainly formed during fermentation, but are also to a certain extent pre-existent in the raw materials, or may be formed during the operations preceding and succeeding. fermentation. The nature of the by-products is complex, and varies sensibly according to the raw materials employed and the methods of malting, mashing, fermentation and distillation.

The by-products may be classified as follows: (a) higher alcohols - usually going under the name of fusel oil; (b) esters;. (c) fatty acids; (d) fatty aldehydes and acetals; (e) furfuryl aldehyde; (f) terpene, terpene hydrate and ethereal oils; and (g) volatile bases. The higher alcohols consist of mixtures of fatty alcohols (C n H ln + 1 0H), containing three or more atoms of carbon in which, as a rule, amyl alcohol (C5H110H) predominates. The fusel oil of British pot-still spirits is chiefly composed of amyl and butyl alcohols, whereas in patent spirits propyl alcohol preponderates, that is, in the finished or fine spirit, since the fusel oil separated from patent spirit in the course of distillation consists mainly of amyl and butyl alcohols. Broadly speaking, the higher alcohols present in pot are of higher molecular weight than those in patent spirits. Potato fusel contains a high proportion of isobutyl alcohol, grain fusel of n-butyl. alcohol. The acid present in spirits is chiefly acetic acid, but small quantities of other acids are also found. The esters, formed by the interaction of alcohols and acids chiefly during the fermenting and distilling operations, consist almost entirely of fatty acid radicles in combination with ethyl and, to a minor extent, amyl alcohol. Ethyl acetate (acetic ester) is the main constituent of the esters, the others being mainly ethyl valerate,. butyrate and propionate. Oenanthic ether (ethyl pelargonate) is one of the characteristic esters of brandy. Furfuryl aldehyde (furfurol) is a characteristic product in pot-still spirits, although it occurs to a greater or less extent in patent spirits according to the degree of rectification. It is probable that the furfural is formed by the splitting up of a part of the pentoses contained in the wort. It was formerly thought that its occurrence in relatively large quantities in pot-still spirits was due to the charring effect of the action of the fire gases on the carbonaceous matter adhering to the bottom and sides of the still, but the author has shown that this is not the case, inasmuch as he has found that spirits distilled by means of a steam jacket instead of direct fire contain quite as much furfurol as those distilled in the old way. Terpene and terpene hydrate are characteristic constituents of grain fusel. Although the ethereal oils appear to play an important part in determining the character of a spirit, too little is at present known of these substances to warrant any closer description.

Missing image
Missing image

Effect of Maturing on the By-products

That potable spirits. (excepting, of course, pure alcohol) and wine are greatly improved by age is an undeniable fact, and one that has been recognized for many hundreds, and even thousands, of years. Thus in the gospel of St Luke we have the statement "that no man having drunk old wine, straightway desireth new: for he saith, Steeps 6 The old is better." And again in the Apocrypha, "New friends are like new wine: when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure." There is little doubt that the beneficial effect of age on the character of spirits is due to the changes effected in the character and quantity of the by-products, but the exact nature of these changes is by no means clear. Such improvement as takes place is apparently connected in some way with the free access of air to, or rather the satisfactory ventilation of, the containing vessel; for spirits preserved entirely in glass undergo relatively little change, either in taste or in chemical composition, whereas cask storage materially affects both these factors.

Concerning the changes which take place during maturation, it was formerly believed that the higher alcohols decreased with age, and that the main reason of the improvement noticeable in mature spirits was due to this fact. The author has, however, shown conclusively that this is not the case, but that on the contrary the higher alcohols generally increase during maturation. This decrease is not absolute, but only relative, and may be due to the fact that the higher alcohols are less volatile than ethyl alcohol. There is a decided increase during maturation of both the volatile and non-volatile acids. On the whole also the esters and aldehydes generally tend to increase, but not to so great an extent as was formerly believed to be the case. There is, however, a marked decrease in regard to furfurol. The type of cask exercises a marked influence on the course of maturation; and, as regards whisky, spirit stored in a sherry cask undoubtedly matures more quickly than that contained in a plain wood cask. The relative humidity of the cellar in which spirit is stored has a very great effect on the course of maturation. In a very damp cellar the spirit will lose alcohol very rapidly and as a result all those changes which are favoured by these conditions will take place with relative rapidity. On the other hand, in a very dry cellar the loss of alcohol is relatively smaller than that of water (cf. Schidrowitz and Kaye, Journ. Soc. Chem. Ind., June 1905).

Physiological Effects of Spirit By-products

The nature of the physiological effects produced by the ingestion of spirits varies considerably, not only according to the class of spirit (i.e. whether whisky, brandy, rum, &c.) consumed, but also with its condition (i.e. whether new or old, and so on); and there is no doubt that the causation of these phenomena is intimately connected with the nature and quantity of the by-products, to which, as has been already said, the character of the spirit is due. Commenting on a statement in Bailey's Book of Sports to the effect that wine and brandy had a tendency to make a man fall on his side, whisky to make him fall forward, and cider and perry to make him fall on his back, Sir T. Lauder Brunton (Evidence, Spirits Committee, 1891) suggests that these statements - if correct - might indicate definite injury to various parts of the cerebellum. Thus, if the anterior part of the middle lobe of the cerebellum is injured, the animal tends to fall forward; when the posterior part is affected, the head is drawn backwards, &c. Brunton is inclined to believe that the varying action of different spirits may be due to the specific action of specific products on the separate nerve centres. Thus the cause of the epileptic convulsions produced by the injection of absinthe has been traced to the specific action of the chief flavouring agent of this liqueur.

In view of the doubt which modern research has thrown on the older theories, to the effect that the improved character of a mature, as compared with a new, spirit is due to the decrease in the quantity of the higher alcohols (i.e. the fusel oil), a discussion of the specific action and relative toxicity of these bodies may seem superfluous, more especially as they occur in quantities which are apparently incapable of producing serious effects. As, however, there is considerable reason for believing that the higher alcohols do influence, at any rate, the flavour of the spirit a brief reference to their physiological action seems to the author not out of place. Broadly speaking, the toxicity of the fatty alcohols increases with their molecular weight. Dujar-dinBeaumetz and Audige found that the lethal dose for dogs was 5-6 grammes per kilo-body-weight for ethyl (ordinary) alcohol; 3.75 grammes for propyl alcohol; 1 8 grammes for butyl; and 1.5 grammes for n-amyl alcohol. It is interesting to note that the experiments of these investigators were conducted chiefly with the pig, as the digestive organs of the latter animal are very similar to those of man, and also because the pig is apparently the only animal which willingly takes alcohol with its food. With regard to the action of spirits generally, the investigators named above found that the digestive organs of pigs fed for thirty months with pure alcohol alone were not affected, whereas the animals treated with similar quantities of imperfectly purified spirit (whether derived from the beet, the potato or from grain) suffered considerably.

Of late years the attention of pharmacologists has been directed to furfurol especially, and the aldehydes generally, as being, at any rate in part, the cause of the unpleasant after or by-effects of certain spirits. Curci and others showed that furfurol in certain doses is poisonous to animals. Brunton and F. W. Tunnicliffe demonstrated a poisonous action of this substance upon man, and, comparing the after-effects upon animals of spirits containing, and freed from, aldehydes, found certain important physiological differences between them. I. Guareschi and A. Mosso first drew attention to the fact that numerous samples of reputedly pure spirits contained small quantities of certain volatile bases of an alkaloidal nature. They apparently belong to the pyridine series, and have effects similar to those of strychnine. E. Bamberger and Einhorn discovered the presence of pyridine, dimethylpyridine and other bodies belonging to the same series, in commercial fusel oil. It is possible that the existence of these volatile bases in spirit may have given rise to the - on the face of it absurd - suggestion that tar bases have been used as adulterants of whisky. It appears likely that the formation of the bases in question is connected with the use of inferior or decaying grain or maize. Thus the spirit produced in Sweden in 1879 was particularly bad and had very curious effects, and it was found, on investigation by M. Husz, that it had actually been largely prepared from decomposing grain. Moreover, C. Lombroso discovered an alkaloidal body in decayed maize, the action of which was not unlike that of strychnine. The quantities of these bases which have been found in spirits are very small, but it must be remembered that substances are known - such as abrine, for instance - which have marked effects in practically unweighable quantities. It is possible that these volatile bases may be responsible for some of the effects - very similar to alkaloidal poisoning - produced by crude spirits such as Cape "smoke" and the cheap Portuguese liqueurs.

Having described the nature and effects of spirit by-products, and the changes occurring in them during storage, the question that arises is: How is the knowledge gained by scientific research in this direction applied in practice? It may be said that the old adage "prevention is better than cure" holds good in the spirit industry as elsewhere, and the distiller, therefore, tries as far as possible to avoid the formation of those by-products which are objectionable, or at any rate to remove them during the course of manufacture. These methods for obtaining a satisfactory potable spirit are so far, however, only successful up to a certain point, and the distiller is therefore bound to have recourse to prolonged storage or to one of the many artificial processes of purification' and maturing, the majority of which have been devised - with varying success - during recent years. Referring, in the first place, to what may be called the natural or "preventive" methods for the production of a well-flavoured spirit, it is necessary (a) that the water supply (for steeping, mashing, &c.) be a good one; (b) that no mouldy or inferior material be used; (c) that mashing heats be kept within reasonable limits; (d) that refrigerators be constructed so as to avoid bacterial infection; (e) that the "souring" of the wort be conducted on proper lines; (f) that a favourable and vigorous type of yeast be used; and (g) that stills, &c., be kept perfectly clean. Coming next to the methods ordinarily or frequently employed by distillers for eliminating the undesirable by-products, which, despite all care, are formed in the course of manufacture, the most important undoubtedly is purification by rational fractional distillation. By properly regulating the distilling heats, by using a well-devised still, both in the first instance and also for rectifying, a product very free from fusel oil, and especially from fatty aldehydes and volatile ethers, may be obtained. The removal of acids - objectionable chiefly on account of the unpleasant decomposition products which they form in still - is carried out by neutralizing the still contents with an alkaline medium. The alkali so used also decomposes undesirable esters, and retains some of the aldehydes. For the elimination of fusel oil, treatment with charcoal is the most common method. Luck has suggested for this purpose the passing of the alcoholic vapours through petroleum, which is said to absorb the higher alcohols much more easily than it does ordinary spirit; and some distillers have successfully tried the method of V. Traube, which consists in treating the spirit with a saturated aqueous solution of various inorganic salts. This causes the formation of a supernatant layer, which is said to contain practically all the fusel oil as well as the greater part of the foreshot by-products, fatty aldehydes, &c.' Finally, there remain for consideration the artificial maturing processes. These are exceedingly numerous, but it may be said at once that the great majority of them are hardly to be taken seriously. Thus one inventor, acting on the alleged fact that spirits are improved by lengthy journeys, suggests that a miniature railway, with numerous obstacles to augment the rolling and shaking action, be laid down in the distiller's warehouse. Of the methods worthy of consideration may be mentioned, first, those depending solely on the action of currents of air, oxygen and ozone. They exist in numerous modifications, but the principle involved, broadly speaking, is to pass a current of hot or cold air or oxygen, or alternate currents of hot and cold air, or a current of ozonized air, through the liquid, with or without pressure, as the case may be. According to the patents of E. Mills and J. Barr, new whisky rapidly acquires the character of the mature sherry-cask stored spirit if the action of alternate hot and cold air currents be assisted by the addition of a little sherry and a minute trace of sulphuric acid, the latter being subsequently neutralized by lime. Secondly, there are the processes which make direct or indirect use of the electric current. Of the indirect methods in this class may be mentioned that of Hermite, which consists essentially in adding an electrolysed solution of common salt to the spirit, and subsequently redistilling. Thirdly, the processes which rely on accelerating natural cask action by artificially reproducing the conditions attendant on the latter in a purposely exaggerated or heightened form. One method strives to obtain this object by heating the spirit under pressure in an atmosphere of oxygen in a vessel containing a quantity of oak shavings. This process certainly seems calculated to remove a portion of the by-products, for the "grog" obtained in A. H. Allen's experiments by steaming the staves of an old whisky cask contained appreciably more fusel oil and esters than commercial whisky. Fourthly, we have the methods chiefly dependent on the action of cold. R. P. Pictet, by cooling a new brandy to - 80° C., is said to have obtained a liquid which had apparently acquired the properties of a twelve-year-old spirit. R. C. Scott's process consists in energetically treating spirit which has been cooled down to o C. with dry filtered air, and the operations are so conducted, it is said, that there is no loss of alcohol or of the important aromatic esters. According to the published data, the quantity of the fusel oil is materially reduced by this method, and the quality of the spirit much improved. None of the above processes has apparently (although in practice they may give satisfactory results) been devised with a view to effecting the direct removal of those specific substances (furfurol, other aldehydes and volatile bases) which later research has shown to be present to a greater extent in new or inferior spirits than in the matured or superior article, and to some of which, at any rate, owing to their acknowledged toxicity in very small quantities, it is more than reasonable (as Lauder 1 The above chiefly applies to industrial spirit, in the manufacture of which a product which is practically pure alcohol is desired. These methods can only be used to a limited extent by whisky and brandy distillers, for a complete removal of by-products also entails destruction of the spirit's character.

xxv. 23 Brunton and Tunnicliffe have pointed out) to suppose that at least a part of the evil effects by drinking new or inferior spirit may be ascribed. In this connexion a patent taken out by J. T. Hewitt is of interest, inasmuch as it deals with the problem of spirit purification on seemingly rational scientific lines. This patent takes advantage of the fact that furfurol and similar aldehydes can be removed from spirits by distillation with phenylhydrazine-sulphonate of soda, which salt forms non-volatile products with the substance in question. (P. S.)

<< Spires

Spiritualism >>

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Demonology article)

From BibleWiki


—Biblical and Post-Biblical Data:

Systematic knowledge concerning demons or evil spirits. Demons (Greek, δαίμονες or δαιμόνια; Hebrew, (missing hebrew text) (Deut 32:17; Ps 10637) and (missing hebrew text) (Lev 17:7; 2Chr 11:15; A. V. "devils"; Luther, "Feldgeister" and "Feldteufel"); Aramaic, or rabbinical, (missing hebrew text) and (missing hebrew text) (missing hebrew text) as spirits animating all elements of life and inhabiting all parts of the world, have their place in the primitive belief of all tribes and races. When certain deities rose to be the objects of regular worship and became the rulers of the powers of life, demons, or spirits, were subordinated to them. But inasmuch as they were still feared and occasionally worshiped by the populace, they became the objects of popular superstition.

Jewish demonology can at no time be viewed as the outcome of an antecedent Hebrew belief. While the nomadic Hebrews had much in common with the Arabian Bedouins in their belief in spirits (see Wellhausen, "Reste Arabischen Heidenthums: Skizzen und Vorarbeiten," 1887, iii. 135 et seq.; Smith, "Rel. of Sem." 1889, pp. 112-125, 422 et seq.), Canaanite practise and belief were greatly influenced by ancient Chaldea, whose demonology is in the main pre-Semitic (see Lenormant, "Chaldean Magic," 1877, pp. 23-38; German transl., 1878, pp. 22-41; Jastrow, "Religion of Babylonia and Assyria," pp. 260 et seq.; Zimmern, in Schrader's "K. A. T." 1902, ii. 458-464). In Babylonia the Jews came under the influence of both the Chaldean and the Persian belief in good and in evil spirits, and this dualistic system became a dominant factor of Jewish demonology and Angelology. In Europe, Teutonic, Celtic, and Slavonic demonology in the form of superstition permeated Jewish practise and belief. See Superstition.

Demons in the Bible.

The demons mentioned in the Bible are of two classes, the "se'irim" and the "shedim." The se'irim ("hairy beings"), to which the Israelites sacrificed in the open fields (Lev 17:7; A. V. "devils"; R. V., incorrectly, "he-goats"), are satyr-like demons, described as dancing in the wilderness (Isa 13:21, Isa 34:14; compare Maimonides, "Moreh," iii. 46; Vergil's "Eclogues," v. 73, "saltantes satyri"), and are identical with the jinn of the Arabian woods and deserts (see Wellhausen, l.c., and Smith, l.c.).

To the same class belongs Azazel, the goat-like demon of the wilderness (Lev 16:10ff), probably the chief of the se'irim, and Lilith (Isa 34:14).

Possibly "the roes and hinds of the field," by which Shulamit conjures the daughters of Jerusalem to bring her back to her lover (Song 2:7, Song 3:5), are faunlike spirits similar to the se'irim, though of a harmless nature.

The (missing hebrew text) (Job 5:23. A. V. "stones of the field"), with which the righteous are said to be in league—obviously identical with, if not a corruption of, the (missing hebrew text) (Mishnah Kil. viii. 5), explained in Yer. Kil. 31c as (missing hebrew text) (missing hebrew text) "a fabulous mountain-man drawing nourishment from the ground" (see Jastrow, "Dict.," and Levy, "Neuhebr.

Wörterb." s.v. (missing hebrew text) )—seem to be field-demons of the same nature. The wilderness as the home of demons was regarded as the place whence such diseases as leprosy issued, and in cases of leprosy one of the birds set apart to be offered as an expiatory sacrifice was released that it might carry the disease back to the desert (Lev 14:7, Lev 14:52; compare a similar rite in Sayce, "Hibbert Lectures," 1887, p. 461, and "Zeit. für Assyr." 1902, p. 149).

The Israelites also offered sacrifices to the shedim (Deut 32:17; Ps 10637). The name (missing hebrew text) (believed by Hoffmann, "Hiob," 1891, to occur in Job 5:21), for a long time erroneously connected with "the Almighty" ( (missing hebrew text) ), denotes a storm-demon (from (missing hebrew text) , Isa 13:6; A. V. "destruction"; compare Ps 916, (missing hebrew text) , "that stormeth about"; A. V. "that wasteth"). In Chaldean Mythology the seven evil deities were known as "shedim," storm-demons, represented in ox-like form; and because these oxcolossi representing evil demons were, by a peculiar law of contrast, used also as protective genii of royal palaces and the like, the name "shed" assumed also the meaning of a propitious genius in Babylonian magic literature (see Delitzsch, "Assyrisches Handwörterb." pp. 60, 253, 261, 646; Jensen, "Assyr.-Babyl. Mythen und Epen," 1900, p. 453; Sayce, l.c. pp. 441, 450, 463; Lenormant, l.c. pp. 48-51).

It was from Chaldea that the name "shedim" = evil demons came to the Israelites, and so the sacred writers intentionally applied the word in a dyslogistic sense to the Canaanite deities in the two passages quoted. But they also spoke of "the destroyer" ( (missing hebrew text) ) Ex 12:23) as a demon whose malignant effect upon the houses of the Israelites was to be warded off by the blood of the paschal sacrifice sprinkled upon the lintel and the door-post (a corresponding pagan talisman is mentioned in Isa 47:8). In 2 Sam 24:16 and 2Chr 21:15 the pestilence-dealing demon is called (missing hebrew text) = "the destroying angel" (compare "the angel of the Lord" in 2Kg 19:35; Isa 37:36), because, although they are demons, these "evil messengers" (Ps 7849; A. V. "evil angels") do only the bidding of God, their Master; they are the agents of His divine wrath.

But there are many indications that popular Hebrew mythology ascribed to the demons a certain independence, a malevolent character of their own, because they are believed to come forth, not from the heavenly abode of YHWH, but from the nether world (compare Isa 38:11 with Job 14:13; Ps 1610, Ps 4916, Ps 1398). "The first-born of Death who devours the members of his [man's] body" and causes him to be brought "to the king of terrors" (Job 18:13f, Hebr.), is undoubtedly one of the terrible hawk-like demons, portrayed in the Babylonian Hades-picture (see Roscher, "Lexikon der Griechischen und Römischen Mythologie," s.v. "Nergal"), and the "messengers of death" (Prov 16:14) are identical with the "servants of Nergal," the King of Hades and god of pestilence and fever in Chaldean mythology (see Jeremias, "Die Babylonisch-Assyrischen Vorstellungen vom Leben nach dem Tode," 1887, pp. 71 et seq.; Zimmern, l.c. pp. 412 et seq.; Jensen, l.c. pp. 478, 557).

Other Demons.

'Alukah (Prov 30:15; A. V. "horseleech"), the bloodsucker or vampire, whose two daughters cry "Give! Give!" is none other than the flesh-devouring ghoul of the Arabs, called by them "'aluḳ" (Wellhausen, l.c. pp. 135-137). She has been rendered in Jewish mythology the demon of the nether world (= (missing hebrew text) see 'Ab. Zarah 17a), and the names of her two daughters have in all probability, as familiar names of dreaded diseases, been dropped (compare Ewald, Delitzsch, and Wilderboer's commentaries, ad loc., and the description of the demon "Labartu" in "Zeit. für Assyr." 1902, pp. 148 et seq.). Deber ("pestilence"), originally the death-dealing sting of the midsummer sun-god Nergal (see Roscher, l.c. iii. 257), and Keṭeb ("smiter"), the deadly hot wind (Deut 32:24; Isa 28:2; A. V. "destruction," "destroying"), are demons, the one walking in darkness, the other storming along in midday (A. V. "that wasteth at noonday"), against which God's protection is invoked in the incantatory psalm "Shir shel Pega'im," ascribed to Moses by the Rabbis (Ps 915f; compare Midr. Teh. ad loc.; Tan., Naso, ed. Buber, 39; Num. R. xii.). Possibly the evil spirit that troubled Saul (1Sam 16:14ff) was originally a demon (compare Josephus, "Ant." vi. 8, § 2), turned into an evil spirit coming from Yhwh in the amended Masoretic Text (see Smith, Commentary, ad loc.). None of these demons, however, has actually a place in the system of Biblical theology; it is the Lord who sends pestilence and death (Ex 9:3, Ex 12:29); Deber and Reshef ("the fiery bolt") are His heralds (Hab 3:5). The shedim are "not-gods" (Deut 32:17); there is no supernatural power beyond Yhwh (Deut 4:35; compare Sanh. 67b). It is possible, however, that, as at a later stage in the development of Judaism the idols were regarded as demons, so the Canaanite deities were, either in disparagement, or as powers seducing men to idolatry, called "shedim" by the sacred writers (Deut 32:17; Ps 10537); all the more so as the latter ascribed a certain reality to the idols (Ex 12:12; Isa 19:1, Isa 24:21; see Baudissin, "Studien zur Semitischen Religionsgesch." 1876, i. 130).

Time and Place of Appearance.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

It was the primitive demonology of Babylonia which peopled the world of the Jews with beings of a semi-celestial and semi-infernal nature. Only afterward did the division of the world between Ahriman and Ormuzd in the Mazdean system give rise to the Jewish division of life between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of evil.

Rabbinical demonology has, like the Chaldean, three classes of, demons, though they are scarcely separable one from another. There were the "shedim," the "mazziḳim" (harmers), and the "ruḥin" or "ruḥotra'ot" (evil spirits). Besides these there were "lilin" (night spirits), "ṭelane" (shade, or evening, spirits), "ṭiharire" (midday spirits), and "ẓafrire" (morning spirits), as well as the "demons that bring famine" and "such as cause storm and earthquake" (Targ. Yer. to Deut 32:24 and Num 6:24; Targ. to Song 3:8, Song 4:6; Eccl 2:5; Ps 915f; compare Psalm 70 and Isa 34:14). Occasionally they are called "mal'ake ḥabbalah" (angels of destruction) (Ber. 51a; Ket. 104a; Sanh. 106b).

"They surround man on all sides as the earth does the roots of the vine"; "a thousand are on his left, and ten thousand on his right side" (compare Ps 917); if a man could see them he would lack the strength to face them, though he can see them by casting the ashes of the fetus of a black cat about his eyes, or by sprinkling ashes around his bed he can trace their cock-like footprints in the morning (Ber. 6a). They hover around the house and the field (Gen. R. xx.), particularly in the lower regions of the air (Num. R. xii.; Tan., Mishpaṭim, ed. Vienna, 99a; compare Diogenes Laertius, viii. 32, ix. 7). Their main abode is in the northern part of the earth (Pirḳe R. El. iii., after Jer 1:14). Their sporting-places are caper-bushes and spearworts, where they dwell in groups of sixty; nut-trees, where they form in groups of nine; shady spots on moonlight nights, especially the roofs of houses, under gutters, or near ruins; cemeteries and privies (there is a special demon of the privy, "shed shel bet ha-kisse"); water, oil, and bread-crums cast on the ground; and they harm persons and things coming near them (Pes. 3b; Ber. 3a, 62b; Shab. 67a; Giṭ. 70a; Ḥul. 105; Sanh. 65b).

R. Johanan knew of 300 kinds of shedim living near the town of Shiḥin (Giṭ. 68a). It is dangerous to walk between two palm-trees (Pes. 111a). Demons are particularly hurtful at night. It is unsafe to salute a person in the dark, for he might be a demon (Meg. 3a); to sleep alone in a house, as Lilith may seize one (Shab. 151b); to walk alone in the night or in the morning before cockcrow (Ber. 43a; Yoma 21a; compare Cock); to take water from one whose hands have not been washed in the morning (Ber. 51a). Especially dangerous are the eves of Wednesday and of the Sabbath, for then Agrat bat Maḥlat, "the dancing roof-demon" (Yalḳut Ḥadash, Keshafim, 56), haunts the air with her train of eighteen myriads of messengers of destruction, "every one of whom has the power of doing harm" (Pes. 112b). On those nights one should not drink water except out of white vessels and after having recited Ps 293-9 (the verses mentioning seven times "the voice of the Lord") or other magic formulas (Pes. 3a). Another perilous season is midsummer noon from the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Ab. Then the demon Keṭeb Meriri reigns from ten in the forenoon to three in the afternoon. He has the head of a calf, with one revolving horn in the middle, and an eye on the breast, and his whole body is covered with scales and hair and eyes; and whosoever sees him, man or beast, falls down and expires (Pes. 3b; Lam. R. i. 3; Midr. Teh. to Ps 913; Num. R. xii.).

Demons assume the shape of men, but have no shadow (Yeb. 122a; Giṭ. 66a; Yoma 75a). Attimes they are black goat-like beings ( (missing hebrew text) ; Ḳid. 72a); at other times, seven-headed dragons (Ḳid. 29a). "Like angels, they have wings and fly from one end of the world to the other, and know the future; and like men they eat, propagate, and die" (Ḥag. 16b; Ab. R. N. xxxvii.). They cause the faintness of students and the wear and tear of their dress in the schoolhouses and assemblies of the learned (Ber. 6a). But they are not always malign spirits. As they, by virtue of their semi-celestial nature, can overhear the decrees of heaven, they may be consulted by men as to the future; this can be done by means of oil and eggshells; only on Sabbath is this forbidden (Shab. 101a). Hillel and Johanan ben Zakkai understood their talk just as King Solomon did (Mas. Soferim, xvi. 9; B. B. 134a; Suk. 28a; Giṭ. 68b; Ker. 5b; Pesiḳ., ed. Buber, 45b).

The saint Abba Jose of Zaintor saved his town from harm, when informed by a water-demon living near by that a harmful fellow demon made his dwelling there, by causing the inhabitants to go down to the water's edge at dawn, equipped with iron rods and spits, and beat the intruder to death; blood marked the spot where he was killed (Lev. R. xxiv.).

The magicians in Egypt made use of demons to perform their miracles, as all witchcraft is the work of demons (Sanh. 67b; 'Er. 18b; Ex. R. ix.), though demons can not create, but only transform existing things (Sanh. 67b). Egypt was considered the stronghold of such witchcraft as worked by means of demons (Ḳid. 49b; Shab. 104b; Men. 85a; Tan., Wayera, ed. Buber, 17, 27; Tosef., Shab. xi. 15; compare Friedländer, "Sittengesch. Roms," i. 362, iii. 517).

Some of the Babylonian amoraim employed shedim as friendly spirits, and received useful instruction from them, calling them by familiar names, such as "Joseph" or "Jonathan" (Pes. 110a; Ḥul. 105b; Yeb. 122a; 'Er. 43a; regarding (missing hebrew text) (missing hebrew text) see Schorr in "He-Ḥaluẓ," 1865, p. 18).

Demons were regarded by antiquity as beings endowed with higher intelligence (see Friedländer, l.c. iii. 562). They were said to have been created at the twilight of the Sabbath (Abot v. 9); "after the souls were created the Sabbath set in, and so they remained without bodies" (Gen. R. vii.).

Nature of Demons.

In the main demons were workers of harm. To them were ascribed the various diseases, particularly such as affect the brain and the inner parts (compare Rhode, "Psyche," 1894, p. 385). Hence there was a constant fear of "Shabriri" (lit. "dazzling glare"), the demon of blindness, who rests on uncovered water at night and strikes those with blindness who drink of it (Pes. 112a; 'Ab. Zarah 12b); "ruaḥ ẓeradah," the spirit of catalepsy, and "ruaḥ ẓelaḥta," also "ruaḥ palga," the spirit of headache (megrim or meningitis ?), hovering on palmtrees (Pes. 111b; Ḥul. 105b; Giṭ. 68b); "ben nefilim," the demon of epilepsy, and "ruaḥ ẓeḥarit," the spirit of nightmare (Bek. 44b; Tosef., Bek. v.3; Schorr, in "He-Ḥaluẓ," 1869, p. 15); "ruaḥ tezazit," the spirit of delirious fever and madness, befalling man and beast (Pesiḳ., Parah, 40a; Yer. Yoma viii. 45b; Yoma 83b; Gen. R. xii.; see Aruch and Dictionaries, s.v. (missing hebrew text) ); "ruaḥ ẓara'at," the spirit of leprosy (Ket. 61b); "ruaḥ ḳardeyaḳos," the spirit of melancholy (καρδιακός; Giṭ. vii. 1, p. 67b; Yer. Giṭ. 48c); "shibbeta," a female demon, bringing croup to persons, especially children, who leave their hands unwashed in the morning (Ḥul. 107b; Ta'an. 20b; Yoma 77b), probably identical with the "bush-asp," the Parsee demon "with long hands," who lulls men to sleep and attacks them ("Vendidad," xviii. 38; "Bundahish," xxviii. 26); "bat ḥorin" (daughter of freedom; possibly a play on "ḥiwar," a euphemistic expression for blindness), a demon bringing a disease of the eye to one who fails to wash his hands after meals (see Brüll's "Jahrb." i. 157); "kuda," a demon of disease which attacks women in childbirth ('Ab. Zarah 29a); "eshshata," the demon of fever, (ib. 28a; Shab. 66b); "ruaḥ zenunim," the spirit of sexual desire (Pes. 111a); "she'iyyah," an ox-like demon dwelling in desolate houses (B. Ḳ. 21a, after Isa 24:12); and many others mentioned in Rabbinical lore, only part of which has been preserved in Shab. 66 et seq., 109 et seq.: Pes. 109-113; Giṭ. 68-70; Sanh. 67 et seq.; see Brüll, l.c. i. 154 et seq., who refers also to "puta" or "pura," the spirit of forgetfulness, mentioned in Siddur Rab Amram, i. 31b; see also Blau, "Das Altjüdische Zauberwesen," 1898, pp. 71-85. On the demon "ben temalyon" (probably a euphemism for St. Vitus' dance) see Ben Temalion; Exorcism.

These demons were supposed to enter the body and cause the disease while overwhelming ("kefa'o shed," R. H. 28a; Sifre, Debarim, 318) or "seizing" the victim ("aḥazo," Shab. 151b; Yoma 83a, 84a); hence the usual name for "epileptic" is "nikpeh" (Bek. 44b; Yeb. 64b: Ket. 60b; Pes. 112b). The Greek word is δαιμονίζεσΘαι, meaning the condition of being in the power of a demon. To cure such diseases it was necessary to draw out the evil demons by certain incantations and tailsmanic performances, in which the Essenes excelled. Josephus, who speaks of demons as "spirits of the wicked which enter into men that are alive and kill them," but which can be driven out by a certain root ("B. J." vii. 6, § 3), witnessed such a performance in the presence of the emperor Vespasian ("Ant." viii. 2, § 5), and ascribed its origin to King Solomon.

In the Book of Wisdom, Solomon claims to have received from God power over the demons (Wisdom vii.20). The same power of curing by exorcism such diseases as dumbness, blindness, epilepsy, mania, and fever was exercised by Jesus and his disciples (Mt 8:16, ix. 32, xi. 18, xii. 22; Mk 1:25; v. 2 et seq.; vii. 32 et seq.; ix. 17, 27; Lk 4:33, 39 et seq.; viii. 27; ix. 39; xi. 14; xiii. 11; Acts 16:16), as also by their Jewish contemporaries (Acts 19:13 et seq.). It remained for a long time a practise among the early Christians (see Irenæus, "Hæreses," ii. 4, 32; Origen, "Contra Celsum," iii. 24; Friedländer, l.c. iii. 572, 634).

King and Queen of Demons.

The demons were believed to be under the dominion of a king or chief, either Ashmodai (Targ. to Eccl 1:13; Pes. 110a; Yer. Shek. 49b; Lev. R. v., where (missing hebrew text) is a corruption of (missing hebrew text) ) or, in the older Haggadah, Samael ("the angel of death"), who kills people by his deadly poison ("sain ha-mawet"), and is called "head of the devils" ("rosh saṭanim"; Deut R. xi.; Pirḳe R. El. xiii.). Occasionally a demon is called "satan": "Stand not in the way of an ox when coming from the pasture, for Satan dances between his horns" (Pes. 112b; compare B. Ḳ. 21a). The name "mashḥit" ("destroyer," Ex 12:23) seems to refer to the head of the demons in the sentence: "When permission is given to the destroyer to do harm, he no longer discriminates between the righteous and the wicked" (Mek., Bo, 11; B. Ḳ. 60a).

The queen of demons is Lilith, pictured with wings and long flowing hair, and called the "mother of Ahriman" ( (missing hebrew text) B. B. 73b; 'Er. 100b; Nid. 24b). "When Adam, doing penance for his sin, separated from Eve for 130 years, he, by impure desire, caused the earth to be filled with demons, or shedim, lilin, and evil spirits" (Gen. R. xx.; 'Er. 18b), and according to Pseudo-Sirach ("Alphabetum Siracidis," ed. Steinschneider, p. 23) it was Lilith, as Adam's concubine, who bore them (compare "Chronicles of Jerahmeel," ed. Gaster. xxiii. 1). Whether identical with Lilith or not, a more familiar personage, as queen of the demons, is Igarat bat Maḥlat (Num. R. xii.; Pes. 112b), with her chariot and her train of eighteen myriads of demons. According to Yalḳuṭ, Ḥadash, Keshafim, 56, she dances at the head of 478 ( (missing hebrew text) ), and Lilith howls at the head of 480 (= (missing hebrew text) ), companies of demons. The cabalists have as a third queen of the demons and wife of Samael, "Na'amah," the sister of Tubal Cain and the "mother of Ashmodai" (Gen 4:27; see Beḥai's commentary, and Yalḳuṭ, Reubeni, ad loc.). Agrat bat Maḥlat seems to be "the mistress of the sorceresses" who communicated magic secrets to Amemar (compare Pes. 110a, 112b). Yoḥane bat Reṭibi, who, according to Soṭah 22a. prevented women by witchcraft from giving birth to their children, seems to be the same mythical person mentioned by Pliny as "Iotape" or "Lotape" in "Historia Naturalis" (xxx. 1, 2), together with Jannes (Jambres) and Moses (see Reinach, "Texte d'Auteurs Grecs et Romains," 1895, p. 282).

Pre-Talmudic Demonology.

Upon pre-Talmudic demonology new light has been thrown by the "Testament of Solomon," translated by Conybeare in "Jew. Quart. Rev." (1898, xi. 1-45), a work which, notwithstanding many Christian interpolations, is of ancient Jewish origin and related to the "Book of Healing" ("Sefer Refu'ot") ascribed to King Solomon (see Pes. iv. 9; Josephus, l.c.; Schürer, "Geseh." iii. 300). In this "Testament" it is told that by the help of a magic ring with the seal of Pentalpha, Lilith-like vampires, Beelzebub, and all kinds of demons and unclean spirits were brought before Solomon, to whom they disclosed their secrets and told how they could be mastered (see Solomon, Testament of). It contains incantations against certain diseases, and specifies the task allotted to each of the chief demons in the erection of the Temple. The latter was a favorite theme of the Haggadists (Pesiḳ. R. vi.; Soṭah 48b; Giṭ. 68a). The later Haggadah ascribed to Moses this power to make the demons work at the erection of the Sanctuary (Pesiḳ. R. iv. 6b; Num. R. xii.); and Solomon's "sword against the fear of the spirits at night" (Cant. R. to iii. 8) was transformed into the Magic "sword of Moses" (Pesiḳ. 140a; Pesiḳ. R. 15; Cant. R. iii. 7; Num. R. xi., xii.). Henceforth the magic books of Moses and the "Sword of Moses" (see Dieterich, "Abraxas," 1891, pp. 155,169 et seq.; Gaster, "Sword of Moses," London, 1896) took the place of "Solomon's Testament" in the magic lore of the Jews.

Cosmic Demons.

In the main, demonology among the Jews preserved its simple character as a popular belief, the demons being regarded as mischievous, but not as diabolical or as agencies of a power antagonistic to God. Even Ashmodai, or Asmodeus, the king of demons (Tob 3:8, Tob 6:14, Aramaic version), who kills the seven successive bridegrooms of Sara before their marital union, is but a personification of lust and murder; but there is nothing Satanic& (that is, of the spirit of rebellion against God) in him; he is driven out by the recipe prescribed by the angel Raphael, and sent to Egypt and bound by Raphael (Tob 8:3). It was only at a certain period and within a certain circle that demonology received its specific character as part of the cosmic power of evil, and in opposition to angelology as part of the cosmic power of good.

Babylonian cosmogony describes the combat of Bel-Marduk with the chaos-monster Tiamat, the sea-dragon, the power of darkness whose defeat is the beginning of the world of light and order. The same monster appears in various Biblical passages as Rahab, the sea-monster; Tannin, the dragon of the sea; and Leviathan, the "crooked serpent" slain by Yhwh "with his sure and great and strong sword" (Isa 27:1, Isa 51:9; Ps 8910f; Job 26:12; Gunkel, "Schöpfung und Chaos," 1895, pp. 30-46 et seq.). While this mythological figure became in the course of time a metaphor symbolizing nations like Egypt (Ezek 29:3; Ps 874), the monster remained a real being in the popular belief; and inasmuch as this conflicted with the monotheistic system, the battle of God or His angel Gabriel with Leviathan and Behemoth was transformed into a great eschatological drama which ended in the perfect triumph of divine justice (B. B. 75b). The Babylonian Tiamat, as Behemoth and Leviathan, became on the one hand infernal monsters devouring the wicked, and on the other food and cover for the righteous in heaven. Nevertheless, the Mandæan and Gnostic heresies maintained the belief in these cosmic monsters (Brandt, "Mandäische Schriften," 1893, pp. 144 et seq.), and many descriptions of Gehenna in Jewish and Christian literature preserve traces of these. "Tartarus-holding" or "watching" demons of the lower regions (see Dieterich, l.c. pp. 35, 76 et seq.; Eschatology; Gehenna).

In fact, the hosts of demons punishing the wicked in Gehenna are in the service of angels of divine justice, and though called "saṭanim" (Enoch 407 et al.), belong to the category of angels rather than of demons. According to the Book of Jubilees, Noah learned from the angels (Raphael) the remedies against these diseases, and wrote them in a "Book of Healing", similar to the one ascribed to King Solomon (Jub 105ff; Jellinek, "B. H." iii. 155 et seq., xxx. et seq.). The host of demons under Satan's direction accordingly seduce all heathen people to idolatry (Jub 727, Jub 101, Jub 115, Jub 1520, Jub 2217), but the end of Satan will be the healing and resurrection of the servants of the Lord (Jub 2330).

The speculation regarding the nature and origin of these demons and their leaders led as early as the second pre-Christian century, in those fragments preserved under the name of the Book of Enoch, to the story of the fall of the angels (Enoch, vii.-viii.; lxix.). Like Beelzebub, or Lucifer (Isa 14:12; compare Slavonic Enoch 294), two hundred 'Irin or "watchers" fell, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of men (Gen 6:4); only tradition obviously differed as to the leader of the rebellious host, whether it was Azazel or Shamḥazai. At any rate, they acknowledged the supremacy of Satan (Enoch 533, Enoch 546), though occasionally many satans are mentioned (Enoch 407ff), and these fallen angels became "the evil spirits" (Enoch 158, Enoch 1919) who taught mankind all the arts of deception, witchcraft, and sin (vii.-viii., lxix.). But their children, the offspring of this mixture of an earthly and a celestial race, became, when slain, the hybrid race of disembodied spirits or demons doing the work of destruction until the Day of Judgment (Enoch 161).

Belial is another name for Satan found in the Book of Jubilees (Jub 1533), in Sibyllines (iii. 63), and in Ascension of Isaiah (ii. 4), where he is also called "the prince of injustice" (Sar ha-Masṭemah), who rules over this world. Belial (or Beliar) occurs most frequently in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. He has "seven spirits of deception" in his service (Reuben, 2), and as author of all evil, "the spirit of hatred, darkness, deception, and error," he is the opponent of God, the "Father of Light," and of His Law (Simeon, 5; Lev 1:19; Issachar, 6; Dan, 5; Zebulun, 9; Naphtali, 8; Gad, 4; Joseph, 20), and when "he and his evil spirits are crushed the heathen world will be converted to the belief in the Lord" (Simeon, 7; Zebulon, 9). Under this aspect the world appeared as the arena in which Satan contends with the Lord, the God of life everlasting, until "the great dragon, the old serpent, he that is called Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, shall be cast down and his angels with him" (Suk. 52a; Assumptio Mosis, xi.; Mt 25:41; Rev 12:9).

New Testament Demonology.

The whole Jewish and pagan world at the beginning of the Christian era believed in those magic formulas by which the evil powers of the demons could be subdued, and the Jewish exorcists found a fertile soil everywhere for the cultivation of their Essene notions and their magic. This was the atmosphere in which Christianity arose with the claim of "healing all that were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38), enforcing the recognition by the unclean spirits themselves of the Son of David as the vanquisher of the demons (Mk 1:27, Mk 3:11). The name of Jesus became the power by which the host of Satan was to be overcome, as Jesus himself had seen "Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Mk 9:38, Mk 16:17; Mt 12:28; Lk 10:18). But there was danger lest the exorcism practised by Gentiles and Jews alike (see Conybeare, "J. Q. R." ix. 88 et seq.) should engender the spirit of impurity underlying all magic, the dividing line between legitimate and illegitimate magic being anything but sharply drawn (see Jub 82; Sanh. 91a: "Abraham handed the name of unclean witchcraft to the sons of Keturah"; compare Blau, "Das Jüdische Zauberwesen," pp. 15, 23, 41 et seq.). It was, therefore, not hostility which prompted the Pharisees to accuse Jesus and his disciples of "casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils" (Mt 12:24; compare Ben Stada, Shab. 104b). The more devils cast out, the more appeared (Lk 11:26). The cure offered to an age in constant dread of demons (Acts 5:16, Acts 8:7, Acts 16:16, Acts 19:12ff) only aggravated the disease; nor did Paul's system (see Everling, "Die Paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie," 1888) spiritualize the idea of Satan as the Testaments of the Patriarchs endeavored to do, in order to remove the fear of demons (see Eph 6:12: Gal 4:3, Gal 4:9).

The Law, the Prophylactic Against Demons.

Pharisaism diagnosed the disease of the age differently, and therefore insisted that the observance of the Law was the best prophylactic against demons. The wearing of the [Tefillin], the Greek name of which, φυλακτήρια, indicates that they were regarded by the Hellenistic Jews as amulets (comp. Targ. Song 8:3; Gen. R. xxxv.; Men. 33b), the fixing of the Mezuzah at the door, the reading of the Shema, with the name of God in the first verse, and the putting on of the ẓiẓit, while direct observances of the Law (Deut 6:4ff, Num 16:38), were also regarded by the Rabbis as a safeguard against all evil powers (Ber. 5a; Num. 48b). The recital of the set prayers each morning and evening (Ber. 9b), the observance of the commandment of the Sukkah (Pesiḳ. 187b), protect against evil powers. In fact, "the wicked are accompanied by the angels of Satan; the righteous by the angels of God" (Tosef., Shab. xvii. 2-3; compare Jub 106). For each commandment observed by man becomes an angel "to guard him against demons" (Ex. R. xxxii. and Tan. ad loc.). "Every observance of the Law is a protection" (Soṭah 21a), and those bent upon doing some sacred work ("sheluḥe miẓwah") need fear no evil powers (Pes. 8b). The priest's blessing also is a protection against malign influences (Num. R. xi.). And as in the Passover night, "the night of watching," Satan was bound and prevented from doing harm to Israel (Jub 4815; Pes. 109b), so is "the left hand when adorned with the tefillim surrounded with thousands, and the right hand performing acts of religion surrounded with myriads, of guardian angels" (Midr. Teh. to Ps 914). "Every limb engaged in the fulfilment of a divine commandment is protected against the 'Strong One'" (Pesik. R. ix.; Midr. Teh. to Psalm 35). Thus Pharisaism, while increasing the yoke of ceremonial laws for the sake of love of God, showed a way to overcome the fear of demons. Belief in the power of the Law became the antidote against what may be termed "Satanophobia," and against the spirit of pessimism and asceticism which was fostered by the Essenes and by their Christian heirs.

The Philosophers.

Though the belief in demons was greatly encouraged and enlarged in Babylonia under the influence of Parsee notions, demonology never became an essential feature of Jewish theology. The reality of demons was never questioned by the Talmudists and casuists; therefore the Halakah accepted it as a fact (see Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 4, 2 et seq.; 90, 6; 181, 2; Yoreh De'ah, 116, 5; 179, 16, 19; Eben ha-'Ezer, 17, 10: based upon Shab. 101a, 109a; Ḥul. 105a; Ber. 3a; Pes. 112a; Meg. 3a; Pes. 109b; Yeb. 122a). Nor did most of the medieval thinkers question their reality (see Naḥmanides on Lev 17:7; "Cuzari," v. 14; Crescas, "Or Adonai," iv. 6; Solomon b. Adret, Responsa, i. 413; Moses Tachau, in "Ketab Tamim"; "Oẓar Neḥmad," iii. 97). Only Maimonides, when ignoring or circumscribing the rabbinical references to the demons (see "Yad," Roẓeaḥ, xii. 5; Gerushin, ii. 13 et seq.; compare "Moreh", i. 7, the commentary to Mishnah Pes. iv. 11, and Abot v. 6), and Ibn Ezra, on Lev 17:7, denied their existence.

The Cabalists.

The cabalists, on the other hand, not only took up all the ideas expressed in Enoch and Pirḳe R. El.xxxiv., regarding the demons as the spirits of the men of the Flood and as the result of the union of Adam and Lilith, but they made demons form part of the cosmic design in the emanistic system in which the right and the left are the opposite currents of pure and impure powers filling the world and dividing it between the Holy One and the serpent Samael (see Zohar, Bereshit, 47b, 53 et seq., 169b et seq., 174b, and Cabala). But while the malign powers became agencies of the spirit of impurity working in men and nations, there goes along with this view the popular conception of demons as spirits of the dead roaming about as specters and vampires. This latter view is especially prominent in the school of R. Judah of Regensburg, and is dwelt upon in the Book of Raziel and the "Sefer Ḥasidim," 172, 326 et seq. Nevertheless, while the number of the demons of diseases increases (see Güdemann, "Gesch. des Erziehungswesens," 1880, i. 205; Yalḳ., Ḥadash, Mita, 149), and the belief in the efficacy of incantations is firmly adhered to, these writers repeatedly urge their readers not to resort to any conjuration or magic practises, but to have perfect confidence only in prayer and in the power of God. "No one who indulges in such practise will see good results for himself and his house" ("Sefer Ḥasidim," ed. Wistinetzki, Nos. 211 et seq., 1448-57; Güdemann, l.c. 207).

Prayers Against Demons.

Notwithstanding this closing admonition of the "Sefer Ḥasidim," many prayers for the warding off of demonic influences have found a place in the Jewish liturgy and the Shulḥan 'Aruk. The privies having been in Talmudic times isolated spots which filled the imagination with specters of fear, a special incantation is prescribed invoking the protection of guardian angels against the evil spirits haunting these places (see Ber. 60b; compare Ber. 62a and Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 13, 1). Most of the prayers to be recited before retiring to bed are intended to guard the sleeper against demons (compare Ber. 4a; Shebu. 15b). At the close of the Sabbath, when the angel Dumah calls all spirits of the wicked back to their place of torment after their Sabbath respite, the evil spirits are supposed to swarm everywhere, poisoning the wells and doing harm in many ways; wherefore Psalm xci. is recited (see Pesiḳ. R. xxiii.; Sheeltot, Bereshit; Tanya, xxi.; Ha-Manhig, Shabbat, 65; Solomon b. Adret, Responsa, 1119; Kol Bo, xli.).

As early as geonic times there was a special incantatory formula, to be recited before drinking from the cup of the Habdalah wine, against "the demon Puta, the prince of forgetfulness," that "by the power of the holy names of the angels Arimaz, Arimas [Ahuramazda?], Ansisel, and Petahel, he may be cast upon the high mountains [Alburz]" ("Seder Rab Amram," i. 31). To this Isaac Luria added new features in the form of incantations against all the demons, and instead of "Puta" he read "Purah," connecting it with Isa 63:1 as the name of Esau-Samael (see Isaac Luria, "Tiḳḳune Shabbat," and Ḳiẓẓur Shelah, "Moẓe'e Shabbat"; compare M. Brück, "Pharisäische Volkssitten," 1840, p. 121; Brüll, l.c.).

Death at all times impressed people with the fear of evil spirits. Many rites and prayer-formulas were introduced to avert their malign influence, and special formulas for the dying were prescribed by the cabalists, by which all the demons (the shedim, ruḥin, lilin, mazziḳim, etc.) that may have been created by the impure thoughts and deeds of the departing, are adjured, by the Holy Decrees, the Powers of Heaven, and the anathemas of men, not to follow the dead nor injure him, nor in any way, direct or indirect, to cause injury to any person through him (see "Ma'abar Yabboḳ," ed. Landshut, pp. 30-33, Berlin, 1857, and introduction, where the literature is given; Amulet; Childbirth; Incantations). Customs are sometimes explained by the superstitious as being based upon belief in demons; for instance, the one prohibiting women from going to a cemetery because demons are fond of following her who yielded to the temptation of the serpent and thus caused death to come into the world, or the custom of blowing the shofar at funerals to ward off the shedim (see Yalḳ., Ḥadash, l.c. 47).

Bibliography: Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. s.v. Feldgeister und Dämonische; L. Löw, in Ben Chananja, 1858, i. 150-154; Hamburger, R. B. T. s.v. Geister; Winer, B. R. s.v. Gespenster; M. Kalisch, Commentary on Leviticus, 1872, ii. 310-319; Weber, System der Altsynagogalen Theologie, Index; Schorr, in He-Ḥaluẓ, 1865, vii. 17 et seq.; 1869, viii. 8 et seq.; Fuller, in Wace's Apocrypha, 1888, i. 176, 183 et seq.; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus, ii. 752-760, 771; Kohut, Angelologie und Dämonologie in Ihrer Abhängigkeit vom Parsismus, 1896.

—In Arabic Literature:

(This article treats only of parallels to Jewish demonology found in Arabic literature.)

Ante-Islamic mythology does not discriminate between gods and demons. The jinn are considered as divinities of inferior rank, having many human attributes: they eat, drink, and procreate their kind (compare Ḥag. 16a, where a similar belief is expressed), sometimes in conjunction with human beings; in which latter case the offspring shares the natures of both parents. The jinn smell and lick things, and have a liking for remnants of food. In eating they use the left hand ("Manaḳib Al-Ansar," No. 32). Usually they haunt waste and deserted places, especially the thickets where wild beasts gather. Cemeteries and dirty places are also favorite abodes (compare Shab. 67a; Ber. 62b; Mk 5:5). In appearing to man they assume sometimes the forms of beasts and sometimes those of men; but they always have some animal characteristic, such as a paw in place of a hand (Darimi, "Kitab al-Sunnah," ii. 213). Eccentric movements of the dust-whirlwind ("zawabi'") are taken to be the visible signs of a battle between two clans of jinn (Yaḳut, iii. 478).

Under the influence of Jewish and Christian demonology in post-Islamic times, the only animals directly identified with the jinn are snakes and other obnoxious creeping things (compare Pes. 112a). When Mohammed was on his way to Tabuk, it is said that a swarm of jinn, assuming the form of serpents, approached him and stood still for a long while.

Generally jinn are peaceable and well disposed toward men. Many an ante-Islamic poet was believed to have been inspired by good jinn; and Mohammed himself was accused by his adversaries of having been inspired by jinn ("majnun"). But there arealso evil jinn, who contrive to injure men. Among these are specially conspicuous the three female demons named "Ghul" (corresponding to the Talmudical (missing hebrew text) ), "Si'lat," and "'Aluḳ" or "'Aulaḳ" (compare Prov 30:15), and the four male demons "Afrit," "Azbab," "Aziab," and "Ezb." Ghul is especially harmful to new-born children, and in order to keep her away their heads are rubbed with the gum of an acacia (Zamakhshari, "Asas," s.v. "ḥaiḍ").

Demons in Islam.

Islam recognized the existence of all the pagan demons, good and evil, protesting only against their being considered gods. It divides the evil demons into five species: "jann," "jinn," "shaiṭans," "afrits," and "marids." Mohammed frequently refers in the Koran to the shaiṭans, of whom Iblis is the chief. Iblis, probably a corruption of the name "Diabolos" = Satan, is said to have been deprived of authority over the animal and spirit kingdoms, and sentenced to death, when he refused, at the creation of Adam, to prostrate himself before him (Koran, vii. 13). The shaiṭans are the children of Iblis, and are to die when their father dies; whereas the others, though they may live many centuries, must die before him. A popular belief says that Iblis and other evil demons are to survive mankind, though they will die before the general resurrection; the last to die being 'Azaril, the angel of death.

Tradition attributes to Mohammed the statement that every man has an angel and a demon appointed to attend him. The former guides him toward goodness, while the latter leads him to evil ("Mishkat," i. ch. 3). The shaiṭans, being the enemies of Allah, strive to disturb worshipers. Mohammed, it is said, prefaced his prayers with "O God! In Thee I am seeking for a refuge from the attacks of the shaiṭan and his witchcraft" (Ḥamzah, vii. 293). Among the evil jinn are distinguished the five sons of Iblis: "Ṭir," who brings about calamities and injuries; "Al-A'war," who encourages debauchery; "Suṭ," who suggests lies; "Dasim," who causes hatred between man and wife; and "Zalambur," who presides over places of traffic. It was in order to keep them away that the faithful were commanded the cleansings and fumigations which are unbearable to the shaiṭans, who delight in dirt and filth (Waḳidi, ii. 178). The pronouncing of the "takbir" formula ("Allah akbar" =Allah is very great) is also a means of driving them away. Mohammed, it is said, pronounced it in his travels whenever the appearance of the region changed, lest it might be enchanted. In later times amulets were invented to which were ascribed the virtue of protecting their bearers from the attacks of demons.

As in cabalistic literature, the cat plays a great part in Islamic demonology. A demon assuming the form of a cat is said to have presented himself to Mohammed while he was praying (Darimi, l.c. ii. 449). The demons called "Ḳuṭrus" usually assumed the form of cats (Mas'udi, "Muruj al-Dhahab," iii. 321). As to the good jinn, there are some among them who profess Islamism, and Mohammed pretended that many of them had listened to his sermons (Koran, sura lxxii.).

Interesting are the accounts given in the Koran of the power of Solomon over the shaiṭans, which accounts parallel the legends found in Talmud and Midrashim, and of which the following are examples:

"And we [subjected] to Solomon sundry devils to dive for him, and do other works; and we watched over them" (sura xxi. 81, 82). "And we tried Solomon, and we placed upon his throne a counterfeit body. . . . So we subjected unto him the wind, which moved gently at his command whithersoever he desired; and the devils also—every builder and diver bound in chains" (sura xxxviii. 33-37). "And of the jinn were those who worked in his presence by the will of the Lord; and such of them as swerved from our command we caused to taste of the punishment of hell. They made for him whatever he pleased of lofty halls and images, and dishes large as tanks for watering camels" (sura xxxiv. 11-12).

In the tradition it is said that Solomon possessed power over the demons by virtue of a talisman, which consisted of a signet-ring of brass, upon which was engraved the most great name of God.

Bibliography: Wellhausen, Reste Arabischen Heidenthums, pp. 148 et seq.; Goldziher, Abhandlungen zur Arabischen Philologie, i. 3, 107, 198, 205; Freytag, Einleitung in die Arabische Sprache, p. 167; E. W. Lane, Arabian Society in the Middle Ages, pp. 25 et seq.; W. R. Smith, Semitic Religions, pp. 122 et seq.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
This article needs to be merged with Demonology (Catholic Encyclopedia).
Facts about DemonologyRDF feed


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address