Alternatively Astaroth, Astarot, and Asteroth.
The male, medieval incarnation of Ashtoreth.
A demon, he was said to appear in the guise of an horrendous angel, riding on a dragon and holding a viper in his left hand, and having revolting foul-smelling breath. Some, however, say that his appearance was that of a handsome human male, half-black, half-white. He is described by Johann Wier as a very powerful grand duke in Hell, where he held the office of great treasurer and commanded forty infernal legions.
Astaroth was believed to know all secrets and was summoned usually Wednesdays, between the hours of ten and eleven at night, for a successful summoning to perform revelations of the past and the future. In addition, he was said to teach mathematical sciences and handicrafts, make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures. He was also thought to give to mortal beings the power over serpents.
Madame de Montespan, Louis XVI of France mistress, was reputed to have made human sacrifices to Astaroth on her attempts to obtain secret knowledge and magical influence over the king.
Astaroth is also mentioned as one of the seven princes of Hell who visited Faust, emerging as a serpent with a colored tail, two small feet, a chestnut neck, and spines similar to a hedgehog that grew up to a finger's length.
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Sources: (1) Bailey, Nancy, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Spells and Magic, Sterling; (2) Mathers, S. Liddell MacGregor, The Goetia, The Key of Solomon the King, The Book Tree; (3) Wier, Johann, 'Pseudomonarchia Daemonum'; (4) de Plancy, Collin, Dictionnaire Infernal, Editions; (5) Guiley, Rosemary Ellen and Zaffis, John, The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology, Checkmark Books.
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