Succubus

Entertainment / Literature / Succubus: A demon-lover in feminine shape, as opposed to an incubus (plural incubi), the same sort of demon-lover in masculine shape. The term comes from medieval demonology, which was probably influenced by the Hebrew Zohar and its legends of lilitu (the demonic daughters of Lilith that seduced men and killed human infants). By the time the Maleus Maleficarum was written in the fifteenth-century, late medieval writers had posited an elaborate reproductive cycle for the succubus/incubus, in which the demon would alternately seduce sleeping men in its female shape, store the man's nocturnal emissions within its body, then take on a masculine shape, seduce a woman, and impregnate her with the stolen sperm. The incubus/succubus became a powerful image in literature. Chaucer's Wife of Bath, for instance, claims in her tale that depraved friars are in her day even more common and persistant than the incubus. In 'Kubla Khan,' Coleridge writes of a 'woman wailing for her demon lover' in a haunted grove, an image adapted from legends of the demon-knight who seduces and destroys women. (plural succubi)

Links
Home
Glossary
Thesaurus