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A seven-headed sea serpent from Canaanite mythology. Due to their shared origins, many historians believe the Lotan is the basis for the sea monster Leviathan in Judeo-Christian folklore.
Carl Black

Lotan was a seven-headed sea dragon from Canaanite mythology, who was a servant of Yam, the god of the sea.

Overview

He was defeated by the storm god Hadad in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle, possibly with the help or by the hand of his sister Anat.

Appearance

Personality

Lotan is terrifying, absolute, and extremely cold. He is likened to a blizzard that freezes everything in sight leaving nothing untouched. Lotan is extremely sadistic and callous, often torturing those he calls worms if he senses even the slightest insult against his being.

Powers and Abilities

History

Within the epic cycle from the city of Ugarit, he was sent by Yam to battle Hadad, the storm god. Despite being a fierce monster, Lotan was eventually slain by the storm god (possibly with the help of his sister-wife Anat), who would eventually rise to become the King of the Divine Council.

Myths and Legends

Lotan (ltn) is an adjectival formation meaning "coiled", here used as a proper name; the same creature has a number of possible epitheta, including "the fugitive serpent" and maybe (with some uncertainty deriving from manuscript lacunae) "the wriggling serpent" and "the mighty one with seven heads".

The myth of Hadad defeating Lotan, Yahweh defeating Leviathan, Marduk defeating Tiamat, etc. in the mythologies of the Ancient Near East are classical examples of the Chaoskampf, also reflected in Zeus' slaying of Typhon in Greek mythology and Thor's struggle against Jörmungandr in Norse mythology.

Quotes

When you smote Lotan, the fleeing serpent, annihilated the twisting serpent, the dominant one how has seven heads.
KTU 1.5:I:2.
In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that twisting serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
Isaiah 27:1.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Litani River that winds through the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon is named after Lotan as the river was believed to be the personification of the god.
  • Lotan shares many similarities within Leviathan, a demonic dragon from the Bible, whom Yahweh defeats.
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