The special god of this city was Ea, god of the sea and of wisdom, and the prominence given to this god in the incantation literature of Babylonia and Assyria suggests not only that many of our magical texts are to be traced ultimately to the temple of Ea at Eridu, but that this side of the Babylonian religion had its origin in that place.
Students of Tallquist's Maklu series of incantation or of the surpu series edited by Zimmern (in his Beitrage zur Kenntniss der Babylonischen Religion) will recollect the images over which the priest sorcerer recites his formulae.
They professed to raise spirits by incantation; and Kelly dictated the utterances to Dee, who wrote them down and interpreted them.
Much of these texts is of extreme antiquity; one incantation at least has been proved to belong to an age anterior to the unification of the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Later copies also exist, but possess little independent critical value.
Less influenced by the astral-theological system are the old incantation texts which were gathered together into series.
In these series we can trace the attempt to gather the incantation formulae and prayers produced in different centres, and to make them conform to the tendency to centralize the cult in the worship of Marduk and his consort in the south, and of Assur and Ishtar in the north.
The connexion between the two is illustrated by the application of the term shiptu, " incantation," to the direct appeals to the gods, as well as by the introduction, on the one hand, of genuine prayers into the incantations and by the addition, on the other hand, of incantations to prayers and hymns, pure and simple.
The ritual alone which accompanied divination practices and incantation formulae and was a chief factor in the celebration of festival days and of days set aside for one reason or the other to the worship of some god or goddess or group of deities, is free from traces of the astral theology.
On the upper surface of these mounds was found a considerable Jewish town, dating from about the beginning of the Arabic period onward to the 10th century A.D., in the houses of which were large numbers of incantation bowls.
She is constantly invoked, in the well-known idyll (ii.) of Theocritus, in the incantation to bring back a woman's faithless lover.