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King of Ellasar[1](Sellasar)
House Ellasar

Arioch (Hebrew: אַרְיוֹךְ‎‎ ’Aryōḵ) appears in the Book of Genesis[2] as the name of the "King of Ellasar", who participated in the Battle of the Vale of Siddim. The battle is described in Genesis as consisting of four kings, lead by Chedorlaomer of Elam (Amraphel, Arioch, Chedolaomer, and Tidal), engaging in a punitive expedition against five kings of Canaan who rebelled against Chedorlaomer (Bera, Birsha, Shinab, Shemeber, and the king of Bela). As in the case of other stories from the Book of Genesis, the consensus of modern scholarship is that these stories do not constitute reliable history.[3]

The same story is also mentioned in the Book of Jubilees, where Arioch is called "king of Sellasar".[4]

Earlier in the 20th century, it was common to identify him with "Eriaku"—an alternative reading of either Rim-Sin or his brother Warad-Sin, who were Elamite rulers over Larsa, contemporary with Hammurabi.[5]

Alternatively Ellasar could have been the site referred to as Alashiya, now thought to be near Alassa in Cyprus, where there was a Late Bronze Age palace, destroyed by the Peoples of the Sea.

Adaptations by later writers[edit]

Arioch (Arius) was also a grandson of Semiramis in the classical Ninus legend.

Arioch was a name for a fictional demon, and also appears as the name of a demon in many grimoires. Arioch is also named in John Milton's Paradise Lost (vi. 371.) as one of the fallen angels under Satan's command.

Arioch is one of the principal lords of Chaos in several of Michael Moorcock's fantasy series, for more information, see Deities in the Elric series.

Arioch is also the name of an escape artist and magician who rose to fame in the 1990s after performing on MTV.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Book of Genesis, chapter 14
  3. ^ Paula M. McNutt (1999). Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-664-22265-9. 
  4. ^ "Book of Jubilees: The Book of Jubilees: The Campaign of Chedorlaomer (xiii. 22–29)". Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  5. ^ Price, Ira, 1904. Some Literary Remains of Rim-Sin (Arioch), King of Larsa, about 2285 B.C. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 3–4.