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Behemoth als Partner und Feind des Leviathan. Zur politischen Ikonologie eines Monstrums
The two monstrosities Leviathan and Behemoth belong to the most powerful images of the Old Testamemt, which God let appear before the uprising Job to demonstrate his power. While the symbol of Leviathan has been researched as Hobbes archaic image of the modern state, this applies less to Behemoth. This article tries to follow the history of the cooperation and the conflict of the two monsters along general lines based on William Blakes’ presentation of the two monstrosities of the book of Job. Both have always also had a political significance: as antipode to the egyptian Horus and as apotropaic personification of the antichrist and the devil of the middle ages and as an oppositional beast of the state peace and the civil war in Hobbes. In view of the 20th century, the essay shows how Behemoth and Leviathan both changed sides and while Leviathan became less frightening Behemoth obtained civil features. Eventually the return of the state anticipates the return of the severity of the Old Testament.
No. 098/2009
Horst Bredekamp

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