The prevailing element in the incantations consists in the exorcism of devils.
El-lil, around whose sanctuary Nippur had grown up, was lord of the ghost-land, and his gifts to mankind were the spells and incantations which the spirits of good or evil were compelled to obey.
Egyptian inscriptions indicate that the physician-priests sent their prescriptions to be dispensed by the priests of Isis when, accompanied by the chanter of incantations and spells, they visited the sick'.
The purely theoretical character of Anu is thus still further emphasized, and in the annals and votive inscriptions as well as in the incantations and hymns, he is rarely introduced as an active force to whom a personal appeal can be made.
How strongly his mind revolted against the use of charms, amulets, incantations and such devices appears from his writings; and he has expressly recorded, as underlying all his practice, the conviction that, however diseases may be regarded from the religious point of view, they must all be scientifically treated as subject to natural laws (De acre, 29).