The Madness of Nebuchadnezzar II
“Twelve months after this Nebuchadrezzar was in the midst of his palace at Babylon, boasting of what he had accomplished during his reign, when a voice from heaven spake, saying :
“O King Nebuchadrezzar, to thee it is spoken, the kingdom is departed from thee,”
and straightway was Nebuchadrezzar driven from man and he did eat grass as an ox and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair was grown like eagle’s feathers and his nails like bird’s claws.
At the termination of his time of trial Nebuchadrezzar lifted his eyes to heaven, and praising the Most High admitted his domination over the whole earth. Thus was the punishment of the boaster completed.
It has been stated with some show of probability that the judgment upon Nebuchadrezzar was connected with that weird disease known as lycanthropy, from the Greek words lukos, a wolf, and anthropos, a man. It develops as a kind of hysteria and is characterized by a belief on the part of the victim that he has become an animal.
There are, too, cravings for strange food, and the afflicted person runs about on all fours. Among primitive peoples such a seizure is ascribed to supernatural agency, and garlic or onion—the common scourge of vampires—is held to the nostrils.”
Lewis Spence, Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria, 1917, p. 40.