is an anti-Messiah
figure in late-period Jewish eschatology
, comparable to the Christian Antichrist
, who will conquer Jerusalem and persecute the Jews until his final defeat at the hands of God or the true Messiah. His inevitable destruction symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil in the Messianic age
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Armilus is "a king who will arise at the end of time against the Messiah, and will be conquered by him after having brought much distress upon Israel", similar to Gog. He is spoken of in both Midrash Vayosha and Sefer Zerubbabel, in which he defeats the Messiah ben Joseph.
The origin of this figure, said to be the offspring of Satan and a virgin, or Satan and a statue (or "stone"), is as much involved in doubt as the different phases of his development, and his relation to the Christian legend and doctrine.
The name might be derived from Romulus
, one of the founders of Rome
, or from Ahriman
, the evil principle in Zoroastrianism
Some sources depict Armilus as partially deaf and partially maimed.