Dead Names, Dead Dog: The Script of Solomon

As we return to “Simon’s” Dead Names, he once again is making another bid for the Necronomicon‘s antiquity. Of course, he’s unable to actually prove that, so he has to go for what’s likely. Here we go:

The centerpiece of the consensus opinion that Lovecraft invented the idea of the Necronomicon and Cthulhu out of whole cloth has been nudged—if not outright attacked – by a specialist in medieval grimoires, Joseph H. Peterson, who located a name virtually identical to Cthulhu in a Hebrew manuscript of the early eighteenth century, the Mafteah Shelomoh, or “Key of Solomon.” Not to be confused with the Greater Key of Solomon, that was translated by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, the Mafteah Shelomoh remained undiscovered for years until after Mathers’s edition, although Mathers himself knew it existed but assumed it had been lost.

What is startling about this document is that the name and seal of Cthulhu – spelled in Hebrew letters KThULH – is followed immediately by that of Mazkim!…

“Simon” continues:

That is not to say that the Mafteah Shelomoh is a version of the Necronomicon; far from it. But it does imply that name Cthulhu was known to a Jewish magician of the eighteenth century, which suggests that the chthonic monster would have been known to other magicians both before after the Mafteah Shelomoh was written. This provides a precedent for the Necronomicon and a pre-Lovecraft occurrence of the name.

I was surprised to hear this, as I’d visited Twilit Grotto a number of times, and even picked up the wonderful CD that Joe Peterson sells. All of this is a great resource for those even casually interested in manuscripts of magic down through the ages, and I highly recommend it.

So, I dragged out my CD, consulted the charming Mr. Peterson, and went to work. What would I find? Had “Simon” indeed found proof of a pre-Lovecraft mention of Cthulhu?

Tune in tomorrow for the results!

Published in: on July 17, 2006 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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