On the Shelf – The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, Part 4

Joe Peterson writes in response to my discussion of his Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, in which I state uncertainty that the book was kicking around in 1734.   Apparently he checked with Georg Dehn of Abramelin fame on the 1734 Cologne Peter Hammer book and was assured it was authentic.

In his favor, there is some slight evidence that the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses were kicking around in the mid-eighteenth century in Pennsylvania, but I’ll get to that later.  Nonetheless, I’m not entirely convinced.

Dating grimoires is a tricky business.  It’s not something I’d want to try without viewing a copy of the book.  On two occasions, I’ve been able to look at books and determine that they came from later dates.  This isn’t out of some great knowledge on my part of typefaces or printing techniques, but because a publisher from a particular time is mentioned, or one of the books advertised in the back has a much later publication date than the one on the title page.  From my experience with Abramelin, Georg Dehn is more willing to take a book’s stated dates at face value, while I normally look for something more recent first.  Still, let me see what I can determine based on the information available here.

The only book attributed to Peter Hammer from 1734 that I can find is the Handscriftliche Schatze.  This is an example of one of those composite grimoires like the Sammlung der Grossten Geheimnisse I’ve mentioned before, with this one containing forty different magical texts.  One of these is indeed the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses – in a variant edition not reflected in Peterson’s book – but another is the Magia Ordinis attributed to Johannes Kornreuther.

What’s unusual about the Magia Ordinis is that it seems to have been a book made to order.  A letter was written to the Braunschweigischen Anzeigen in 1748 in which the inquirer asked where such a book might be found.  The following year, an ad appeared in the same publication presenting a manuscript to the work.  Though it’s not unknown for print books to make their way back to manuscripts, it’s unusual that such a discussion would occur if a cheap edition of the Magia Ordinis had been available via Hammer scarce fourteen years before.

There could be a lot of problems with this line of argument.  Dehn and Peterson might be describing a book that’s not the Handscriftliche Schatze, or different editions of the book might vary in contents, or the current scholarship on both the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses and Magia Ordinis could be incorrect.  Still, the great thing about a blog is I can put this theory forth and have the freedom to be wrong about it.  We’ll see what happens.

Published in: on May 29, 2008 at 5:29 pm  Comments (29)  

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  1. “One of these is indeed the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses – in a variant edition not reflected in Peterson’s book”

    This confirms my own theory that the many versions in the 6&7
    as they are very short works were first printed as chapbooks.
    Scheible may even have collected others but did not print them
    in his 6&7.
    Were religious authorities were powerful these chapbooks were sold so to say “under the table”.

    In the mid to late 18th century as I remember there was an occult “craze” over most of Europe so these chap books sold well and in many different versions of this and other works all haveing false dates on the title page to impress the buyer
    of it’s value.

    This is my theory.


  2. One little problem.
    I can not find any reference to the 6&7 in my english edition of Dehn’s Abramelin excipting a ‘n.d.’ listing in the bibliography.
    Is this just in the german edition or has Mr Peterson made a little mistake?


  3. It’s not in the English edition. Unfortunately the English edition of Dehn’s Abramelin was scaled back from the German edition. The English introduction is a mere 7 pages vs 45 pages in the German edition. The latter also includes photos of the Hammer title pages and various Abramelin manuscripts. It really is worth tracking down, being entertaining as well as informative. The bulk of his critical apparatus was also omitted, not to mention the recipes from Book 2. In any event the Hammer Moses has very little in common with the collection of texts in my edition. In fact, only T1 is common.

  4. According to Mr. Peterson, the German edition’s introduction is greatly expanded in proportion to that of the English edition.

  5. „Peter Hammer“ or „Peter Hammers Erben“ is a feigned or faked publishing house with long tradition.
    It also appeared under the name of “Peter Marteau” or “Pierre Marteau” with Cologne as printing place. It seems that about 1660 french publishers wanted to prevent problems with the censorship under Ludwig XIV and were looking for a pseudonym for pirated books and political writings. Magic Texts are outnumbered. I can find only four, that are:

    1) [Abraham Judaeus] [1725] (Peter Hammer)
    Die egyptischen großen Offenbarungen,| in sich begreifend| die aufgefundenen Geheimnißbücher Mosis;| oder| des Juden Abraham von Worms| Buch der wahren Praktik| in der| uralten göttlichen Magie und in Erstaunlichen Dingen,| wie sie| durch die heilige Kabbala und durch Elohym mitgetheilt worden.| Sammt der| Geister- und Wunder-Herrschaft,| welche Moses in der Wüste aus dem feurigen Busch erlernet, alle Verborgenheiten der| Kabbala umfassend.| Aus einer hebräischen Pergament-Handschrift von 1387 im XVII. Jahrhundert verteutscht und| wortgetreu herausgegeben.
    2) [1725] (Peter Hammer) Sammlung der grössten Geheimnisse| außerordentlicher Menschen in alter Zeit.| I. Formeln der magischen Kabbala oder der magischen Kunst des Vl. VII. Buch Mosis. [SdgG]
    3) [1734] (Peter Hammer’s Erben) Handschriftliche Schätze| aus| Kloster-Bibliotheken [HS]
    4) [1743] (Peter Hammer’s Erben) Nigromantisches| Kunst-Buch

    So here the first mention of a book mosis is 1725 in [SdgG]: „…Formeln der magischen (…) Kunst des VI. VII. Buch Mosis“. The [HS] contents the “Sacra Biblia Arcano Mosaica – Magica des VI. Et VII. Buch Mosis , und dreifacher Höllenzwang, welches von dem König Salomon zu Jerusalem geschrieben worden,“ and was probably published in 1734.
    But I do not really believe in both of the dates. As easy as a publisher is faked as easy is the publishing date. Scheible (re)printed [HS] & [SdgG] in 1853. (As well the “Nigromantisches Kunstbuch” and “Abramelin”) I think we have to delete the “re” from “reprint”. Peter Hammer seemingly was not the only pseudonym of Scheible. He published also as „Louis Ensslin” in Reading and it is quite possible that the four Peter Hammer Grimoires came not into being before 1850.

  6. Thanks for the info. I for one very much appreciate this discussion. So we know since ca 1660 various publishers were using “Pierre Marteau”/”Peter Hammer” as a fictitious imprint to avoid political or other problems. I’m still unclear whether Scheible simply reprinted a “Hammer” exemplar of 6/7Moses, or whether he was using the imprint to hide his real source. In any event, would he or his exemplar have also invented the date 1734? The copy of Handschriftliche Schatze at Cornel is cataloged as “Koln : L.M. Glogau Sohn, 1734.” Could that have been Scheible’s real source, or was that also a fiction of Scheible? (this text is also included in the Witchcraft in Europe and America microfilms, Reel: 49, Item No. 435)
    Found these refs to Hammer:

  7. One question is who was Scheible what is known about him?
    I can hardly see all of his massive works as fakes!
    As I posted these were “covert” pubications so false publisher
    will be self protection for the printer.
    “Peter Hammer” may have been used by many printers some what like ‘john doe’ .
    I withhold my opinion till more is known about Scheible…are there decendants still liveing?
    Are any bulidings were he lived or worked in still standing?
    Do any note books or other MS of his still exist?


  8. Johann Scheible was a “real” publisher and antiquarian from Stuttgart, Germany. In 1831 He founded a Publishing House and antique bookshop. For his time he was a “mass producer”. As a collector of magic texts and other “curiosa” he had lots of material to print. But otherwise he has lots of titles on literature and Mythology. Try google books and you will find some of his production.
    He published series like “Das Kloster” or Bibliothek der Zauber-, Geheimniß- und Offenbarungs Bücher und der Wunder-Hausschatz-Literatur aller Nationen in allen ihren Raritäten
    und Kuriositäten [This is: Library of Magic-, Secret- and Revealing Books and of the “Miracle-House-Treasure” Literature of all Nations in all its Rarities and Curiosities….
    The impressum of the fourth edition 1857 reads “In Commission bei Wm. Radde, 1857”. So Scheible had an international trading company.
    In the 1870 his sons took over the publishng house.
    This is all I know about Scheible. I think one has to dig deeper in the city archives of Stuttgart to find out more about him.

  9. […] Papers Falling from an Attic Window Dan Harms: Barber, Dentist, Purveyor of Fine Curios, And Official Franchisee of ‘Abramelin’s World Famous Cobra Oil Elixir’ « On the Shelf – The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, Part 4 […]

  10. I clearly misunderstood what Dehn wrote, and he has clarified it to me. His point was that one of the early 6/7Moses versions used recipes from book 2 of Abramelin. The photo of 6/7Moses “Hammer”-Edition “is surely a 1840-1850 print. You have no leadletter stamp tracks and so on. Maybe Scheible added the Hammer title.”

  11. […] Books of Moses, Part 5 I’d encourage people to read some of the excellent comments on our last Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses post, which go a great deal into the background of Johann Scheible and the Books of Moses.  It’s […]

  12. Dear Joe

    Glogau seemed to be an antique book seller and publisher from Leipzig and did not publish before 1880 (at least I cannot find anything before that date) so Glogau only did reprints.



  13. I think it is good for Peterson to puplish the sixth and seventh book of moses part 4.from ADDY

  14. I m prophet komede Adzri i want u to get me dis mystry books.The VI and VII books of moses that i can be able to perform wanders and miracle to lead my peaple to the kimgdom of GOD. Thank u for your faithfulleness.

    • im prophet Emmanuel Onabanjo i can help you to get the mystry book im from nigeria lagos where are you located please get back to me as soon as you recieve my mail.

      • pls sir my name is mike am from anambra state here in Nigeria and i have been searching the website on how to acquire the prophetic books called sixth and seventh books of moses and i came across your reply to someone that you can provide it for the person so sir i became somuch interested and i have for long be serching for it so sir pls i will want you to provide it for me pls i will be glad to hear from you thanks

  15. Ask Amazon for their special prophet discount.

  16. Someboby out there. I would like to obtain a copy of the sixth and seventh book od Mose. I don’t quite know where to start. Help!

  17. I need the sixth and 7 book of moses. Please who can help.

  18. Can i be able to get the copy of this book please or if it can be downloadable tell me were thanks i will be look forward from you bye.

  19. How can i get this book? Pls send a message and lets keep in touch. I really need it.

  20. I need a coppy seven book of moses

  21. Somebody out there. I would like to obtain a copy of the sixth and seventh book of Mose. I don’t quite know where to start. Help!

  22. I need a copy seven book of Moses

  23. Pls do send a copy to me



  26. I just want to read it by myself

  27. im in need of this book in fat very ugent.

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