A Grimoire Wish List: The Magical Treatise of Solomon, Part 1

Even though it’s been all ghouls all the time (save when I’ve been working), that hasn’t meant that my grimoire wish list has gone away.  I’ll resume with the third installment in the series – the Magical Treatise of Solomon.

Though I’m looking forward to the release of the Veritable Key of Solomon (which I hope is wending its way to Amazon soon), I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was a French manuscript that was being translated.  To me, the most important untranslated work in the Solomonic tradition is the Magical Treatise, a work that appears in a number of Greek manuscripts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  It’s quite likely that it dates back further than this, and that it might even be the prototype for the Key of Solomon and the associated works for centuries later.

As it turns out, however, the book is only available in Greek.  For those of you with a knowledge of Greek and access to a good reference library, you can check it out in Delatte’s Anecdota Atheniensia (1927), which is also available on Joe Peterson’s CD-ROM.  (Joe reproduces a lamen from it in his Grimorium Verum.)  I’ve heard from another source that the text is good, but many of the original illustrations are omitted.  For those who only know English, you’ll have to be content with the descriptions written by  Richard Greenfield, especially those in his hard-to-find-but-excellently-titled Traditions of Belief in Late Byzantine Demonology or his article in the book Byzantine Magic, which is conveniently online here.

For those who are too lazy to do even that, I’ll be talking about the book more next time, including the outline for its key ritual and why I have reservations about the translation.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Portions of MTS have been translated in Pablo A. Torijano’s /Solomon the Esoteric King/, Leiden, Brill: 2002. He includes a synopsis, but doesn’t mention the heavily talismanic nature of the text. Ioannis Marathakis has been working on an English translation. It is also supposed to be included in a new collection of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha by Richard Bauckham and James R. Davila.

  2. Joe,

    Thanks for the news. For some reason I thought the Hygromanteia and the Magical Treatise were separate works.

  3. Sort of. Hygromanteia is part of MTS.

  4. […] Grimoire Wish List: The Magical Treatise of Solomon, Part 2 Following up on my last post regarding the Magical Treatise of Solomon, Joe Peterson points out that a section of the Magical Treatise known as the Hygromanteia has […]

  5. Anecdota atheniensia is also online at http://www.archive.org/details/MN40020ucmf_0

  6. The Magical Treatise of Solomon or Hygromanteia was finally released a week ago from Golden Hoard Press. In a few months it will be available from Llewellyn as well.


  7. Please where can I find this book am in Nigeria

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