In our last installment, we examined the history of the new Golden Hoard edition of the Veritable Key of Solomon. Now, it’s time to look inside the material from these two manuscripts. What does this work cover?
As it turns out, the title is misleading. This is not, in fact, the Key of Solomon. It’s actually three different Keys of Solomon, each an example of a different textual tradition. Mathers’ edition, with which most readers will be familiar, is only one example – and one cobbled togther out of different traditions at that – of a broad range of magical manuscripts, each claiming to be the work of the king of Israel. Fortunately, it also seems that there’s little overlap between these manuscript traditions and those available on Joe Peterson’s site, which means more material being made available for the first time.
As to particular differences – it’s hard to tell with so many examples, but I’ve noticed some sizable changes. The magical circles within have many details that differ, and my comparisons of the talismans of Jupiter and the Moon in the first version – the only to provide an illustrated section on such items – reveal many differences from the versions that Mathers presents. Right now, I don’t have the time to sit down and check over each of the three against Mathers, but there’s a great deal of interesting material here.
Another note: due to the late date of the book, it has seen contact with other sources, as can be easily determined by its references to Paracelsus, Agrippa, Arbatel, and other sources. This cannot be helped, of course, but it leaves me wanting a translation of the Magical Treatise even more.
Next time – the introduction and associated material!
Campaign word count: 13,076.