The Hygromanteia Now Available from Golden Hoard Press

I had wanted an English translation of the Hygromanteia for some time, and Ioannis Marathakis called my attention to the new Golden Hoard release which he translated:

This is the true ancestor of the Key of Solomon. Containing the full translation of the Hygromanteia, a Solomnike. This book is sometimes called the Hygromanteia, and this book has hidden behind the mistaken idea that all of it is a work on water divination, a scholarly mistake that has hidden the true value of this book for centuries. Throughout history thousands of people have been fascinated by the grimoire the Key of Solomon. This is the original Greek book of magic that was the source of the Key of Solomon, and in turn the ancestor of most of the grimoire-based ceremonial magic practiced in Europe and the US today.

This is a ground-breaking work. For the first time (outside of a handful of pages in academic works) the full Greek original of the Key of Solomon appears in English.

Contrary to popular opinion the Key of Solomon was not translated from a Hebrew original. During the gradual decline and fall of the Byzantine Empire, this precious text, along with many others, was taken to Italy. This may even have happened when Constantinople was sacked in 1453. It is quite likely that it was taken to Venice, where parts of it were translated into Latin and Italian.

Abridged Latin copies entitled the Clavicula Salomonis circulated in Europe, going through many changes, languages and versions to become the Key of Solomon as we know it (some of those manuscripts are published as Volume IV of the present series). Now for the first time you can read the whole text (large portions of which were left out of the Latin translations) arranged clearly in the order in which it was meant to be read.

I suppose my only question would be the source of the manuscript and whether it’s typical of the genre, so perhaps Ioannis could comment on that.  Nonetheless, it’s ordered and on its way.

Golden Hoard has also just issued a new annotated edition of Casaubon’s A True & Faithful Relation, being John Dee’s spirit diaries.  I think I’m just a little cantankerous at the moment, otherwise this would deserve its own post.

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I too have been waiting a while for the Hygromanteia in English, I hope it lives up to my expectations! Marathakis’ Searching for the Key of Solomon is quite elusive and in Greek. As far as which manuscript was used, if I had to bet on it I’d say Harley 5596. Skinner & Rankine dedicate more than a few pages to that MSS in their Veritable Key of Solomon (which has just been re-released in hardcover with the talismans in full color) and Marathakis writes that Harley 5596 “contains the oldest version of the Magical Treatise of Solomon…” in his From the Ring of Gyges to the Black Cat Bone. Amazon says The Hygromanteia will be available in the spring of 2012, I hope you get a review copy before that!

  2. I’d say Harleian 5596 would be my guess as well, but it’s not explicitly said. It seems the book is already available from Golden Hoard, with the release via Llewellyn coming in a few months.

  3. […] Papers readers likely remember my Grimoire Wish List, on which I listed the Magical Treatise of Solomon as one of the key grimoires I wanted to see released in translation.  For those not in the know, […]


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