I’m happy to announce that we’ve had a couple of important grimoire releases that – in what may come as a shock to Papers readers – I have not actually found the time to read.
First, there’s Joe Peterson’s edition of the Liber Iuratus, or the Sworn Book of Honorius , the high medieval book of magic which features as its centerpiece a mystical procedure to gain a vision of god. For those who were wondering if it expands upon the version on Peterson’s website – yes, it certainly does, with much material going beyond what’s on the website. For those who wonder if the Latin is translated, the work has parallel Latin and English texts, which is definitely more than I expected. I’m making a slow go of it – long segments of voces magicae have that effect – but any review I write would be simply, “This is wonderful,” so I don’t really feel compelled to expand upon that.
Another item that’s been out for longer is Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson’s critical edition of John of Morigny’s Liber florum celestis doctrine: The Flowers of Heavenly Teaching. This is the fourteenth-century monk’s reinterpretation of the Ars Notoria, which in turn is the most complex version of the “God, please get me through this test!” prayer ever created. Although the price tag and the Latin text might scare off potential purchasers, it is a comprehensive and scholarly work and another step on the path to make critical editions of many key magical texts available.
That also reminds me that Claire Fanger’s book-length commentary, Rewriting Magic: An Exegesis of the Visionary Autobiography of a Fourteenth-Century French Monk, was released well before that last book. It deals with her own encounters and explorations with the book, as well as with the figure of John of Morigny. It also makes it clear that we have much to learn about the Liber florum – especially with regard to the diagrams omitted from all the known copies. As with other PSU books, there’s a cheaper e-book option that curious but cost-conscious consumers could consider.