Incoming Agrippa, More Incoming Agrippa, Black Pullet Revisited, E(xcellent)-Book, The Next Review, Book of Four Wizards

Great British Folklore and Superstition Map

What appears above is the Marvellous Map Company’s Craftily Conjured Great British Folklore and Superstition Map, which is quite a bit of fun. I’ve shown only part of it and blurred it up to respect their work, but it is wonderfully detailed.

Eric Purdue’s new translation of Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia is scheduled for a November release. Most of the English editions we have today, including Tyson’s, derive from the translation of one “J. F.” from the seventeenth century, so a new one is definitely welcome. I will warn anyone who clicks on that link to prepare for sticker shock – this is a slipcased three-volume hardcover set.

Black Letter Press is taking pre-orders for its edition of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, newly translated by Paul Summers Young:

The first is the 1565 Liber Quartus de Occulta Philosophia, which is a Pseudo-Agrippan gloss on some of Agrippa’s themes, which was published with a version of Pietro D’Abano’s Heptameron, which served as a gloss upon the gloss. This apocryphal work went on to lead an interesting and influential afterlife, accompanying the Three Books like an ugly rumor.

The second is an expanded selection from De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum of c.1530. The 1533 first edition of the Three Books concludes with extracts from The Uncertainty and Vanity of the Sciences touching upon the books’ themes; we have expanded upon that to encompass a more complete sample of Agrippa’s commentary on magic in that book. Rather than being at odds with the Three Books, The Uncertainty and Vanity of the Sciences is the context within which Agrippa published his famous magical textbook.

Here’s a passage I ran across in Morgan’s translation of the Sepher Raziel, which might be of interest to Black Pullet aficionados:

If you wish to give your enemy trouble in sleeping, take the head of a black dog that never saw light during its days and take a lamella from a strip of (lead) pipe from an aqueduct, and write upon (the names of) these angels and say thus… (p. 49)

Coincidence? There’s a good chance – but maybe one of my readers will eventually find an answer that ties the dog to the pullet.

Cummins and Legard’s Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magicke, the magical diary of two sixteenth-century magicians and explorers, is now available as an e-book in a quite-affordable edition. It’s also available in paperback, with the e-book included free.

We had a Twitter poll to determine my next review. It ended in a tie, which would have allowed me the difficult position of reading whatever book I wanted. We did get one Facebook vote, meaning I will be reading the Black Letter edition of the Petit Albert next.

I’m coming up on the end of my close examination of the Book of Four Wizards. Near the end, there’s a number of passages assembled by our eighteenth-century (?) author, mainly taking sections from a “Key of Rabbi Solomon” outside the Sibly-Denley-Hockley tradition and the Goetia to assemble something new. There are some passages I cannot place at this time, but maybe I’ll stumble across the answer before I submit it.

It is frustrating that I may be able to return to the UK to poke around in libraries before the book is submitted, but many people have worse problems.

Take care of yourselves, everyone.

Published in: on February 28, 2021 at 12:07 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Last I checked Tyson’s version is the only complete edition of Agrippa’s three books. It’s about time Purdue’s effort has finally come to fruition. You’re right the price is a little steep.I would be interested to see what he has to say about JF. I would be curious to see what if any use he made of Karl Nowotny’s facsimile edition of Agrippa.

  2. “De Occulta…” ends with lengthy excerpts from de Vanitate explicitly captioned “…Censura sive retractatio…” since they are integral to Agrippa’s original intent and appears in one form or another in all subsequent editions of “de Occulta…” and support the claim that Agrippa was distancing himself from his occultist reputation. In the preface Agrippa aslo says that his is publishing “de Occulta…” to counter deformed copies that were circulating under his name, he further says “…in this book it speaks stones, let them take heed that it beat not out their brains.” I think it fair to say that we ought to take him at his word.


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