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Table of Contents

ContentsList of Tables Acknowledgments IntroductionA Prehistory of the Latin PicatrixA Brief History of the Latin TextOn Knowledge, Wisdom, and Self-Legitimacy in the Picatrix On Nigromancia Th e Cosmology of the Picatrix Th e Picatrix, Social History, and Material Culture Psychoactive and/or Poisonous Substances in the PicatrixTranslators' NotesPicatrixPrologueBook 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Notes Bibliography Index of Terrestrial NamesIndex of Celestial Names and Magical WordsIndex of Subjects and Materials

About the Author

Dan Attrell is a doctoral candidate in Medieval and Renaissance History studying the Western esoteric tradition at the University of Waterloo.David Porreca is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and codirector of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Waterloo and is president of the Societas Magica.


"Attrell and Porreca have performed a great service by giving us a carefully considered and scholarly English translation of this wide-ranging work, based on the authoritative edition established by David Pingree in 1986. . . . As Picatrix was no doubt of interest to a variety of medieval and early modern readers for an array of reasons, so too it should attract a broad readership now, from scholars of medieval magic to those more directly interested in philosophy, science, and medicine."-Michael D. Bailey, The Medieval Review

"The Picatrix, of Arabic origin, is the most complete handbook of the theory and practice of magic of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Here is a very welcome English translation of the Latin version that was read by Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Porreca and Attrell have made the text a pleasure to read and have provided useful notes to explain everything that is obscure or exotic."-Charles Burnett, Professor of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe, Warburg Institute

"A detailed medieval handbook of magic, Picatrix has been a focus of scholarly attention for a century, even though its early history remained obscure and it lacked a reliable English translation. Attrell and Porreca's contribution offers a proper remedy: the introduction gives new insight into the origins of this mysterious book, and the translation reflects the true nature of its exciting text. A word of caution, though: don't try the recipes!"-Benedek Lang, author of Unlocked Books: Manuscripts of Learned Magic in the Medieval Libraries of Central Europe

"The Picatrix reemerged in the mid-fifteenth century, almost two centuries after the Latin version of the Ghayat al-Hakim had been produced. Thank goodness that this learned and living English translation of such an important Latin book of astral magic will reach its twenty-first-century audience of scholars and inquisitive spirits much more quickly!"-Nicolas Weill-Parot, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

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