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Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century

About this book: Preserved in the Bavarian State Library in Munich is a manuscript which few scholars have noticed, and which no one in modern times has treated with the seriousness which it deserves. Forbidden Rites consists of an edition of this medieval Latin text with a full commentary including detailed analysis of the text and its contents, discussion of the historical context, translation of representative sections of the text and comparison with other necromantic texts of the late Middle Ages. Like many medieval texts for the use of magicians, it is a miscellany rather than a systematic treatise. It is exceptional, however, in the scope and variety of its contents - prayers and conjurations, rituals of sympathetic magic, procedures involving astral magic, a catalogue of spirits, lengthy ceremonies for consecrating a book of magic, and other materials. With more detail on particular experiments than the famous thirteenth-century Picatrix and more variety than the Thesaurus Necromantiae ascribed to Roger Bacon, the manual is one of the most interesting and important manuscripts of medieval magic that has yet come to light. Richard Kieckhefer is an acknowledged expert on medieval magic and witchcraft. Contents: 1. Introduction: Magical Books and Magical Rites; 2. The Munich Handbook of Necromancy, Clm 849; 3. Banquets, Horses and Castles, Illusionist Experiments; 4. Love Favour and Madness, Psychological Experiments; 5. Learning Hidden and Future Things, Divinatory Experiments; 6. Formulas for Commanding Spirits, Conjurations and Exorcisms; 7. Demons and Daimons, The Spirits Conjured; 8. The Magic of Circles and Spheres; 9. Conclusions. Edition of the Necromancer's Handbook in Clm 849, Fols 3r-108v; Plates; Selective Bibliography; Index

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