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Magical book/grimoire written by Abel?
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Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 12:33 pm
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Hello all,

I've come across a reference to a manuscript of a (magical?) manuscript attributed to Abel, biblical son of Adam: 'Imagines Abelis filii Adae' which appears to be a grimoire of some description, for it is mentioned in company with the Picatrix, Liber Raziel, etc.

I know Trithemius mentions this book, but my other sources (at least those i have access to at present, which are very limited) have failed me. Does anyone know of an article or scholarly work on the text?

One reference I have found suggests that it is a herbal, but this may or may not be correct. I would be most grateful for any assistance.

Leigh

adammclean
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 Posted: Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 06:27 pm
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There would appear to be a version of this in Lubeck.

 

Lubeck.  MS. Math. 9.  16th Century [1590.]  174 folios. 205x160mm.

1. f1r-34v Extractio librorum Piccatricis doctissimi philosophi.


2. f35v Theophrastus von Hohenheim [Paracelsus], Über ein Zauber mittel aus dem Jahr 1527.


3. f37r-40r Theophrastus von Hohenheim, Offenbarung Hermetis.


4. f47r-62r Michael Eyking (Pannonius), Über die Cabala.


5. f63r-110v Liber Raziel.


6. f111r-133v Imagines Abelis filii Adae.


7. f135r-138v Trithemius, Von den sieben Geistem.


8. f142-143 Astrum Magicum.


9. f143r-149v Theophrastus von Hohenheim, De septem stellis.


10. f150v-152v Peter de Abano, Experimenta annulorum.


11. f155r-163r Summa libri de Magica et Cabala.


12. f166r-171ra Theophrastus von Hohenheim, De arte magica.


13. f171rb Hermes Trismegistus, De XV stellis, lapidibus et herbis.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 01:52 pm
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Hi Leigh,

I found a couple of references:

1. 'Aquinas was supposed to have authored a work in which it was claimed that Abel, the son of Adam, carved esoteric teachings on stones, which then passed into the hands of Hermes Trismegistus, and then to Thomas'.

From: 'Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition' by Glenn Alexander Magee, page 22. (See also Faivre, 'Eternal Hermes', p. 94.)

---------------------------------

2. In 'The Glory of the World or Temple of Paradise' (contained in A.E. Waite's 'Hermetic Museum', volume I, it says:

i. I will now proceed to quote the very words of the various Sages in regard to this point, in order that you may the more easily understand our meaning. Know then that Almighty God first delivered this Art to our Father, Adam, in Paradise. For as soon as He had created him, and set him in the Garden of Eden, He imparted it to him in the following words: "Adam, here are two things: that which is above is volatile, that which is below is fixed. These two things contain the whole mystery. Observe it well, and make not the virtue that slumbers therein known to thy children; for these two things shall serve thee, together with all other created things under heaven, and I will lay at thy feet all the excellence and power of this world, seeing that thou thyself art a small world."

ii. ABEL, the son of Adam, wrote thus in his Principles: After God had created our Father, Adam, and set him in Paradise, He subjected to his rule all animals, plants, minerals, and metals. For man is the mountain of mountains, the Stone of all stones, the tree of trees, the root of roots, the earth of earths. All these things he includes within himself, and God has given to him to be the preserver of all things.

See:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hm1/hm110.htm


I will try and find out which of Aquinas' works Magee is referring to.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 05:11 pm
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adammclean wrote:
There would appear to be a version of this in Lubeck.


6. f111r-133v Imagines Abelis filii Adae.





This site seems to refer to it under a slightly different title, 'Imaginatio Abelis filii Adae':

http://jordanus.org/cgi-bin/iccmsm-search.pl?sprache=en&datenbank=iccmsm&listpos=35&listlen=35&listen=ti&listlet=I

'(111r) 3 Maii (?) A^o (15)89 novi Calend. ex Sculteto Gorlitiano Mathem. Gnoticum (?) scripsit Abelis. Robertus Castrensis vertit h. lib. Hermetis de Imaginibus'

The 'Robertus Castrensis' referred to is presumably the English Arabist Robert of Chester.

'Scultetus Gorlitianus' is presumably the cartographer Bartholomeo Sculteto Gorlitio.

'Gnoticum' should surely be 'Gnosticum'?

Last edited on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 05:37 pm by Paul Ferguson

Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Tue Oct 28th, 2008 10:19 am
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Adam, that Luebeck manuscript is precisely the document I am working on!!

 A bizarre coincidence!

Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Tue Oct 28th, 2008 10:37 am
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Paul Ferguson wrote: adammclean wrote:
There would appear to be a version of this in Lubeck.




6. f111r-133v Imagines Abelis filii Adae.





This site seems to refer to it under a slightly different title, 'Imaginatio Abelis filii Adae':

http://jordanus.org/cgi-bin/iccmsm-search.pl?sprache=en&datenbank=iccmsm&listpos=35&listlen=35&listen=ti&listlet=I

'(111r) 3 Maii (?) A^o (15)89 novi Calend. ex Sculteto Gorlitiano Mathem. Gnoticum (?) scripsit Abelis. Robertus Castrensis vertit h. lib. Hermetis de Imaginibus'

The 'Robertus Castrensis' referred to is presumably the English Arabist Robert of Chester.

'Scultetus Gorlitianus' is presumably the cartographer Bartholomeo Sculteto Gorlitio.

'Gnoticum' should surely be 'Gnosticum'?


 

Dear Paul, firstly: thanks for the references! Trithemius briefly wrote about the text as well, and I have also located another couple of contemporary references. Do see what you else you can find if you can find the time.

Looking at the original Luebeck manuscript, "Gnoticum" is indeed a typo for "Gnosticum", as far as I can make out.

"Scultetus Gorlitianus" is a reference to Bartholomaeus Scultetus, the six time mayor of Goerlitz and friend to Jakob Boehme's mentor, the Paracelsian alchemist Balthasar Walther. The Luebeck manuscript, based on texts from Scultetus' library of Paracelsian works, was in Walther's possession, who then gave it on to Joachim Morsius of Luebeck. I have written about this in a couple of articles on Balthasar Walther, one of which has already appeared [Leigh Penman, ‘A Second Christian Rosencreuz? Jakob Böhme’s Disciple Balthasar Walther (1558-c.1630) and the Kabbalah. With a Bibliography of Walther’s Printed Works.’ Western Esotericism. (Scripta instituti donneriani Aboensis, XX). T. Ahlbäck, ed. Åbo, Finland: Donner Institute, 2008: 154-172)] and another which will appear in Sudhoffs Archiv next year.

As for the identity of Robertus Castrensis, it appears you are again correct. Many thanks for the identification!!

best regards,

Leigh


 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Oct 28th, 2008 09:56 pm
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Paul Ferguson wrote:
Hi Leigh,

I found a couple of references:

1. 'Aquinas was supposed to have authored a work in which it was claimed that Abel, the son of Adam, carved esoteric teachings on stones, which then passed into the hands of Hermes Trismegistus, and then to Thomas'.

From: 'Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition' by Glenn Alexander Magee, page 22. (See also Faivre, 'Eternal Hermes', p. 94.)



See page 65 of 'A Treatise on Angel Magic' edited by our very own Adam McLean in the MOHS series, available in the Google Books series here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3ZRhkG6MMg8C

which says that the Aquinas book in question is 'De Ente et Essentia'.

I have looked through 'De Ente et Essentia' here:

http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/oee.html

but I cannot see any reference to Abel or Hermes.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2008 12:07 am
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1. Please note that Robert of Chester is sometimes confused/identified with Robert of Ketton. See Leo Stavenhagen, Testament of Alchemy

2. I assume the Robert of Chester translation referred to here is:

f50-56 Quadripartitum Hermetis. Incipit liber Hermetis de 15 stellis 15 lapidibus 15 herbis et 15 ymaginibus, to be found in Ashmole 1471, Oxford, Bodleian Library. Vellum. Folio. Late 14th Century.

Last edited on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 07:58 am by Paul Ferguson

Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Sat Nov 8th, 2008 10:40 am
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Very interesting, thanks Paul!


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