---- Grimoires ----
in the Miskatonic University Library
Various Authors...
Abramelin the Mage...
Adam the Angel...
H. Cornelius Agrippa...
Albert Magnus...
Doctor Faustus...
Hermes Trimegistus...
Pope Honorius...
King Solomon...
Works about Magic...


To all mankind that which is not understood is magic or the realm of God.  As ancient man began to evolve perceptions of nature into formulas of science, the general populace still saw nature as magical and anyone who understood it a magician.  The complex jargon of early scientific works from cave writing to papyrus scrolls to illuminated manuscripts seemed, to the uninitiated, to be works of magic, formulas of power.  And some of those who wished for that power began to create their own books of magic. 

These works, especially those that described the use of natural forces for personal gain or to gain control over others, became known as works of black magic or grimoires.  The grimoire usually involved invoking spirits to assist the asker or creating spells which controlled the forces of nature.  They are generally written in complex cryptic forms, in ancient languages, or with such density of jargon to prevent the uninitiated from understanding the secrets of the work. 

The two best known grimoires are the Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomoni) and the Lesser
Key of Solomon (The Lemegeton).  These are believed to have been written by King Solomon because of his gift of wisdom from God, which must have brought him magical powers.  This myth comes in no small part from a first century historian named Joseph Ben Matthias (37 or 38 A.D. - about 101 A.D.), born in Jerusalem of both royal and priestly lineage.  For those who do not believe that Solomon wrote them himself, there is a myth which gives the credit to a Rabbi Abognazar.  Sadly, the tradition of Solomon and the Caballah has created, or was created, with anti-Semitic overtones.  Josephus, himself a Jew, may have perpetrated the myth of Jewish ritual human sacrifice and the eating of children.  While this is all bunk, it did make the Jewish magician a personage to fear.  The most dangerous of the grimoires comes from the Solomonic tradition: The Grand Grimoire is said to be the most evil of all grimoires. 

The Christian version of the grimoire cycle is attributed to Pope Honorius III, who succeeded Pope Innocent III in 1216.  Perhaps this is because Honorius was a prolific author of religious philosophy.  The main work is the Grimoire of Honorius, a catalogue of fallen angels and how to raise them.  "It not only instructed priests in the arts of demonology but virtually ordered them to learn how to conjure and control demons, as part of their job."

The oldest of the grimoire myths is the works of Hermes Trimegistus.  As the Romans invaded and occupied Egypt, they incorporated Egyptian gods into their own pantheon of gods.  The geat Egyptian god Thoth, the creator of writing, became the Roman “Hermes Thrice Great.”  Not only was his invention of writing significant but it incorporated the secrets of life, nature, and alchemy.  Most famous of these works is the Emerald Tablet.  It is supposed to hold the secrets of nature and allow man to do magical things, mainly turn base metals into gold. 

Perhaps the man who did the most to bring the grimoire to prominence was Dr. John Dee.  Desiring to make a name for himself among the crown heads of Europe, he claimed to know the secrets of Alchemy and wrote a number of works which are basically grimoires in order to convince the rich and famous to finance his experiments.  From Dee came the secret society tradition: the Masons, the Rosicrucians, the Order of the Golden Dawn, and other secret societies which rely on books of ancient lore as their bonding element. 

With the printing press, the general public got a taste for the arcane and such works as “Le Dragon Rouge” (The red dragon), “La Poule Noire” (The black chicken), “The Greater Etteila”  and “Le Grand Albert” et “Le Petit Albert” (the greater and the lesser Albert) gained attention.  Most are on the level of a snake oil salesman’s pitch and claim to produce everything from making“girls dance without shirts” to making your cows produce more milk.

Other people who have had lucritive careers writing, translating, and promoting grimoires are Alistiar Crowley, Francis Barret, Eliphas Levi, and L. W. de Laurence.  Many have translated earlier works, revised earlier works to their tastes, or created new grimoires. 

But, be they real works by dedicated believers or hoaxes, grimoires are fascinating  manifestations of our desire and fear for the unknown. 


Various Authors - Main Page   or return to top

Arbatel of Magic.

De art Magica par Jirgis ibn al-'Amid (Girgith) (pre 1412)

The Black Hen.

The Book of Death.

The Book of Enoch the Prophet

Errores Haereticorum.

Expeirmentum Invisitilibatis   .

For the Invocation of Spirits     . 

Liber experimentorum Johannis Trithemius    .

Liber Pentaculorum.

Liber Spirituum.



Red Book of Appin.

The Sage of the Pyramids.

The Secret Grimoire of Turiel .





Abramelin the Mage - Main Page   or return to top

The Book of Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Adam - Main Page   or return to top

The Book of Raziel.

Book of Signs.

Henry Cornielius Agrippa - Main Page   or return to top

Fourth Book.


Liber Juratus.  See Liber Juratus (Solomon) and Liber Juratus (Honorius)

The Philosophy of Natural Magic by Henry Cornelius Agrippa .

Albert Magnus - Main Page   or return to top

Little Albert.

Egyptian Secrets .

Grimoirium Verum.  See Grimoirium Verum (Solomon) and Grimoirium Verum (Little Albert).

Dr. Faust - Main Page   or return to top

Doctor Faust's Gorsser und Gewaltiger Meergeist.

Great and Powerful Sea Ghost.

Hell's Coercion.

Hermes Trimegistus - Main Page   or return to top


Commentary on the Pymander by Mead

Tabula Smaragdina or Table of the Emerald.

Pope Honorius - Main Page   or return to top

The Constitution of Pope Honorius the Great.

Grimoire of Pope Honorius

Sworn Book of Honorius.


Moses - Main Page   or return to top

Sixth Book of Moses.

Sword of Moses

King Solomon - Main Page   or return to top

Includes an article about King Solomon and his magic by Josephus along with notes and references for the works attributed to King Solomon.

Key of Solomon.  Also known as Grand Clavicle or Clavicula Salomonis.

Lemegeton.  Also known as The Lesser Key of Solomon

Goetia, first book of the Lemegeton (q.v.)
Theurgia goetia, second book of the Lemegeton (q.v.)
Paulina, third book of the Lemegeton (q.v.)
The Almadel, fourth book of the Lemegeton (q.v.).
Ars Notoria.  Sometimes called the fifth books of the Lemegeton (q.v.)

Grimoirium Verum. See Grimoirium Verum (Solomon) and Grimoirium Verum (Little Albert)

The Grand Grimoire.  See Grand Grimoire (Solomon) and Grand Grimoire (Agrippa)

Sanctum Regum.  The second book of the Grand Grimoire

Red Dragon.  A another version of the Grand Grimoire.

Liber Juratus.  See Liber Juratus (Solomon) and Liber Juratus (Honorius)

True Black Magic.

True Grimoire.

Testament of Solomon.

Works on the History of Magic  or return to top

Witchcraft, Magic, & Alchemy by Grillot De Givry .

The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and Indian Occultism by L.W. de Laurence .

The Hindu Occult Chamber: The Magic and Occultism of India, Hindu, and Egyptian Crystal Gazing: The Hindu Magic Mirror by Dr. L. W. de Laurence .

On-Line Library

While in its infant stages, the Miskatonic University On-Line Library is open to the public and seeking submissions of works which are of interest to scholars, students, and devotees of esoterica and weird literature.  To enter the stacks, follow this LINK.
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