Pseudo-Magriti - Das Ziel des Weisen
Herausgegeben von Hellmut Ritter, B.G. Teubner / Liepzig / Berlin 1933. Studien der Bibliothek Warburg Herausgegeben von Fritz Saxl. XII. Picatrix (""Das Ziel des Weisen"" von Pseudo-Majriti) 1. Arabischer Text
Ritter's 1933 critical Arabic text of this, the most important grimoire of magic ever written! Born in Muslim Spain, this is the grandfather of all classic European grimoires.
A crucial manual of astrological magic. The black sheep of the European Renaissance, a revolution placing Man at the centre of the Universe, able to forge his own destiny by manipulating nature. Arabic with German footnotes, facsimile PDF eBook, 13 Megabytes, 432 pages - £14.50
A Masterpiece of Occultism –
The Ghayat al-Hakim of Maslama Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti
This is the magnificent lost source of all of Abramelin, the Goetia, Agrippa - and of most of the entire tradition of Western Ceremonial Magick starts with this book! Go to the source! This is Magick. This is the native Arab tradition that everyone from Agrippa to Dee to Mathers to Crowley has had to deal with second hand. An extremely important book, recommended to both serious students of Arabic and Western esotericism and collectors of rare books.
The "Goal of the Wise" (Ghayat al-Hakim fi'l-sihr) is well known in the Latin translation made in 1252 C.E. by order of King Alfonso X, "the Wise" under the title Picatrix. The attribution of the book to al-Majriti is today considered false as the internal critique suggests that this work was written after 1009 C.E., while al-Majriti died c. 1007 or 1008 C.E., and since this attribution is doubtful, the author is sometimes listed as "Pseudo-Majriti". Of course, it could just be that, as with the Rutbat al-Hakim, the Ghayat al-Hakim was compiled into the known edition posthumously, from a previous edition by our author. Susanne Diwald suggests that the Picatrix was composed before 343 AH / 954 CE.
Composed in Arabic, in Andalusia around 1000 C.E., the Picatrix is an encyclopædic work, perhaps the largest and most comprehensive of the grimoires, or manuals of magic, truer than any Victorian compendium of ""magick"". Offering talismanic and astrological guidance, the text clearly comes from a non-European and non-Rosicrucian ethos.
The book had a major influence on West European magical thinking from Marsilio Ficino and Thomas Campanella to Ivan Chtcheglov. The Picatrix is mentioned by Johannes Trithemius in Book 2 of his notorious Steganographia (1500) and in his Antipalus Maleficiorum (c. 1500). The edition in the British Library (Sloane manuscript 3679) passed through several hands: Simon Forman (d. 1611), Richard Napier (d. 1634), Elias Ashmole (d. 1692) and William Lilly (d. 1681).
This 1933 edition has its shortcomings - the publication of the Arabic Picatrix was a rather rushed and difficult affair, and as a result the text lacked a proper introduction (for which see Ritter’s article in the Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg, I, 1921-22, pp. 94-124.) It lacked also a list of the manuscripts consulted, so that the abbreviations of these in the apparatus are incomprehensible. This material is instead printed in the German translation of Picatrix, published by the Warburg Institute in 1962 (which also includes a reprint of Ritter’s article and an English summary of the contents of the book). Apparently, source ""C1"" is MS Marsh 155 (dated 1369 C.E.), held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Warburg published the Latin version, edited by David Pingree, in 1986. The 1933 edition remains the only printed Arabic text of the Picatrix, and one of the few Arabic texts full stop.
Summary of recent editions of the Picatrix:
(German) ""Picatrix"" Das Ziel des Weisen von Pseudo-Magriti, Translated into German from the Arabic by Hellmut Ritter and Martin Plessner, London, The Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962
(French) B. Bakhouche, F. Fauquier, B. Pérez-Jean: Picatrix Un traité de magie médiéval. 388 p., 130 x 210 mm, 2003, Paperback ISBN 2-503-51068-X, EUR 37.91. Newest critical edition.
(French) S. Matton, La magie arabe traditionelle, Paris, 1977 (incomplete)
(Latin) Picatrix: The Latin Version of the Ghâyat Al-Hakîm, ed. David Pingree (London, Warburg Institute, 1986).
(Spanish) Abul-Casim Maslama ben Ahmad: Picatrix (El fin del sabio y el mejor de los dos medios para avanzar). Edición de Marcelino Villegas Editora Nacional. Colección «Biblioteca de visionarios, heterodoxos y marginados». (Madrid, 1982).
(English) An English translation of the first two books of Picatrix was released in August of 2002 by Ouroboros Press, translated from the Arabic by Hashem Atallah.