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Lansdowne Ms 1203 - Les Véritables Clavicules de Salomon, traduites de l'Hebreux en langue Latine par le Rabin Abognazar

- Post about Lansdowne Ms 1202.

This manuscript was one used by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers in his edition of the Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis) (London: George Redway, 1889). According to Mathers, "1203 Lansdowne MSS. is 'The Veritable Keys of Solomon translated from the Hebrew into the Latin language by the Rabbin Abognazar (?Aben Ezra).' It is in French, exquisitely written in printing letters, and the Pentacles are carefully drawn in coloured inks. Though containing similar matter to the others, the arrangement is utterly different; being all in one book, and not even divided into chapters."

In fact the arrangement is irrelevant since it is utterly different in content as well, aside from some of the pentacles at the end of the book.

It is puzzling why Mathers inserted random excerpts of it into his book, which otherwise follows the French Colorno editions quite closely. In so doing, Mathers omitted instructions which were integral to the Abognazar method; the result served only to confuse and complicate the operations of the Colorno method.

Some of the sections that Mathers omitted were: Preparation of the sword, dagger, penknife, ink bottle, cup for collecting blood, burner, fire, incense, staff for operations of Venus, second staff for other operations, garment, exorcism of the victim, a long elaboration of spirit names and seals, ten names of God, 3 experiments for love, 12 rings for binding spirits, 28 mansions of the moon, bulk of the pentacles.

Most of Mathers's omissions can be attributed to the fact that the Colorno manuscripts have corresponding (though quite different) instructions. Mathers also for some reason omitted experiments dealing with love magic. And of course he was very reluctant to include instructions dealing with ritual sacrifice.

Besides elements which are unique to this work, it draws on elements of Agrippa's De occulta philosophia, Paracelsus' Archidoxes of Magic, Petro de Abano's Heptameron, the Magical Calendar, and Arbatel Of Magic.

The manuscript probably dates mid 18th century. 

There is another manuscript of this text in the Bibliothèque nationale de France numbered Fr. 25,314, dated "MDCXXXIV" (1634), which can hardly be that old. Its title reads, "LES CLAVICULES / DE SALOMON / Traduit de l'Hébreux en Langue Latine, / Par le Rabin Abognazar, / ET / Mis en langue Vulgaire Par M. BARAULT Archevêque d'Arles." It is 141 pages long. 

The calligraphy appears to be the same as Lans. 1203, and both appear to have been executed by 'F. F. FYOT.' Because each of these two manuscripts contain errors not found in the other it is likely that both were copied from a common ancestor, and not one from the other. In general the two texts coincide exactly, but there are also many places where the wording of the two vary slightly. Since the two versions are too close to make a retranslation likely, the apparent explanation for the differences is simply creativity on the part of the scribe. 

The most striking thing about these manuscripts, as noted by both Mathers and the British Library cataloguer, is the great beauty of the calligraphy and artwork. There is also a total absence of corrections in spite of the occasional errors and especially dislocations. These become especially obvious when comparing the two manuscripts. The scribe evidently had an overriding concern with keeping the pages beautiful.

British Library MS. Lansdowne 1203

"Les Véritables Clavicules de Salomon, traduites de l'Hebreux
en langue Latine par le Rabin Abognazar

(The Veritable Clavicles of Solomon, Translated
from Hebrew into the Latin Language by Rabbi Abognazar)

74 folios. 4°.

[Seal of Solomon diagram] Discourse Préliminaire. Tout l'Univers a seu jusqua ce jour que de tems immémorial Salomon possédait les sciences infuses parles Sages enseignemens d'un Ange, du quel il parut si soumis & obéissant,...f2 at bottom : [drawing of bird on log which bears the inscription "Exarouit calamo F.R. Eyot." Le Véritables clavicules de Salomon. Begins: Mon Fils Roboam, comme de fortes les Sciences il n'en est point de plus naturelle, & de puls utile que la connaissance de mouvemens Céleste, jái crûen mourant devoir te l'aiser un héritage plus précieux que toutes les Richesses dont jejouis. Heurs planétaires. [Tables of planetary hours associated with each planet.] Noms des heurs et des Anges qui y président à commencer à une heure aprés minuit jusqu au Samedi à minuit. [Table of names of the hours of each day of the week with their corresponding polanetary angel.] Tableau des instrumens. L'Epee, le Stilet, le Burin, le Canit, Bâton pout toutes le Opérations, Bâton pour les Opérations de Venus, la Taffe, L'Ecritoire, le Réchaud. Preparation de l'Epée. Exorcisme du Stilet. Exorcisme du Canit. Exorcisme du Burin. Bénédiction de la Boëte a l'Encre. Exorcisme pour La Tasse où Ión met le Sang. Exorcisme des Plumes. Exorcisme du Réchaud, du Feu & de l'Encens. Exorcisme du Baton pour les Opérations à Venus. Maniére de Couper l'Autre baton pour Servirà toutes des opérations. Exorcisme du lieu Destiné a Faire les Opérations. Exorcisme du Vetement. Exorcisme pour la Victime. Consécretion du Livre. Les Quatre Elémens. Les Anges des Elémens. [Tables of planetary correspondences.] Nomes de Primes des Elemens. Les Sceaux des Espirits des Plannettes. [Seals and characters of the planets.] [The ten names of God.] Pour l'Amour. Pour se Rendre Invisible. Oraison. Pour se rendre Maitre d'un Tresor possédé par les Espirits. Les Characters des XII Anneaux, appellés Talismans dans lesquels on enferme un Espirit pour tout ce qu'on veut. Les XXVIII Maisons ou Dèmeures de la Lune. [49 pentacles in different colored inks.]

Les XXVIII Maisons ou Demeures de la Lune. [49 pentacles in different colored inks.]