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Ars Notoria: The Notory Art of Solomon

A Medieval Treatise on Angelic Magic and the Art of Memory

Introduction by Matthias Castle / Translated by Matthias Castle
Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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About The Book

A new translation of the classic magical text from the original Latin

• Learn how medieval magicians conducted the rituals of angelic magic for quickly learning scholastic knowledge by means of prayers and figures

• Provides a complete translation of Ars Notoria, both the short and long versions based on Julien Veronese’s critical Latin edition

• Includes the first translation of The Work of Works (Opus Operum), The Short Art (Ars Brevis), the abridged version attributed to Thomas of Toledo, and The Pauline Art (Ars Paulina)

• Presents all of the original figures (notae), essential for inspection during ritual

The magical treatise Ars Notoria offers a secret account of how King Solomon gained his famed wisdom and learning through sacred magic, revealed to him by the angel Pamphilius, thereby expanding upon the biblical narrative of Solomon’s vision from God. Solomon’s magical writings were transmitted to the first-century philosopher Apollonius of Tyana, who provided a commentary titled Flores Aurei (Golden Flowers) that is contained within Ars Notoria.

Ars Notoria first appeared in the 13th century, when its prayers and techniques for rapidly acquiring the seven liberal arts—grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy— made it the earliest representation of European angel magic. The text presents a complete system of magic consisting of prayers addressed to angels, using figures called notae, for the purpose of gaining scholastic and heavenly knowledge. Due to its rising popularity among university students, the magical ritual was reworked time and again, producing five treatises dating from the 13th to 15th centuries—Opus Operum (Work of Works), Liber Florum Celestis Doctrine (Book of Flowers of Heavenly Teaching) composed by John of Morigny, Ars Brevis (Short Art), Ars Abbreviata (an abridged version attributed to Thomas of Toledo), and Ars Paulina (Pauline Art [of the Seven Figures])—thereby establishing an entire notorial art tradition.

In this new and complete translation of Ars Notoria, based on Julien Véronèse’s critical Latin edition, translator Matthias Castle presents—for the first time in English—the complete classic magical text, both short and long versions, including four of the later treatises. Castle explains how these theurgic ritual practices were performed, giving special attention to all the original pictorial figures (notae), and how the art of memory relates to angelic magic.

Providing practical instruction, extensive commentary, and in-depth background research and annotations, Ars Notoria: The Notory Art of Solomon is an essential sourcebook on angelic magic for scholars and magicians alike.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (November 28, 2023)
  • Length: 896 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644115275

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Raves and Reviews

“This is one of the most important books on medieval magic to be published in many years. Enormously popular for decades, Ars Notoria was adapted and mutated into many versions, making it very challenging to understand. It is exciting to see an expert translation based on Véronèse’s reliable critical edition of the Latin versions and other primary texts. Matthias Castle’s tome is massive but worth every penny for its encyclopedic but lucid treatment of the many elements, such as the angelology, magical figures, rituals, art of memory, and liberal arts. Given the significant impact Ars Notoria had on later magical texts, including the Key of Solomon and Sworn Book of Honorius, Castle’s edition should be valuable to scholars and practitioners alike.”

– Joseph H. Peterson, author, translator, and creator of the Esoteric Archives website

“One of the lost treasures of medieval occultism, the Ars Notoria is a system of Solomonic angelic magic used by students and scholars to attain knowledge of the arts and sciences. Matthias Castle has done an exemplary job in translating the original texts and setting out all the details of the notory art for today’s scholars and practitioners of magic.”

– John Michael Greer, coauthor and cotranslator of The Complete Picatrix: The Occult Classic of Astrol

“This volume offers readers for the first time an English translation of this important work of image magic, based on the best available critical edition. Readers can count on a combination of readability and accuracy, and the book represents a substantial contribution by rendering this text accessible to a new audience of students and practitioners alike.”

– David Porreca, Ph.D., associate professor and codirector of the medieval studies undergraduate progr

“Offers a methodical foundation for understanding and exploring the various manuscripts of the Ars Notoria tradition and its historical contexts. Richly illustrated with a wide evidentiary range of the Ars Notoria’s sacred diagrams, figures, sigils, and seals from across the manuscript corpus and presenting section-by-section close readings of the prayerful and conjurational texts in question, this book furnishes those enamored of the notory art a deeper understanding of its peculiar prayers and protocols. This work should provide all those interested in medieval angelology, manuscript illumination, grimoiric conjuration, and visual cultures of sacred art a valuable historical resource for understanding and engaging with these most pious and pedagogical of grimoiric traditions.”

– Alexander Cummins, Ph.D., historian and coauthor of An Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magicke

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