Iuratus: Analysis of Non-Christian Elements and Their Integration with Liber Iuratus Honorii Continued

Start with the initial post of this series

The last instalment in case you missed it.

A case has been made by Katelyn Mesler that there is even some evidence of Islamic thought running through Liber Iuratus Honorii. In a later part of the text, when the practitioner is to summon spirits related to the planets and the days instead of conjuring them as before, it is done in a question. “Where is Barthan the king? where are Thaadas, [Caudas], and Yalcal his ministers? Where is Formione the king? where are Guth, Maguth, and Guthrin his ministers?” This is a very different tone from standard conjurations in Liber Iuratus Honorii and other grimoires. Earlier in the text when calling an angel, the oration is given “I humbly invoke and beseech you, that you may condescend to come down and appear here before this circle … I order you through the virtue of that one, whose name is marked.” This is a more traditional conjuration; the iron hand in the velvet glove, a humble call to the spirit backed up by spiritual authority from God. This questioning call is not something that appears in Christian systems, nor is it something that appears in Jewish systems, but as Mesler states it is “found with some frequency in Islamic magical texts.” While it is a minor point, amidst a complex combination of Christian and Jewish influences, this does seem to indicate that the author of Liber Iuratus Honorii had some familiarity with, and access to Islamic texts related to conjuring spirits, making the religious combination of the text just a little more complicated.

There is another reference in the text that is neither Jewish nor Islamic, it is either Greek or evidence of a pre-existing grimoire system drawing on Greek mythology. It only appears once in the text, like the Islamic questioning, so cannot be considered a major part of the thought behind the text, but can again suggest the broad base of traditions that the text was built from. When discussing the appropriate incenses to use, the author explains what Solomon suggests. This is not surprising as Jewish and Christian grimoires often validated themselves claiming connections to Solomon, but it then also contains the suggestions of Hermes that disagree with what was previously said by Solomon. This may be a reference to a person, coincidentally named Hermes, or more likely a reference to the god himself. A form of Hermes, known as Hermes Trimegistus (The Thrice Great), is a similar figure to Solomon in the grimoire system and Judeo-Christian magic systems with a variety of grimoires, alchemical texts, and magical books attributed to him. This section is unusual for this is the only time Hermes is mentioned in Liber Iuratus Honorii, and the inclusion of him disagreeing with Solomon on what incense to use only confuses the matter, rather than clarifies. It would seem that this is an extrapolation from another text; another grimoire or magical book that was patched into Liber Iuratus Honorii without much effort to synthesize or harmonize the texts. The fact you have two figures disagreeing in this way serves no purpose within the text, and the only plausible reason is scribal errors in the creation of the text; adding in different elements without bringing them into line with each other. This shows that this text was part of a tradition; it wasn’t a standalone creation written in solitude by Honorius, but part of something more, an evolution of something within a tradition.

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2 Responses to Iuratus: Analysis of Non-Christian Elements and Their Integration with Liber Iuratus Honorii Continued

  1. […] Analysis of Non-Christian Elements and Their Integration with Liber Iuratus Honorii Part II […]

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