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A Necronomicon Glossary

[from http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necgloss.htm ]

Subject: A Necronomicon Glossary
                                   
                        Compiled by Dan Clore.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Open to suggestions for further entries.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
Contents:

     * Abdul Alhazred.
     * The Book of Thoth.
     * Robert W. Chambers and The King in Yellow.
     * Aleister Crowley.
     * John Dee.
     * Ebn Khallikan.
     * Ibn Schacabao.
     * Irem, the City of Pillars.
     * (The Patriarch) Michael.
     * Theodorus Philetas.
     * Roba el Khaliyeh.
     * The Voynich Manuscript.
     * Olaus Wormius.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                            Abdul Alhazred
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   H.P. Lovecraft invented the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, and no
   references to this name have been found that do not stem from
   Lovecraft's use of it. The story of Abdul Alhazred's life may be
   found in Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon". It is notable
   that none of the variant forms of the name used by other writers
   appear in Lovecraft's work; indeed, his only use of a variant
   form ("Abdool Al-Hazred") appears in a letter from the eighteenth
   century quoted in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Lovecraft
   himself describes the origin of the name in a pair of letters:
   
     ... how many dream-Arabs have the Arabian Nights bred! I ought
     to know, since at the age of 5 I was one of them! I had not
     then encountered Graeco-Roman myth, but found in Lang's
     Arabian Nights a gateway to glittering vistas of wonder and
     freedom. It was then that I invented for myself the name of
     Abdul Alhazred, and made my mother take me to all the Oriental
     curio shops and fit me up an Arabian corner in my room.
     
     I can't quite recall where I did get Abdul Alhazred. There is
     a dim recollection which associates it with a certain elder --
     the family lawyer, as it happens, but I can't remember whether
     I asked him to make up an Arabic name for me, or whether I
     merely asked him to criticise a choice I had otherwise made.
     
   It should be noted that the element "hazred" may be a pun on the
   phrase "all has read" or "has read all". Another possible origin
   is a distorted form of Hazard, the common prefix "al" (the
   definite article) being added on to the beginning. Lovecraft
   claimed that his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was
   Robert Hazard (1635-1710), one of a well-known family in Rhode
   Island history. There appears to be no evidence to support this
   contention.
   
   In any case, it should be noted that the name Abdul Alhazred is
   not a properly-formed Arabic name. The element -ul in Abdul is
   identical to the al- of Alhazred, thus meaning that this element
   is simply repeated. Additionally, hazred does not exist in
   Arabic, although it is theoretically possible (however, every
   single letter in the name could represent more than one possible
   Arabic original, making it hopelessly obscure as a whole).
   
   This, however, need not be seen as a problem, as many Arabic
   authors are known in Europe under distorted forms of their true
   names, such as: Avicenna for Abu Ali al-Husein ibn Senna, Hali
   for Khalid ibn Yazid, AverroŽs for Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn
   Rushd, etc. A number of suggestions along this line have been
   made, among them:
     * Abd al-Azrad. Abd = servant; azrad < zarada = to strangle or
       devour; thus, "servant of the great strangler or devourer".
     * Abdallah Zahr-ad-Dihn. "Servant-of-God Flower-of-Faith."
     * Abd Al-'Uzz‚ ar-Rahib ibn Ad. Abd = servant; Al-'Uzz‚, a
       goddess woshipped alongside Allah in the pre-Muslim period;
       ar-Rahib = hermit; ibn Ad, of the tribe of Ad, a fabulous
       race of prehistoric giants.
       
   Another suggestion has been that the name is not Arabic at all,
   but rather Yemenite, and translates as
   "one-who-sees-what-should-not-be-seen".
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                           The Book of Thoth
     ____________________________________________________________
   
               Robert W. Chambers and The King in Yellow
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon" states that: "It was
   from rumours of this book (of which relatively few of the general
   public know) that R.W. Chambers is said to have derived the idea
   of his early novel The King in Yellow."
   
   Chambers' book appeared in 1895 and is not a novel but a
   collection of short stories. Some of these stories in turn refer
   to a play also titled The King in Yellow, and which drives its
   readers mad. Some have speculated that Lovecraft derived his idea
   of the Necronomicon from Chambers' work; this, however, is
   impossible, as he did not read Chambers until 1927 (the same
   year, incidentally, that he authored the "History" -- the
   similarity in conception apparently inspiring the playful
   allusion) and had referred to the Necronomicon by name as early
   as 1922 ("The Hound").
   
   Robert W. Chambers: The King in Yellow.
   Henrik Johnsson's King in Yellow Page.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                           Aleister Crowley
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                           Aleister Crowley
   
       The Great Beast Aleister Crowley as "the Silent Watcher".
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Much speculation has been wasted on the hypothesis that Lovecraft
   may have been influenced in his conceptions by the occultist and
   magickian Aleister Crowley. It is usually hypothesized that
   Lovecraft's wife, Sonya, provides a link between the two during
   Lovecraft's New York period. In fact, we know perfectly well that
   Lovecraft had heard of Crowley, and exactly what he thought of
   him. Lovecraft mentions Crowley in the Selected Letters V, p.
   120, -- this letter written in the last year of Lovecraft's life
   -- and here's what he has to say:
   
     In the 1890's the fashionable decadents liked to pretend that
     they belonged to all sorts of diabolic Black Mass cults, &
     possessed all sorts of frightful occult information. The only
     specimen of this group still active is the rather
     over-advertised Aleister Crowley .... who, by the way, is
     undoubtedly the original of the villainous character in H.R.
     Wakefield's "He Cometh & He Passeth By".
     
   This quotation proves conclusively that Lovecraft knew nothing of
   Crowley other than what anyone would have gleaned from the
   press's libelous attacks against him.
   
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                             Dr. John Dee
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Dr. Dee Edward Kelly
   
                          Dr. John Dee (left)
   
                         Edward Kelly (right)
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   John Dee was born on July 13, 1527 in London. His life included a
   notable amount of study and practice of magick, some of it in
   service to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Much of Dee's practice
   consisted of alchemical experiments, and he also indulged in the
   creation of talismans. However, he gained the most notoriety for
   the contact that he and his associate Edward Kelly (who may have
   been something of a con man) established with a group of
   praeterhuman beings they referred to as Enochian Angels,
   recalling the apocryphal Book of Enoch. In this, Kelly acted as
   "skryer", gazing into a "shewstone" -- a piece of crystal,
   dictating to Dee the messages sent by the Enochian Angels. It is
   interesting to note that these messages are composed in their own
   unique language, which does indeed have its own syntax and
   vocabulary. Later mages have supposedly found this language to be
   the most effective language known for their incantatory purposes.
   In any case, Dr. Dee acquired a reputation as the archetypal
   mage.
   
   Dee was first connected with the Necronomicon by Frank Belknap
   Long, who seems, however, to have had in mind that Dee was its
   author rather than a mere translator. H.P. Lovecraft, having
   recently written his "History of the Necronomicon", then added
   that Dee had translated the work and referred to this translation
   in "The Dunwich Horror".
   
   One of the more interesting bits of Forteana concerns Dee's
   Enochian Angels. When Aleister Crowley was in contact with them,
   he produced a portrait of one, named Lam. As can be seen, Lam
   appears almost identical to the "Greys" who currently besiege UFO
   abductees:
   
                                  Lam
   
                        Lam, an Enochian Angel
   
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                             Ebn Khallikan
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Ibn Khallik‚n (1211-1282) was born in Irbil and lived in Egypt
   and Syria, where he served as kadi (head of justice) of Damas. He
   compiled a biographical dictionary, the first of its kind, that
   took twenty years to complete.
   
   Extant versions (Ibn Khallik‚n updated the work several times) do
   not seem to include an entry for Abdul Alhazred, either under
   that name, or under any recognizable variant. This should not be
   too surprising, considering that the work followed the novel plan
   of only including information which had been obtained first-hand
   from living individuals. So, the omission of the eighth-century
   mad Arab is understandable, as Ibn Khallik‚n is unlikely to have
   had access to him in the thirteenth century (do I smell a
   plot-germ here?).
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                             Ibn Schacabao
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Lovecraft has Alhazred cite Ibn Schacabao with the interesting
   couplet:
   
     Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain,
     And happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes.
     
   Ibn Schacabao is also referred to in "The Case of Charles Dexter
   Ward", in which Joseph Curwen writes in a letter:
   
     I laste Night strucke on ye Wordes that bringe up
     YOGGE-SOTHOTHE, and sawe for ye firste Time that fface spoke
     of by Ibn Schacabao in ye ------.
     
   Later authors have given Ibn Schacabao's work the tile
   Reflections.
   
   The name "Schacabao" is not a proper Arabic name. It has thus
   been subjected to much the same speculation as "Alhazred".
   Possibilities include:
     * Ibn Shayk Abol, "Son of the Sheik Abol".
     * Ibn Mushacab, "Son of the Dweller" (shacab, "to sit, inhabit,
       dwell" plus mu-, personalizing element).
     * Some derivate of the Hebrew term shakhabh, "bestiality".
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                       Irem, the City of Pillars
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   In Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon" we read: "Of his
   [Alhazred's] madness many things are told. He claimed to have
   seen the fabulous Irem, or City or Pillars, and to have...."
   
   Elsewhere in the fiction Irem is mentioned only in these brief
   allusions:
   
     ....and one terrible final scene shewed a primitive-looking
     man, perhaps a pioneer of ancient Irem, the City of Pillars,
     torn to pieces by members of the elder race. ("The Nameless
     City", D 106)
     
     Of the cult, he [Castro] said that he thought the centre lay
     amid the pathless deserts of Arabia, where Irem, the City of
     Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. ("The Call of Cthulhu",
     DH 141)
     
     That antique Silver Key, he [Randolph Carter] said, would
     unlock the successive doors that bar our free march down the
     mightly corridors of space and time to the very Border which
     no man has crossed since Shaddad with his terrific genius
     built and concealed in the sands of Arabia Petraea the
     prodigious domes and uncounted minarets of thousand-pillared
     Irem. Half-starved dervishes -- wrote Carter -- and
     thirst-crazed nomads have returned to tell of that monumental
     portal, and of the Hand that is sculptured above the keystone
     of the arch, but no man has passed and returned to say that
     his footprints on the garnet-strown sands within bear witness.
     The key, he surmised, was that for which the Cyclopean
     sculptured Hand vainly grasps. ("Through the Gates of the
     Silver Key", MM 426)
     
     "Be careful, you -- -- ! There are powers against your powers
     -- I didn't go to China for nothing, and there are things in
     Alhazred's Azif which weren't known in Atlantis! We've both
     meddled in dangerous things, but you needn't think you know
     all my resources. How about the Nemesis of Flame? I talked in
     Yemen with an old man who had come back alive from the Crimson
     Desert -- he had seen Irem, the City of Pillars, and had
     worshipped at the underground shrines of Nug and Yeb -- Iš!
     Shub-Niggurath!" ("The Last Test", HM 47)
     
   Lovecraft did not invent Irem. The City of Pillars is mentioned
   in the Q'uran; in the Arabian Nights; and in Omar Khayyam's
   Rubaiyat. In these, Irem, Iram, or Ir‚m appears as a city
   destroyed ages before and lying buried somewhere in the desert
   sand. Its many columns, pillars, or towers are frequently
   mentioned.
   
   Lovecraft's precise source, however, can be determined from an
   entry [no. 47] in his commonplace book. Here, Lovecraft cites an
   article from the Encyclopedia Britannica, of which he owned the
   ninth edition:
   
     From "Arabia" Encyc. Britan. II-255: Prehistoric fabulous
     tribes of Ad in the south, Thamood in the north, and Tasm and
     Jadis in the centre of the peninsula. "Very gorgeous are the
     descriptions given of Irem, the City of Pillars (as the Koran
     styles it) supposed to have been erected by Shedad, the latest
     despot of Ad, in the regions of Hudramaut, and which yet,
     after the annihilation of its tenants, remains entire, so
     Arabs say, invisible to ordinary eyes, but occasionally, and
     at rare intervals, revealed to some heaven-favoured
     traveller." Rock excavations in N.W. Hejaz ascribed to Thamood
     tribe.
     
   In 1975, there was an archaeological discovery in the city Ebla,
   which had itself been discovered only the decade before. There, a
   library of more than fifteen thousand tablets was found. Some of
   these tablets mentioned Irem by name, taking it out of the realm
   of legend and giving it a historical foundation.
   
   The City of Pillars made a further step into reality when
   archaeologist examined photographs taken by the space shuttle
   Challenger in 1984. These, of the Arabian Gulf Coast, revealed a
   number of buried cities along routes to the "Atlantis of the
   Sands" -- the center of the frankincense trade between 2800 BCE
   and 100 CE. Among others, there was found a city known as Ubar,
   identified with the Irem of Arabic legendry.
   
   NASA's Ubar Page.
   "The Extinct Arabian People of 'Ad and their Famous Pillars of
   Iram."
   The NOVA documentary on Ubar.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                        (The Patriarch) Michael
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Most likely, Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople from
   1043-58.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                          Theodorus Philetas
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   So far as I know, this purported translator of the Necronomicon
   is purely fictional and an invention of Lovecraft's.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                           Roba el Khaliyah
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                        The Voynich Manuscript
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   In two works by Colin Wilson, "The Return of the Lloigor" and The
   Philosopher's Stone, the Voynich Manuscript's code is cracked and
   the volume turns out to be the Necronomicon. The Voynich
   Manuscript really does exist; however, it remains indecipherable
   to this day.
   
   Here is a description of the Voynich Manuscript from the
   Catalogue of Yale University Library, where it currently resides:
   
     MS 408
     Cipher Manuscript
     
     Central Europe [?], s. XV^ex-XVI [?]
     
     Scientific or magical text in an unidentified language, in
     cipher, apparently based on Roman minuscule characters; the
     text is believed by some scholars to be the work of Roger
     Bacon since the themes of the illustrations seem to represent
     topics known to have interested Bacon (see also Provenance
     below.) A history of the numerous attempts to decipher the
     manuscript can be found in a volume edited by R. S. Brumbaugh,
     The Most Mysterious Manuscript: The Voynich "Roger Bacon"
     Cipher Manuscript (Carbondale, Illinois, 1978). Although
     several scholars have claimed decipherments of the manuscript,
     for the most part the text remains an unsolved puzzle. R. S.
     Brumbaugh has, however, suggested a decipherment that
     establishes readings for the star names and plant labels; see
     his "Botany and the Voynich 'Roger Bacon' Manuscript Once
     More," Speculum 49 (1974) pp. 546-48; "The Solution of the
     Voynich 'Roger Bacon' Cipher," Gazette 49 (1975) pp. 347-55;
     "The Voynich 'Roger Bacon' Cipher Manuscript: Deciphered Maps
     of Stars," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 39
     (1976) pp. 139-50.
     
     Parchment. ff. 102 (contemporary foliation, Arabic numerals;
     not every leaf foliated) + i (paper), including 5
     double-folio, 3 triple- folio, 1 quadruple-folio and 1
     sextuple-folio folding leaves. 225 x 160 mm.
     
     Collation is difficult due to the number of fold-out leaves
     that are not always foliated consistently. I-VII^8 (f. 12
     missing), VIII^4 (leaves foliated 59 through 64 missing from
     center of quire), IX^2 (double and triple fold-out leaves),
     X^2 (1 triple fold-out), XI^2 (1 quadruple fold-out), XII^2
     (f. 74 missing, followed by stubs of conjugate leaves),
     XIII^10, XIV^1 (sextuple fold-out), XV^4 (1 triple and 1
     double fold-out), XVI^4 (1 double fold-out; ff. 91, 92, 97, 98
     missing, 2 stubs between 94 and 95), XVII^4 (2 double
     fold-outs), XVIII^12 (ff. 109-110, central bifolium, missing).
     Quire signatures in lower right corner, verso, and sometimes
     on recto.
     
     Almost every page contains botanical and scientific drawings,
     many full-page, of a provincial but lively character, in ink
     with washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue
     and red. Based on the subject matter of the drawings, the
     contents of the manuscript falls into six sections: Part I.
     ff. 1r-66v Botanical sections containing drawings of 113
     unidentified plant species. Special care is taken in the
     representation of the flowers, leaves and the root systems of
     the individual plants. Drawings accompanied by text. Part II.
     ff. 67r- 73v Astronomical or astrological section containing
     25 astral diagrams in the form of circles, concentric or with
     radiating segments, some with the sun or the moon in the
     center; the segments filled with stars and inscriptions, some
     with the signs of the zodiac and concentric circles of nude
     females, some free-standing, other emerging from objects
     similar to cans or tubes. Little continuous text. Part III.
     ff. 75r-84v "Biological" section containing drawings of small-
     scale female nudes, most with bulging abdomens and exaggerated
     hips, immersed or emerging from fluids, or interconnecting
     tubes and capsules. These drawings are the most enigmatic in
     the manuscript and it has been suggested that they
     symbolically represent the process of human reproduction and
     the procedure by which the soul becomes united with the body
     (cf. W. Newbold and R. Kent, The Cipher of Roger Bacon
     [Philadelphia, 1928] p. 46). Part IV. ff. 85r-86v This
     sextuple- folio folding leaf contains an elaborate array of
     nine medallions, filled with stars and cell-like shapes, with
     fibrous structures linking the circles. Some medallions with
     petal-like arrangements of rays filled with stars, some with
     structures resembling bundles of pipes. Part V. ff. 87r-102v
     Pharmaceutical section containing drawings of over 100
     different species of medicinal herbs and roots, all with
     identifying inscriptions. On almost every page drawings of
     pharmaceutical jars, resembling vases, in red, green and
     yellow, or blue and green. Accompanied by some continuous
     text. Part VI. ff. 103r- 117v Continuous text, with stars in
     inner margin on recto and outer margins of verso. Folio 117v
     includes a 3-line presumed "key" opening with a reference to
     Roger Bacon in anagram and cipher.
     
     Binding: s. xviii-xix. Vellum case. Remains of early paper
     pastedowns.
     
     Written in Central Europe [?] at the end of the 15th or during
     the 16th [?] century; the origin and date of the manuscript
     are still being debated as vigorously as its puzzling drawings
     and undeciphered text. The identification of several of the
     plants as New World specimens brought back to Europe by
     Columbus indicates that the manuscript could not have been
     written before 1493. The codex belonged to Emperor Rudolph II
     of Germany (Holy Roman Emperor, 1576-1612), who purchased it
     for 600 gold ducats and believed that it was the work of Roger
     Bacon; see the autograph letter of Johannes Marcus Marci (d.
     1667, rector of Prague University) transcribed under item A
     below. It is very likely that Emperor Rudolph acquired the
     manuscript from the English astrologer John Dee (1527-1608)
     whose foliation remains in the upper right corner of each leaf
     (we thank A. G. Watson for confirming this identification
     through a comparison of the Arabic numerals in the Beinecke
     manuscript with those of John Dee in Oxford, Bodleian Library
     Ashmole 1790, f. 9v, and Ashmole 487). See also A. G. Watson
     and R. J. Roberts, eds., John Dee's Library Catalogue (London,
     The Bibliographical Society, forthcoming). Dee apparently
     owned the manuscript along with a number of other Roger Bacon
     manuscripts; he was in Prague 1582-86 and was in contact with
     Emperor Rudolph during this period. In addition, Dee stated
     that he had 630 ducats in October 1586, and his son Arthur
     (cited by Sir T. Browne, Works, G. Keynes, ed. [1931] v. 6, p.
     325) noted that Dee, while in Bohemia, owned "a
     booke...containing nothing butt Hieroglyphicks, which booke
     his father bestowed much time upon: but I could not heare that
     hee could make it out." Emperor Rudolph seems to have given
     the manuscript to Jacobus Horcicky de Tepenecz (d. 1622);
     inscription on f. 1r "Jacobi de Tepenecz" (erased but visible
     under ultra-violet light). Johannes Marcus Marci of Cronland
     presented the book to Athanasius Kircher, S. J. (1601-80) in
     1666. Acquired by Wilfred M. Voynich in 1912 from the Jesuit
     College at Frascati near Rome. Given to the Beinecke Library
     in 1969 by H. P. Kraus (Cat. 100, pp. 42-44, no. 20) who had
     purchased it from the estate of Ethel Voynich.
     
     Included with MS 408 is the following supplementary material
     in folders or boxes labelled A - N.
     
     A: Autograph letter of Johannes Marcus Marci of Cronland in
     which he presents the manuscript to Athanasius Kircher in
     Rome, in the belief that Kircher would be able to decipher it.
     "Reuerende et Eximie Domine in Christo Pater. Librum hunc ab
     amico singulari mihi testamento relictum, mox eundem tibi
     amicissime Athanisi ubi primum possidere coepi, animo
     destinaui: siquidem persuasum habui a nullo nisi abs te legi
     posse. Petijt aliquando per litteras ejusdem libri tum
     possessor judicium tuum parte aliqua a se descripta et tibi
     transmissa, ex qua reliqua a te legi posse persuasum habuit;
     uerum librum ipsum transmittere tum recusabat in quo
     discifrando posuit indefessum laborem, uti manifestum ex
     conatibus ejusdem hic una tibi transmissis neque prius huius
     spei quam uitae suae finem fecit. Verum labor hic frustraneus
     fuit, siquidem non nisi suo Kirchero obediunt eiusmodi
     sphinges. Accipe ergo modo quod pridem tibi debebatur hoc
     qualecunque mei erga te affectus indicium; huiusque seras, si
     quae sunt, consueta tibi felicitate perrumpe. retulit mihi D.
     Doctor Raphael Ferdinandi tertij Regis tum Boemiae in lingua
     boemica instructor dictum librum fuisse Rudolphi Imperatoris,
     pro quo ipse latori qui librum attulisset 600 ducatos
     praesentarit, authorem uero ipsum putabat esse Rogerium
     Bacconem Anglum. ego judicium meum hic suspendo. tu uero quid
     nobis hic sentiendum defini, cujus fauori et gratiae me totum
     commendo maneoque. Reuerentiae Vestrae. Ad Obsequia Joannes
     Marcus Marci a Cronland. Pragae 19. Augusti AD 1666 [or
     1665?].
     
     B: Correspondence between W. Voynich abd Prof. W. R. Newbold
     concerning Newbold's supposed decipherment of the manuscript
     (1919-26). Correspondence between Anne M. Nills, executrix of
     the estate of Ethel Voynich, and the Rev. Theodore C.
     Peterson, dated 1935-61, concerning the provenance, dating and
     decipherment of the manuscript.
     
     C: Cardboard tube containing articles from international
     newspapers and magazines; among them The New York Times, The
     Washington Post, Der Zeitgeist, and others, concerning the
     announced sale by H. P. Kraus of the cipher manuscript.
     
     D: Scrapbook of newspaper clippings (1912-26) concerning the
     cipher manuscript, compiled by W. Voynich.
     
     E: Miscellaneous handwritten notes of W. Voynich.
     
     F: Miscellaneous material, including handwritten notes by A.
     Nills about the cipher, and her correspondence about the sale
     of the manuscript.
     
     G: Five notebooks handwritten by Ethel Voynich containing
     notes on the identification of the plants, medicinal herbs and
     roots; miscellaneous notes by A. Nills listing some characters
     or combinations of characters as they appear in the
     manuscript.
     
     H: Box of negative and positive photostats.
     
     I - L: Lectures, pamphlets, reviews and articles concerning
     the manuscript. Includes (in K) the transcript of a seminar
     held in Washington D. C. on November 1976 entitled "New
     Research on the Voynich Manuscript."
     
     M: Miscellaneous correspondence between R. Brumbaugh and J. M.
     Saul (Paris) and J. Arnold (Oak Grove, Mo.). Handwritten
     transcription of ff. 89v-116r by R. Brumbaugh.
     
   There is a great deal of information about the Voynich Manuscript
   on the Web; among other places:
   
   The European Voynich Manuscript Transcription Project Home Page.
   Voynich Manuscript Page.
   Voynich Manuscript Bibliography.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
                             Olaus Wormius
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   In his "History of the Necronomicon" Lovecraft states that:
   "(1228) Olaus Wormius made a Latin translation later in the
   Middle Ages, and the Latin text was printed twice". While this is
   a fine example of Lovecraft's pseudo-documentary style, he has
   committed an unfortunate error in placing Olaus Wormius at this
   time. In fact, Olaus Wormius (Ole Wurm) was a Danish physician
   who lived from 1588-1654, putting him far too late to make the
   translation Lovecraft imputes to him. Wormius published a work on
   the literature of his native country, Runir; seu, Danica
   Literatura Antiquissima, vulgo Gothica Dicta Luci Reddita (1636),
   and also a book on the philosopher's stone, Liber Aureus
   Philosophorum (1625).
   
   Lovecraft's unfortunate error can be attributed to his use of
   secondary sources rather than primary. He drew on a work of Hugh
   Blair (1718-1800), A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of
   Ossian, the Son of Fingal (1763), which contains a section on
   Runic or Gothic poetry in general. In this, Blair states:
   
     Their poets were distinguished by the title of Scalders, and
     their songs were termed Vyses. Saxo Grammaticus, a Danish
     historian of considerable note, who flourished in the
     thirteenth century, informs us, [....] A more curious monument
     of the true Gothic poetry is preserved by Olaus Wormius, in
     his book de Literatura Runica. It is an Epicedium, or funeral
     song, composed by Regner Lodbrog; and translated by Olaus,
     word for word from the original.
     
   It can be seen from this that Lovecraft has accidentally
   conflated this two figures, thus leading him into his erroneous
   dating of Wormius in the thirteenth century. As an item of
   trivia, it is interesting to note that Lovecraft prepared a rough
   draft of a translation of Wormius' Latin version of Regner
   Lodbrog's poem.
   
   (I am indebted to S.T. Joshi's fine essay, "Lovecraft, Regner
   Lodbrog, and Olaus Wormius", which appeared in Crypt of Cthulhu,
   No. 89, for most of the facts in this entry.)
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Have any further information on the matters discussed here,
   suggestions for further entries, or other comments?
   Please inform me: clore@columbia-center.org.
     ____________________________________________________________
   
   Copyright (c) 1997 Dan Clore.
     ____________________________________________________________

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