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The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.mythology,alt.necronomicon,alt.horror.cthulhu,sci.skeptic,alt.paranet.skeptic
From: Abaddon 
Subject: Re: The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon (was ...)
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 09:34:56 -0700

ny'rl'thot'p wrote:

> Dominion :
> >...From the mouth of the Master himself.
> thank you very much for posting this. along with any other text from
> Lovecraft on the Necronomicon's contents or description. I'll review
> it here for an example of how we might proceed to describe the
> Necronomicon as it reflects through the consciousness of Lovecraft.
> >"Composed by Abdul Alhazred, a mad poet of Sanaa, in Yemen,
> what kind of culture is "Sanaa, Yemen"? what type of magic and rite
> is likely to have been practiced there circa 700 C.E.?
> >who is said to have flourished during the period of the Ommiade
> >caliphs, circa 700 A. D.
> this sounds Muslim, but I'm no historian, so I'll wait for someone
> to evaluate the likely culture of the Mad Arab and what his written
> language should have been.

Muslim, though early Muslim shortly after the Prophet's death.  It is
important to note that while most of the Middle East and Nothern Africa
would have been converted to Islam by the time of the writing of "Al Azif"
there would still be a strong pagan tradition in the more remote parts of
the desert (analogous to Xtianity in Northern Europe of the same period),
and Allah was merely a minor god until he became triumphant over the rest
(like Yahweh).  It is more than possible that Alhazred (if he existed)
would have had access to the learning, lore, and magic of both the Muslims
and the pagan tribesmen.

> >...He claimed to have been [to] the fabulous
> >Irem, or City of Pillars, & to have found beneath the ruins of a
> >certain nameless desert town the shocking annals & secrets of a race
> >older than mankind.

Irem is a real city and is mentioned in the Koran as being destroyed a la
Sodom for wickedness and idolatry.

> if this pertains to the beings in the Necronomicon, then we would need
> to speculate on possible races and languages of desert towns in his
> general region.
> >He was only an indifferent Moslem, worshipping
> >unknown entities whom he called Yog-Sothoth & Cthulhu.
> so we might expect faint if not direct Muslim influences on the
> man's text, inclusive of vast cosmological presuppositions about
> the nature of the origin and integrity of the universe. how this
> might be influenced by his interaction with the beings known as
> Yog-Sothoth or Cthulhu could only be determined by comparison
> with his own references in any works by the same man (in this
> case, the Necronomicon must contain some integrity or at least
> illustrate the disintegration of his mind during its writing).

Given the time period I would doubt that Alhazred would have been anything
but a Muslim.  This was the period of greatest expansion of Islam and a
great many people were being slaughtered for not converting.

> >In A. D. 950 the Azif, which had gained a considerable tho'
> >surreptitious circulation among the philosophers of the age, was
> >secretly translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas of Constantinople
> >under the title Necronomicon.
> therefore under the title "Necronomicon" it should be a Greek
> translation or from the Greek to whatever language it is being
> rendered. has anyone analyzed whether "Al Azif" MEANS anything?
> if so, what does it mean? why would anyone translate it as
> "Necronomicon", and what would each best translate to English?

Arabic.  It refers to the buzzing of insects in the desert.  HPL does
mention this in his fiction, but it is an actual thing.  These buzzings
were perported to be the voices of the Djinn who would come to the pagan
shaman/priest/holy man and whisper in his ear.  Any real Necronomicon
would originally have been in Arabic (if the assumptions we have made are

> >...(1228) Olaus Wormius made a Latin translation later in the Middle
> >Ages....
> the best rendering of "Al Azif"/"Necronomicon", therefore would
> be a presentation comparing Arabic (if this is the likely
> written language of Alhazred), Greek, Latin, and the language
> of sale, side by side for comparison by the interested academic.
> an evaluation of the type of language and grammar available to
> Wormius would be an important facet of this construction.
> >...The Arabic
> >original was lost as early as Wormius' time as indicated by his
> >prefatory note
> the Latin by Wormius would need to contain such a prefatory note,
> indicating this.
> >& no sight of the Greek copy (which was printed in
> >Italy bet. 1500 & 1550) has been reported since the burning of a
> >certain Salem man's library in 1692.
> how Greek changes between 950 and 1550 would be pertinent in
> fixing a particular conceptual expression.
> >A translation made by Dr. Dee was
> >never printed, & exists only in fragments recovered from the original
> >MS....
> >
> >H. P. Lovecraft
> the Dee translation would be only of small interest to the researcher,
> though his PREFACE would be superb, given that he had a distinct
> interest in magical enterprises (Enochian).

And mathmatics, and astrology (he was Elizabeth I's court astrologer), and
alchemy, and religion, and cryptography, and spying.  It is rumoured that
he acted as a spy for EI's court when ever he went abroad.  Dee was a
remarkable and highly educated man for his time and is reported to have
had the largest private library in England before is death.

> the rest of the Lovecraft description is unimportant in detailing what
> a faithful Necronomicon (Al Azif) must contain.
> >Whereas I remember in the tape recording in "The Evil Dead" as
> >discribing a book "bound in human skin and inked in human blood".
> good, thanks for identifying the source of this description.
> n'yr'l'thot'p
> --
> ;
> ;
> emailed replies may be posted; cc replies if response desired



"We live on a placid island of ignorance
in the midst of black seas of infinity,
and it was not meant that we should voyage far. . ."
                                               --H.P. Lovecraft

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