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Necronomicon Scolorship

To: alt.magick
From: "Fr. A.o.C." 
Subject: Re: Necronomicon Scolorship
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 15:16:53 GMT

Comments on the Necronomicon

Excepted from Babyloniana by Kalyn Tranquilson
The Necronomicon (by "Simon") has little or nothing to do with authentic
Babylonian -- Akkadian or Sumerian -- ritual or magical practices.
However, some comments about the text "edited" by Simon might be in order.

First of all, it is clear that Simon had access to a wide variety of
mythological materials derived from the Cuneiform culture. I am not
convinced that this text had an earlier history before it's copyright
date, but even by the early years of this century several of the
important texts of the Mesopotamian corpus were becoming available. As
evident from his bibliographies and assorted references, Simon had
access to some of these works. But he also had a point to prove, and an
agenda which distorted the information he provides. His work suffers
from a total lack of acknowledgment of the difference between the
Akkadian and Sumerian terms and names. He also makes some extremely
untenable historical assertions, such as that the Surmerian language is
"closely allied to that of the Aryan race, having in fact many words
identical to that of Sanskrit (and it is said, to Chinese.)" [p.xviii]

A detailed analysis follows:

The Introductory Materials (p.vii - lvi) 

This is the only section Simon claims as his own; it is a hodgepodge of
information of various qualities of accuracy. On the whole, his
Mesopotamian references suffer from a lack of responsible checking.
Simon appears to be a person who had a good idea (the Sumerian and
Akkadian material was essentially unknown outside of a very limited
scholastic community until very recently), but was unwilling to do the
work to do it right, and was afraid to take direct credit. An example of
the naivet of his work can be seen in the massive jumps from culture to
culture. Yet at the same time he provides some interesting, perhaps even
useful, information on Sumerian terms (see p.xlix). His most glaring
problem is his linguistic jumps. As one example among many, his equation
of Lovecraft's deity Cthulhu (derived from the Greek 'cthone') to the
Sumerians through the name of Ereskigal's city Kutha: thus, he says,
KUTHA-LU [sic] means "man of Kutha": the proper term in Sumerian would
be rendered LU-KUTHA. He also makes a connection between Kutha and Kutu,
two completely different cities and terms, and between Kutha, the ABSU
(Enki's realm), the NAR MARRATU (which is the marshy area at the
junction between the Persian Gulf and the three rivers) and the Greek
'abyss'. While there is something that can be said about the ABSU and
the Abyss -- both being the dark preformative world which exists
alongside the mundane world, however, the Abyss is simply a void which
is total and independent, whereas the ABSU is a real realm located
between the Earth and the Netherworld. The Sumerians knew the
difference. Kutha and NAR MARRATU are concrete geographical entities --
although Kutha, being the city of Ereskigal, might be said to have a
gateway to the Netherworld. 

Of the Zonei and their Attributes - (p.17-33)

This is an interesting mixture of original (Babylonian) material and who
knows what. The deities' association with specific numbers is real and
are a few of their descriptions. The seals are hilarious; at least, they
bear no resemblance to anything I've ever encountered.

The Book of the Entrance and of the Walking - (p35-49)

This chapter is basically garbage, even though the attribution of the
seven earths, the seven levels and the seven heavens is a known feature
of Babylonian systems; I do not believe that Simon actually derived this
from any authentic source. Remember that the most famous ziggurat in
Mesopotamia was in Babylon (the Tower of Babel) which, it so happens,
has seven stories. It's obvious that from very early on the
Mesopotamians had a special reverence for the number seven. The early
attribution of the seven-pointed star as the "Star of Babylon" was an
early adaptation of this in Western Occult tradition. Simon could have
easily picked up any of several scholarly accounts of religion in
Babylon for this source.

The Incantations of the Gates - (p.51-61)

Some of these invocations sound "familiar" and could possibly be hymns
from various periods. I am still looking for the original materials,
because if they are actual they may be useful. However, the language of
his given translations is hardly accurate and the ABRACADABRA phrases at
the end of the invocations are garbage.

The Conjurations of the Fire God - (p.63-65)

Again it sounds close except for the abracadabra bit.

The Conjuration of the Watcher - (p.67-73)

Forget it! Pure fiction...

The Maklu Text- (p.75-92)

First of all, again ignore all of the abracadabra stuff; however, it is
an interesting piece in this book. There is in fact a lexical series
called the 'maqlu'; there are also several exorcism rites (the most
common being the 'uttukku lemnuti') and you will find that in the
material provided in this book there are one or two texts, incantations,
etc. which appear to be included in sections of Simon's 'maklu" text --
such as the Conjuration Against the Seven Liers-in-Wait (p.79). But
these are texts from separate sources and Simon has lumped them together
into one "text". In general I do not trust Simon (obviously). I am
following through and trying to find all of the originals.

The Book Of Calling - (p.93-120)

Mostly mumbo-jumbo, especially his "Invocation of the Gates" -- the
order is European, and late European at that! However, on page 111 he
reproduces a shortened version of a verifiable text (text KAR 61, edited
by Biggs TCS II (1967):70ff)

The Book Of The Fifty Names - (p.121-150)

The names are derived from the end of the 'Enuma Elis', but the
commentary is not. Also be careful with the transcriptions of the names
into English lettering; I recommend if you want to know the Fifty Names
of Marduk, see Alexander Heidel's book The Babylonian Genesis.

The Magan Text - (p.151-180)

Maggan is the Iranian coast of the Straits of Hormuz, and perhaps the
land of the Harrapan civilization; however, it has nothing to do with
the content of the text which is presented. This is a bad translation of
the beginning of the 'Enuma Elis' (see Heidel's book). Section IV
(166-180) "Of The Sleep Of Ishtar" is a rather amusing adaptation of the
Descent of Istar (or Inana) myth.

The Urilla Text - (p.181-202)

Very interesting and imaginative, but...

The Testimony Of The Mad Arab - (in two parts, p.3-16 & 203-218)

Who knows, but with Simon's batting average so far, it seems unreliable
to me.

All of the above is not to say that Simon's Necronomicon, or it's
sequel, The Necronomicon Spellbook, is not interesting reading; nor is
it to say that it cannot be used as a magical grimoire, since anything
can be so used if you're capable of investing it with power. But it is
the product of an imaginative distortion of ancient materials by a
modern individual. It is not an authentic system or text of Babylonian,
Sumerian or Akkadian ritual or magical practices.

Frater SG wrote:
> AVE!
> I know, I know, there is no such thing as the Necronomicon. What I'm
> wondering is whether there is any basis for some of the texts published
> under the name "Necronomicon". For example, is the Magan Text pulled from a
> real source or is it totally fiction. Same with some of the others.
> The reason I'm asking is that I've been doing some research into Sumerian
> and Babylonian religion and their pantheons form the basis of the various
> texts included in the "Necronomicon". The Megan Text has a sound very
> similar to contemporary Sumerian and Babylonian works even though the editor
> places it at the wrong time. (Simon says... The Magan Text is pre-Babylon,
> yet the inclusion of Marduk as the hero marks it as being after the rise of
> Babylon as Marduk was the Babylonian City God. Prior to him it was believed
> that Enlil created the universe.)
> I'm wondering if there is any real scholorship on the subject. Did Simon
> grab a few actual Babylonian and Sumerian texts and intersperse some
> pseudo-magic amongst them with a healthy dose of Lovecraft and call it the
> Necronomicon, or is it fiction in its entirity? I have a few different
> editions of the "Necronomicon" including the one from Simon, but I assume
> that that one is the most well known as it's the most widely published. I
> want to make sure that there is something of substance there before I decide
> whether or not to use some of its stories as a basis for research.
> in LVX
> -Fra SG

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