Abergläubische Lehren und magische (geomantische, astrologische u.s.w.) Künste

Thuringian, East Franconian, and Latin Manuscript on Divination, Amulets, & Ritual Magic, ca. 1515

Dresd.M.206

Abergläubische Lehren und magische (geomantische, astrologische u.s.w.) Künste (In English, ‘Superstitious Teachings and Magical (Geomantic, Astrological, etc.) Arts’) is an early 16th century magic manuscript preserved in the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB.). It is written in red, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, and black ink on paper. It is bound in contemporary pig skin with cover flap and large tie in quarto format with 130 leaves + blanks. The main body of the manuscript was written around 1515 and contains texts in Thuringian, East Franconian, and Latin.

The manuscript includes a large portion devoted to divination, an introduction to ritual magic, and a huge collection of textual amulets. They are separated by magic seals without description or connection with the text. The amulets occupy 24 folios (fol. 40r-64v) and are referred to as fundamentum leonis pape super omnes caracteres which is one of the earliest references of the amulets of the Pope Leo III. The Enchiridion Leonis Papae was not printed until the early 17th century.

Its also interesting to note that John Dee’s Angelic or “Enochian” alphabet has been written the front pastedown in what appears to a contemporary hand. It must be a later gloss as it was not until 1583 that Kelley reported his visions in the crystal of the twenty-one lettered alphabet characteristic of the language.

More to come once I have further examined the text.


Part 1: (fol. 1-11a) Latin Mass (with German prayers)

Part 2a: (fol. 12-18, 32-33). Book of images + magic signs.

Part 3: (fol. 23-31) Geomancy

Part 2b: (fol. 34-72) Onomancy + text amulets + ritual magic + recipes

(fol. 40r-64v) Amulets. Rotating paper volvelle for Predictions. (fol. 36r).

Part 2c: (fol. 73-118) Introduction to ritual magic

Part 2d (fol. 119-134) by Nanno Philosophus on onomancy and astrology


Note: The PDFs are very high resolution and may take a while to load. Rights / usage information: Public Domain Mark 1.0


Facsimile Editions



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