Summa sacrae magicae

Summa Sacre Magice

by Berengario Ganell, 1346

4° Ms. astron. 3

Summa Sacre Magice was compiled and redacted in 1346 by the Catalan magician Berengario Ganell. Summa sacre magice or “Compendium of Sacred Magic” is a behemoth book of magic with over 200,000 words and one of the most thorough overviews of Latin medieval magic transmitted to our day. According to Jan R. Veenstra, the work contains five books, each book comprised of two or three tracts, and each tract containing anywhere from three to thirteen chapters (making a total of eighty-five). The volume account for magic as it was practiced in Spain and possibly Southern France during the 13th century. Examples of these chapters are as follows:

De anulis Solomonis(II.1.1, II.2.10)
De shemhamphoras (I.1.10, II.2.5, II.2.7, II.3.3, IV.2.1, IV.2.2)
De Almandal(III.2.1)
De Thos Grecus (V.1.5)
De Rasiel (V.2.1.13)
De candariis Salomonis (II.2.12)
Liber trium animarum (“The Book of Three Souls”)
New English Translation by Joseph Peterson
Capitulum de sacratione Honorii (IV.1.5)
Capitulum de sigillo Dei (IV.1.16)
Capitulum de vocatione sanctorum angelorum in circulo (III.1.2)
Capitulum de novem modis invocationis spirituum(III.1.3)

Although Ganell copied sections directly from texts he consulted, Summa Sacre Magice reads cohesively unlike most magic manuscripts that have been compiled from multiple magic texts. For example, Ganell specifies almandal (as it should be) as a universal technology for the consecration of ritual apparatus. In like manner, the fifty-one prayers that constitute Liber trium animarum are employed throughout the manuscript where they are mentioned by internal reference number. Furthermore, Ganell’s version of the Sworn Book of Honorius is spread throughout the volume. The core text of the first part of the London Honorius are found in Capitulum de sacratione Honorii (iV.1.5) and Capitulum de sigillo Dei (IV.1.6) however, sections can also be found in sanctorum angelorum in circulo (III.1.2) and in the Capitulum de novem modis invocationis spirituum (III.1.3) which contains sections on the planetary and aerial spirits.

There are only two extent manuscripts of Summa Sacre Magice. The original Latin text – as is presented here – is in Kassel, Universitätsbibliothek Kassel / Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel, 4° Ms. astron. 3. The second copy of the text is a complete translation in German. This translation is in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz MS Germ. Fol. 903.

UPDATED: 7/20/2022

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