Tractatus de Nigromantia

Of Roger Bacon

by Frater Robert Lombard (?), 16th century English & Latin Manuscript

MS Mun.A.4.98 (Chetham’s Library)

This curious manuscript, written mainly in English, is a grimoire, or magical textbook, containing prayers, invocations, exorcisms and conjurations together with mystical diagrams inscribed in circles. It contains experiments of fairy magic such as the Seven Sisters and the Operation of Micob, shared by many other sources, directions intended to lead the reader to hidden treasure, etc.

The first half of this 150-page manuscript is based on De Nigromancia, a Latin text falsely attributed to the 13th-century Franciscan Roger Bacon, which contains detailed instructions for conjuring the dead. The manuscript includes several lists of names and magical alphabets as well as coloured diagrams.

Providence:  Came to the library from the collection of one John Byrom (1692-1763). 

Facsimile Editions

Roger Bacon

Roger Bacon, also known by the scholastic accolade Doctor Mirabilis, was a medieval English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empiricism. Bacon has also been credited with a number of alchemical texts in addition to spurious authorship of grimoires.

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